We are in a time in the Church calendar between Passover and Jesus’ Ascension, and after Pentecost. In each of these Biblical events we see lessons and truths, which when applied now we can see some manifestation of it in our lives, and an indication of Church life, and the end times. These truths are not hidden as some suggest, rather when we meditate and think on their significance enough we get to know the truth, as it begins to shine with meditation and prayer.
Jesus spends a period of 40 days explaining about Kingdom. It is necessary to complete the shattering of all notions of a natural, political Kingdom, and present the purpose of God in a spiritual and eternal Kingdom. This is a necessary process, as the foundation to Pentecost is Kingdom. For this Kingdom to be brought into spiritual fulness it must be that the King be given Kingdom, dominion.
Daniel 7 details this process, in Daniel’s own spiritual walk with God he had many visions. As it will be in the days preceding the end, God will send His prophets with true visions of Kingdom, of heaven, of triumph. The visions of the end time, will not be confined to time, but will unveil eternity. God shows in Biblical prophecy the times ahead, and how we reach them in the present.
We will shortly be celebrating Pentecost, and all that it means for the Church. However the same issues which plagued the priesthood and Temple of the Old Covenant, plague also in the New. The initial significance, knowledge of the covenant, gets replaced by a shadow, of a religious concept, system, lifeless monument to something which God did, but we do not go on to greater and fresher revelation. That is why we must examine and know the truths of what Jesus prepared the disciples for, and how crucial it was for the stages which were coming ahead of them. Pentecost albeit powerful, far reaching was not an isolated happening, it was prepared for clearly. We must recognise the preparation because in recognising the preparation we uncover the things which are necessary to prepare us for Pentecost, its power and its sustaining power for the Church. The Church is not the Kingdom, but Kingdom is the foundation of the Church.
As we look down history since the Church was founded at Pentecost, we see the Roman persecution and then once the faith is embraced, within 100 years the Roman empire is now no more. Then many kingdoms have arisen, fallen, wars and many happenings, and the Church stands. The new Pentecost that God desires to pour out over all flesh this time must be for paving the way for the Day of the Lord. For us the preparation with Jesus for understanding Kingdom now, is understanding how our living shall be in eternity. We have many times interpreting Kingdom in terms of its subduing of earthly kingdoms and how we shall live on the earth. However this truth is incomplete because this earth and the current heavens shall be rolled away and a new perfect creation shall be brought into being. A new Jerusalem, with a new Zion shall be the centre of it all.
The Church therefore, carrier of the message of the New Covenant, through Jesus, King and Lord shall see in its seasons and years, the salvation of souls, until God begins His reconciling work with Israel. Before this the Church must mature in its vision of Kingdom. It’s about the domain of King Jesus. The Church has spoken, written, and even whole conferences concerning Kingdom, but seeing Jesus manifest as King and Lord in the midst of the Church has not been seen, in its fulness. Rather what has been majored on is the Gospel Jesus, who suffered and Redeemed. Important but not all the truth.
So Jesus before His Ascension must prepare the Disciples for what really He taught concerning Kingdom. He must cause them to be so clear, because their perception of it, the necessity of the Power of the King, when He is set in His Domain, is key to the Church being endued with power, on the Day of Pentecost. More and more I see the process clearly. The days until Jesus is taken up to heaven are to be spent in the Spirit communicating what the Kingdom looks like, what it will do. Through the community of the people, redeemed, Baptised, sanctified.
We sometimes talk about Kingdom as being somehow an abstract truth, a lifestyle, yet it is crucial we remember it’s about a King, the King, taking His place in this universe, this world, this life. Once we see it this way, it forms the reason why the Church exists, and what Jesus did to birth it.
13 “I saw in the night visions,
and behold, with the clouds of heaven
there came one like a son of man,
and he came to the Ancient of Days
and was presented before him.
14 And to him was given dominion
and glory and a kingdom,
that all peoples, nations, and languages
should serve him;
his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
which shall not pass away,
and his kingdom one
that shall not be destroyed.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Da 7:13–14.
Here the Son of Man is seen, taking the dominion. Taking the Kingdom as it is given by the Father. Jesus must prepare the Disciples that He is going away to take this Kingdom. The Ancient of Days being the Father. And the key of this Kingdom is what comes as He sits at the Right Hand, the Outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. It is this manifestation of Kingdom that brought the Holy Spirit, to the Church as an agent of dominion, bringing to bow the principalities and powers of darkness to His Dominion.
It is these things, about those things that were not many days ahead for them, that would make the difference. It is these things that the Disciples needed to understand. His going away was for a greater purpose, to be given dominion by the Father to carry out His Messianic mission not as a man, but as God the Son, through His Body the Church. It is crucial today, as we pray for a new Pentecost, as it is celebrated, we embrace the preparation, that we comprehend Kingdom. That way we comprehend WHY the Spirit is sent, and WHAT our purpose is, as we are enveloped in the fire and wind of that Spirit that brings power and principalities to bow before Jesus’ throne in the midst of His People.
The Key of Kingdom is Jesus taking His place in His Domain.