Kingdom of God: speaks of several things and it is also called by the name, the Kingdom of the Heavens. It is difficult to put kingdom references into the neat pigeonholes with which we are so comfortable. One use of the kingdom is to refer to God Himself as in But you must continually seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, then all these things will be provided for you. (Matt. 6:33) and But if I am casting out demons by a finger of God, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you. (Lk. 11:20)
Then we have in the same vein But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you. (Matthew 12:28) This means that all who have the Spirit of the Living God should expect deliverance from demonic influence, whether sickness or the evil spirits like those that oppressed the Gadarene demoniac.
Another use refers to the eternal kingdom, I say to you that many will come from east and west and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the Kingdom of the Heavens. (Matt. 8:11) And Y’shua said to them, ‘Truly I say to you that you who follow Me in the restoration of all things, when the Son of Man would sit upon the throne of His glory, then you will be seated upon twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.’ This is in Matthew 19:28, also referring to the Eternal Kingdom.
Matthew 12:28. But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you. We are to bring the Kingdom now, in this time, by appropriating the authority given to us, healing the sick, delivering the oppressed, raising the dead – doing all the things Y’shua was doing while He walked the earth. John 14:10. Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me? The words which I speak to you, I am not speaking from Myself, but the Father Who lives in Me does His works. 11. Believe in Me, that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me: but if not, believe because of these works. 12. Most assuredly I say to you, the one who believes in Me will do the works which I am doing and he will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father: 13. and whatever you would ask in My name, this I shall do, so that the Father would be glorified in the Son: 14. whatever you would ask Me in My name I shall do. This is truly Kingdom living, right here, right now!
Acts 1:6 has a clear reference that some were looking for, the Messianic Reign, when the King would sit on the throne, saying Therefore indeed those who came asked Him saying, “Lord, in this time are You restoring the kingdom in Israel?” 7. But He said to them, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons which the Father set by His own authority, 8. but you will take power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.”
Mark. 4:11 says, To you has been given the mystery of the Kingdom of God. The kingdom means more than one thing, so each time it is used we are to meditate to discern the appropriate meaning.
The Kingdom speaks of God Himself, the Eternal Kingdom (Heaven), evidence of His Kingdom in us, and the Messianic Reign.
The Lord’s Prayer gives insight in Matthew 6:9 with:
Our Father, Who is in the heavens:
our name must at once be made holy:
- Your Kingdom must now come:
Your will must be done right now,
as in heaven also on Earth:
Y’shua is teaching us to say in the strongest terms that His Kingdom must immediately come. This is not ordering Him to bring the Kingdom, but emphasizing that we are to do all in our power to effect Kingdom living in the here and now, right where we are! Luke17:20. And having been asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God is coming He answered them and said, “The Kingdom of God does not come by means of, or in company with, close observation, 21. and will they not say, ‘Behold it is here,’ ‘There it is,’ for behold the Kingdom of God is within you. Y’shua said in Matthew 12:28. But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you. His commission is stated in Matthew 28:18. Then when Y’shua came He spoke to them, saying, All authority has been given to Me in heaven and upon the Earth. 19. Therefore when you go, you must now make disciples of all the heathens, 20. teaching them to keep all the things that I have been commanding you: (Amos 9:12) and behold I AM with you all the days until the end of the age. All His disciples are to preach the Kingdom, as in Matthew 10:7. And while you are going you must preach, saying that ‘The Kingdom of the Heavens has come near.’ 8. You must continually heal sicknesses, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons: you took freely, you must now give freely.
Since the Kingdom is within each of us, we are the ones; each one of us is responsible to exhibit Kingdom living in the here and now. We are the ones, each one, to do His will right now. Matthew 11:28. Come to Me all those who work and are burdened, and I shall give you rest. 29. You must immediately take My yoke upon you and you must now learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in My heart, and you will find rest in your lives: 30. for My yoke is pleasant and My burden is insignificant. The LORD*’s yoke means total spiritual surrender. See Deut. 6:5. And you will love the LORD* your God with all your heart, with your very being, and with all your might. Matthew 22:36. Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Torah (Teaching) 37. And He said to him, You will love the Lord your God with your whole heart and with your whole being (Deut. 6:5) and with your whole mind: 38. this is the greatest and first commandment. This spiritual surrender is necessary to exhibit the Kingdom for the whole world to see.
Our actions and reactions sanctify His name, which each of us reciting the Lord’s Prayer swears to do, in saying “Your name must at once be made holy.” John 17:20. I do not ask concerning them only, but also concerning those who believe in Me because of the disciples’ message, 21. so that all would be one, just as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also would be in Us, so that the world would believe that You sent Me. There needs to be evidence that each of us is in Him.
Although the Lord’s Prayer has other meanings, the function that Y’shua taught us to pray is the Kingdom Now, making our walk with God to be so different from the world’s walk, that others cannot help but see the difference.
The late Chief Rabbi of the British Empire, J. H. Hertz, wrote, “Peace is no negative concept and is not the equivalent of inactivity. Whether for the individual or for society it is that harmonious co-operation of all human forces towards ethical and spiritual ends which men call the Kingdom of God. The Prophets longed for a Messianic peace that would pervade the universe, and include all men, all peoples – that should include also the beasts of the field; Isa. 11:6-10.” This idyllic reign is described in those verses: The wolf also will dwell with the lamb and the leopard will lie down with the kid, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together, and a small youth will lead them. 7. And the cow and the bear will feed. Their young ones will lie down together and the lion will eat straw like the ox. 8. And the nursing child will play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child will put his hand on the viper’s den. 9. They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD*, as the waters cover the sea.
Korban is an offering to God. Korban is the Greek spelling of the Hebrew word, Karban, that has no meaning in Greek. Often translated sacrifice, which is very inappropriate, the actual meaning comes from a verb meaning to come near. The purpose of the offering is to bring the one making the offering closer to God, to elevate the person to a higher spiritual plane. This is the opposite of sacrifice. It is no sacrifice to present a gift to the LORD*, and the giver receives a blessing in return. We sometimes sing of making a ‘sacrifice of praise,’ but there is no sacrifice of praise in Scripture. It is never a sacrifice to praise God. There is a sacrifice of joy (Ps. 27:6), to be joyful in a time of grief, and a sacrifice of thanksgiving (Ps. 107:22), offering thanks at a time of loss or hardship.
Your offering must be given with the right attitude because the LORD* loves a cheerful giver, Exod. 25:2, 2 Cor. 9:7. Whenever you are making an offering to God, whether tithes or free will, whether through your congregation, giving to missionaries, feeding the poor, or ministering to prisoners (Matt. 25:35-40, Isa. 61:1) you are being blessed by God. He is raising you to a higher spiritual plane. This principle is presented in the Hebrew of the first chapter of Leviticus describing the burnt offerings and meal offerings. The offering can be for atonement of sin or a free will offering, but the benefit is the same, the giver rises to a new level of relationship with the LORD*. An offering must be given with no expectation of a reward.