The Kingdom of God . . . A Fresh View - Part 2

The Kingdom of God . . . A Fresh View - Part 2

DELVING INTO THE “GREATER THINGS”



Let me explain.

Matthew profoundly unveils the identity, if you would, of the Son of God—so does John. Matthew progresses to the Ekklesia—the Kingdom of God (as a matter of deductive reasoning but also giving Peter the “keys to the Kingdom of Heaven”); whereas, John does the same with Nathanael’s statement: “The King of Israel.” In both instances a “name change” is involved. Simon Bar-Jonah to Peter and, if you would, Jacob to Israel embedded in the account of Jacob’s vision at Bethel and subsequent rehearsal at El-Bethel some 21 years later from his first encounter at Bethel, prior to his stay with Laban in Haran.

In both cases we have the Son of Man and Son of God or the Son of God and the Son of Man (in that order – Matthew and then John). Indeed, in both instances there is a building taking place (“I will build my Ekklesia” juxtaposed to “erecting a pillar with the stone(s) and calling the place Bethel—the “House of God”). Again, in Matthew we have the Ekklesia being built; in John’s gospel we have Bethel, and the Pillar of Stone. In both cases there is the linkage of heaven and earth – John: “ascending and descending” (“How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!”—Gen. 28:17) and Matthew: “whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven” (Matt. 16:19).

The MEANS by which Jesus would build His House (Bethel) was given in Matthew’s gospel (by way of the cross with Jesus enjoining His disciples to “bear the cross through self-denial”—but in John’s gospel the “way of the cross” is greatly amplified. John’s account has Jesus telling Nathanael: “. . . greater things than these . . . you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.” What is this? Nathanael, you say “Son of God . . . King of Israel” – I say “greater things” – I say SON OF MAN – I say the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven – you say the King of Israel – now you say “greater things” and lead us to Jacob’s ladder?

Again, in Matthew we have a follow-up exchange where Jesus “From that time . . . began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day” (Matt. 16:21) with the subsequent exchange where Peter rebuked Him for such talk whereupon Jesus countered: “Get behind Me, Satan!” (Matthew 16:22-23).

Whereas in John’s gospel there is the mentioning of a second “third day” – not of His resurrection “third day” (Matt. 16:21) but “on the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee” (John 2:1) where the Son of Man performed His first miracle! The account of Jesus describing His suffering, death and resurrection was immediately followed by the manifestation of His GLORY on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matt. 17:1-8); whereas the account in John’s gospel produced a Wedding Feast with a Bride and Groom . . . THAT’S precisely what Jacob’s experience would produce: The Building of God—Bethel and the ultimate Bride of Messiah, as we shall see. That is, also, why Jesus filled the earthen pots with water and turned the water into wine where the joy of His “exchanged life” alone could produce the Bride of Messiah. The Bride is the manifestation of the GLORY of the Groom—she is his joy and delight; ultimately:

“Come, I will show you the WOMAN, the Lamb’s Bride . . . and he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, HAVING THE GLORY OF GOD” (lit. Rev. 21:9-11).

Bethel – the House of God has become the Bride, the Woman, the Lamb’s Bride, the Holy City, Jerusalem—SHE IS HIS GLORY!

Yes, in this sense, the account in Matthew’s gospel speaks of the Ekklesia Jesus would build to defeat the Gates of Hades . . . then Matthew goes on to tell how Jesus would accomplish it—through the cross. After Peter’s rebuke and Jesus’ counter of “Get thee behind Me Satan” – Jesus then tells His disciples: “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me” (Matt. 16:24). Then, once again, He speaks of Himself as the Son of Man: “For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels” . . . and of His transfiguration on the mount: “Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom” (Matt. 16:27-28).

Indeed, there is the subjective work of the cross in producing the Kingdom, the Ekklesia in Matthew’s gospel . . . but in John’s gospel it is just as overt, however, with much clearer attachments illustrated by the account of Jacob. Jesus’ transfiguration – by Himself with two others – is wondrous; however, the first miracle and the Bride demonstrates Jesus sharing His GLORY – this fully reveals His ultimate purpose in the universe! The “gates of Hades” cannot defend against the Ekklesia; but the Woman of Genesis 3:15 whose Seed is destined to “crush the serpent’s head” shows up as the Bride in John’s accounting . . . we shall speak more of this. Far-fetched? No . . . we are just connecting the dots. Allow me to expand on this “means to an end” – bringing down to earth how the GLORY is manifested.

JACOB-ISRAEL AND HIS VISION

The vision of Jacob’s Ladder and subsequent declarations initially calling the place of his vision Bethel—the House of God (Gen. 28:10-22)—then describes how he took the stone(s) upon which he slept and “set it up and a pillar, and poured oil on top of it . . . and he called the name of that place Bethel.” However, it was after Jacob’s encounter with the Angel of the Lord at Peniel (the time in between his two visitations to Bethel and shortly before his second visit to Bethel), wherein his name was changed to Israel (Gen. 32:28). It was here at Peniel Jacob’s hip was broken.

It was shortly thereafter Jacob-Israel returned to Bethel (the second time) by divine commission and there built an altar “and called the place El Bethel (lit. God, the House of God—Genesis 35:7), because God appeared to him when he fled from the face of his brother (Esau) . . . Then God appeared to Jacob again, when he came from Padan Aram, and blessed him. And God said to him, ‘Your name is Jacob; your name shall not be called Jacob anymore, but Israel shall be your name.”

God reinforced His first disclosure in Genesis 28 regarding “. . . your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south and in you in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Gen. 28:14) by reinforcing His promise to Israel via the second time: “I am God Almighty. Be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a COMPANY OF NATIONS shall proceed from you, and kings shall come from your body” (Gen. 35:9-11). Thence, again, but not altogether similar, Genesis records: “So Jacob set up a pillar in the place where He talked with him, a pillar of stone; and he poured a drink offering on it, and poured oil on it. And Jacob called the name of the place where God spoke with him, Bethel” (Gen. 35:14-15) . . . yet, previously, Jacob-Israel called the place El Bethel (Gen. 35:7).

Jacob’s name change took place between his first encounter at Bethel and his second encounter at Bethel. Yes, it was at Peniel or Penuel (lit. the “Face of God” (Gen. 32:22-32)—after his wrestling with the Angel of the Lord that his name was reconfirmed—from Jacob to Israel. He went from the name Jacob (Usurper) to the name Israel (Prince with God)—that is a cataclysmic altercation of the name! Immediately after Peniel, Israel faced off with his brother Esau prior to coming to Bethel again (Gen. 35:1-15) where, once again, the Almighty reinforced the name change from Jacob to Israel. (Gen. 35:10-11)—again, this took place at Bethel which Israel renamed: El-Bethel (Gen. 35:7).

Can I go so far as to say, initially, we see Bethel (the House of God or Bethel – the Ekklesia to be built); but after the vision of Jacob’s Ladder and after Jacob’s “breaking experience” and his encounter with Esau (no less) there is a complete expansion amplified in his name change to Prince with God/Israel—thus we see in this HOW God’s Plan and Purpose for the Ages would be orchestrated; how it would be carried out by changing another name—not from Simon Bar-Jonah to Peter (lit. “a stone”)—but from Jacob to Israel . . . the outworking of the Ekklesia, the Kingdom of God through the PRINCE OF PEACE. Twice did Jacob-Israel construct a pillar of stones upon which he slept and made a pillar upon which he poured the “anointing oil of the Holy Spirit” both times but the second time he initiated the pouring out in its entirety a “drink offering.” Why can I say such a contrast? Because Jesus said as much when He announced “greater things” to Nathanael.

Yes, Jacob and Esau were reconciled (Genesis 33:1-17), but it was only after Jacob had wrestled with the Angel of the Lord at Peniel/Penuel where upon he knew he had met the “Face of God” (viz. Peniel). Now, there was no escape—he had to confront his estranged brother, Esau. Then a most incredible statement from the lips of Israel is heard when he finally meets Esau. Now, concerning the “hated Esau” (for “Jacob I loved, and Esau I hated” – Romans 9:13; Mal. 1:2-3) . . . Israel now exclaims: “I [Israel] have seen your [Esau’s] face as though I had seen the face of God, and you were pleased with me” (Gen. 33:10). Alas! It is only when we meet our “Esau” that we meet the “face of God”—it is in reconciliation that the Ekklesia, if you would, becomes a reality . . . is this not the fruit of the “breaking” – the work of the cross – the changing of the name?

Then after all this (and more) Jacob comes once again to Bethel where the Almighty reinforces the change of Jacob to Israel, but only after Israel entitles Bethel as El-Bethel (Gen. 35:7) whereupon after the reinforcement of the name change Jacob sets up a “pillar in the place where He talked with him, a pillar of stone; and he poured a drink offering on it, and he poured oil on it” (Gen. 35:14-15).

ASCENDING & DESCENDING

Could it be, and I most definitely affirm it to be so, the “ascending and descending upon the SON OF MAN” carries the vision of the Son of God’s incarnation by placing initial emphasis upon “ascending” (bringing MAN into God—for there is now a MAN IN THE GLORY seated upon the Throne (viz. the “Heavenly Man”—1 Cor. 15:48-49). Here we have “ascending” mentioned before “descending” (bringing the Son of God into MAN).

The priority of order is the Son of Man’s ascent into heaven, now glorified as a Man. It is one thing for humankind to confess the deity of the Messiah as Son of God—it is a massive advance of the vision whereby the ASCENSION OF THE SON OF MAN into glory, having accomplished through the “breaking” – through the cross – that splendid goal of “creating in Himself” – through “the blood of the cross” (the “breaking”) -- “between the TWO” (Jew and Gentile – between Israel and Esau) ONE NEW MAN, so making peaceEphesians 2:14-18:

“For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one spirit to the Father.”

Yes, immediately after Peter’s confession – “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God” – Jesus commenced to predict His death (Matt. 16:21), whereupon “Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, ‘Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!’” (Matt. 16:22). Peter had a revelation of the Son of God but NOT the efforts of the Son of Man—for it would be only through the ascent accomplished by the Son of Man would the Ekklesia be built.

In John’s account regarding the reality of the “name change” extended, once again, to the King of Israel – from Jacob to Israel – from Usurper to Prince with God . . . then and only then, through the cross, would Jacob ever be reconciled with Esau – only through the breaking of the outward man (the work of the cross) can the Ekklesia come into being: El-Bethel. God . . . the House of God. Only God Almighty (El) can build the House of God (Bethel). Only the Son of Man, through incarnation, human living, suffering, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension, can build the Ekklesia – the real Temple, the real House of God where the GLORY OF GOD is on full display:

“Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the WHOLE BUILDING, being fitted together, grows into a HOLY TEMPLE in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit” (Eph. 2:19-22) – Is this not Bethel?

I have often pondered why the order presented of “apostles and prophets” is so expressed . . . shouldn’t it be “prophets and apostles” because the “prophets” came first and then the “apostles?” Did not the Son of God come down first and then ascend as the Son of Man? No, this is the divine order. The emphasis is upon the ascending Son of Man producing Bethel, the Bride, the House of God, the Ekklesia, the Kingdom of God, the APOSTLES. The “prophets” of God are, if you would, as the “Son of God”—wherein Son of Man had NOT expressed Himself in incarnation. God’s voice was “without” but through the Son of Man, Who through incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection and ascension became the Life-Giving Spirit where He is not only “among us” (outside) but is now, through regeneration, within us (inside)—His commandments are not written on external stone but on the fleshy tables of our hearts (2 Cor. 3:3).

The Incarnation of the Son of God (though He was always the Son) “came in the flesh” to suffice the righteous requirements of the law—“for without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin” (Heb. 9:22; Lev. 17:11)—but “. . . it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins . . . Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come—in the volume of the book it is written of Me—to do Your will, O God’” (Heb. 10:4-7; Mic. 6:6, 7; Ps. 40:6-8).

If you would, the “subjective application of the cross” in our lives as believers in Jesus, enables Messiah, the Christ, through the Spirit of Christ applying His cross in our daily lives, to build His Ekklesia—to reconcile us not only to God (Bethel – connoting personal “peace with God”) but this same Spirit of Christ brings us into peace with our brethren—between hostile peoples (El Bethel). This demands a reinforcement – a breaking – a name change “rehearsal” - the taking, not only of anointing oil, but the pouring out of a “drink offering” – not only the “anointing of the Holy Spirit” to build His Ekklesia, but the total “pouring out” of our lives (the cross)—His Life in us out-poured for the brethren.

Yes, we are LIVING STONES to be built up a most Holy and Royal Priesthood (1 Peter 2:4-10). It is upon these “living stones” that the “anointing oil” is poured—but more so, the “drink offering” is poured out (Is this not what the Son of Man did on our behalf?). That same outpouring in us alone brings in the full experience of His Ekklesia.

PREACHING THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM – ROM. 1-8 VS. ROM. 9-16

Can you see this? What we have here is none other than the preaching of the GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM recited numerous times in the Gospels. Yes, it is the Gospel of the Grace of God (Acts 20:24) which wholly entails “preaching the kingdom of God” (Acts 20:25) – the two are inseparable. It is the same recitation at the close of the book of Acts where we read: “Preaching the KINGDOM OF GOD and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts. 28:31).

But we must come to terms that this GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM cannot be differentiated from the Gospel of the Grace of God (salvation) which is inseparably linked with the Gospel of Peace (Rom. 10:15; Eph. 2:17)—for the two are utterly intrinsic. The work of the cross not only reconciled us to God (i.e., the “blood of the cross”) but reconciled us to one another— “making of the two ONE NEW MAN . . . so making peace.” Yes, “two sides of the same coin!”

Therefore, Paul’s dissertation in declaring the “GOSPEL OF GOD” . . . “to all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints” would be for these “Roman saints” the FULL DISPLAY of that Gospel of God from start to finish. Ergo Romans 1-8 takes us from man’s sin under the wrath of God unto justification by faith via His righteousness, unto sanctification by the truth, to ultimate glorification under the empowerment of the Spirit—yes, the Gospel of the Grace of God . . . but where is the KINGDOM OF GOD in all this illumination? Where is the living out of the Ekklesia; and, if you would, praise God for Bethel, but where is El-Bethel? Therefore, the work of the cross of Christ must produce the “crushing of Satan’s head!” Why does, again, Paul launch throughout the latter half of his epistle (Romans 9-16) on themes wholly related to issues concerning the oneness of God’s people—Jew and Gentile?

Dare we compare Jacob’s first encounter at Bethel with Romans 1-8, but his second encounter at El-Bethel to be the latter half of Romans 9-16? Table that thought in your mind as we progress.

It is inescapable—we are destined to confront our Esau. We can run to our monastery or convent—to our seclusion and so-called “spirituality” but we cannot hide, for the day cometh when we must confront Romans 12 to present our bodies a living sacrifice to test our sanctification or “head knowledge” with others and to cease from “thinking of yourself more highly than you ought to think” (Romans 12:3) – it is time to manifest THE KINGDOM OF GOD with a transformed mind. When that happens, then this is the result:

“For the KINGDOM OF GOD is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy spirit . . . for he who serves Christ in these things (Are not these the “greater things” whereof our Lord spoke to Nathanael?) is acceptable to God and approved by men” (Rom. 14:17-18).

This is the “good news of the kingdom” (i.e., “the gospel of the kingdom” - Matt. 24:14) – righteousness (through Christ alone) - peace (between the brethren--bringing in the oneness of His Kingdom) and joy in the Holy Spirit (this is the GLORY - for we can have the “objective” awareness of His righteousness (positionally) and have been brought through the “blood of His cross” -- positionally (as well) into oneness . . . but without the JOY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT there is no expression of the Kingdom of God (Ref. Rom. 14:17) . . . after all, what’s a Wedding Feast without the JOY, without the water being turned into wine? The Kingdom of God is not “does and don’ts” - not eating and drinking . . . not that we do not honor our fathers and mothers or keep Sabbath, etc., but that is not the Kingdom of God, per se. No, the manifestation of the JOY of the Holy Spirit is seen among the ONENESS of His people—that’s what Romans 9-16 is all about.

All three realities are needed to express the fullness of the KINGDOM OF GOD—the GLORY: The Righteousness of Christ; Peace between hostile peoples through, again, the blood of His Cross; resulting in the Joy (the glory) of the Holy Spirit - this is the Kingdom of God on the earth today!

Indeed, the entire discipleship movement, bless God, centered upon Christ in you the Hope of Glory--the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit in the believer's life - but having “more of Christ” so that you are brought “more under His authority” is not for the individual disciple to “lord it over” the brethren--i.e., “I have been more transformed than most . . . so I have more of the Lord’s authority in my life - therefore, LISTEN TO ME!” No, no, no - the “acceptable test” of one’s consecration is “not think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think” (Romans 12:3) – “but to think soberly, as GOD HAS DEALT TO EACH ONE A MEASURE OF FAITH” (vs. 3). The “test” of our consecration - our sanctification - is based upon the Kingdom of God’s manifestation among us - that is the EKKLESIA our Lord is building!

In Romans chapters 9-16 Paul speaks of the COMPLETION of the Gospel of Christ – as he declares the Gospel of God (once again) to those in Rome who already have believed into the Son of God.

“But I know that when I come to you, I shall come in the FULLNESS of the blessing of the Gospel of Christ” (Romans 15:29).

And just what is the FULLNESS (lit. “completion”) of Christ’s Gospel? What does Messiah desire today among His people? People who already have experienced His salvation – yet, though we be sufficed, have we satisfied our Lord in answer to His prayer in John 17? Have we been “perfected into ONE” (John 17:23) – so that “the world would believe the Father sent the Son” (John 17:21)? Have we but preached a HALF-GOSPEL where we reach personal glorification (Romans 8) but fail to advance from the Gospel of Salvation to the Gospel of Peace? Have we simply envisioned Bethel but once, when we could have encountered the “Face of God” twice in our Esau after breaking, after the cross where the drink offering comes first?

I am not parsing words here. Romans 1-8 is distinctly the life of the believer from start to completion—individually; however, Romans 9-16 places us squarely into the outworking of the Ekklesia – this is the LIVING SACRIFICE which produces the Kingdom of God!

Brethren forgive my repetition, but without “righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit” . . . there is no Kingdom of God. No joy – no Kingdom – no Glory! Consider this, nothing of the Kingdom of God is mentioned in Romans until chapter 14 – and nothing is so clearly mentioned concerning THE GLORY OF GOD in Romans until Romans 15 where we have this “glorious” experience:

“Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the GLORY OF GOD . . . I might be a minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the GOSPEL OF GOD (the same “gospel of God” mentioned in Romans 1:1) . . . therefore I have reason to glory in Christ Jesus in the things which pertain to God” (Romans 15:16-17).

That is why Romans 16 becomes the apex of Paul’s exhortation to the saints in Rome! Where is the “meeting and greeting” of all God’s people? Where’s the GLORY? Where are Jews at meal with the nations? Where do we witness Roman saints at meal with Barbarians and Greeks, and Jews? Aren’t the EKKLESIA (aka “the churches”) of Romans 16:3-5 those who like “Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who risked their own necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the EKKLESIA of the Nations. Likewise greet the EKKLESIA that is in their house.” Do you conjecture that all this “meeting and greeting” taking place in Romans 16 (some 36 entities/individuals) is some inane end-of-the-movie credits whereupon we simply walk out because we can’t “read that fast” and/or “who cares” in any event?

ONENESS IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD CRUSHES SATAN’S HEAD!

Again: No, no, no! This is the apex of the EKKLESIA – the KINGDOM OF GOD – this is His EKKLESIA experience He desires His saints to enjoy as a “living sacrifice” – this alone merits divine approval, acceptable unto God – a reasonable service. . . out-poured for one another. It is not until and unless we come to this “reception of one another” through the “blood of the cross” that we finally hear:

“And the God of Peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly” (Rom. 16:20).

Isn’t this where we commenced: “The gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (i.e., the Ekklesia”—Matt. 16:18)? Indeed, it is! After enjoining the saints in Rome to “meet and greet” – to express their Oneness in Christ – isn’t it a timely fact they have heard: “Therefore let us pursue the things (again, “greater things”) which make for peace and the things by which one may edify (build up) another” (Rom. 14:17)? But also, prior to the “crushing of Satan’s head” which was forecast in Genesis 3:15 (“your Seed shall bruise/crush his [the serpent’s] head”) we are made keenly aware of divisive behavior contrary to such “meeting and greeting” of the saints in Rome:

“Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple” (Romans 16:17-18).

Astonishing, isn’t it, that those who hail from the “Church of the Immaculate Perception” are able to “slice and dice” issues on the Kingdom of God while perpetrating division amongst the people of God to such an extent that they “stand apart” from their brethren—gathering, then holding tight to themselves brethren prohibiting them from “meeting and greeting” brethren at large. Indeed, these “divisive brethren” may be as much, or more so, in defense of the Gospel of God’s Grace, yet they eschew brethren whose doctrinal positions inhibit them from genuine fellowship in Christ because they (those who are so divisive) embrace an opposing view of the timing and nature of the KINGDOM OF GOD?

Brethren, we are living NOW in the Kingdom of God which shall encompass the whole earth—it includes all within the EKKLESIA and is wholly supportive of the Gospel of Grace and the Gospel of Peace. This is the KINGDOM OF GOD under the Kingship of Messiah, both now, and into the Millennium, and beyond into the Eschaton – THIS is the Ekklesia Jesus is building by the experience of the Son of Man – through the cross - in us for surely “As we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man . . ..” (1 Cor. 15:49) . . . and by “Heavenly Man” I allude not only to our future resurrection, but to the “Ascending and Descending upon the Son of Man” Who is the King of Israel, now about establishing His Kingdom on this Earth whereby His GLORY is expressed!

“Now to Him who is able to establish you according to MY GOSPEL and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith—to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen” (Rom. 16:25-27).

They among us who would deny themselves, and take up their cross, will find their “peace with God” will extend to peace among the brethren—for the God who reached out to them desires to reach out through them to their brethren so that the world too shall believe the Father sent the Son . . . and the fellowship the Father has with the Son is the same fellowship into which we are called as sons and daughters of the Living God – this is truly the KINGDOM OF GOD!

We cannot slight the expanse of the Ekklesia as it is enshrined in terms of the King in the context of the Kingdom of God. Again, the revelation of Nathanael regarding the Son of God and the King of Israel demolishes the dimensional divide of the “heavens and the earth” – the angelic hosts “ascending and descending” lays stress upon the finished work at the Cross as the Son of Man, Who ascends first to bring Man into God through incarnation and ultimate crucifixion, resurrection and ascension as a MAN. Although both Peter and Nathanael acclaim the Son of God—only Nathanael’s revelation reveals the Son of Man in such striking contrast illustrated by Jacob’s transformation to Prince with God.

Jesus did not tell Nathanael that He would build the Ekklesia based on his “Son of God – King of Israel” revelation. He moved on to the “greater things” of the Son of Man which, by implication demand incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection and ascension. Yet, how can there be a King without a Kingdom? How can there be the Ekklesia without the work of the Son of Man? This is the Man Who would become the King of Israel—without the cross there is no way the Ekklesia – the Kingdom of God – can be manifest upon this earth.

Peter rejected the initial revelation of the Cross – but there was no other way for Satan’s head to be crushed – for the Cross is how the Ekklesia – the Kingdom of God – would come into being. Satan bruised His heel, but the Serpent’s head was crushed via the Seed of the Woman! Is it any wonder, therefore, that Jesus would tell Peter: “Get thee behind Me Satan”? For Satan well knew what would thwart his efforts among men—that would be the work of the Son of Man with the crushing sound wrought by the United Kingdom of David, His Ekklesia.

Isn’t it time for a “name change” – for us all? Isn’t it time we faced off with our Esau? No worry, sooner more than later, we will hear the word to the Ekklesia in Philadelphia: “He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more . . . I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My NEW NAME” (Rev. 3:12-13).

Yes, Nathanael saw the “greater things” in John’s gospel and John saw the greatest of things in his final unveiling of the Woman, the Lamb’s Bride—His Glory, descending from above—for all the work of preparation had already ascended into heaven as the work of the Son of Man—now it is prepared to descend to the earth as the Holy City, New Jerusalem, whose gates bear the names of the 12 Tribes of Israel and whose foundations the names of the 12 apostles of the Lamb—WHAT GLORIOUS CONSUMMATION IS THIS! Heaven and earth joined in ONE – Israel – the EKKLESIA – the ONE WOMAN, the BRIDE OF MESSIAH descending to the earth – bringing earth to heaven and heaven to earth – THY KINGDOM COME on Earth as it is in Heaven - it can’t get any better than this!

DWK

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