Have you ever wondered, if we are preaching the same gospel Yeshua preached? It has bothered my heart for some time now that we, as the body of believers, are not fazed by superstitions or man-made religion. Do you not know that we nullify Yah's word by our religious concoctions and traditions (Mark 7:9-13)?
It does not concern us that Yeshua never taught anyone 'the sinner's prayer'. He never said the words 'once saved, always saved' and 'jot down the date of your salvation so you can remember it when you are doubtful.'
Brothers and sisters we are to daily, DAILY, walk in faith and obedience. This is not a once-off deal. This a pledge of allegiance to the Most High Elohim, that your life is not your own anymore.
It should shock the living daylights out of us that we cling to the Gospel of being saved or the Gospel of once-saved-always-saved.
The 'church' has awarded gold medals for everybody at the starting line of the race. And when the shot goes off to run the runners confusingly shout, 'I thought you said it's not a works-based-gospel, do you expect me to actually run?'
It was never the Gospel of being saved.
Or the Gospel of the sinners prayer.
Or even the Gospel of the blood of Messiah.
Or the Gospel of the Church.
Yes, all of these elements are important. But it has always been the Gospel of the Kingdom.
Grab your shovel. Let's dig into the Word of Yah, and help me bury some holy cows in the ditch today.
What does the true Gospel message look like?
The true gospel is not something that happens detached from our daily lives. It flows organically from the well-watered hearts of believers. It does require us to live like Yeshua. And while we are in these skin suits, it is not an easy feat to walk like Messiah. But, it is worth it.
Let's look at 5 reasons the Gospel of the Kingdom is life changing and powerful (unlike the superstition of the sinners prayer):
1. It requires real repentance (teshuvah)
How many times have you heard a preacher say, "The Kingdom of Yah has come near to you. If you do not repent and accept the Gospel of the Kingdom message, I shake off the dust from my feet. It will be worse for this congregation than Sodom in the day reckoning."
Such a pastor will probably not be in that congregation for the long haul. And it won't do the offering baskets or the building-projects any good. The Gospel of the Kingdom is not a profitable message, but it has everlasting value. The Gospel should not be a money spinner that runs the Church programme. Living the Gospel of the Kingdom should be the Church programme.
Luk 9:1-2 KJV
Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.
And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.
Luk 10:9-12 KJV
And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them,
The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.
But into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say,
Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you. But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city.
For the Gospel of the Kingdom to get off the groundteshuvah/repentance is the first building block.
I really like the Hebrew word teshuvah. You see this means not merely confessing your sins, but also changing your lifestyle so that you do not transgress the law of Yah.
Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him,
Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.
John 5:14 KJV
When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her,
Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?
She said, No man, Lord.
And Jesus said unto her,
Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
Sin is a transgression of the law (1 John 3:4). So when Yeshua tells these people to sin no more, He is telling them to keep Yah's law. That is the fruit of true repentance.
What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid.
Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law:
for I had not known lust, except the law had said,
Thou shalt not covet.
Rom 7:7 KJV
We need to have an understanding of the law so we can define sin as Yah defines sin. We are not to be subjective and submissive to the ever declining moral standards of the propaganda machines around us.
We all know that teshuvah is an ongoing work of the Holy Spirit/Ruach ha Kodesh. Teshuvah sets the tone for our walk in the Kingdom of Yah.
2. It requires an everlasting Kingdom perspective
Now, where does the Kingdom part of the Gospel fit in exactly? Like a golden thread, the words of Yeshua 'The Kingdom … is like …' runs through the Gospels. And we will talk about this extensively in the future.
For the purposes of this blog, what would the 1st century crowd have in mind when Yeshua mentions the Kingdom?
I have a more extensive list of mentions of the Kingdom going back to the patriarchs attached. Daniel gives us a good idea of what to expect;
And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom,
which shall never be destroyed:
and the kingdom shall not be left to other people,
but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms,
and it shall stand for ever.
Dan 2:44 KJV
And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom is from generation to generation
Daniel 4:34 KJV
I make a decree, That in every dominion of My kingdom men tremble and
fear before the God of Daniel: for He is the living God,
and stedfast for ever, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed,
and His dominion shall be even unto the end.
Dan 6:26 KJV
And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me. I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things. These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth. But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever. Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet; And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows. I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.
Dan 7:14-22 KJV
Like all the human and beast kingdoms were on the soil of the earth, so Yah will establish His Kingdom on the soil of the earth. Like He purposed it to be like in the beginning, before heaven and earth were separated. It will be the creation account sort of in reverse. And then He, with the Kingdom will come down and establish His rule upon the earth.
The holy ones will rule over and have dominion over the earth, like the first Adam was supposed to. This is our inheritance and the place Yah has prepared for us:
By faith he (Abraham) sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
Heb 11:9-10 KJV
For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.
Heb 11:14-16 KJV
For here have we no continuing city,
but we seek one to come.
Heb 13:14 KJV
Looks like the writer of Hebrew knew what was going down - literally. It is evident that the patriarchs knew about the coming heavenly city. We clearly see Abraham was in the know, but what about the others?
Let's take the testaments of Joseph and the testament of Judah for example;
Do ye therefore, my children, observe the commandments of the Lord, and honour Levi and Judah; for from them shall arise unto you the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world, one who saveth all the Gentiles and Israel. For His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, which shall not pass away; but my kingdom among you shall come to an end as a watcher's hammock, which after the summer disappeareth.
Testament of Joseph 2:77-78
And a man shall arise from my seed, like the sun of righteousness, Walking with the sons of men in meekness and righteousness; And no sin shall be found in him. And the heavens shall be opened unto him, to pour out the spirit, even the blessing of the Holy Father; and He shall pour out the spirit of grace upon you; And ye shall be unto Him sons in truth, and ye shall walk in His commandments first and last.
Then shall the sceptre of my kingdom shine forth; and from your root shall arise a stem; and from it shall grow a rod of righteousness to the Gentiles, to judge and to save all that call upon the Lord.
The Testament of Judah 4:21-26
The message is not new. It is as old as Abraham and every generation knew that the Most High will come to establish His Kingdom on earth.
3. It requires us to operate in our spiritual gifts
We have to be practical when it comes to our part in the Kingdom. How do we participate in Kingdom affairs?
Yah has placed unique gifts, resources, talents, networks and relationships in all our lives.
I often get into trouble for reminding fellow believers that we will be held accountable for what Yah has placed in our hands. I have been accused of proclaiming a works based gospel.
But, surely this is not the case. Yes, you are saved if you live in faith and obedience to the Most High and Messiah. As we come to realize (hopefully) the entire gospel message is not about just being 'saved'. Allow me to remind you of the parable of the talents;
For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money.
Matthew 25:14-18 KJV
Did you notice that? Yah has already equipped us with some gift for period the Master is not physically with us. We need to steward it. I know that some won't though just by reading further along;
After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:
And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:
Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Surely this is not merely a salvation issue. Clearly we are required to be good stewards. The servant that received 5 talents isn't more saved than the guy that received the 2 talents. That would make no sense.
This is a parable about accountability and responsibility. Once you have a place in the Master's house you have to be faithful with what He has placed in your hands. You have to walk the talk. Like Peter said;
For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
2 Peter 2:20-21 KJV
We see this being the case with the guy that got one talent. Once you sign up for Team Messiah you are expected to mature and grow in your faith. Your money, your time, your resources, your network and your friends, are not yours any more. They have been subjected to the Master of the house. That is what baptism symbolises, remember. You are dead! Yeshua lives in and through you, now.
I do not mean to come over as harsh, but the Scriptures are harsh when it comes to those proclaiming to be servants of the Most High yet do nothing. That is why James says:
But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
James 2:20 KJV
No matter how you spin it, DEAD does not sound good to me.
Take a moment to reflect on what Yah has already placed in your hands. Maybe there is a specific skill or talent that is underutilized.
Take a look at your friendships. Some broken relationships might need more attention.
Take a look at your time, energy and money. Usually a good indication of where your heart is will be reflected in how you spend these 3 elements.
We need to be intentional to use what we have for kingdom purposes.
4. It requires spiritual fruit
It is not only what we do, but how we do it. We need to carry out that aroma of Yeshua while preaching the Kingdom's message.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Gal 5:22-23 KJV
But the fruyt of the spirit is charite(1), ioye(2), pees(3), pacience(4), long abidyng(5), benygnyte(6), goodnesse(7), myldenesse(8), feith(9), temperaunce(10), contynence(11), chastite(12); ayen suche thingis is no lawe.
Our fruit weighs very heavy. The way we do the gospel can change the manner people respond to us. If you are going about your daily work with joy and peace and love, people notice it.
If you do it with a stinky attitude people also notice. But they probably won't want what you have.
People need to witness the fruit before they care about what you have to say. I have witnessed and heard many testimonies where communities open up to the gospel message once that have seen some type of sincere servitude or helping hand from missionaries.
Let's think of fruit for a second. Fruit comes from trees (mostly). Trees start from seed. (Well, unless the tree was planted in Eden). We all have the opportunity to mimic the tree of life or the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
In the parable of the sower we see clearly the seed is the word.
Now the parable is this:
The seed is the word of God.
Luke 8:11 WEB
When we hear the WORD, it offers an invitation to respond. There are many ways to directly or indirectly not allow the WORD to sprout in our hearts. We can allow our worries, money issues, broken relationships etc. to corrupt the SEED.
But if you are reading this, I know that you receive the WORD. Allow it to change you, and even bear the fruit of the WORD.
Most of the seeds of the Word I have received were during my quiet times and listening to His voice. We receive the SEED in fellowship with the Most High Elohim. When I meditate on Him or His WORD I sense how He is plowing and planting the farm lands within me.
But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord shall be.
And he shall be as a thriving tree by the waters, and he shall cast forth his root toward a moist place: he shall not fear when heat comes, and there shall be upon him shady branches: he shall not fear in a year of drought, and he shall not fail to bear fruit.
Even in the physical sowing and harvesting requires faith. Ask any farmer. There is risk and many uncontrollables when planting and awaiting the potential crop. But if a farmer considers all potential threats and 'what ifs', he will probably never plant a single seed. Trust remains the key ingredient.
Blessed is the man who has not walked in the counsel of the ungodly, and has not stood in the way of sinners, and has not sat in the seat of evil men.
But his pleasure is in the law of the Lord; and in his law will he meditate day and night. And he shall be as a tree planted by the brooks of waters, which shall yield its fruit in its season, and its leaf shall not fall off; and whatsoever he shall do shall be prospered.
Psalm 1:1-3 LXXE
Not only is fellowship with Yah important, but also fellowship with others. The word says, bad company corrupts good character. The fellowship we have with others influences the fruits we bear.
Yah does not leave you to bear fruits.
“Every branch in Me that bears no fruit He takes away.
And every branch that bears fruit He prunes, so that it bears more fruit."
John 15:2 TS2009
That's right. Are you bearing fruit? Expect to be pruned. Yah is in the farming business and He enjoys a bumper crop. Yah loves when we bear the fruits of the Ruach.
We need to do an audit and see how we are doing, really, on the fruits of the Spirit? And if you are married, ask your husband or wife to audit you. That audit will probably be more accurate than your own.