Have you seen the Kingdom of God?
by Clifford Tate
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Mark 9:1 And JESUS said to them, Truly and solemnly I say to you, there are some standing here who will in no way taste death before they see the kingdom of God come in its power. (Quick Amplified Bible)
Christ with these words in Matthew 9:1 foretells His transfiguration before Peter, John, and James. I believe also that the Lord Jesus looks into the future to the Day of Pentecost and to all of us who would believe (trust, entrust, rely on, depend upon, commit to, and surrender to) in or on Him for all the ages. Christ is eternal and His Words are eternal. All of the miracles performed and the lessons taught were of eternal significance.
Acts 1:6-8 So when they were assembled, they asked Him, Lord, is this the time when You will reestablish the kingdom and restore it to Israel? He said to them, It is not for you to become acquainted with and know what time brings [the things and events of time and their definite periods] or fixed years and seasons (their critical niche in time), which the Father has appointed (fixed and reserved) by His own choice and authority and personal power. But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends (the very bounds) of the earth. (Quick Amplified Bible)
The question of whether we've actually seen Christ Kingdom come is a legitimate one that we all must ask ourselves. I understand that the Apostles will hold a higher place in the Kingdom of God than any believers that have come after them. Because they were the first chosen by Christ to inaugurate His Kingdom on earth. However, Christ said these words which were for the Apostles and all who would believe from their preaching: John 14:21-24 The person who has My commands and keeps them is the one who [really] loves Me; and whoever [really] loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I [too] will love him and will show (reveal, manifest) Myself to him. [I will let Myself be clearly seen by him and make Myself real to him.] Judas, not Iscariot, asked Him, Lord, how is it that You will reveal Yourself [make Yourself real] to us and not to the world? Jesus answered, If a person [really] loves Me, he will keep My word [obey My teaching]; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home (abode, special dwelling place) with him. Anyone who does not [really] love Me does not observe and obey My teaching. And the teaching which you hear and heed is not Mine, but [comes] from the Father Who sent Me. (Quick Amplified Bible)
This makes it very clear that Christ plans to let all who truly love Him see Him. Not literally but His character or nature will be revealed to all who truly love Him. This is not the same thing that Peter, John, and James experienced but it is the same Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord said again to put us at ease and assure us with no doubts about the coming of His Kingdom the following words in Luke: Luke 17:20-21 Asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He replied to them by saying, The kingdom of God does not come with signs to be observed or with visible display, nor will people say, Look! Here [it is]! or, See, [it is] there! For behold, the kingdom of God is within you [in your hearts] and among you [surrounding you]. (Quick Amplified Bible)
Therefore, I ask the question Have you seen the Kingdom of God? If your answer is yes then Praise the Lord every day and never be ashamed of Him and His words in this wicked world we live in now. Stand boldly for Him and His truth. Do it with meekness and fear. If you are unsure, then you need to check your heart. Many people have religion but not Christ. Are these words from the Lord Jesus Christ real and precious to you. Is Christ Himself real to you? Would you give up everything if He asked you to do so, even your life?
During my reading of the Book entitled “Wrestling with Angels: The Sexual Revolution Confronts the Church” I found a quote from a Dr. Rick Perrin, senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Columbia, S.C. explaining why the problem of divorce within the Church was so prevalent today. He said that “the theology of anti-nomianism contends that once we are justified by faith in Christ, we no longer have an obligation to the moral law, because Christ freed us from that. We are not bound by the law, but rather led by the Holy Spirit which God gives us as a guide...we often discern God's direction by asking:'Will it make me happy?'...This is a discipleship of self-fulfillment rather than self-sacrifice, a pursuit of happiness rather than holiness.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer a Lutheran Pastor and Theologian born 1906 and died 1945 wrote and taught about what many people had as being cheap grace. Here are a couple of quotes from the late Theologian Bonhoeffer on this matter of cheap grace: “Cheap grace is the deadly enemy of our Church. We are fighting today for costly grace. Cheap grace means grace as a doctrine, a principle, a system. It means forgiveness of sins proclaimed as a general truth, the love of God taught as the Christian 'conception' of God.” “Cheap grace means the justification of sin without the justification of the sinner. Grace alone does everything they say, and so everything can remain as it was before. 'All for sin could not atone.' Well, then, let the Christian live like the rest of the world, let him model himself on the world’s standards in every sphere of life, and not presumptuously aspire to live a different life under grace from his old life under sin. That was the heresy of the enthusiasts, the Anabaptists and their kind….” May I humbly say that this heresy still exist today. Again, Have you seen the Kingdom of God?
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author, Silent Assassins of the Soul (not yet published; coming soon)
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