It was the Pharisees who expected a physical Kingdom set up with a physical Savior and King on earth as seen in Luke 17.20+ saying “when does the Kingdom appear”. And Christs reply? “It cometh not with (carnal) observation for the Kingdomof God is within you”. Meaning it takes no physical form visible to the human eye. As it says in John 3 that only those born again can see the Kingdom of God. See they could not. The Pharisees were still looking without for something that is within
Death is commonly defined by as a lifeless body. Something that is unable to move on its own having no responses and no senses, cold and limp. In a state of decay.
But God defines death in different terms saying to Adam at the tree “in the day that you eat of it you show surely die”. We know that physically his body lived on for some 900 plus years, but in the day that he ate of the tree he surely died because he lost the Spirit of God. For it was God having created Adam from dust then breathing in him stated that he became a living soul but of Adam when he fell he lost the Spirit of God in his soul and became dead. Like Jesus said of the prodigal son “this one who is dead has returned to me and now is alive therefore cloth him with the finest garments and apparel”.
It was Paul who said “you who once dead in your trespasses and sins, now you have been made alive in Christ.”
This is what God does to us through Christ as he clothes us in Christ in the finest clothing and apparel being Christ himself, we put this on. This is our gift from God in Christ. We put on this righteousness and put off our Adamic self righteousness.
The first man was breathed into by God and became a living being. When that man sinned he lost the Spirit of God and became spiritually dead. And so all humanity is dead to the things of the immortal eternal invisible God and Gods boundless timeless eternal always ready called the Kingdom at hand. To this we need to be made alive. To be quickened. This is the purpose for the gospel. To restore us to this position with Him. To be reborn of the spirit. “That which is flesh is flesh and that which is spirit is spirit, ye must be born again”. And “only those born of the spirit can see and enter the Kingdom”. John 3
This then is the reason why man must be born again to be like Adam before the fall. He needs to receive the breath of God and become a human being and a living soul. This is why Paul said we conclude that if one man died for all that all are dead. It is that man being born again, being born from above, is born of a new spirit. That’s what makes us new. We are then a new creation. That’s why Paul goes on to say “therefore we regard no one according to the flesh” that in Christ we are a new creation. “The old things have passed away all things become new”. And this “becoming new” is us being restored to what Adam lost receiving the breath of God and becoming alive. Becoming alive as it is “in Christ” saying “he who has the Son has life he who has not the Son has not life”. 1 John 5
So then the definition of what death is, is not by human standards of being a lifeless body but according to God’s standards, it is by not having his spirit and not having interaction with him through his spirit to His things in spirit for “God is spirit and truth and seeks such”. To become dead is to become separate from God in spirit. To loose the eternal spirit and return to the dust is the body’s destiny.
Man was removed from the garden saying “He drove man out of the garden and placed a flaming sword which turned every way to guard the tree of life, Lest he eat and live forever”. Lest he become eternal. He lost the spirit and access to the fruit of life he became a walking dead. And so goes all humanity. They do not have the spiritual facilities to interact with the always present invisible God. The “lo I am with you always”. The Lord who says “I change not”. “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever”.
All the animals are dead to God. And this is what man became in the fall. Intuitively he fell from the ability to interact with God because he could not see or hear Him. This is why scripture speaks to those who “have ears to hear”. It is the fallen man who reads scripture that turns the message into religious observances for the human to do. But it is us who “come to the light to clearly see that what is required of me is done in God. (John 3.21) We receive the gift.
It is through the religious observances that we can learn about God and redemption “but when that which is perfect comes, then that which is in part is done away with”. That which is perfect is a new understanding, and that is what expires the observances. As Paul described in Galatians that “we are under guardians and teachers until faith comes” not until a 2nd coming Jesus. There will never be a carnal conclusion like the 2nd coming gospel supposes. It was to the spirit that man fell and that is the redemption. Spirit. Scripture says that “flesh and blood will not inherit the Kingdom “. But our born again spirited man does rule over what used to be a lifeless body.
This is the main conclusion in the book of Romans and chapter 8. It is the spirit of Him who raised Christ from the dead, who now lives in you who gives life to your dead body. That if we live by the mandates of the flesh we remain dead, but if by the spirit we put off the dead deeds of the body and put on the new man, we live while we have this decaying mortality. And as many as are led by the spirit? These are Gods offspring. So humanity is divided into two groups. Those “in Adam” of whom it is said “in the day that you eat you shall surely die, and those “in Christ”. In His day we shall surely live. This is resurrection of spirit which is life and not the body like a rapture for “flesh and blood does not inherit the Kingdom. (1 Corinthians 15)
So it is the carnal man who interprets scripture in a way that relates to his carnal senses that does not receive the things of God because ‘ the carnal man cannot understand the things of God because they must be spiritually discerned, comparing spiritual things with the spirit”.
It is in this way that the end time theories only temporarily appease the carnal senses. After the expiration of one theory they run to another and they totally miss out on knowing Him who wisks around us. He need not manifest Himself in a visible way for our calling is to become like Him. Our heavenly calling has to do with our invisible part. This is to become Godly. If He becomes visible then He would be a transgressor of His own immutable laws. He would become something that is foreign to Him. If He becomes a figure in time and matter He would destroy that too for we are called not to look at what is seen. For what is seen is temporary but that which is unseen is eternal”. Even as Peter says that “all things shall be burned so that what is eternal (invisible) will remain”. And those in the faith chapter “who look to the city whose building and maker is God”.
So it is those who do not “have ears to hear or eyes to see” who know Gods works but do not know His ways because they are looking to time and matter and not the invisible. These are dead to the things of God. “He who has the Son has life, he who has not the Son has not life” 1 John 5
Now Pauls starting point was a Pharisee of Pharisees of the most religious sect so don’t be surprised that his writings started off with some of those concepts. Even as we see Paul try to have Timothy circumsized in Jerusalem after his encounter with Christ. Paul later taught that we are of the circumsision of the heart as the true Jew.
Yes like all the Pharisees he was looking for a physical manifestation of a savior, King and Kingdom to appear on earth. From this he had to be transformed by the Spirit.
The Pharisees also believed in the resurrection, but not the resurrection of faith but of fact. Terms like “the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Heaven, and the resurrection are all misunderstood by the Pharisaic mind as carnally experienced events for the eyes to behold.
As a Pharisee Paul believed in the resurrection and a physical savior in a physical City. From this Paul/Saul needed to be transformed in mind from and saved. He conveyed this to us saying “Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind”. And he learned that “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through God pulling down strongholds and everything that exalts itself against the knowledge of God”. Where? In the mind and not as visible events played out on planet earth.
The book of Acts spells out the qualifications to be an apostle to replace Judas as “one who witnessed the resurrected Lord. And Paul did, but not the way you think. He did not witness the event at the cross or the events after the empty tomb. But on the way to Damascus he saw a light 7 times brighter than the sun, brighter than humanly possible. Jesus said yo paul “for this reason I have appeared to you”. He took no carnally visible form. This is what qualified Paul as the 12th by being one who had witnessed the resurrection and one who had seen the Lord not as a man but in His true construct of light unknowable to the human senses as “the light that shines in the heart of every man.” Yes Paul had “endured as seeing Him who is invisible.” (Hebrews 11) Do you?
Paul had persecuted the people of the Way for believing in a resurrection and a kingdom different than the physical one that was common to him as a Pharisee. The difference between the two views was so large in fact that Paul was qualified as an enemy of Christ. He consented to the murdering the people of The Way. The people of the Way perused the Kingdom and the resurrection as attainable. They were not of the crowd of “sit and wait”.
So as one who is qualified having seen the Lord to be a true apostle Paul had to become a witness unto the resurrection. Paul strove for just this cause as he explained to Harod “think it not strange that God raises the Dead?” who also pointed out that this was the resurrection that “the fathers strove night and day hoping to attain”. Not an event to wait for or something to be experienced after the body dies.
Paul acknowledged in Philippians that he sought to “lay hold of why Christ laid hold of” him, to attain to the richness and the fullness of Christ, to become a perfect man, “to attain to the resurrection” one revelation at a time saying “to the degree so walk ye in it”. He said that all who are mature are seeking the resurrection. But the resurrection that he was seeking was not like he had thought when he was a Pharisee. That mindset only made him at odds with the true Christ who said “why do you kick against the goads?
The purpose for Paul was to transform from a Pharisee expecting a physical kingdom to experience revelation by degree, one revelation after the other until he attain to the resurrection, to attain his full status as “a fellow member and citezine of the house of God in the here-and-now for that was his calling and goal. This too is for us to learn from Paul’s journey “by degree”. Let us go up to Jerusalem in our understanding.
Paul was “chief among sinners” saying “that Christ would show in me first a pattern, yes a progression, for all to believe “. For all with a Pharasitic mindset to transition out of that beleif. To be saved from.
So Paul learned to understand that the Kingdom of God is not to carnally assimulate. He said “flesh and blood does not inherit the kingdom ” but the inner man of the Spirit does. The one made in His image brought forth by word and spirit being “a kind of first fruits of His creation” of invisible components and of eternal composition.
This is the object of our faith. Anybody who seeks Christ in any other way than Paul encountered in the bright light is looking for God to appear in the construct that is not natural to him. Earth. As it is written “I am the Lord, I change not”. This is the very reason why if one does come in the way the Pharisees accept or expect of a physical Kingdom in a physical City they are misled and their leaders are Pharasees, sons of Satan and a brood of vipers, whited sepulchers full of dead mans bones. Those are the words of Jesus to that bunch. They are not entering the kingdom “At Hand” and are not allowing those who are trying to do so to enter”. And if God does honor the end time seekers desire of a visible Kingdom, than He would have to apologize to the Jews for condemning them for that very thing.
And so it is Christianity Today that predominantly proclaims another coming Christ with an earthen fabricated kingdom with another saving act like the Pharisees anticipated. Being spiritually blind they never say what Christ told them to. “Go village to village and house to house proclaiming the kingdom of God is at hand”. They parallel and align themselves with the Pharisees of old having a mindset of Christ and His kingdom in an earthen construct saying “when does the Kingdom of God appear” and they call it a 2nd coming. With this they devise theories with raptures and resurrections and earthly destruction. So many in fact that it has scattered God’s flock all over the place. What confusion. Who authored that? It’s just a re-hash of expired and fulfilled parables designed only to help the mind understand the invisible realities of God in a way for us to be one with Him now. To be reconciled to Him as Paul pleaded “be ye reconciled to God”. He is “eternal, immortal and invisible ” So we shouldn’t expect Him to become physical to please our carnal senses. He is not physical for “the Father is spirit and truth and seeketh such. We are remade in the spirit of our mind to interact with Him perfectly. It is in this way that we are temples of the Living God.
The purpose of all the law, the sacrifices, the feasts and the prophets were only to clear the conscience and make visible the invisible components, concepts and attributes of the “lo I am with you always”. “Christ, the same yesterday today and forever”. Hebrew 11.8
So it is those who reject God in this way wonder why there’s no power in their gospel. By expecting a physical Kingdom in this way they allege themselves with the Pharisees of old who were condemned, and come to the same conclusion. They regurgitate scripture and come up with the same conclusion saying the Kingdom comes with carnal observation and deny the saving of faith. They call it a 2nd coming. This is a phrase that is not found once in scripture.
The power to defeat death has now become a gospel to hold in limbo and wait for another. Isn’t that what the Pharisees were doing saying “when does the kingdom come?” Of whom the Christ answered “it cometh not with observation”. Their Christ was looking at them ready to save them then and they rejected, despised and killed Him.
If you believe what Saul/Paul did and you see this luminous revelation, you should commence your journey and sojournship as pilgrims from a physical, visible Kingdom as did Paul. Depart from the end time seeker sit and waits and join the followers of The Way. Christ saying “I am the way, the truth and the light”.
We are of those whom it was written of that “they looked for the city whose builder and maker is God”. Whose construct is superior to time and matter being “the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundations of the world”. Even as Paul finally understood in Colossians that “if you then be risen with Christ, and we are, then seek the things that are above”. Yes where Christ sits. And “while we look to the unseen, for the things that are seen are temporal but the things that are unseen, the invisible, are eternal. In this way Paul transitioned from being a Pharisee expecting a physical kingdom on earth, to entering the Kingdom in the here and now as should we.
If we follow Paul through the succession of Revelations “to the degree ye are able” then we too can hope to acquire the resurrection. Not only that, but we can see by his consecutive revelations an exchange takes place. An old mindset for a new mindset. An old concept for a new concept a physical for an invisible.
That is why we are asked to be renewed in the spirit of our mind for that is our invisible place for the invisible God. In this way we are the temples of the Living God and not a construct of matter on planet earth called Jerusalem. We are complete in him who is the head of all principality and Power and “it is in Him we live and dwell and have our being”. We are in CHRIST our destination. We do not need a physical Jesus to be “raised and seated” meaning resurrected and empowered in the Kingdom for we have this (Eph 2.8) And As Isaiah said of the Lord.”with My dead body they shall arise”. And so we do.
We have to learn to quit seeing God as a 3rd party distant, disconnected entity needing to reappear physically to complete His work because “it is finished”. We do not need a 2nd coming physical appearing for saving. He is the “lo I am with you always”.
It was Paul who laboriously stated “be ye reconciled to God the Father” for this purpose for ‘today is the day of salvation.” And “the gospel is the power of God into salvation” and not another coming Jesus
It is this article and this chapter as all subsequent chapters are meant to define and explain and reason without doubt that the kingdom of God is just as much at hand and available now as it was when Christ first proclaimed it. Amen
The Kingdom of God is at hand! He is present to perform His work in us now.