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BillM

The Kingdom Of God?

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I think there is little doubt that Jesus' favorite topic was "the kingdom of God" (sometimes called "the kingdom of heaven"). As a PC (or someone sympathetic to PC or the 8 Points), what does this illusive term mean to you? How would you describe the kingdom of God in modern terms or in language that might speak to us today?

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Great question. First, the kingdom of God is not heaven. A common confound that needs to be put aside immediately.

 

The kingdom of God is where God's will is honored "on earth as it is in heaven". Because of sin it is diffuse and incomplete, but still here.

 

The effects of sin are not predictable or proportional. Reducing sin and increasing self-sacrifice for the sake of others is the key to ushering in the kingdom of God.

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The Kingdom of God in modern terms great thread..............

 

In my mind the Kingdom of God is the awareness of everything in Eternity, and the message of Jesus is that the Kingdom is within, which I feel is the way for us to become aware. The different frequencies and dimensions of infinity with endless connections can be discovered within easier than without because the senses are drawn to the crude vibrations that distract us from the subtle. The sense of infinite is made aware with love.

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A very good book I am reading currently, "How Jesus became Christian" by Barrie Wilson, paints the picture of Jesus believing the KOG was an era to be ushered in shortly, where peace on earth would be restored, the Jews would be free of their Roman masters, and life would be about living the way God wanted them too. So Jesus didn't think it was something one could work toward or assist with but rather something that would physically happen/occur which then would be taken up in practice also.

 

To me it seems most likely that Jesus never thought of the kingdom of God applying to all, but rather something that was promised by God to the Jews for them to have one day.

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I, too, think that the KoG for Jesus, at least in the beginning of his ministry, was a reconstituted Israel. I recall him telling his disciples to take the gospel only to the house of Israel. And he chastised the woman who came to him to have her daughter healed because she was not Jewish (as I recall). But I also think that, over time, Jesus' concept of the KoG began to change. He became more open to half-breeds and Gentiles. And he refused the throne in Jerusalem, something that those who believed in an earthly messiah would have expected him to usurp. In one of his post-resurrection appearances, he told his disciples to take his teachings into all the world. So perhaps his views were enlarged as he came into contact with people.

 

If this is true, then the KoG, for Israel, would have meant the re-establishment of their nation with their own ruler. This would have probably been interpreted as Israel ruling the known world with messiah ruling with a rod of iron to enforce the monotheism and laws of the Jews. It wouldn't have meant, as Burl, point out, the modern notion of "going to heaven." It would have meant heaven coming to earth, which is something we see in the book of Revelation.

 

Yet...

 

Yet I have trouble translating this into modern terms. For one thing, we don't live in a monarchy. We here in the States have no king. We claim to be a democracy - a government by the people for the people. Second, I'm very wary of the kind of Christianity that feels that nationalism and patriotism are almost synonymous with being a Christian, as if God establish the USA so that he could, through the USA, rule the rest of the world. Such notions make my skin crawl because of what this kind of thinking has lead to in the past in other nations.

 

So this makes me wonder what of the KoG is left that might be translatable or relevant for us in the modern world. Is the term, or should it be, obsolete? If so, what if left of the message of Jesus that still applies to us today?

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God only grudgingly allowed the selection of a king of Israel. Prophets, priests and judges yes but it was the arrogance of Israel which demanded a king. See 1 Samuel 12.

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While there are many who see the KoG in the light you have described and historically may make sense, i think the message relevant for the modern world and even originally does have a more spiritual meaning that is not always grasped without a study of the language in which the Gospels were written. And even then it is often difficult to understand without direct experience . Rather than getting into a long write i will reference a post i did in August 31 of 2007 with my understanding and own personall experience of what i feel the gospels writer(s) meant when talking of the KoG.

 

Joseph

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Josephs salutations to the Divinity within you expressed it very well, in depth. Thanks

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The kingdom of God/heaven is only "illusive" to those who have not found it. Jesus rules now from heaven. I started a thread about this a few months ago, showing that the kingdom arrived at Jesus' last breath. His followers obey his NEW laws which are recorded in the four gospels.

 

Few realize that when they recite the "Lord's" prayer they are praying for the kingdom to arrive, essentially calling Jesus a liar.

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Few realize that when they recite the "Lord's" prayer they are praying for the kingdom to arrive, essentially calling Jesus a liar.

I do not see this. Would you please explicate your thoughts in more detail? Edited by Burl

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