Guest post by Samuel Lundgren – Jesus proclaimed a new government

“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand” – Mark 1:15

Jesus proclaimed that a change of government has taken place on earth through his arrival. God gave Adam and Eve the mission to be God’s government representatives on earth.

He said, “let them have dominion.”Gen 1:26

Then Adam lost his government position when lost his relationship with God. But God promised to take it back through the woman’s seed. So, when Jesus comes, he come with a message to reinstate the kingdom of God and again give it to man. God is doing that by taking back the power of government on earth through Jesus Christ.

Luke 11:20 But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

Jesus establishing a government on earth

Jesus didn’t only proclaim Gods kingdom he also made a new government assembly possible. Jesus carried the sins of humanity by dying in our place. He then arise on the third day and then ascend to heaven. He sits down at the right side of the Father. These are the events that lead to the new government formation.

Jesus reigns from heaven on earth through his church

We see in a wonderful prophecy how Jesus sits down on the throne of power in Heaven.

As I looked, “thrones were set in place,
and the Ancient of Days took his seat.
His clothing was as white as snow;
the hair of his head was white like wool.
His throne was flaming with fire,
and its wheels were all ablaze.
A river of fire was flowing,
coming out from before him.
Thousands upon thousands attended him;
ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.
The court was seated, and the books were opened”

“In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.Dan 7: 9-10, 13-14.

Jesus also says before ascends to heaven:

“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth”Matt 28:18.

Jesus, the world’s most powerful governor.

Jesus rules from heaven on earth through his church.

  • We sit together with him at his throne of power – Eph 2: 6
  • We are His body on earth – Eph 1:22-23.
  • He says: I will build My churchMatt 16:18

The word church, ecclesia, is a Greek word that described the governing and legislature in a city according to certain sources. The church in a place is the governing and legislative community in that place. We are government representative of the world’s most powerful government.

Our influence is not in proportion to our size but to our position

We know that even small parties in a government have great influence, because they are in government.

“Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom”Luk 12:32

Be of good courage you have a big influence because you are government representative and you are in the world’s most powerful government

Taking Heaven to Earth – The government declaration

 Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven Matt 6:10

Heaven is the place where we can see the effects of the government in which you are sitting. Paradise, the garden of Eden is also a place where we could see the results of God’s government. And most people long for coming to these places. That what is happening in heaven will happen on earth.

That is our government mission.

There is no better mission for us as a people.

Take heaven to the whole earth – The governmental vision
We are in the world’s most ambitious government. God thinks big. One of his favourite word is all. He loves us all, he wants to save us all.

The kingdom of God shall fill the whole earth

“Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were all broken to pieces and became like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer. The wind swept them away without leaving a trace. But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth”Dan 2:35.

Jesus describes the kingdom of Heaven as a mustard seed which begins small but grows big. Or like a leaven that is a small part of the dough but permeates the whole dough (Matthew 13: 31ff).

So we not only have a fantastic mission it is also a great mission,

How should we act as government representatives?

1. We shall use our governmental power in the spiritual world

God has put us in a position of governmental power.

God has “raised us up together and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” – Eph 2:6

And we know that this position is far above all other powers in the spiritual world. We can see in the Bible that the spiritual world has a great impact on the physical world.

we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”Eph 6:12.

There is a new governmental power in place. The former power is now in opposition and not in government. It has no government rights to it and will never have it in the future. This is an important truth.

We now have the governmental power.

2. We will get God´s will through even if it is an opposition

In a parliament the government will get its will through. If the government suggest raising the tax and the opposition want to cut it. It will be as the government suggest. If the government suggest cutting the tax and the opposition want to raise it. It will be as the government want.

If we are in government and know the will of God and want it to happen on earth, what will happen? The will of God will happen on earth. Jesus taught us to pray:

” Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” – Matt 6:10.

We should pray this with confidence, because we have governmental position and power. We can push through the will of God despite the opposition. Don´t let the opposition into government position.

3. We shall be servant minded in the physical world

Our task in the physical world is different. We are here to serve people and offer them the kingdom of heaven. We have the same mind as Christ Jesus. Phil 2:4-6 – We are servant just as Jesus was. He said to his disciples after he had washed their feet “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Joh 13:14-15

We serve people by taking heaven to earth

We carry the kingdom inside of us “the kingdom of God is within you.”Luk 17:21 and we should spread it where ever we go.

  • We serve by spreading an atmosphere of heaven – Rom 14:17
  • We change the atmosphere to the better and attractive atmosphere.
  • We are spreading the powers of heaven. – 1 Cor 4:20 It´s healing power, delivering power.
  • We are spreading the powers of heaven and it´s attractive powers.
  • We are spreading the message of heaven. (Luk 8:1) It´s are privilege to invite everyone into this wonderful kingdom. This is good news it´s an attractive message, no matter how you are what you have done you can come into this kingdom because of what Jesus has done for you.

We shall receive growing gifts in the church world
We exercise our government power in the spiritual world. We use our servant possibilities in the physical world. We also have possibilities to grow in our abilities to govern. We need to and can grow more and be better in govern.

We need each other and other’s gifts. God gave gifts “He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” Eph 4:12.

We can and should develop to see God´s kingdom spread to more people and areas.

//Samuel Lundgren

Touch base mentality

This post is to reflect over the meeting culture and lack of mission based, Kingdom based and discipleship based church we have become.

Today many of so called successful church concepts are built around our Sunday meetings. With the latest technology, powerful worship, cozy facilities and appealing sermons in a seeker sensitive way we call it Super Sundays.

But if I take this down one level, for us that do not have all this new thinking and technology in place are also birds of the same feather as we count success in how many attendees we have in our meetings. That for me are fruits of Christendom, but not discipleship or Kingdom thinking.

Let me clarify if you get confused. I am not against church or meetings as this is biblical. But I question the meeting culture we have been stuck into the last generations.

And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,” – Acts‬ ‭2:46‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I believe we need to come back to the roots again of what it really means to follow Jesus.

I think our Sundays could really be Super Sundays if we come together to share with our family in church how our week has been. What victories and battles we have faced during the week when extending the Kingdom, training disciples, sharing Christ. Out there in the field. Then fancy meetings would not be the center of our presentations during Sundays but testimonials.

Let me be clear, we do not change the nations having meetings, we change the nations making difference out there.

– That is being Kingdom minded!

If the plan does not work, change the plan but not the goal.

Church, we need to change our mindset back to Jesus´ mindset. Having only meetings have not worked. We need to move out of our comfort zone. That is the reason we in our region have started “Feet on street”.

Paul put it like this:

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” – Philippians‬ ‭2:5-8‬ ‬‬

When we say we would love to be like Christ it should challenge us Jesus left his comfort zone coming to earth.

When our Sundays will be full of testimonies then I promise you our churches will be full again, with new disciples that follow you to the church family. But we need to start in the right end.

Today many of us devote one day to Christ, Sundays. But instead the whole week should be devoted to Christ, not just Sundays.

Touch Base Mentality

I think we need to again establish what I would call Touch Base mentality.

We touch base on Sundays, but for the rest of the week we do our rounds, catches, pitches, runs and jumps for the Kingdom, and when then Sunday comes, we touch base and church cheers – well done!

What is the Advancing Kingdom?

Maybe you have heard the term Advancing Kingdom, that also is the name of this blog, and wonder what it is all this fuss about?

Well, I will try to outline what I mean with Advancing Kingdom in this post.

First we need to dive through some questions like, What Kingdom are we talking of ? Advancing, how? From when?

In Genesis God gives man a mandate to rule the world and care for it. When Jesus is coming to earth as a man, he starts to share the good news about the Kingdom over and over again. Actually more than 100 times in the gospels. That is his second most important message together with the message about the Father. Reason why the Romans put a sign on his cross saying, “King of the Jews”.

Jesus did not come with a new message instead he goes back to the roots of the mission for man kind, talking about Gods family and its Kingdom to rule earth.

Isaiah puts it like this when prophesying about Jesus, 700 years BC.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.” Isaiah‬ ‭9:6-7‬ ‭ESV‬‬

  • A child will be born.
  • He will be responsible for a government.
  • Of the increase of this government there will be no end.
  • And his Kingdom to uphold it and establish it.
  • From this time and forever.
  • When Jesus comes as a child it all starts.
  • So Isaiah sees Jesus come to earth to establish his Kingdom, with no end, and increasing or advancing forevermore.
  • 100 years later, at year 603BC, Nebuchadnezzar has a dream about the future that Daniel interprets.

You saw, O king, and behold, a great image. This image, mighty and of exceeding brightness, stood before you, and its appearance was frightening. The head of this image was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its middle and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. As you looked, a stone was cut out by no human hand, and it struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, all together were broken in pieces, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.” Daniel‬ ‭2:31-35‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Another kingdom inferior to you shall arise after you, and yet a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth. And there shall be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron, because iron breaks to pieces and shatters all things. And like iron that crushes, it shall break and crush all these. And as you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, it shall be a divided kingdom, but some of the firmness of iron shall be in it, just as you saw iron mixed with the soft clay. And as the toes of the feet were partly iron and partly clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly brittle. As you saw the iron mixed with soft clay, so they will mix with one another in marriage, but they will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with clay. And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever, just as you saw that a stone was cut from a mountain by no human hand, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold. A great God has made known to the king what shall be after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation sure.” Daniel‬ ‭2:39-45‬ ‭ESV‬‬

  • Even though there are some disagreement about these four empires, the traditional interpretation of the dream identifies the empires as the Babylonian (the head), Medo-Persian (arms and shoulders), Greek (thighs and legs), and Roman (the feet) empires.
  • But the fifth empire Daniel sees is a Kingdom, that will never be destroyed. A stone that will become a huge mountain. This stone, not cut with human hands is Jesus.
  • NT is then full of references back to this story of Jesus as a stone.

So both Isaiah and Daniel in these scriptures are talking about a Kingdom that will come and grow, increase and advance until it covers the whole earth.

So when did Jesus become King then?

After the cross when he ascended to heaven he sat down together with his Father being the King.

The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.” Psalms‬ ‭103:19‬ ‭ESV‬‬

This Kingdom of God, is not like human empires as our weapons are not of this world. It is a different Kingdom, that is established within us and among us when we receive and acknowledge Jesus as King in and over our lives.

Wherever Jesus is glorified as King is where his Kingdom is established. So the Kingdom is not limited to the Church, but everywhere we establish Jesus as King, with help of the Church, his body doing this.

He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son.” Colossians‬ ‭1:13‬ ‭ESV‬‬

This Kingdom´s King took its authority and keys back defeating Satan on the cross (Cristus Victor). From that moment the Kingdom started to advance on earth as a process at the same time darkness is still on the earth until we as his people have filled the whole earth with his glory. Then Jesus will come back to earth and final judgement will come and a new heaven and new earth will be established and we will live in this Kingdom on earth forever.

Therefore Jesus is talking about the Kingdom as a mustard seed or the leaven. His message was, it might start small, but it will be the biggest three and the dough will be processing until fully leavened.

He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.” He told them another parable. “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened.” Matthew‬ ‭13:31-33‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Habakkuk saw this and prophesied

“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” ‭‭Habakkuk‬ ‭2:14‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Isaiah again, it will start with a small child in a stable in the middle of nowhere and become a Kingdom of peace with no end.

This is the Advancing Kingdom!

This should make us positive about the future!

This should clarify our purpose to be Salt & Light in this world, to make it a better place by establishing Jesus as King, everywhere we go, we live or we work.

When is the Kingdom?

Depending on what denomination or church movement/stream you belong to, you might have heard various teaching of when the Kingdom of God is at hand.

Within evangelical streams, it has been a common understanding that Kingdom is something that will come when Jesus comes back and establish his Kingdom.

That started to change from the 80-ies by John Wimber and the Vineyard movement, by the teaching Kingdom is here but not yet.

But I think this should link directly how we understand Jesus word to Peter in Matthew 16:18-29

”And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven*, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

*Matthew was writing to Jews reason why he do not say Gods name but instead use Kingdom of Heaven but all scholars agree it to be Kingdom of God used in the other gospels.

Is this authority and keys to heaven for now or in the future?

Many in the pentecost/charismatic movements have heard and been taught Jesus to come back for his Kingdom, first after times of tribulations in end of times. That is not always the case in other movements or denominations.

Well, how should we today understand “When” is the Kingdom?

First time Kingdom is used by Jesus is in Mark 1:14-15 – “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

Is at hand is used 14 times in NT and always to indicate something immediately happening.

e.g Like a compere presenting a new artist: here he is, be ready.

If we look in Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43 and the “parable of the weeds” it will help us to understand how Jesus saw the Kingdom coming and when.

Kingdom of God was a known concept for the Jews, they all lived with the question when would the kingdom come. Reason why Jesus asked, who say people I am?

Pharisees thought if the people became clean enough with the help of religious rules, then the Kingdom would come.

Zealots thought if they could with violence defeat the Romans then the King would come walking the streets to Jerusalem.

He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, “Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.”‘ Matthew‬ ‭13:24-30‬ ‭ESV‬‬

And then Jesus explains the parable to the disciples.

He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed is the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew‬ ‭13:37-42‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Jesus had to sit down and explain the Kingdom. Yes it will come, but in a different way. It will be a process. The old and the new will live together. Good and evil, blessing and curse, healing and sickness, joy and suffering. Wheat and weeds at the same time.

When Jesus claims he is “Son of man” he was referring back to Dan 7:13-14

I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.”

  • Jesus is sowing seed.
  • Those that repent are the good seeds of the Kingdom.
  • Weeds are the evil ones, the ones walking in the flesh, walking in rebellion.
  • The enemy is the devil.
  • The Harvest is the end of age.
  • The angels will gather out of what? Yes from the Kingdom that is already there, not to come.

Jesus does not say destroy the harvest, just grow the wheat, and be aware of the weeds are growing at the same time.

But If the Kingdom is here, why do we see all these bad stuff happening?

Jesus simply stated the enemy did this. Not part of the Kingdom, sin did this.

The Weeds in this parable, was a special weed that got black when it was ready but green as everything else when growing. Very common at that time in Israel.

So Jesus said you need to wait to see the difference as when fully grown. Then you will see the difference.

So Jesus is saying, Kingdom is here now, but it is a process, and it will take time, and only when fully grown the day of judgement comes.

Gods new creation is today, now, the day of salvation is today, now. Gods Kingdom is today, now and it is advancing.

Lauren Daigle on Ellen

Because Ellen Degeneres is openly gay, some Christians are critical of Daigle’s decision to sing on the show. “You’re very talented, but you’re being blinded by fame,” one writes online. Another says, “How is she letting her light shine…if she didn’t even declare Jesus Christ and the gospel at all she just came on there to sing.”

This is for me a typical mindset of old wrong Church mentality. Let’s keep as far away from the world and it’s sins, then maybe we can survive in this life and come to heaven. Or even more, do not participate with sinners as you then indirectly approve their life.

Kingdom minded, like Jesus, entered to the sinners. Actually he spent more time with them than in the temple. Fair to say, he also spent time in the temple. It is the mindset I disprove.

Why are we so afraid becoming contaminated of the world that we hide in our own sub-culture called church.

Kingdom minded people know they are both priests and kings, they can operate in any part of the world with no fear, but instead with dominion to be contagious with Spirit filled life.

Religion is focused on, separate your self from the world, but Kingdom is, impact the world, make it better, be true Salt & Light into this world, let your light shine!

That can not be done within the walls of the Church, but instead why not at Ellen Degeneres show, especially as she is open with her gay lifestyle.

Seek first the Kingdom…

When I finished my first bible class in church as a 13 year old boy, I was given a bible with a greeting on the first page from my bible teacher, quoting Jesus famous words from his sermon on the mount, “seek first the Kingdom…” Matthew 6:33.

At this point in life I did not understand what that meant, and 20 years later I still did not fully understand what it meant. How come? Well it has not been taught in Church so often.

It was only 5 years back I became aware of that Jesus is talking a lot about Kingdom, and I do not really grasp what he is saying. So I decided to seek to understand the Kingdom, put it my first priority.

An common understanding of this verse is that we should seek Jesus first in our life, but that is not what Jesus is saying.

It is interesting to note that in the sermon on the mount, Jesus is referring to the Kingdom 7 times, mixing with how to practically live life on earth to reflect Heaven. No other word in his sermon is as important as the Kingdom, except how to stay blessed as a result living for the Kingdom. And then as a summary of his sermon, he wraps it all up with, “seek first…” – he says: Gods nr 1 priority is the Kingdom, and it should be also our nr 1 prio.

  • Seek, means to search for, dig into, pursue, study, understand, explore, find out.
  • First, means to put the Kingdom nr 1 in our lives. Put the highest value on the Kingdom. Set it as our highest goal and focus in life.
  • Kingdom here, is the Greek word basileia that is equivalent to the Hebrew word mamlakah, used in Genesis 1:26, as dominion. Both words means, dominion, sovereign rule, Kingdom, reign, or royal power. In this sermon, Jesus is referring to Gods Kingdom, Gods government, Gods rulership, Gods dominion over earth. Heavens influence, Gods administration on earth.
  • Righteousness, means not to live a good holy religious life, but is actually referring to a juristic, legal term, to be in alignment with the authority, to be right positioned, to follow the laws of the Kingdom.
  • Jesus do not say, search a religion first, but the Kingdom and it’s laws, principles. If you do that, then you do not need to worry.
  • Reading Matthew 5:6 then comes into a new light. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied”
  • The concept of Kingdom was not something man kind came up with, instead it was introduced by God in the absolute first days for man living on earth.
  • For God is not a God of disorder but of peace...” 1 Corinthians‬ ‭14:33‬ ‭NIV‬‬

    The absence of God is disorder. ”And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” Genesis‬ ‭1:2‬ ‭KJV‬‬

    Before God started to structure earth, it was no order, it was without form and void.

    But before God even started to bring structure and order he sent His Spirit, to move upon the disorder, to prepare it for structure. This is exactly how God is working when bringing order and structure into our lives. He first moves with the Spirit, then he starts with structure using words of command.

    Religion is always doing the opposite, first try to bring structure and then the Spirit might come.

    And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God.” Ezekiel‬ ‭11:19-20‬ ‭ESV‬‬

    Many years back, I had some meetings in Africa. I remember one meeting in particular. I had closed my talk and invited to the altarcall, people came forward to receive salvation. But what shocked me was the fact that even before I had led them in sinners prayer, the Spirit came over them and they started to talk in tongues, laughing, crying. I learned something that day. When God wants to bring structure, he starts with his Spirit.

    Why is God sending his Spirit over all flesh, even before they have recieved Christ? Yes, to bring us into alignment with the Kingdom righteousness.

  • The message of the Bible is God extending his Heavenly Kingdom on earth through his royal family.
  • The reason we have had so many kingdoms rise and fall on the earth through out the history, is that deep into our innermost beings it is natural to rule. The problem is, we are trying to build our own kingdom, without the Spirit and not Gods Kingdom as Jesus puts it in Matthew 6:33.
  • To bring this world back to Eden, we need the Spirit, and we need to put His Kingdom first in our lives, understanding, we are his co-workers bringing structure into this sin-fallen world, everywhere we go.
  • Is working in church more spiritual?

    We all long to find our destiny and to live a purposeful life. No one of us wants to live without meaning, live for nothing. We would like to contribute to this world in some way or the other.

    “The most sad thing in the world, is not that people die, but they live a life without a purpose.” – Myles Munroe

    Our media channel’s are filled with how to Becoming Your Most Fulfilled Self, How to find your purpose, How to become your best self etc.

    This is not strange, this is something God has put into man-kind, but it has to start with Christ, not me!

    Ecclesiastes 3:11 – “He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.”

    When I was studying economy as a young man, we read about a behavioral scientist and psychologist named Abraham Maslow. You might have heard of him? He is very famous for his “Hierarchy of needs“:

    1. Water
    2. Food
    3. Clothes
    4. Housing
    5. Protection
    6. Security
    7. Preservation
    8. Self-Actualization
    9. Significance

    Maslow listed these motivational needs in order of priority.

    Based on these, you will find that if you do not have the first ones, you simply do not care of the other ones.

    e.g. In western world many of us are depressed as we have all these in place in life and maybe only wrestle with the last one of the list, Significance. But in other parts of the world, they would not bother about Significance or purpose in life, as they are simply fighting just to survive the day.

    For us growing up in church, we have heard numerous sermons how important it is to live for Christ, and our hearts desire is really to do that. But what does it really mean? Can our calling in life only be fulfilled in Church or elsewhere? Is there such a thing as a secular life and a spiritual life? or fulltime for God?

    I think one reason why churches are overloaded with activities in Church, that usually are for those within, is that we act as it is only in Church context we really can serve God, or as missionaries in other countries.

    Why is it so? Are we all to live our lives in church in order to fulfill our destiny?

    Very often, I have been talking with young people trying to find their purpose in life, and the only references they have from what has been taught in Church is that to full-fill Gods plan for you, you need to do it in Church. Fulltime for church, to be a pastor, evangelist, worship leader, deacon, youth leader, usher etc. Because then you really serve God. In the secular arena (never mentioned in scripture), we only work to earn money, so we then can serve God with our money and then in Church.

    Maybe only 5% of us can work fulltime in Church, but what about the 95% of us? Yes, we should all build church, all serve in Church. But not as fulltime in Church.

    What is Paul saying about this?

    1 Cor 7:20 – Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called.

    1 Cor 7:24 – So, brothers, in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God.

    2 Thess 3:7 – For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate. 10 For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. 11 For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. 12 Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.

    1 Thess 4:10b – But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, 11 and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, 12 so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.

    Paul was not afraid to work, and never did he mentioned it to be less spiritual or even secular. Pauls idea is that us working in ordinary working place will make more impact for the Kingdom than all of us leave our current vocation to be hired by a Church.

    You will be suprised to see in the bible that God is using far more “ordinary” people in a working vocation than a “Spiritual” vocation such as the Levites, Priests and Prophets, to impact the world with his Kingdom.

    The difference between Kingdom mindset and Church mindset is that in the Kingdom you will serve God everywhere, if you understand your Kingdom purpose. To restore the world back to Christ.

    “If you’re a city planner, there is a New Jerusalem. If you’re a lawyer there will be a time of perfect righteousness and justice”…. The way we view the not yet will inevitably impact the way we respond in the here and now.

    —Tim Keller

    What is the Kingdom? Part 1

    When I ask Christians what the Kingdom of God is, many don’t have a clue, or vaguely understands its concept. This means we have not taught about it enough.

    I have in my previous posts, tried to clarify what the Kingdom is not, as there are many misconceptions of what it really is, and that also helps to understands what it is.

    If you read the gospels you will find Jesus over and over use the phrase; “With the Kingdom it is like…”

    Why did he do that?

    If you should try to explain a new invention to a friend that they have not yet experienced, but what you have experienced, you might find it difficult to explain it, so then you will use allegories, pictures to explain it.

    Imagine you should describe Facebook for someone 100 years back, how should you do? Yes you should say; “with Facebook it is like…” Got it?

    If we look up the word Kingdom in the Oxford dictionary it outlines it as:
    ‘A country, state, or territory ruled by a king or queen.’

    Very simplified we can say the Kingdom of God is where Jesus is King.

    Paul puts it like this: ”For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” Romans 14:17 ESV

    From this verse we understand two things:
    a) it is not about religious rules and regulations, what is allowed or not
    b) we understand it is something different than an ordinary Kingdom, it is something that produces Peace, Joy and Righteousness.

    When Jesus walked on the earth, he came in a time when every Jew were waiting for a King, a Messiah, not only due to the Roman oppression but foremost because of the many prophecies in the Old Testament, especially from Isa 9:6-7.

    ”For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.” Isaiah 9:6-7 ESV

    And then from the book of Daniel that is very prophetic, (actually the most future prophetic book in the bible), and note that God is giving the dreams to a pagan leader in a foreign country, to promote Daniel in his role.

    ”As you looked, a stone was cut out by no human hand, and it struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, all together were broken in pieces, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.” Daniel 2:34-35 ESV

    So when the Jews and pharisees expected Messiah to come and rule in the new Kingdom, they expected it to come by power to finally defeat the Roman dogs.

    In this context Jesus says: ”Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.” Luke 17:20-21 ESV

    Many bible translations translate this -“Within you” but a better translation that ESV is using is: – “amongst you” or “in your midst” so it is not only an inner sanction or feeling, it is something that can be present and tangible amongst people.

    Jesus says to the pharisees what you are expecting will not happen, it will come in different clothes, and it is now already here.

    ”And many spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut from the fields. And those who went before and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!” Mark 11:8-10 ESV

    We see that the people were expecting Davids Kingdom to return, reason why they greated Jesus, Hosanna, Hosanna…

    But Jesus, very provokative, was using a colt instead of a horse that a King was expected to ride in on.

    The Kingdom was coming, and the King as well, but in a different way.

    Religion vs. Kingdom

    Are you aware Jesus never came to introduce a new religion? I would dare to challenge you reflect that nor God, Jesus or the Holy Spirit are religious., as a matter of fact, they are not even Christian.

    Instead we know Jesus himself states “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.” – Luke 4

    If we go back to Genesis we see that God was not religious. Why do I say so? Well, when he had created man, he said he was pleased! What? Pleased with man? Without any religious sacrifice, or why not, any priest, any choir, any pulpit, any songs etc. please note that all that came as a result of the curse.

    Jesus put it like this talking of God Father

    “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law),” Hebrews‬ ‭10:8‬ ‭ESV‬‬

    All religions are similar to each other in the sense they are all trying to give answer to the questions of power and meaning. They all promise to explain life and death and to control  life and circumstances. They all also try to separate humans from each other, in form of OK and not OK, or sacral/ secular if you so want. Religion has proven to be not a unifier of man-kind but instead a divider.

    Again we need to go back to Genesis 1:26Then God said “Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on earth”.

    The hebrew word for dominion here translates “mamlakah” that can be translated Kingdom or royal power.

    So the first thing God is giving man, is not a religion but a Kingdom to rule over.

    If we read the bible without our historic Church preferences, we understand that the message of the bible is about a Kingdom and its King. And how this Kingdom through mankind are to rule earth from heaven.

    19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” – Matthew 16

    Often we have applied this to be only in the Church, but Jesus is talking about his Kingdom, that Church shall live and expand.

    Religion is what man does until he finds the Kingdom.

    Islam, Hinduism, Buddism and even Christianity is not the answer to a dying world, the gospel of the Kingdom is.

    Why the world still has not changed is, what I believe, that we have not fully understood the message of the Kingdom.

    Church vs. Kingdom

    As already discussed in previous posts; Jesus talks 117 times in the gospels about Kingdom and only twice about Church. Yes, he is the first to use that word and indirectly we can agree that a few times he points us in the direction talking of his body to be understood as church etc.

    Despite my headline, I do not mean to put these against each other but to bring some clarity what is what. Actually they walk together as two legs needing each other, but they have different meanings and content.

    One is the purpose and the other is the people that fulfills the purpose.

    Church is family, and to be Salt & Light in a dying world. Church mission is to fix this world, to be worldimprovers, or as Paul put it, living temples, bringing Gods Kingdom into this world. Everything the temple was for the Jews, we are to be to the world.

    See Church as a workshop, that fixes broken things, us included. But when fixed then it has done its part.

    The problem is that we over the years have become Church-minded when we actually should be Kingdom-minded.

    Church-minded tend to think that everything has to be under the roof or organisation of the Church. Meetings, activities, serving, praying, social-work etc. Often we say come to church. And we feel fulfilled if we are many at a certain meeting.

    Kingdom-minded thinks out of the “Church box”. That the Kingdom should influence every part of society. Politics, school, business, art, music, movie, sciense, hospital, yes even peacemaker in warsituations.

    Church-minded – see the gospel in terms of good news about the afterlife (it’s how you can be sure you’re going to heaven after you die).

    Kingdom-minded – see the gospel in terms of good news about Kingdom life (it’s about life in God and with God, both now and forever).

    Church-minded feel satisfied in activities in the church as they tend to believe only in the church you can fulfill your calling.

    Kingdom-minded understands the calling is not limited within the walls of the church but everywhere people are, the Kingdom needs to influence and Jesus to be King.

    Church-minded thinks, come to church.

    Kingdom-minded thinks, go into the world.

    It is interesting to note that already one generation after Jesus resurrection, emphasized the teaching on Church and Jesus more than Kingdom.

    NT Writes states: It is clear that Jesus as Kingdom Bringer has been screened out of the church’s dogmatic tradition. Again and again, from the 3rd or 4th century onwards, the church managed to talk about Jesus while forgetting the thing that the Gospels kept on saying, the He was inaugurating God’s Kingdom.” – Wheaton Theology Conference – 2010. 

    Have we missed something here? – I think we have.

    Christians have far to long challenged people with the question: If you were to die tonight, were would you go. Instead we should ask us all the question, if I wake up tomorrow what will you live for?

    Myles Munroe puts it like this: Religion prepares man to leave earth, Kingdom prepares man to dominate earth. Religion focus on heaven, Kingdom focus on earth.

    Now its time again build a future of people that love the church and live for changing the world by advancing the Kingdom.