Tag Archives: Jerusalem

Kingdom of God

People have their own thoughts on what it actually means when we say “Kingdom of God”.

But what does it mean? If we just start with the face value of the statement, we should get a pretty clear view of what it is. Let’s start with the first word, Kingdom. What does ‘kingdom’ mean? Dictionary defines it as “(Government, Politics & Diplomacy) a territory, state, people, or community ruled or reigned over by a king or queen”. This by definition is what we are talking about when we discuss the things of the old testament and the new testament.

In the old testament, the paradigm of a kingdom was that of the gentiles was the ruling military or political party that controlled the land by setting the laws and ideals for everyone. It was different for the Jewish people of Israel, their Kingdom was that of a ‘City’ Kingdom with their God as their King and their ways were of their God. It was like a microcosm of a larger model of the whole earth.

It was a reproduction of shadow from times past, one from the beginning of time, ‘Garden of Eden. It was a time of innocence and beauty of the creator and his creation. It was the paradigm of God’s ultimate eternal purpose.

Now, for the second word, God. Kingdom of God, this is possessive phrase of someone’s possession, a Kingdom. Kingdom of God, a kingdom which God rules, with His paradigm of rule. It is his right, by the mere fact of his creating the said world and putting all things below him. God’s desire for a people to be His people that would be of Him, and He in them. It is the true fulfilling of Love and Life.

Where should this lead us?

It is the acclamation of God’s creation. How then should we be doing or saying or living because of this? What is it that we should do? If we are to be apart of this ‘Kingdom’ we shall be apart of it. We shall be apart of it thru the ‘being’ which created it in his image of all things made of Love and Life.

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Destroy this temple, and I will raise it up in three days!

This proclamation by Jesus was so profound to the people around Jesus at the time in so many ways, that the ramifications of it can still be felt today!

We didn’t see then or now?

If we can just go back to the scene of the ‘words’ of Christ and take them one at a time to understand them. This is again, a testament to the reading ways of the literal readings of black and white. We have to go deeper into the words and the meanings and most importantly, context.

John 2:19–21 (NASB95)
19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
20 The Jews then said, “It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?”
21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body.

To stay in context with these verses we have to also look at how we got here. The Jews(ones within the Jewish hierarchy) were in discussion with Jesus in the moment of Him destroying the temple business’s that were in the temple yard. The question that was asked of Jesus “on who’s authority are you doing this?” This seems to be a straight forward question for anyone,right? But Jesus comes back with lightning bolt of an answer of “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up!” Wow. They weren’t expecting that!

So Jesus tells the ‘Jews’ to destroy this temple(Jersusalem) and I will raise it up in three days!. Jesus will put it all back together after the jews destroy it(which no doubt would take them years to do it you think about it,in the physical sense), but was He talking about the physical sense in the first part of the sentence? I believe that He was, because this is what only the Jews knew and expected of God, the reality of the things in front of them. It was a majestic site to be seen, the Temple of Jerusalem, The Temple of the one and only God.

But it was proclaimed by Jesus, to tear it down! Why, would they do it? It was because it was being marred by unholiness in the ways of His people. It was dirty. It was Unholy by the people and by their institutional ways. This had to be changed. It had to be Holy.

Jesus was Holy. Jesus had authority to change it. He ‘was’ the Temple. He was greater than the temple. The Temple was in Him, of Him. Anything that was associated with Him pointed to the Temple!

The temple of Jerusalem was to die, in less than 40 years later, to prove His point. But the exclaimation that really made the point was when Jesus hung on the cross of death, and three days later rose to the world’s morning sun, to proclaim that something better than the temple of Jerusalem was now in use. Jesus Christ! Christ is something new and better than the Temple of the old covenant.

Everyone, Everyone in Christ is now the Temple of God. We are all one. Colossians 3. 11 Proclaims that ‘All in Christ are Everything’. The Temple of the ‘old ways is under the old covenant, the new one is in ‘Christ the Messiah’.

Let us ‘see’ this in the scriptures as we delved into the scriptures of just not the words, but the meaning of them. Let us not continue the traditions of old, but let us just ‘SEE’ Jesus!

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Grass Roots

This term has been used in another field of study, but We won’t go there today.

My sense of a way of life in the new testament for the new christians of the world, were always very small in size and very unique in their living. They began by either ‘seeing’ Jesus and ‘knowing’ that He was the ‘Messiah’ that was promised by the Jews and their religion. This was known by the Jews but also by the gentiles that were coming to the tabernacle square to hear the latest word from the religious leaders and of the issues of the Roman Kingdom.

The individuals coming to the square for the news were either from the city or from the outside of the city because of the business of the person to come to Jerusalem for the day. The individuals coming from within the city walls were being curious of this Man who was claiming to be the ‘Messiah’, Son of God. It was a curiosity at first, but later it was intriguing thought to be a more thought out fact. This curiosity was then bantered about with friends who have also heard this claim to ‘Messiahship’. It is this encounter with this claim by ‘Jesus’, that sparked the discussion between friends of acquaintance or from your neighbor, or from the tabernacle square discussions that have led you to the small group of disciples.

The individuals that were coming from outside the city of Jerusalem, businessman or just travelers going thru the city on their way to somewhere else. Their stopovers would always lead them to where the latest scoop of religious and city news and notes would be discussed for the good and the bad. It is then that the traveler would hear about the news about the man that they were calling the ‘Son of God’,doing miracles of healing and of raising from the dead, and being a teacher wiser that all the teachers that they knew. This was the beginning of ‘gossip’ or things that we have heard that we must tell someone else, so that they might be also interested too. This was the beginning of another pocket of discussion back at the traveler’s home town to his friends,family and to the religious leaders of that town. It would soon become to be known as an assembly of the discussion of ‘Son of Man’.

Now if you can imagine this scenario played over and over again, with people coming and going inside and outside the city, discussing the matter of ‘Messiah’, and asking yourself if Jesus was this one, t,hat it created alot of discussion in and around the temple of the Jews, which was a threat to their authority, but also the new claim that God had sent his Son to save them from all of humanity. From the gentile perspective, this was a very confusing time with their philosophy of having a plethora of gods to take care of your needs, covering them all individually in your life, but now to be told that there was a God that was a God of all, was to much to handle.

It is these little pockets of believers that were dotting the landscape of the roman world that was changing the romans but also the Jewish leaders of Israel. They were different. They were believers in this ‘man of God’ that was going to free them from the slavery of roman hierarchy of rule and also the rule of law of the priests and of their institution.

It is this ‘Grass roots’ formation that will keep the belief alive in the coming Kingdom. It will not be the formation of the ‘Jewish’ separation of authority of ‘knowing’ God but the oneness of all, the kingdom of Priests. It will not be formation of a kingdom of mankind to rule over us as to whatever he chooses to be for us, for this too is slavery.

God will reward us for diligence of becoming that light on the hill that shines Christ to all that are around our little hill! That little hill combined with all those other ‘little’ hills will eventually be the brightest light for God! Which is exactly what He said would happen.

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How many times have you read the bible?

I really hate this question.

By saying you read something, what does that tell you have accomplished? That you have read?

By saying that you have a read a book, is like saying you have seen a movie. But did you understand it?

This is also why I have hated in the institutional church the annual awareness of getting people to read the bible in a year, or two years. So what! Ask them what they read for a ten page report on why God came to earth in the form of Jesus, or why was Jerusalem the focus of the Israelites in the old testament, or what did it mean that the curtain was rent in the Holy of Hollies? And see if they could hand in at least one page. Most people when reading anything they just read, couldn’t tell you what they read. Reading the bible is not to be contrasted to be a medal of honor for the year, or for every year as a prize.

The Pharisee’s were reprimanded by Jesus for so called supposed to be the ‘experts’ of the scriptures, but yet Jesus asked them for meaning to them and their response to Him was ‘We don’t know’ (paraphrased by doug). Their job was to study and to make meaning to the scriptures that God had given them and to follow that meaning. Even the disciples were baffled in Jesus’s words to them in their daily walk with them. It even was even worse when Jesus started to talk in parables to them, their minds where in a state of ‘Whhhhhhat’?

It is with this thought that as christians and our community that we need to get together and talk about the word of God, and really ‘see’ God’s storyline for his people. It is not the ’20 minute snippit’ that we could get once a week that will even get us to ‘know’ God in our lives. He is so much more than this.

This might be the problem with the said ‘church’ that just keeps doing the same thing over and over and thinks that we will get a different result.(We know what this is called,right) We have to be vigilant in our ‘seeing’ what we are reading in the scriptures. It isn’t just black and white. It is what God meant in his spoken words that just point to Him.

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