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Has The Kingdom Of God Arrived?

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The kingdom of God/heaven was very important to Jesus in the gospels. In fact the word kingdom is used more than 120 times in the four gospels. Here are some clues Jesus gave us as to when the kingdom would come.

 

1__"Seek first the kingdom of God." Matt 6:33, Luke 12:31

Of course one won't find the kingdom if one is not looking for it. It has been more than 1900

years since this command was given, why would he tell us to look for something that cannot be found?

 

2__"I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to other towns also, for I was sent for this purpose." Luke 4:43, see also Luke 8:1, 16:16, Matt 4:23, 9:35, Mark 1:14-15 The gospel that Jesus spoke of so often was about the kingdom of God.

 

3__"Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand." Luke 9:2, Mark 1:15, Matt 4:17, 10:7 The kingdom

very near in time.

 

4__"But I tell you truly, that there are SOME standing here who will not TASTE DEATH before they see the kingdom come." Matt 16:28, Mark 9:1, Luke 9:27 Both "taste" and "death" are important words and will come up again. If the kingdom had not yet come when these three gospels were written, then why include it? Why put Jesus up to unnecessary ridicule?

 

5__At the last supper, Jesus said, "for I tell you I will not DRINK again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes." Luke 22:18, see also Mark 14:25 "Drink" is a new vital clue word. This fruit of the vine could be wine or vinegar/sour wine.

 

6__A short while later in the garden Jesus mentioned a cup. "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me nevertheless not as I will but as you will." Matt 26:39, Mark 14:36, Luke 22:42

"Shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?" John 18:11 What was in this cup? Could it be the "fruit of the vine" mentioned in clue #5?

 

7__Most kings have a crown made of precious metal and stones. Jesus the humble had one made of thorns. Mark 15:17, Matt 27:29, John 19:2, Luke 23:23

 

8__The Romans mockingly had written that Jesus was king. "And over his head they put this charge against him which said, "This is Jesus the King of the Jews." Matt 27:37, Mark 15:26, Luke 23:38, John 19:19-22.

 

9__At the beginning of the crucifixion, "There they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall; but when he tasted it, he refused to drink it." Matt 27:34, Mark 15:23 The suspense grows, it wasn't quite time for the kingdom to arrive.

 

10__After this Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the scripture), "I thirst." A bowl full of vinegar/sour wine stood there so they put a sponge full of vinegar on hyssop and held it to his mouth, When Jesus had received the vinegar, he said, "It is finished." and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit." John 19:28-30 see also Matt 27:48, Mark 15:36

 

Jesus tasted and drank the fruit of the vine. So has the kingdom of God arrived?

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follow-just-j,

 

I would say it is here. Has it arrived ? In my view, it was never gone to now be arriving. It seems to me that in the sense of time it seems at first glance to "arrive" for an individual yet the experience itself leaves one with a sense that it was always present even though not previously sensed as such.

 

Joseph

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3__"Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand." Luke 9:2, Mark 1:15, Matt 4:17, 10:7 The kingdom


very near in time.



I read this a little differently. There are several possibilities for the idiom "at hand". One is literal, as in "My tools are at hand" , if need be, I can pick up this hammer right now. Another meaning is that it is "happening or present at this time." As in, "Hey, when does Downton Abbey begin?" "Well, it's actually at hand. Started 30 minutes ago."



So when someone tells me to repent, for the Kindom of God is at hand. I take it to mean that you better do it right now, because it's happening or is here right now and you're missing out,buddy!. And if repenting is what is required to experience it or go to it, then I'd better do it sooner rather than later.



This is a hard thing to explain to someone who equates "Kingdom of God" with an afterlife paradise. So if it truly is at hand, though, what is it? Your collection of scriptures gives us a few hints which I will not attempt to synthesize here. I just want to suggest that it is a communal state of mind that has to do with the way we live our lives and the acknowledgment that God/Christ is at the head. And it starts with the repentance of sin which I read as the turning away of hurtful behavior and thought. Then the path becomes much clearer.



It's worth trying.


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I agree with Joseph and Fatherman that The Kingdom of Heaven is not just in the sky, but always present so when a person discovers the Divinity within they start to see God in everyone and everything else in the kingdom. It is not only with the cruder forms of life that we are linked, as human beings, we are moving together with other spiritual beings in a long continuous ascent that is not in ourselves a finality. Where animal life consummates humanity starts, and when humanity concludes divinity starts where it is activated in our self-assurance to detach us from earth and elevate us to the higher realms of life. This can be found in Christ's words, "My kingdom is not of this world", also in the phrase, "Keep your treasure where no man can take it." Above and beyond our basic drives lies our inner psychic reality manifesting a living world that artist can only try to express in their creative endeavors. These spiritual experiences represent the mystical experience that is beyond the mind body experience and merges all our hopes and dreams in one final climax. This is a transformational consciousness where change takes place at the center of our being is hard to describe so we Christians use the symbol of the pearly gates of heaven. There is an ancient proverb that says, “To everyone is given the key to heaven; the same key opens the gates to hell.”

 

Definition: Repentance means a sincere turning away, in both the mind and heart, from self to God.

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Hello follow-just-j. Glad to see you here. As I read your post, it reminded me of the most difficult end-of-semester paper I ever wrote in theological college. I picked the topic of ancient Greek word usage around the concepts of "kingdom," "kingdom of the heavens" (Matthew's usage), and "kingdom of God" (Paul and other Gospel writers' usage). It was so complicated I thought my head would explode.

 

My own personal belief about Jesus' Kingdom teachings is that Jesus was trying to teach others how to be in full relationship with God the Mother and God the Father -- not in a future time, but right here and now, in the present. In this interpretation, the Kingdom represents a person's inner state: the choices he/she makes, the values he lives by, her willingness to blend heart, mind, soul, and strength in everything she does, especially in the task of learning (or perhaps I should say remembering) how to love well.

 

The Kingdom can be reached by anyone at any time if he/she follows the path of courage, trust, gratitude, and devotion to seek humble relationship with God, with all others, and with the self. Some people will "enter the Kingdom" during their human lifetime and others will not. It's about the choices we make in life and what we choose to learn from the mistakes we make along the way.

 

In many religious traditions, it's common for some leaders to teach that if we, as humans, fail to make all the right choices, we won't be saved by God and won't ultimately end up in Heaven. I don't think this is what Jesus was saying, though. I think Jesus was saying just the opposite, in fact. I think he was saying we're all so worthy of God's love and forgiveness that there's no possible way we won't all end up in Heaven. The problem isn't the future, said Jesus. The problem is today. How can we use the limited skills we have as human beings and somehow turn all our lemons into something resembling lemonade?

 

How can we be in full relationship with God even though we aren't perfect and we make mistakes and we don't understand much about, well, anything and we can barely get through each day in one piece?

 

Those are the kinds of questions Jesus was interested in -- questions about loving and forgiving and healing despite all the problems and confusions.

 

The Kingdom, therefore, is the internal mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual state that arises inside ourselves when we let go of our worries about being saved at some future time and instead focus on doing the best we can each day to love God, our neighbours, and ourselves.

 

In that sense, the Kingdom is ever-present, which is what Joseph, Fatherman, and Soma have also said.

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Again I will parse some words with you all, and I will like it....

 

First I will take on the verse that go something like this, the Kingdom is at hand, repent and believe the good news. For Jesus and me the Kingdom is both potential and existential. It has and always be fully and perfectly present both inside you and outside you. Most of you have agreed with the inside part, but your stumbling block is the outside portion. This is the meaning of the parable of the sower where the seed fell on good ground and sprouted but was choked out by weeds. This world seems to be too evil for the Kingdom to be perfectly present in all times and in all places. Repent is then just about changing the way you see the world. Is this world really fallen or is that just the way you choose to see it? It is foolishness to see the world as anything other than fallen, some about what is foolish to the world is the wisdom of God. For the last part, just change the word believe for accept.

 

The Kingdom is ever present, change how you look at the world and accept the Good News.

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The Kingdom is ever present, change how you look at the world and accept the Good News.

Jim I agree with you and I think your last sentence sums it up perfectly. I will just add that I think Jesus came to show us that we are divine beings with the infinite wisdom within in order to find our way out of the lower dimensions of slower frequencies in the material world and their shadows of our insufficiency so we can experience the living God in our higher consciousness. The journey begins with the deep observation of our thoughts, which ones to consider and which thoughts not to pay attention to on our way to the consistent happiness of our true being described as heaven on earth. We are only asked to leave in peace the lower level of mental programming that is keeping us down so the Divinity within can unfold a new life of awe and splendor that is all around us. This happiness is not based on our possessions, but the intuitive consciousness that tunes into and perfects our awareness in the spiritual experience deeper than the earthly deficiencies covering the divine treasure within. Christ is offering us an opportunity to connect with all humans in love, unity and compassion to expand our consciousness to the consciousness that is God the Father in everything and all things. I don't think Christ came establish the institution of Christianity, but to play a part spiritually so we attain immeasurable joy playing our part and being a factor in life. “There comes a time when the mind takes a higher plane of knowledge, but can never prove how it got there.” (Einstein)

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Jim I agree with you and I think your last sentence sums it up perfectly. I will just add that I think Jesus came to show us that we are divine beings with the infinite wisdom within in order to find our way out of the lower dimensions of slower frequencies in the material world and their shadows of our insufficiency so we can experience the living God in our higher consciousness.

 

*I can agree with all of this except the infinite part, I would use greater wisdom. It is not the fall that makes us mortal; it is not accepting our mortality that is the original sin.

 

The journey begins with the deep observation of our thoughts, which ones to consider and which thoughts not to pay attention to on our way to the consistent happiness of our true being described as heaven on earth. We are only asked to leave in peace the lower level of mental programming that is keeping us down so the Divinity within can unfold a new life of awe and splendor that is all around us. This happiness is not based on our possessions, but the intuitive consciousness that tunes into and perfects our awareness in the spiritual experience deeper than the earthly deficiencies covering the divine treasure within. Christ is offering us an opportunity to connect with all humans in love, unity and compassion to expand our consciousness to the consciousness that is God the Father in everything and all things. I don't think Christ came establish the institution of Christianity, but to play a part spiritually so we attain immeasurable joy playing our part and being a factor in life. “There comes a time when the mind takes a higher plane of knowledge, but can never prove how it got there.” (Einstein)

 

*There you go with the infinities again with the word immeasurable. Now I know joy, she is a good friend of mine. All joking aside, I don't measure joy by the glass being half empty or even half full. I measure joy by an over flowing glass, more than that a glass that is gushing joy. Stop worrying about all these thing and their sources. In all your relationships just be the joyful one. Be the one who breathes joy and hope into every situation no matter the circumstances, just because you can. This does not mean you should be insensitive when bad things happen, but if you look hard enough, you can find the joy even in the toughest situations.

 

* the star signifies my additions to Soma's post....

Edited by Jim Wright

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Jim there is a Zen story of the student having tea with his teacher, but when the teacher was pouring the tea he didn't stop. The student yelled stop you are pouring it all over the table. The teacher replied when your cup, your mind is full, you don't have room to learn anything. I am glad you enjoyed the post since your cup is running over with joy and you see joy in every situation.

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