WHAT IS THE KINGDOM OF GOD? Jo Lynne Pool
People today have little or no understanding of God’s agenda of Kingdom Dominion. Not only the “world”, but the “Christian” community fails to realize what is meant by the unveiling of the “Kingdom of God” as opposed to “Church”. Yet Yeshua Hamashiach, the Messiah, our Savior and Lord, King of kings and God of all, is mandating a different look at what we’ve called “Christianity” as opposed to what the Kingdom truly is. What He is doing now cannot be measured by traditional standards of religious behavior, of church doctrines and rituals.
What does the “Kingdom of God”, also called the “Kingdom of Heaven” mean? What are we as Believers supposed to do about it? Here’s my analysis of what the Godhead is saying and doing to manifest Kingdom purpose in this soon-to-be post church era:
- Father, through Holy Spirit, is speaking to His people directly, and more and more people are becoming aware of this. In the aftermath of the disruptive COVID pandemic of 2020, it was made abundantly clear that trying to maintain “church as usual” won’t work. With churches shuttered all over the world, we began to understand that there is far more to following Yeshua than simply sitting in a building every Sunday listening to a pastor deliver a message. Our restlessness, anticipation, and prayers held the realization that instead we can hear from Him with instruction, comfort and direction. He is urging the members of His Body to seek more, and to hear what He is saying to us, personally, collectively, and continually.
- Holy Spirit is conveying far more than what is contained within the sixty-six books of the Bible. Father did not stop speaking when The Book was compiled. His voice is heard now by all who will believe. The Scriptures provide a foundation upon which to build faith, but God is delivering a new word, fresh manna to those who choose to listen. Everything has NOT already been said. Instead, it is being spoken by Holy Spirit and written as we hear and obey. And it may well be something we’ve never heard before, or have difficulty receiving because it goes against our “religion.”
- The Kingdom is replacing the “church age”. In God’s Kingdom, every Believer has an assignment, a task required for its’ advancement. The one-man show of the pastor being the head of a congregation and the sole person responsible for hearing and delivering the Word of God is fading. Instead, we are all called to contribute to the Kingdom in our special areas of gifting, far above serving in social functions such as greeter, head of the usher board, etc. There is actual ministry that Father requires of us. The designations in Ephesians 4:11-13: Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor and Teacher, represent the Hand of God for doing His Kingdom work, and as Kingdom members, we are to fulfill our callings in the Body.
- The Gospel of Grace has matured into the Gospel of Inheritance. Our salvation came through the grace of God, but that is not the totality of what Father has given to us. The Kingdom requires us to function as Sons of God. John 1:12 states, “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” Also see Romans 8:14, Galatians 4:6, Philippians 2:15, 1 John 3:1, 2. Our born-again experience infilled us with the DNA of God Himself, and we are inhabited by Holy Spirit. This relationship with the Godhead, through the shed blood of Messiah, gives us access to our power and inheritance in the Kingdom. It grants every saved person a position of authority, based upon our status as a Son.
- The Kingdom of God is not a social group, or a community of people who come together weekly, following the directives of a “program” or a “mission statement” or a “platform”. It has no choir, or off-limits pulpit, or rows of bishops, deacons, or assistant pastors. It has no use for the trappings that define a traditional church, because it is not a church.
The model for Kingdom gatherings is the “Apostolic Center”, many of which are being established worldwide under the mandate of Holy Spirit. They are places of impartation, where members of the Body contribute instruction, direction and updates on what God has shared with them. The Believers who attend are free to minister to each other through prayer, prophesy, words of knowledge and encouragement as the Spirit leads.
- The true extent of Father’s Kingdom is now coming into manifestation after centuries of subjugation by the organized “church” system, and its’ impact will force radical changes on that model. This has already begun.
The common perception of God’s Kingdom is that it is only in Heaven, but that is not what Yeshua taught, nor what Holy Spirit is saying. His Kingdom is mandated to function here on earth, as in Heaven, as we, His Followers, receive and demonstrate it.
Mark 1:15 – “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the Gospel.”
Matthew 12:28 – “But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.”
Luke 9:2 – “And He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to perform healing.”
Romans 14:17 – “For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
1 Corinthians 4:20 – “For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power.”
Matthew 21:43 – “Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you, and given to a people producing the fruit of it.”
These and many more New Testament scriptures bear witness that God’s Kingdom functions in power, and in demonstration. A frequent lament in the church is that verifiable miracles are absent today, as they were performed by the early followers of Yeshua. Miraculous events were commonplace then and facilitated the rapid expansion of The Way. But such manifestations have been systematically eliminated in the modern church.
Performance of miracles, as noted in these verses, is simply a visible expression of the Kingdom. But these signs and wonders are missing from our religious organizations because the structure of the Constantinian system has orchestrated them out. There is no room in today’s church model for disorderly, uncontrolled miraculous phenomenon to take place within the confines of the service. Where on the “program” is the space for the opening of a blind person’s eyes, or for a demon-possessed newcomer to be delivered? And in most churches, who would handle that assignment anyway since the pastor controls all.
Such displays, which are the actions and evidence of the power of Holy Spirit, are a disruption to man’s order. The “service”, with its’ one main speaker, making allowances for singing and an altar call, is consistent week to week. But Holy Spirit cannot be governed in such a manner. So, the key to controlling manifestations of the Kingdom of God, is to ban any outbreaks of actual ministry to the hurting, the sick, and the suffering. True demonstrations of Holy Spirit have been edited out of mainstream Christianity. But in unshackled parts of the world, the power and miracles of the Spirit are on full display, with a vibrancy and vitality lacking in the Western church.
- The establishment of formal Christianity originated from a Roman construct that is anti-Christ in spirit. It seeks to dictate to God, control “Christians”, keep money flowing and set predictability in stone. Change in behavior of the congregation is not required; salvation is not required; even belief is not required…only attendance is expected.
God does not honor this false system, and as Matthew 21:43 warns, He is removing His Kingdom manifestations from the “church”, instead imparting them to those believers who are willing to shed restraints and walk away from the deadness of orthodox religion. He desires that we step up to receive His power and step out to perform the tasks He has given us to accomplish, because The Kingdom of God is at hand.
- In addition to the rise of apostolic centers, there has been a great increase in small-group gatherings, operating outside the confines of the church building. These house meetings are similar in function and intent to the gatherings of early believers. In such settings, the gifts of the Spirit and the five-fold ministries can operate freely. In a small group there is no program or rigid agenda, and the needs of individuals can be addressed, prayers prayed, prophesy and words of knowledge spoken, teaching and clarification given, souls saved, and pastoral care offered, depending upon the various giftings of the participants. Small-group settings cultivate and nurture a Kingdom mindset because they are holistic in ministry and allow for questions, sharing, and revelations. This opens the path for deeper appreciation of each person’s calling, and for unhindered expression of God’s Kingdom mandate
- God’s Kingdom on earth requires knowledge and acceptance of His timing and seasons according to His calendar. His months, feasts and observances have been dismissed as being “Old Testament” or denigrated as having been replaced by a “new dispensation”, but the Lord Himself has stated no such thing, either in Scripture or through Holy Spirit. Father’s ordained timing, expressed in the Hebrew calendar as opposed to the secular calendar, must be embraced in order to function in synchronization with His Will.
- Young people will be an essential component in fully manifesting the shift into a Kingdom perspective as opposed to a religious one. For the first time, in the West we have a largely “un-churched” generation, with no preconceived rules on how God is supposed to operate, and little affinity for what they’ve seen in the religion of their elders. Yet they are also seeking to fill the same vacuum in their souls that multitudes of peoples over millennia have experienced, the space that can only be satisfied by the indwelling of Holy Spirit.
When they become born-again, it may well take place in these small-group fellowships and apostolic centers of the Kingdom. Their awareness of Holy Spirit will not depend solely upon reading the Bible or listening to a pastor, but upon direct instruction from God Himself. They will know the Voice of God and will be open to hearing and following Him. His Voice, functioning through Believers, will manifest His Kingdom to the world.
We are living in a time when centuries-old, but never questioned religious behaviors that have nothing to do with God are being examined, and the Spoken Word directives from Holy Spirit are being heard and shared by the Ecclesia, the governing body of God’s Kingdom. Father is calling us to renounce dead trappings of theology and traditional rhetoric to follow Him as He leads us into demonstration of the Kingdom of God.
Jo Lynne Pool, Books – A GOOD MAN IS HARD TO FIND…Unless You Ask God to be Head of Your Search Committee; and YOUR GOOD MAN FROM GOD…How to Know Him and Keep Him
For my relationship posts, please visit: loveinthebook.org