LORD JESUS CHRIST’S EVERLASTING KINGDOM OF HEAVEN
SINCE THE VERY BEGINNING, GOD WANTED US, HIS CHILDREN TO INHERIT HIS KINGDOM-THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN!
WHAT IS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN
Prohodna Cave, Bulgaria
WHAT IS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN
Lord Jesus Christ often talked about the Kingdom of Heaven. It was one of His main messages. He always spoke about the Kingdom of God.
In fact, most of His parables began with “The Kingdom of Heaven is like” and then He would tell a parable to help people understand the Kingdom.
When you really study the life and teachings of Christ, you see that His goal was not to bring a new religion.
Lord Jesus Christ came to bring a Kingdom!
Religion and the Kingdom are two completely different things!
Religion is an organization that people create in order to understand God better. A Kingdom is a Government ruled by a King.
And the first thing that Lord Jesus Christ said was: ”Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven has come near” Matthew 4:17.
He didn’t talk about the religion of Heaven, but the Kingdom of Heaven and when people would ask Him who is He, He let them know: “I am a King and I build something new here, God’s Kingdom on Earth as it is in Heaven”.
And we can see how the Bible is not really just about the religion, but about the relationship between the King of Kings and His people, who have the opportunity of being citizens of His Kingdom.
Lord Jesus Christ spoke about His Kingdom in two phases.
The first phase concerns our reality, as we are not yet living in the Kingdom of God and as we are inhabitants of the Earth in this age.
The second phase that Lord Jesus Christ often spoke of was how the Kingdom would be when He returns. And when He returns, He is going to bring His physical throne to this Earth. There will be no other government on the Earth, there will be no other sovereign, His name will be the only name every knee will bow, every tongue will confess, He will be the only Lord and people will have an immortal body.
We have to understand, exactly, how Kings operate.
There are 3 Kingdoms:
1. The Kingdoms of the World
2. The Kingdom of Darkness (Satan)
3. The Kingdom of Heaven
World Kingdoms are kingdoms of men.
Both, Kingdoms of the World and the Kingdom of Darkness are ruled by Satan.
It is for this reason Satan was able to offer Lord Jesus Christ all the Kingdoms of the World when tempting Him because he rules them – they are Satan’s.
“Again, the Devil took Him up into an exceeding high mountain, and showed Him all the Kingdoms of the World, and the glory of them. And said unto Him, “All these things will I give thee if You will fall down and worship me”. Mt 4:8-9
No person offers what is not theirs. Satan offered the Lord Jesus Christ what is his – the Kingdoms of the World. Satan cannot offer any person the Kingdom of Darkness. He lies to many that they will have part of his Kingdom only to die and realize he was lying when in Hell with him.
God revealed to Prophet Daniel the four major Kingdoms of the World, which were to rule the Earth until the Lord Jesus Christ came down to set His Kingdom. In chronological order, they are the Babylon Empire, Medes and Persian Empire, the Greek Empire and the Roman Empire.
Though these are the major Kingdoms, there are many other smaller Kingdoms in the World.
The god of the world and its Kingdoms is Satan!
“In whom the God of this world has blinded the minds of them who believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” 2Cor 4:4
“Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.”John 12:31
Though Lord Jesus Christ created the Earth, He does not rule either of its Kingdoms.
Every Kingdom is ruled by a King and Lord Jesus Christ is the King of the Kingdom of Heaven.
WHERE IS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN
Holy Sepulchre Church – Jerusalem, Israel
WHERE IS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN
A Kingdom is like a nation under the rulership of a President. The President is the face of government. Where there is a President, there is a government.
A King is the face of a Kingdom. Wherever the King is, there is a Kingdom there.
The Kingdom of Heaven’s King is Lord Jesus Christ. Where Lord Jesus is, there is the Kingdom of Heaven.
WHERE IS LORD JESUS CHRIST?
God came on Earth, dwelt among us (John 1:1-14), died on the cross, resurrected and ascended back into Heaven.
“So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, He was received up into Heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.” Mk 16:19
“And when He had spoken these things, while they beheld, He was taken up; and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel.” Acts 1:9-10
The King of the Kingdom of Heaven, Lord Jesus Christ, is in Heaven. Therefore the Kingdom of Heaven is in Heaven.
But here is something unique! Apart from Heaven, there is somewhere else The King of the Kingdom of Heaven dwells. Lord Jesus Christ dwells in vessels built with no human hands.
“However, the Highest does not dwell in houses made by human hands”. Acts 7:48
Our bodies (human body) are temples of Lord Jesus Christ.
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you.” 1 Cor 6:19
SEE, OUR BODIES ARE TEMPLES OF GOD AND GOD DOES NOT DWELL IN BUILDINGS.
When we accept the Lord Jesus Christ, the King comes down and dwells in us, thus the Kingdom of Heaven dwells in us.
This information is in the baptism with the Holy Spirit.
“Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man loves Me, He will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make our home with him.” John 14:23
Therefore the Kingdom of Heaven is found in people because the King Lord Jesus Christ dwells in them and has made a home within them.
DOES EVERY PERSON HAVE THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IN HIM OR HER?
Holy Sepulchre Church – Jerusalem, Israel
DOES EVERY PERSON HAVE THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IN HIM OR HER?
Not every person has the Kingdom of Heaven in him/her even those claiming to have it.
The Kingdom of Heaven consists all of the following: joy, peace, patience, happiness, love, fear of God, righteousness, wisdom, understanding, purity, holiness, hate of evil, etc. You cannot lack these (and many more) in you and claim to have the Kingdom of Heaven.
On Earth, the Kingdom of Heaven is only found in people in whom the King Lord Jesus Christ dwells in.
Though these people are living in the world, a Kingdom ruled by Satan, they are not part of Satan’s Kingdom but of the Kingdom of Heaven, for they love the Lord Jesus Christ pure and unconditionally in every circumstance in their life.
HOW TO INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN
HOW TO INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN
Many people wonder why Lord Jesus Christ had to die!
There are many reasons – He died so that He could be a sacrifice for our sins and He died so that He could be the great High Priest. But one great reason that He had to die was so that we could legitimately inherit the Kingdom of God!
God can not die! God is the Spirit. Through the Lord Jesus Christ, God allowed His own body to be placed in the Virgin Mary, to become human so that that same body could die and we could inherit the Kingdom! God is so powerful that after He allowed His body to die, His Spirit then rose the body back up! The Only True God!
When Lord Jesus Christ died, all of those in the family of God received and inherited what is coming to you, as a child of God. That inheritance is the Kingdom of God!
Lord Jesus Christ wore the body of our Heavenly Father and that is why He said: “When you see me you have seen the Father”.
”The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation”. Colossians 1:5
God loved us so much that He allowed His own body to experience suffering, humility and death through the Lord Jesus Christ so that we could inherit His Kingdom. That’s the pure & unconditional love God has for us the sinners who failed many times in our relationship with Him.
Love your God with all your Heart, Mind, Body and Soul and you will be an inhabitant of God’s Kingdom!
KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND
THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND
Lord Jesus Christ instructed us to preach saying: “And as ye go, preach” “The kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Mt 10:7).
The Kingdom of Heaven may be close but it is not yet here!
Some people say the Kingdom of Heaven is here and though it dwells in a few individuals, it is not yet here on Earth. The world is still Satan’s.
When the King Lord Jesus Christ comes back, He will descend from Heaven the same way He ascended, He will execute judgment and He will set His Kingdom up, here on Earth. The Kingdom of Heaven will be here with humanity, Lord Jesus Christ being the King.
In the process of setting His Kingdom on Earth, Lord Jesus Christ will destroy All Kingdoms of the World, breaking them into pieces and consuming them as prophesied by Prophet Daniel.
“And in the days of these kings shall the God of Heaven set up a Kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the Kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these Kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.” Dan 2:44
There will be a New Earth and New Heaven – these defiled ones will cease to exist.
“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” Rev 21:1-3
When the King of the Kingdom of Heaven Lord Jesus Christ rules, there shall be no more night, no lamp, no sun, for He will be the Light. There will be no more pain, tears, sorrow, crying neither death (Rev 21, 22) – it will be as it is in Heaven.
Because the Kingdom of Heaven is not yet here, Lord Jesus Christ taught us to pray and to say, Your Kingdom come (Mt 6:10).
You do not pray for the world but pray for the Kingdom of Heaven to come and pray for brethren in the world. The world itself is under Satan and praying for it is in vain.
The Kingdom of Heaven is for the poor in Spirit. ”Blessed are the poor in Spirit: for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven”. Mt 5:3
The King is Coming
Jesus is Coming
Repent Repent Repent
Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!
To gain the “heritage” of the New Jerusalem is the whole meaning of life, the sole purpose of man’s being created by God. “He who conquers shall have this heritage.” And as Saint Paul has said simply, “We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Rom 8.37).
For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom 8.38–39).
For this reason, I bow to my knees before the Father from whom every family in heaven and on Earth is named, that according to the riches of His glory He may grant you to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have the power to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God (Eph 3.14–19).
To be “filled with all the fullness of God”—this, and this alone, is what Spirituality is about.
HEAVEN AND HELL
HEAVEN AND HELL
The Kingdom of Heaven is already in the midst of those who live the Spiritual life. What the Spiritual person knows in the Holy Spirit, in Christ and the Church, will come with power and glory for all men to behold at the end of the ages.
The final coming of Christ will be the judgment of all men. His very presence will be the judgment. No men can live without the love of Christ in their lives. They can’t exist as if there were no God, no Christ, no Spirit, no Church, no Spiritual life. At the end of the ages, this will no longer be possible. All men will have to behold the Face of Him who “for us, men and our salvation came down from heaven and was incarnated . . . who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and was buried . . .” (Nicene Creed).
All will have to look at Him whom they have crucified by their sins: Him “who was dead and is alive again” (Rev 1.17–18).
For those who love the Lord, His Presence will be Infinite Joy, Paradise and Eternal Life.
For those who hate the Lord, the same Presence will be Infinite Torture, Hell and Eternal Death.
The reality for both the saved and the damned will be the same when Christ “comes in glory, and all angels with Him,” so that “God may be all in all” (1 Cor 15–28). Those who have God as their “all” within this life will finally have
divine fulfilment and life. For those whose “all” is themselves and this world, the “all” of God will be their torture, their punishment and their death. And theirs will be “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Mt 8.21, et al.).
The Son of Man will send His angels and they will gather out of His Kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, and throw them into the furnace of fire; their men will weep and gnash their teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father (Mt 13.41–43).
According to the Saints, the “fire” that will consume sinners at the coming of the Kingdom of God is the same “fire” that will shine with splendour in the Saints. It is the “fire” of God’s love; the “fire” of God Himself Who is Love.
“For our God is a consuming fire” (Heb 12.29) who “dwells in unapproachable Light” (1 Tim 6.16).
For those who love God and who love all creation in Him, the “consuming fire” of God will be radiant bliss and unspeakable delight.
For those who do not love God, and who do not love at all, this same “consuming fire” will be the cause of their “weeping” and their “gnashing of teeth.”
Thus, it is the Church’s spiritual teaching that God does not punish man by some material fire or physical torment. God simply reveals Himself, as the risen Lord Jesus, in such a glorious way that no man can fail to behold His Glory. It is the presence of God’s Splendid Glory and Love that is the scourge of those who reject His radiant Power and Light.
“. . . those who find themselves in Hell will be chastised by the scourge of love. How cruel and bitter this torment of love will be! For those who understand that they have sinned against love, undergo no greater suffering than those produced by the most fearful tortures. The sorrow which takes hold of the heart, which has sinned against love, is more piercing than any other pain. It is not right to say that the sinners in hell are deprived of the love of God . . . But love acts in two ways, as the suffering of the reproved, and as joy in the blessed!” (Saint Isaac of Syria, Mystic Treatises).
At the end of the ages, God’s Glorious Love is revealed for all to behold in the face of Christ. Man’s Eternal Destiny – Heaven or Hell, Salvation or Damnation – depends solely on his response to God’s Love.
THE FINAL JUDGEMENT
THE FINAL JUDGEMENT
Every man will stand judgment before God for his life in this world. Each person will be judged according to his words and his works.
I tell you, on the day of judgment men will render account for every idle word they utter; for by your words you will be justified, and by your words, you will be condemned (Mt 12.36).
For the Son of Man is to come with His angels in the glory of His Father, and then He will repay every man according to his works (Mt 16: 27, cf. Rev 2.23).
The judge will be Lord Jesus Christ Himself, for He is the One Who, by His suffering and death, has received the power to judge. It is the Crucified One Who will call men to account at the end of the ages. He has won this right as a man through the Perfection of His Human Life.
For the Father . . . has given Him the authority to execute judgment because He is the Son of Man (Jn 5.27).
Christ will judge all men exclusively on the basis of how they have served Him by serving all men—the least of the brethren.
When the Son of Man comes in His Glory, and all the Angels with Him, then He
Then the King will say to those at His right hand, “Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.”
Then the righteous will answer Him, “Lord, when did we see Thee hungry and feed Thee, or thirsty and give Thee drink? And when did we see Thee a stranger and welcome Thee, or naked and clothe Thee? And when did we see Thee sick or in prison and visit Thee?”
And the King will answer them, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.”
Then He will say to those at His left hand, “Depart from Me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave Me no food. I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome Me, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.”
Then they also will answer, “Lord, when did we see Thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to Thee?”
Then He will answer them, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to Me.”
And They will go away into Eternal Punishment, but the Righteous into Eternal Life (Mt 25: 31–46).
All Spiritual life is fulfilled in this one parable of Christ, for the heart of it is love, both for God and man.
In commenting on this teaching about the final judgment, Saint Augustine has said that Christ Himself is truly the one who is found in all of these conditions, just as He is the one who is the Savior in each of them.
He Himself was hungry; who is the “bread of life,” which if a man eats of it, he will never hunger again (Jn 6.35).
He Himself was thirsty, crying out “I thirst!” (Jn 19.28); who gives the “living water,” which, if a man drinks of it, he will never thirst again (Jn 4.13, 6.35, 7.37). He Himself was a stranger with “no place to lay His head” (Mt 8.20, Lk 9.58), who “came to His own home, and His own people received Him not” (Jn 1.11); who brings all men home to the heavenly house of the Father (Jn 14.1–2). He Himself was naked, in the manger in Bethlehem, in the streams of the Jordan, and on the cross of Golgatha; who clothes all men with Himself (Gal 3.27), and with the “robes of salvation” (Is 61.10, Rev 6.11). He Himself was sick, “wounded for our transgressions” and “bruised for our iniquities,” left alone hanging on the cross (Is 53.5, Mt 26.56); who Himself heals all the wounds of men, for “with His wounds we are healed” (Is 53.5). He Himself was in prison, arrested as a criminal and thrown into jail, forsaken by His disciples (Mt 26.56, 27); who Himself proclaims “liberty to the captives” (Is 61.1, Lk 4.18), setting men free from everything that binds them, and forgiving their crimes.
Since Christ has identified Himself wholly with every man, in every one of His sad and most sorrowful states, the person who “does it to the least of his brethren” does it to Christ Himself—not “as if” to Christ, but to Christ in reality, for Christ is most true within every man, and every man is the bearer of Christ, the “image of the invisible God” (Col 1.15).
Saint Simeon the New Theologian gives the following teaching about the parable of the final judgment:
The Son of God has become the Son of Man to make us men sons of God, raising our nature by grace to what He is Himself by nature, granting us birth from above through the grace of the Holy Spirit and leading us straightway into the Kingdom of heaven, or rather, granting us the Kingdom of heaven within us . . .
A man is not saved by having once shown mercy to someone . . . for “I was hungry” and “I was thirsty” is said not of one occasion, not of one day, but the whole of life. In the same way, “you gave me food,” “you gave me drink,” “you clothed me,” and so on, does not merely indicate one incident or action, but a constant attitude to everyone always. Our Lord Jesus Christ said that He Himself accepts such mercy . . . in the persons of the needy. It is Him whom we feed in every beggar, Him whom we have left to die in our neglect.
Our Lord was pleased to assume the kindness of every poor man, so that no one who believes in Him should exalt himself over his brother, but seeing his Lord in his brother, should consider himself beneath him . . . and honour him, and be ready to exhaust all his means in helping him, just as our Lord exhausted His blood for our Salvation.
A man who is commanded to love his neighbour as himself should do so, for his entire lifetime. A man who loves his neighbour as himself cannot allow himself to possess anything more than his neighbour; so that if he has more and does not distribute them without envy he does not fulfil our Lord’s command exactly.
If he who possesses . . . disdains even one who does not . . . he will still be regarded as one who has disdained Christ our Lord.
His words, “you have done it unto Me,” are not limited only to those to whom we have been unkind, or whom we have wronged, or whose possessions we have taken, or whom we have harmed, but include also those whom we have disdained. This latter alone is sufficient for our condemnation for, in disdaining them, we have disdained Christ Himself.
All this may appear too hard for people and they may think it right to say to themselves: “Who can strictly follow all this, satisfying and feeding everyone and leaving no one unsatisfied?”
Let them listen to Saint Paul: “For the love of Christ compels us . . .” (2 Cor 5.14).
It is also the teaching of the spiritual masters that what must be given to all men is Christ Himself: the Bread of Life, the Living Water, the Home of the Father, the robes of salvation, the healing of wounds, the liberation and forgiveness of all sins.
In this sense, every man, no matter how rich or how righteous, is poor, hungry, thirsty, naked, sick, sinful and imprisoned by evil and death. Thus to “do it to the least of the brethren” is to offer Christ to all men, to give them the eternal and unending satisfaction of all their needs and desires: bread which is never consumed, water which eternally satisfies, a home which is never lost, garments which do not grow old, healing which never suffers again, a liberation which can never revert to captivity.
Thus, “to do it to the least of the brethren” is to bring them the Kingdom of God. In doing this one offers to all men and so to Christ Himself what already belongs to them from God; as in the liturgy of the Church, we offer to God that which already is His. In every case, this is Christ Himself.
This, therefore, is Perfect Love. The Love of God and the love of man, the love for God and the love for man, becoming the same Love. It is accomplished in Christ and is Christ. To love with this love is to love with the love of Christ and to fulfil His “new commandment” to “love one another even as I have loved you” (John 13.34–35, 15.12).
This is the whole of Spiritual Life. In this, and this alone, man will be finally judged. It is the crown of all virtue and prayer, the ultimate and most Perfect Fruit of God’s Spirit in man.