The Reign of the Heavens

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It is the Reign of the Heavens

To preach the Kingdom of the heavens* is not to preach a city called Heaven.

If I try to teach English speaking people that Jesus never preached Heaven, I might run into some difficulty because in Matthew we see these words: “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”. (Matthew 4:17)  If you speak Spanish, read this verse in the Santa Biblia, Reina-Valera 1909 to see that the English versions mostly differ in translating this.

The phrase, kingdom of heaven is only found in Matthew (never in the Santa Biblia, Reina-Valera 1909). And people, who are unaware that in most English Bibles, this phrase is an incomplete translation, are sometimes tempted to say that Jesus is preaching Heaven, here.  But He is actually preaching the kingdom. It would help if they knew that the phrase should really be translated, the kingdom of the heavens, or the reign of the heavens.

There is no other book in the entire Bible to which people can go and mistakenly think that Jesus is preaching Heaven. This is because there is no other book with the phrase, “kingdom of heaven”.

In what is called Christendom, “Heaven” means one thing and “the heavens” means something else. In popular culture, Heaven is a city with streets of gold and pearly gates. On the other hand, the heavens are the celestial realm.

The purpose of the following is to confirm that the phrase should rightly be translated, the kingdom of the heavens or the reign of the heavens.

KJV:

Matthew 3:1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,

3:2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Greek:

Mt 3:2 ——————————————————————————————————–

————————————————————————————————————

I ask your forgiveness, since I am not able to write the Greek text in such a form that will post, so I ask those of you who are able, to please study this same passage in Greek text that you can find available. I intend to shortly make a PowerPoint available that will contain this subject, along with the Greek text that I cannot directly post.

  

Scofield commentary notes 1917

(1) The phrase, kingdom of heaven (lit. of the heavens), is peculiar to Matthew and signifies the Messianic earth rule of Jesus Christ, the Son of David. It is called the kingdom of the heavens because it is the rule of the heavens over the earth, Matthew 6:10. 

Young’s Literal Translation:

Mt 3:1 And in those days cometh John the Baptist, proclaiming in the wilderness of Judea,

Mt 3:2 and saying, `Reform, for come nigh hath the reign of the heavens,`

Santa Biblia, Reina Valera 1909:

Mt 3:1 Y EN aquellos días vino Juan el Bautista predicando en el desierto de Judea,

Mt 3:2 Y diciendo: Arrepentíos, que el reino de los cielos se ha acercado.

Santa Biblia, Reina Velera 1909 Matthew 3:2:

Y

diciendo:

Arrepentíos

que

El

reino

de

los

cielos

se

ha

acercado.

         

reign

of

the

heavens

     

So you see, it does not say, “Heaven”; it says, “the heavens”.

In Spanish Bibles, this is plain (although not necessarily clear of weaker translations). However this is not plain to most English-only people, because as a rule English translators fail to completely translate the phrase.

All of the above was done in order to show that it is not Heaven (as in a city called Heaven, or just plain, Heaven) that Jesus is preaching. He is preaching the kingdom or reign of the heavens. We would have to add in our own traditional preferences (as co-scriptures) in order to continue to allege that Jesus preached, Heaven.  

Getting back to English, please let us observe that even in the imperfect English translations He does not say, repent for the kingdom—Heaven is at hand; but rather,  “for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Excuse the faulty translation). The long dash (—) between kingdom and Heaven would, in that case, indicate that the kingdom and Heaven are one and the same. But it was not expressed in that way. In reality, the kingdom is the kingdom and the heavens are the heavens. So therefore, it is the reign of the heavens that we are looking forward to.

 

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Kingdom Gospel Salvation

In the Bible you will find that Jesus preached the gospel of the kingdom of God and you may wonder, what was that all about; but you only have to look at the first chapter of Mark to see that this is truly what He did.

Mark 1:14 KJV
1:14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 1:15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

This is Jesus, Himself preaching the gospel and the first and only gospel that was preached in the New Testament was indeed the gospel of the Kingdom. The true hope and expectation of the believers in Christ is the future appearance of God’s kingdom. Jesus spent His entire ministry, not preaching that people should expect Heaven, but rather the promised Kingdom. Today it is more chic to preach Heaven than it is to preach the Kingdom. But the apostles preached the Kingdom of God throughout the book of Acts, to the very last chapter and to the very last verse. They did not once preach Heaven; they were never ordered by Jesus to preach Heaven, so why would they? Therefore if we preach the gospel, we also will not preach Heaven, but rather, the Kingdom of God.

People who heard the gospel and believed it, wanted to know how to enter into this kingdom. Jesus showed us how to enter when He spoke of these things to a member of the Sanhedrin, named Nicodemus in John chapter 3.

Here is Jesus telling us, not what is necessary to enter Heaven, but rather, what is necessary to enter the Kingdom.

John 3 KJV
1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
3:2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
3:4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

You might ask me, well, aren’t the Kingdom and Heaven one and the same thing? Truth be told, we cannot say that they are the same if we go by the Bible. At the time of Jesus, the people of God did not have Heaven listed as a hope or an expectation. You cannot compare Heaven and the Kingdom, because the Bible does not indicate that they are similar. This might confuse a lot of people, but only because of how most of us have been indoctrinated. Heaven and the Kingdom are different. One important difference between Heaven and the Kingdom is, the Kingdom was preached and Heaven was not preached.

The Bible tells us that there is one hope of our calling, Ephesians chapter 4, verse 4, and not that the Jews are to look forward to the Kingdom and the Gentiles are to look forward to Heaven. Later on in this article, I will present you with a number of scriptures pertaining to the promise of the Kingdom and I challenge anyone and everyone to give one scripture where Heaven is preached. I invite anyone, who comes to realize how true this is, to spend some real quality time before God in prayer. I even ask for calls to corporate prayer.

Seeing this to be true, where do we go from here?
The Kingdom is the true hope and promise; in order to enter God’s kingdom it is necessary for a person to be born of water and of the Spirit. Although there is a lot of confusion over how to be saved, we must not disbelieve the words of Jesus; but rather, our faith must be in the words of Jesus.

Let us pause and be prayerful about this also, so that we may be delivered from the doctrinal argruments that have risen against this.

Now that you see what Jesus said, trust that His knowledge is far superior to the knowledge of all the trusted theologians and ministers, or even all other men who have ever walked the earth. Let us accept His words and stand on them. He tells us that one must be born of water and of the Spirit.

It is necessary for us to know what it means to be born of water and of the Spirit? The Bible does not leave this to guessing. You will know from scriptures, that being baptized in the name of Jesus Christ (that is being submerged under water in His name) is being born of water. This is for the remission of our sins as the Scriptures do indeed tell us in Acts.

Acts 2:38 KJV
2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

This should come after hearing and believing the true gospel message and repenting by placing ourselves in our rightful place, under the authority and rule of our Lord. And who is Lord? Acts: 2:36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Jesus Christ is Lord. But I do not think I had to tell most of you that.

The people hearing this, realized they needed to do something; 2:37 Now when they heard [this], they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men [and] brethren, what shall we do? They were not seeking a do-nothing easy-believism salvation.

The word, lord means, ruler. God has sent Jesus to be our Ruler and King (the title, Christ, refers to the fact that he is King). He shall rule over all in the future. To be accepted by Him in the future, we must find our place under His ruler-ship now; that is what repentance is.

When we have done this, we must be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of our sins (that is why He died in our place; it is so that those baptized in His name will benefit through His death, which was a death in our place to cover our sins. This is how we escape our punishment for the sins we have done): According to Acts 2:38, this is for the remission of our sins. Your sins will be washed away, even the very guilt burden of those sins. This is what it means to be born of water.

Repentance Further Clarified
When you repent, you cease to do evil and learn to do good. Take a look at Isaiah chapter 1 Modern KJV:

1:16 “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil,
1:17 Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow.

You submit to Christ and do this; God will look on you and examine your heart and see if you have truly come into submission to His Son with an attitude of obedience and reverence.

God gives His Holy Spirit to people who will obey Him, Acts 5:32. After we have received His Spirit, we can be led by His Spirit in the path that pleases Him.

Romans 8:13 and 14
8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

The good works in the lives of God’s people come from Him; this is grace. Grace is actually more than most people have come to believe and have been taught.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

When you reject the good works you are rejecting the grace. Although our salvation is not of works, the same God Who gives salvation in Christ also gives the good works with the salvation. He did not mean for us to try to separate the two.

God judges whether or not to give a person the gift of the Holy Spirit. When your heart is right, then He will do it. You will know it and the believers around you will know it because God has given us a sign to go by. You will speak in another tongue or language under the influence and guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 10:45 and 46
10:45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. [Holy Ghost is Holy Spirit.]
10:46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God.

This will be the sign by which you will know that you have been born of the Spirit:

Acts 2:4
2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. [Holy Ghost is Old English for Holy Spirit.]

When we are born of water and of the Spirit, we are not born mature. Let us accept and appreciate the fact that God still has more for us.

There are cases where God rewards believers without seeing or before seeing them demonstrate works of obedience. This is nothing to be baffled about. It’s all in the nature of faith. Faith that brings about obedience is what God rewards. And true faith does this. He sees true faith and recognizes it before the person has had opportunity or occasion to respond with an outward action of obedience. When the faith in God’s word is genuine, it will by its very nature, bring about obedience to God. So, if what God sees, is that type of faith then He knows that it is good as gold. He trusts it because He knows what it will do. He knows if a person’s faith is genuine, even if the person does not know. If He’s got people with genuine faith, He knows that He can get obedience out of thosew people. The faith is real before the obedience happens. He doesn’t have to wait to see if that person will obey Him. Seeing this faith in them, He can do as He pleases and give them what they desire of Him. It would seem to us that people are receiving the Holy Spirit up front. If these are people who will obey Him, God clearly sees this.

He can also grant things to people He knows will not obey Him. Do not be slack because you know God is good. You will lose out in the end, because Christ will reward men according to their works.

Those who receive the Holy Spirit speaking in tongues must continue and learn obedience. Let us be aware that even if we speak in tongues, that this is just the beginning. Having received the Holy Spirit of God, we must follow on and learn to be led by His Spirit. Do not let your initial speaking in tongues be a start that does not go anywhere.

People receive the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues before they show obedience. This does not mean that they have received irreversible salvation. In the end we will be judged according to our works. Let those of us who have received the Holy Spirit, fight the good fight of faith so that we may lay hold on eternal life. Let those who have not yet received the Holy Spirit know the importance of serving Christ. As you seek Him, call on His name in prayer. Get some quality time and meditate on Him and on His goodness.


More About The Kingdom

When Jesus was on Earth, He preached that God’s kingdom was at hand. But the message of the Kingdom was not a new message; it had been spoken of by the prophets for ages, even from the early times of the Old Testament writings. This was an on-going promise expressing God’s good intentions for the future of His people.

The prophets spoke many things about the future kingdom. Here in the book of Daniel is a very clear promise.

Daniel 7:13 & 14
7:13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, [one] like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
7:14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion [is] an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom [that] which shall not be destroyed.

And look at this promise in Isaiah:

Isaiah 9:6&7 .
9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
9:7 Of the increase of [his] government and peace [there shall be] no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

Also: Psalm 2
2:1 Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
2:2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, [saying], [God’s Anointed is Messiah, referred to in English as Christ.]
2:3 Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. [This means that the world was rejecting God’s Rule that He was extending to Earth through Christ. This is why they killed the Son].
2:4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.
2:5 Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.
2:6 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.
2:7 I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou [art] my Son; this day have I begotten thee.
2:8 Ask of me, and I shall give [thee] the heathen [for] thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for] thy possession.
[The Heathen are the Gentiles or the non-Hebrew nations.]
2:9 Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.
2:10 Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth.
2:11 Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
2:12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish [from] the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed [are] all they that put their trust in him.

And: Daniel 7:27
7:27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom [is] an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.

When Jesus Christ was born on Earth, this was the beginning of God’s kingdom on Earth in-as-much-as Jesus Christ, the Son of God is the King.

The kingdom of God came in its next phase in Acts chapter two. This is when the believers in Jesus Christ were born of water Acts 2:38 and of the Spirit Acts 2:4. Remember John 3:5, where Jesus said that one must be born of water and of the Spirit to enter God’s kingdom John 3:5; God fulfilled these conditions in His people.

The next phase of the kingdom of God will come about at the return of Christ. Then the Kingdom will be globally manifest.

II Timothy 4:1
4:1 I charge [thee] therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

There are many promises of the kingdom in the Old Testament. These promises related to the future. They will all be fulfilled in the time of the New Testament.

Jesus was born to be King.
Luke 1:30
1:30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
1:31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
1:32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
1:33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

This was also shown in Isaiah 9:6 and 7.
9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
9:7 Of the increase of [his] government and peace [there shall be] no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

Jesus made promises concerning the kingdom as He preached and taught the people:

Luke 6:20
6:20 And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed [be ye] poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.

Luke 12:31
12:31 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Luke 13:28 and 29
13:28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye
shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets,
in the kingdom of God, and you [yourselves] thrust out.
13:29 And they shall come from the east, and [from] the west,
and from the north, and [from] the south, and shall sit down in
the kingdom of God.

Luke 16:16
16:16 The law and the prophets [were] until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.

Luke 22:29
22:29 And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me;

John 3:5.
3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

Acts 1:1-3
1:1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,
1:2 Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:
1:3 To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:

Luke 12:32
12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Read Revelation chapter eleven, paying close attention to verse fifteen.

The kingdom of God is the future hope of His people.

Substantial Repentance

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Substantial Repentance
16 “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil,
17 Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow.
from Isaiah 1 Modern KJV

Substance the American Heritage College Dictionary definition:
1. a. that which has mass and occupies space; matter.
5. Material possessions; goods; wealth.

The purpose of this lesson is point out the fact that repentance is more than quitting; it is doing.
Such righteousness not only needs to be taught; it must be learned through practice.

The first teaching on repentance in the New Testament
John the Baptist preached for the people to repent for the kingdom of the heavens was at hand. He warned them that the ax was already laid at the roots of the trees and that every tree that did not bring forth good fruit was going to be cut down and thrown into the fire. He warned them not to have confidence in their religious heritage for a sense of security. When they wanted to know what to therefore do, he started by teaching them a Repentance that involved Substance and not just turning away from stuff. Luke 3:7-11

Carefully and prayerfully read through the following verses. He taught them to start sharing their substance.

Luke Chapter 3
7 Then he said to the multitudes that came out to be baptized by him, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
8 “Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones.
9 “And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.“
10 So the people asked him, saying, “What shall we do then?“
11 He answered and said to them, “He who has two tunics, let him give to him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise.“
Luke 3:7-11 MKJV

Repenting By Beginning to Do Good
There is more to his teaching of repentance, as you will see if you read beyond verse 11, but I want to turn your focus to the first thing that he brought up in teaching them repentance, which is material sharing; that is the sharing of ones actual substance.
This is repentance not just in word and not just in tongue. You see this in verse 11. In God’s eyes this is good. It pleases Him when we share as John the Baptist commanded the people to do.

It’s not just quitting
The question that the people had asked John, was, “what shall we do, then?” It was not, what shall we stop doing? Today churches are full of bored people who have stopped doing things, but have not started doing what God desires that they do. True as it is, you do see from reading forward from verse 12, that he taught those who were doing wrong things to stop.

If we go forward to when the apostles preach repentance in Acts 2, we only have to keep reading to see the manifestation of substance based repentance. Selfish hording and greed were replaced with selfless sharing.

Acts 2:44 and 45
This type of repentance was understood in those days. John the Baptist and Jesus had gone before, making repentance plain. The apostles taught these things to the people for Jesus had commanded them to teach the people “to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you…” Therefore as the apostles taught the people, they did not fail to teach them substance based repentance, just as they had been taught it by Jesus.

The people “continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine…” As a result, we see the fruit of such teachings manifested early in the book of Acts. Read farther in Acts 4:32-35.

Non- substantial Repentance
There is a type of repentance that is practiced and taken for granted today. It is a repentance of just quitting things, or just leaving bad things alone. This is only half repentance. Is half repentance good enough? No. John told them to actually bring forth something, that is, fruits befitting repentance.

Repentance has two sides
When, after we have repented, we are still blind to the fact that we should share our substance with those in need when it is within our power, this might well indicate that we are caught up in the delusion of half repentance. Half repentance leads to disappointment. Our repentance is non-substantial if it does not have as its fruits the sharing of our substance. It is virtual repentance in which there is no giving of material things, except, maybe to the ministry (an admonition that is seldom neglected). People know to give to the ministry, but they do not know to share with one another.
Let us open our eyes some. While you are limiting yourself to this type of giving, where is Jesus?

From Matthew 25 KJV
25:34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35 For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed [thee]? or thirsty, and gave [thee] drink?
38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took [thee] in? or naked, and clothed [thee]?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done [it] unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done [it] unto me.

Who was Jesus? He was the brethren who were in need.

In the book of Acts they got it right:
Acts 4:32 All the believers were of one heart and mind, and they felt that what they owned was not their own; they shared everything they had.
33 And the apostles gave powerful witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God’s great favor was upon them all.
34 There was no poverty among them, because people who owned land or houses sold them
35 and brought the money to the apostles to give to others in need.
From Acts 4, New Living Translation

The repentance of today is partial; you are living a clean life, albeit, a sterile life in that it does not involve sharing with those really in need. This is sin, as you can see without controversy when you have read the passage in Matthew given above.

What James taught in James in chapter 2, verse 15-17 is not to be casually ignored by churches:
15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food,
16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?
17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
From James 2 Modern KJV

Going back to Isaiah chapter 1, we see God telling the people to stop doing bad things and to learn to do what is good:

Isaiah 1:16 and 17
Learn? Things are not learned when they are not practiced.
Sharing where sharing is needed is a way to learn these things by practicing them. This is how we have this become a part of us.

Our actions testify of our faith and reveal our actual faith toward God and love toward our brothers and sisters. God responds to faith which works through love.



Please share this with your friends
If you are sensitive to the leading of God’s Spirit and know the Scriptures, you might want to share this site with friends.
Have them to Google, Kingdom Gospel Imperative, or paste them: http://www.kingdomgospelimperative.wordpress.com
If, on the other hand, you see reasons to disagree with any of this, please promptly advise me of any particulars of disagreement. Comments are accepted at the bottom of this page.

Honesty Time

Let us just stop and think. Have we ever heard a preacher stand up and preach without talking about trying to get to Heaven? Also, do you ever remember them giving you a scripture that tells you that you should be doing that?

I am pretty sure that you know the prayer referred to as The Lord’s Prayer. Did He teach us to pray to go to Heaven? or, did He teach us to pray for the Father’s kingdom to come?

Next, do you know the place in the Bible where we are given the liberty to replace the expectation of God’s coming kingdom with the expectation of dying and going to Heaven?

Please comment.

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How can this be possible

This added 8-5-2013:
Pre-Resurrection Hope? Well, what does the Bible say about a pre-resurrection hope? You die and go to Heaven?

This hope is revealed at the resurrection:

4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
4:17 Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord
I Thessalonians 4:16 and 17 KJV

Well, again, what does the Bible say about a pre-resurrection hope? Is it this?:

4:8 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.
I Timothy 4:8 KJV

This phrase: “having promise of the life that now is” refers to an actual pre-resurrection hope, but it is regarding the expectation of good things in this present life. The “life” “that is to come”, occurs after the resurrection.

What does the Bible say regarding the time between our decease and the return of our Lord at the Resurrection? Does it say that you will walk the streets of gold until then? or does it say you will sleep? See I Corinthians 15:6. How Important is it for you to continue to go along with popular tradition? The Bible teaches us the truth.

8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, [then] are ye my disciples indeed;
8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
John 8:32 and 33 KJV

As you read His word, practice it and pray to Yahshua, Who is called Jesus, that He will grant you to increase in knowledge and in relationship with Him.

What I gave you was brief and designed to stir your hearts, but you have to pursue knowledge, yourself, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can arrive at true knowledge without His guidance. However much we read or are taught, true knowledge is given to us by grace, which is God acting toward us, giving us gifts of good things. This includes the knowledge you are pursuing Him for. The blessings of Yahweh be on you.