When John the Baptist (one who baptizes) came on the scene of world history, sent by God the Father, to prepare the way for the coming of the Jewish Messiah (Jesus of Nazareth) his message was:
“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven (of the heavens) is at hand” (Matthew 3:2)
Then, following His baptism and the coming of the Spirit of God upon Him (Matthew 3:16) and His Temptation experience in the wilderness for 40 days, Jesus heard that his cousin, John the Baptizer, had been taken into custody, and He withdrew into Galilee. (Matthew 4: 12).
Then, leaving Nazareth where He had been brought up (raised), Jesus came and settled in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali. (To fulfill the prophecy concerning His ministry).
The very first message that Jesus preached was exactly that which His cousin, John, had preached not long before Jesus began His ministry. It is recorded in Matthew 4:17:
“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
In the Gospel of Mark (1:14-15) we also find these words:
“And after John had been taken (delivered up) into custody, Jesus came into Galilee preaching (proclaiming) the gospel of God, and saying,
‘The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe (put your trust in) the gospel.”
Add to these things which Luke wrote in the book of Acts 1:3 concerning Jesus and the last words He spoke to His disciples prior to His being taken up into heaven:
“To these (all of His disciples) He also presented HImself alive, after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and SPEAKING OF THE THINGS CONCERNING THE KINGDOM OF GOD.”
Jesus began His earthly ministry proclaiming the presence of the kingdom of God in His day where He was to those to whom He had come; and He finished His teaching/preaching ministry in the same way; speaking to those who had believed in Him of the things concerning the kingdom of God.
Does it not follow, then, that the kingdom of God (rule and reign of God; sovereignty of God; dominion of God; power of God) was in His mind and heart the most important thing that He had come to communicate?
He, Jesus, being God come in the flesh, saying only what the Father told Him to say and to do only that which He saw the Father doing, must have believed that the message of the Kingdom was very important.
Furthermore, in Mark 9:1-2, Jesus gave the twelve Apostles power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases….
“And He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God, and to perform healing (to heal the sick).”
Here we see that Proclamation of the Presence of the Kingdom of God includes the Demonstration of the Power-Authority of the kindom as they went forth with the power and authority which Jesus gave to them.
With the coming of the Spirit of God (Holy Spirit) on the day of Pentecost wherein He filled all those present with HIMSELF….filling them, anointing them, equipping them enabling them, empowering them with the very same authority and power which Jesus Himself had and which Jesus gave to His first disciples was given to those early disciples and throughout the ages even unto our very own generation…to go forth with the same Message, same Mission and same Mandate….we are to our generation everything, and more, that those early disciples were to their generation.
THERE MUST BE, IN OUR GENERATION, A REDISCOVERY OF THE PRESENCE, POWER AND PURPOSE OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD IN THE LIVES AND MINISTRY OF THE PEOPLE OF GOD WHOM HE HAS CHOSEN AND CALLED OUT TO BE HIS WITNESSES IN EVERY GENERATION; HIS BODY…THE CHURCH.
LET IT BE HOLY SPIRIT; LET IT BE; IN JESUS NAME AND FOR HIS GLORY, HONOR AND PRAISE. GLORY TO THE KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORD. JESUS OF NAZARETH.
- Rev. Gene Force