Our walk with God is on the Revelatory Highway. We first have to come to realize He exists. He then reveals Himself as Savior. Then this highway takes you to the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and other personal experiences that go directly to the core of who you are and who you were created to be. These are experiences, for the most part, that deal with the inner you. Suddenly the Kingdom Highway appears.
How many times have you read the same scriptures over and over, until one day you are cruising along through the same familiar verses and, suddenly, a bolt of lightning strikes exploding a whole “new” revelation? Once you recover from the amazement, you experience a chain of revelatory events that begin to mess up everything you thought you knew. One scripture after the other begins to open up into new dimensions of understanding.
About fifteen years ago, I experienced such an explosion as I was reading Matthew 4:23. Suddenly, for the first time “it” read,
“And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people.” (My emphasis)
The gospel of the kingdom!—when did Jesus put that in there? Just what is the gospel of the kingdom? Just what does He mean? What’s that look like? At this point there were more questions than answers.
The scriptures opened up things I had never even thought of, much less walked in. In my belief system the gospel of salvation had been the ultimate message, and it was the commission of the church for centuries. “Go! Preach the gospel to every creature.” It is apparent now that Mark 16:15 was referring to the gospel of the Kingdom.
Am I saying salvation is not a critical step and of great importance? No, absolutely not! Salvation is the only entrance into the Kingdom of God, but because of that limited understanding much of The Church has remained just inside the Door.
Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (Emphasis mine)
I stepped through that Door of salvation nearly seventy years ago, but it has only been in the past few years that the spiritual revelation and knowledge of the gospel of the kingdom came alive in me. The night the Holy Spirit wooed me by His Grace through that Door of salvation was the first time I had ever heard that Jesus Christ was God and not a curse word. It was like taking blinders off my eyes. What an experience! One for which I am eternally grateful.
Having had such an eye-opening experience, it was easy for me to believe that just being saved was the ultimate. That is, until an unquenchable thirst set in many years later that led our family to the knowledge and experience of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. God promises if we will seek, we find. Oftentimes we have no idea what we will find.
Hunger seems to always return. Now, I was after the glory. In the late 90’s, a friend told me about Ruth Ward Helfin, a mighty woman of God who was at that time the director of a family ministry, Calvary Pentecostal Church and Campground in Ashland, VA. The revelation the Lord had given her to impart was you can live in the glory, experiencing the atmosphere of Heaven, a position where she had taken up residence. It was an experience just watching her living and moving and having her being in two realms at the same time, which my husband and I had the privilege to see in 1999. (She wrote a book entitled, Glory: Experiencing the Atmosphere of Heaven.)
We arrived at the campground just as the evening service was beginning. That was a night that again changed my life drastically, and even more deeply than anything I had ever experienced. (When your husband says you are not the same, you know something has happened.) While worshipping, standing by this pillar, I had a 40-minute visitation from the Lord Jesus. Now that really messes up your spiritual and natural DNA.
That was about the timeframe that “Jesus inserted the gospel of the kingdom” into Matthew 4:23. Kingdom kept going off in me like fireworks, but it had still not fully registered that the Kingdom of God on earth was intended to be the replica of the Kingdom of Heaven here and now. My life continued to intersect with people who lived totally “outside the box”. That’s when it became apparent there was another mountain to move: my mindset. It had to be changed from church “mentality” to kingdom “mentality.
That is not as easy as it sounds. The mindset is lodged in the heart. Proverbs 23:7 tells us that “As a man thinks in his heart so is he.” The Word also tells us that our mouth is connected there as well. Out of the heart the mouth speaks. Mind and mouth are strong allies. To bring them into alignment with the gospel of the kingdom there had to be a complete overhaul of my paradigms, perceptions and purpose.
For starters the gospel of salvation is limited; whereas the gospel of the kingdom is limitless. The gospel of salvation keeps the Body of Christ confined to the four-walls of a church building and its functions. The gospel of the kingdom is universal; it is multi-dimensional; it is eternal; it is “as it is in Heaven” here and now. It is influential because it is in us and it is us.
Due to the emphasis on the gospel of salvation, multitudes throughout the world have been saved, for which we praise the Lord. They will someday experience the wonders of the Kingdom of Heaven. Sadly, the Kingdom of the God that is present within them lies dormant to their graves. Many never experience kingdom life here on earth nor do they realize they are responsible to establish His Kingdom on earth just as it is in Heaven in their realm of influence.
The gospel of salvation has hindered and limited our spiritual sight. We have been led to believe that we will not see the kingdom of God until we depart this earth. This has created a church just waiting and praying to get out of here. Why would we want to leave behind an unfinished assignment of establishing the greater works of His kingdom on earth as it is in heaven?
The Church has been taught into a state of dullness: how to hear God, how to heal the sick, how to deliver the oppressed, how to prophecy and on and on. Jesus came teaching and preaching the kingdom. Matthew 4:23 goes on to say He then healed all kinds of sicknesses and diseases. Healing and deliverance are the expected signs and wonders that follow a kingdom mindset and lifestyle.
God says, “My people perish for lack of knowledge”. When we come to know, really know, that the kingdom of God is in us and the kingdom is us, sickness and disease will be healed just as Jesus demonstrated. There is no sickness and disease in Heaven, therefore, there is to be none in kingdom of God on earth.
We’re not there yet. I’m only a few short miles down this highway. Hunger drove me to the kingdom. Hunger is a driving force both in the natural and spiritual realms. Your mindset, however, can be a roadblock. I pray you are hungry, and it is unquenchable. The Kingdom of God is limitless. No one will ever be able to say “I’ve arrived”.
To be continued.