Luke 2:14 (Passage in the picture) has no "You'll need to wait for over 2,000 years for this to even begin to unfold." caveat! We have been called to actively participate in its unfolding!
Isaiah 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."
The Cross didn't end or pause any of this. It expanded it!
That's right! What the manger initiated, the cross expanded!
Blessed are the Peacemakers!
Peace & Love to All!
The Black Panther movie was a strong reminder of where the church has been, where she ought to be, and where she will be.
Much of the church isn't aware of the PRESENT TRUTH that, through the finished work of Christ, we already dwell in the "Land of Vibranium" (Seated in heavenly places in Christ)...and on earth, simultaneously.
Many hide out in their cocoon communities...away from "the world"...awaiting its destruction rather than cooperating in its healing. Some would love to use a sort of Anti-Vibranium (not exercising real power...just acting like mice with religious megaphones) to bully and conquer the world through fear-mongering, political and military means. For others "Justice" requires vengeance, by means of their own wrath.
It brings me great joy to know that Jesus, our Glorious Leader, has a Kingdom of Priests who will ultimately use all of "Wakanda's" Resurrection Power and resources for Earth's good!
I'm no movie expert, but I give this one an A+!
It was great...and on so many levels. I especially loved the way that it beautifully portrayed African people and people of African descent.
I'll save my comments about the constant presence of very strong women, throughout the film, for another post.
Why would you want to change the world for the better, when you believe that the answer to the problem is for things to get progressively WORSE...so that you can be "raptured"...once God finally gives up on His "Project Earth Failure"?
Bad Eschatology has done far more collective harm to our youth than guns, and is no doubt a contributing factor to much despair, hopelessness, low self-esteem, low self-worth, depression, anger, violence, death, ministry burnout, and ministries aborted...due to many novices attempting to "fulfill their call" before the imminent rapture buzzer sounds.
People greatly err when they confuse THOSE last days (Of the old system...ending in 70 A.D.) with this NEW DAY... and the Old Age, before the cross, with the New Age that was ushered in at the cross.
We'd also do well to stop conflating ancient metaphors that were fulfilled in and prior to 70 A.D. with present and futuristic reasons for a hopeless Earth that needs to be destroyed.
Our Loving Father has great things for this generation, while much of the church has "Left (Jesus' Gospel of the Kingdom) Behind" in favor of the modern-day Christian fiction of Darby, Larkin, Scofield, Lindsey, Van Impe, LaHaye, Hagee, and friends.
Was your response to the recent school shootings, "Father, what do you want to do through me to help change this?" or was it "That's just a sign of the times. We don't have much longer."?
Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done, on EARTH as it is in heaven!
The last time that I checked, there were no shootings in heaven; and there won't be any in God's fully renewed earth.
When people in First Century culture heard the words "Preach the Gospel" (kēryssō euaggelion..."Evangelize"), they immediately associated that with HERALDING A REGIME CHANGE.
"Evangelical" is pretty much a 21st Century misnomer when there is no mention of King Jesus, the progressive coming of His Kingdom...and His will being done...on earth as it is in heaven.
Is the Kingdom past, present, or future?
The answer is "Yes" to all three.
Life after death, and Life after Life after death (resurrected, glorified bodies on a fully renewed Earth) are understood as God's free gift to mankind once we discover Life/Jesus before death and understand that victory over death is included in His "progressively coming" Kingdom!
The official New Age was ushered in at Calvary!
21st Century Evangelicals are focused on getting to heaven, while God is focused on bringing heaven to earth...through His New Creation!
Apocalyptic, eschatological views (such as Dispensationalist Christian beliefs and Radical Islam) which look for ever-increasing war and destruction are incompatible with God's Kingdom Message of Love's ever-increasing rule and PEACE!
Mixing that error and worldview with politics conflates God's Will with a morbid expectation of ever-increasing evil, death, different brands of "Jihad" and the ultimate destruction of planet Earth...along with an overwhelming majority of its inhabitants. This is very sick and twisted stuff from the Gates (wisdom) of hell (Hades- which literally means "to not see")...which Jesus said would NOT prevail against His Church. It ultimately WON'T!
An ignorance of History (especially of the events surrounding 70 A.D. and the writings of Josephus) has lead so many well-meaning, professing Christians to a worldview that is in direct opposition to God's Will. You can't take specific warnings about the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. (along with specific, corresponding instructions) and apply them literally to the present or the future any more than you should be warning people about the imminent threat that dead Roman Emperors are to the world today!
Much of what we see in the world today isn't fulfilled, Biblical prophecy, it's just the self-fulfilled "prophecy" of religious mindsets which are in great need of being renewed through His Spirit, His Word, and a good History lesson!
Strongholds in the collective mind of the Church are greatly responsible for much of our bad history...which has repeated itself over and over.
Nevertheless, the prophet's words still ring true!
Isaiah 9:7 "There will be no end to the increase of His government or of PEACE, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this."
Ephesians 3:21 "unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen."
Matthew 5:5 "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth."
Ecclesiastes 1:4 "One generation goes and another generation comes, But the earth remains forever."
Your Kingdom come, Your Will be done, on EARTH as it is in heaven!
Spiritual Gifts are some of Love's greatest "weapons" for advancing God's Kingdom (on earth as it is in heaven),"conquering" the world with kindness and bringing Peace. They were Weapons of Mass Salvation in the ministries of Jesus and the Apostles, and they are still available to us today! If Jesus and the original Apostles relied so heavily on Father confirming His Word with signs following, shouldn't we?
It is, however, of utmost importance that such "weapons" are not used to build personality cults and towers of Babel. Instead, they must be used to point all people to Father's Love..and to encourage ALL to exercise their right to "bear arms" (Lovingly function in Spiritual Gifts as the Spirit of Love instructs and enables).
The Word, Good Doctrine, and Impeccable Theology will never demonstrate His Love and Beauty on a grand scale if they are not accompanied by the Gifts of Power which dispel the myth that the love of power is greater than the Power of Love.
Men have, unfortunately, tried to replace the Supernatural Gold of His Manifest Presence and Power with the brass of self-help monologues, programs, and entertainment which scream, "The Emperor has no clothes!"
My prayer for the Body of Christ is that we all awaken to deeper realities of Who Jesus is, who we are in Him, all that is available to us because of Him, and what He would have us to do with all that He has freely given and instructed us to freely receive.
While I have seen many wonderful signs accompany God's Word in His ministry through me (to include medically verified miracles and healings), there is a strong, yet gentle cry within me saying..."There is much, much more!"
Let us earnestly covet Spiritual Gifts for the benefit of others and the betterment of the world!
1 Corinthians 12
1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant: 2 You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led. 3 Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. 4 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: 8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.
Part of what was revealed in that manger in Bethlehem was the truth that God never intended to destroy the earth. He, instead, took on the same earthly substance from which He created the First Adam (while remaining fully God)...in order to be the ultimate sign to us that heaven and earth shall remain and be in union forever through Christ! Jesus didn't come to fix God's great big, creation mistake! He came to fix ours! The Gospel is all about Love, Redemption, Reconciliation, and RESTORATION...not the false narrative that Jesus was too weak to finish the job or that God's ultimate intention for earth was ever condemnation and destruction!
Luke 2:14 "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." Let that sink in!
In order to destroy the earth, after the Incarnation, He would have to literally destroy Himself...which is IMPOSSIBLE (since He Himself is God embodied in a glorified, EARTHEN vessel)! The Incarnation cannot and never will be undone! His Divinity and Humanity remain forever inseparable! The Resurrection proved that He is the INDESTRUCTIBLE God-Man, the Prototype Son, and the Firstborn among many brethren!
If you are wondering about what Jesus meant when he said, "Heaven and Earth will pass away" and want a proper definition of "A new heaven and a new earth", you need to look no further than what every First Century Jew understood when they heard these phrases in their historical and cultural contexts.
The Temple and Jerusalem were considered to be the place where heaven and earth met...and were referred to as "Heaven and Earth". Noah's Ark, Jacob's Ladder, The Tabernacle and Ark of the Covenant, David's Tabernacle, and Israel's Temples all foreshadowed the New Covenant Temple (JESUS- The "Place" and eternal consummation of the whole "Heaven and Earth" reality).
While speaking of His Body, Jesus declared..."Destroy this Temple, and in three days I will raise it up again." He DID just that...along with including ALL of mankind in this New Covenant Temple reality. Belonging is a given. Participation is a choice. "God was in Christ reconciling THE WORLD to Himself"!
He also destroyed the Old Covenant Temple and Jerusalem in 70 A.D., and abolished its priesthood along with their ceremonial practices (i.e.- The "elements" which Peter prophesied would be destroyed by fire).
"Know ye not that ye are the Temple of God?" The Church in Christ is The New Heaven and New Earth...and The New Jerusalem...which John saw coming DOWN...not going up!
Jesus is the Sure HOPE for all mankind...and planet Earth!
Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth (Which Ecclesiastes declares... "Remains forever") as it is in heaven! See Matt. 6:10 and Ecc. 1:4.
Of the increase of His government and peace, there shall be no end. See Is. 9:6.
The meek shall inherit the earth and unto Him there shall be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen! See Matthew 5:5 and Eph. 3:21.
All creation groans and travails not for its own destruction, but for the manifestation of the sons and daughters of God! See Romans 8.
American politicians have done a bang-up job of dividing the church into its own separate "either/or" puppet factions instead of being a powerful "BOTH/AND" voice of the Lord. A prime example of REAL progress would be a united church which stands for the Sanctity of Human Life AND Justice for All. As long as we are fooled into believing that we must "choose a side", we will continue to represent a pathetic shell of who we truly are!
We were not created for the ultimate purpose of becoming disembodied spirits who live in a far away place in the sky called, "heaven". Our final inheritance and destination is a much better earth and our final, eternal form will be a glorified, immortal body...just like the one Jesus has! The meek shall inherit THE EARTH!
Our mission, by His Grace, is to unceasingly participate in the coming of His Kingdom while fleshing out His Will on earth (visible realm) as it is in heaven (invisible/spirit realm).
The imminent sign of His ultimate, physical appearing (unlike prophecies concerning 70 AD...i.e.- Mt. 24, Revelation, etc...) will be an Earth that resembles Heaven so strongly (SO MUCH LOVE!)...that the only missing ingredient will be His Physical return. Yes, He will feel "at home"!
The problem with much Western Christian belief is that it has people longing to be disembodied spirits in the sky, when Jesus longs to physically inhabit the earth again...WORLD WITHOUT END. It also leaves the earth with no ever-increasing/coming Kingdom and no meek people to inherit it!
Jesus' resurrection required a glorified, immortal, physical body. So will ours, along with the souls of all who have preceded us in death! Resurrection requires a BODY. Where there is no body, there is no resurrection!
What about the phrase, "Heaven and Earth shall pass away"? Any First Century Jew could tell you that "Heaven and Earth" was an extremely common reference to the temple and physical Jerusalem....which were destroyed in 70 AD.
What New Covenant "Temple" replaced the one that was destroyed? The answer to that question reveals the identity of the "New Heaven", the "New Earth", and the "New Jerusalem"...which John saw coming DOWN to EARTH!
Hint: 1 Corinthians 6:19,20.
The Future: Glorified bodies on a perfect earth! Better than Adam & Eve and better than the original Garden!
The deeper meaning behind Luke 20: 21- 25...
You were created in the Image of God and His Words have been inscribed on your heart. Therefore let Him steward and multiply your Love potential on earth...as it is in heaven! This happens through us simply resting in Him...and yielding to the many ways which He desires to invest and spend our lives here on earth.
Luke 20:21 Then they asked Him, saying, “Teacher, we know that You say and teach rightly, and You do not show personal favoritism, but teach the way of God in truth: 22 “Is it lawful for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” 23 But He perceived their craftiness, and said to them, “Why do you test Me? 24 “Show Me a denarius. Whose image and inscription does it have?” They answered and said, “Caesar’s.” 25 And He said to them, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
Christ in YOU (and as YOU) is Heaven's Treasure on Earth!