Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Kingdom of God - A Word Study

I have been immersed in Kingdom Dominion theology over the past 20 years or so. I am now just starting to decide what I believe about it. In so many ways I keep surprising myself with Truth that is new to me. I feel like a 2 year old who has just discovered that they have a belly button and are simply amazed by this fact. Everyone else around them is underwhelmed at the discovery but the 2 year old is simply astounded by this great fact.

I am especially feeling that way as I am reading through RobbyMac’s new book, "Post-Charismatic?. " I kept interrupting the Steelers Game last night as I read with amazement to my husband how all of what we were taught as ‘new truth’ was being taught years and years ago. Boy, was I dumb to have not picked up a church history book all these years. - (To his credit Marshall had always said, “Honey, this stuff is really not new.” See, he likes history and actually learned something in Seminary.) (Seminary training was never really valued in our CLB - which by the way is a mark of a toxic group.)

But the other night I was wide awake for some reason so I decided to use my Parsons Quick Verse program and list all the times that the word “kingdom” is used in the New Testament (and one Old Test. verse) – just to see what really is there. (side note: Quick Verse is sooo easy. you just type in a word and it lists all the times it is used. Then you can check out what it means in the Greek or Hebrew)

Below is a brief overview of what I found. It is long so if you just want what I gathered out of the verses – just scroll through the highlighted parts. I’m sorry, but I don’t see ANYTHING that would clearly support the idea that the Church is to be active bringing in the Kingdom of God with the government of Apostles and Prophets? You can read through it and see what you think. What is there though, regarding what the Kingdom of God is, was really good.

This Old Testament verse was the most famous verse taught to back up the whole apostolic/governmental movement.

(Isa 9:6 , 7 NIV) For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.

But wait a minute: Notice that it says the zeal of the Lord will accomplish this. Not Apostles, not gifts, not the Church.

Then in the New Testament the first mention of the Kingdom says it must start with repentance.
Jesus and John (Mat 3:2 NIV) and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near." (Mat 4:17 NIV) From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near."

On to the Sermon on the Mount (Mat 5:3 NIV) "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven..and vs. 10: Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus made it clear that we would never make it on our own: (Mat 5:20 NIV) For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

So Jesus decided to show us how: (Mat 6:10 NIV) your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

We are to seek it: (Mat 6:33 NIV) But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

There are those who will be blocked: (Mat 7:20, 21 NIV) Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

When Jesus preached about the kingdom signs and wonders accompanied him; (Mat 9:35 NIV) Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.

His disciples were to proclaim it: (Mat 10:7, 8 NIV) As you go, preach this message: 'The kingdom of heaven is near.' Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.

The Kingdom is upside down from the way you would imagine: (Mat 11:11 NIV) I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

I’m honestly not sure what this one means but it was preached about A LOT:
(Mat 11:12 NIV) From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.
I think you have to read this through the upside down lens of Jesus’ life. Forceful men who look like servants maybe?

Then lots of parables - some easily understood - some harder:

1) Matt 13:24 like a man who sowed seed and an enemy sowed weeds. The master said to let both grow together until the end. Then the harvesters would sort them out

2) Mtt 13:33 It is like the mustard seed. A small thing produces a huge thing

3) Matt 13:33 It is like yeast -- a little bit changes the whole thing
vs. 44 like a treasure that a man finds, buries it again and sells all he has to buy it

4) vs. 45 like a pearl

5) vs. 47 like a net for a fisherman - gathers good and bad fish that need to be sorted

When Peter believed and proclaimed that Jesus was the Son God the keys of the kingdom were given him. (Whatever that means)

The disciples saw the kingdom come (Mat 16:28 NIV) I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom."

Upside down kingdom (Mat 18:1-3 NIV) At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Belongs to the children: (Mat 19:14 NIV) Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

Hard for the rich (Mat 19:24 NIV) Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

The Kingdom does not look fair: (Mat 20:1 NIV) "For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire men to work in his vineyard. (didn’t pay everyone the same)

Values obedience: Won’t see who you were expecting: (Mat 21:31 NIV) "Which of the two did what his father wanted?" "The first," they answered. Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you.

Jesus’ prophesy about the Kingdom: (Mat 24:14 NIV) And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

Need to be prepared: (Mat 25:1 NIV) "At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.

About those who get to enter the final kingdom: (Mat 25:34, 35, 36 NIV) "Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

There will be wine!! (Mat 26:29 NIV) I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father's kingdom."

It happens with little effort from us (Mark 4:26-29 NIV) He also said, "This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain--first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come."

My favorite: (Luke 17:20, 21 NIV) Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, "The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you."

Jesus said his kingdom is NOT OF THIS WORLD (John 18:36 NIV) Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place."

Even till the very end his disciples did not get it - just before he disappeared out of sight they were asking when he was going to bring it in: (John 18:36 NIV) Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place."

Maybe they started to get it here: (Acts 8:12 NIV) But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.

And the kingdom is (drum roll please....): (Rom 14:17 NIV) For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,

hmmm????(1 Cor 4:20 NIV) For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.

(1 Cor 15:50 NIV) I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

Lots of passages like this one on those who will not inherit the Kingdom: (Eph 5:5 NIV) For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person--such a man is an idolater--has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

So that's what I learned. I just failed to find the whole "next generation of really amazing, gifted glow in the dark kind of people that are governed by truly amazing apostles with words directly from God who will usher in the coming of the Kingdom of God in the final days after a great harvest. Maybe I need to keep reading but it was certainly not here - that is for sure.


Sara said...

So is dominion theology post millenial? i.e., is it stressing that the church needs to usher in the kingdom of God and get the world good enough for Jesus to come and have his 1000 yr. reign here on earth? (or does the millenium not figure into this?)

this is all an education to me . . . very different than the Calvinist-Reformed theology I grew up with (and still believe). I thought I was pretty familiar with the various branches of Christianity . . . but this all sounds pretty foreign. :)

Barb said...

Sarah, I really have no idea if it is post millenial or not. You could probably get several different answers from different people that are in it. It is funny, when I was in the rapture camp from the independent days they taught their end times theology in a very methodical way. But this stuff is just woven into all kinds of messages on all kinds of subjects. It is only after you put it all together do you realize that it is a end times teaching. So I have never heard what they think about the timing. Has anyone else?

Maybe I'll read about it in Robby's book, I'll let you know

Billy Sgoffneer said...

Thanks for compling Kingdom Scriptures together. I believe, Kingdom Now, but perfect in it's stages, remember the stone cut from the mountain without hands that BECAME a great mountain and filled the whole earth, it is the same with the Kingdom of God it is contiually in the process of becoming full.We have to pray and study the word of God to predict times and seasons.