The ever-expanding reality

Another parable set he before them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: which indeed is less than all seeds; but when it is grown, it is greater than the herbs, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the heaven come and lodge in the branches thereof.

Another parable spoke he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till it was all leavened.

Matthew 13:31-33

These two parables of Yeshua are illustrating the same picture: the kingdom is something that begins small and becomes larger and larger until it is all inclusive. This is one of the grand principles of all Creation: everything begins small and then grows to its mature state. Animals, plants, people; all things exemplify this principle.

Concepts and ideals are no different. We even use this terminology when speaking about some new trend or idea which began as a “germ” or a “spark” and then became massively widespread or “went viral.”

Yeshua is teaching us that the Kingdom of God is no different, not because it isn’t special or unique, but because it is to follow the natural trajectory of every thing introduced into this Creation. The Bible traces this trajectory through the stories of individuals like Adam, Noah, Abraham. It then moves to Moses and a chosen group of people: Israel. From faithful Israel, which culminated in Messiah, it was then to leap to the next level and spread exponentially throughout the entire world.

One of the overarching themes of the Bible is how God is tirelessly patient and persistent, beginning with small things or individuals, and molding and shaping them to become the next phase of the kingdom, the next branch on the tree, the next batch of dough that continues to rise. This is how we can be confident the kingdom will continue to grow until “all is leavened,”

Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth. For I am God, and there is no other. “By myself I have sworn; truth has gone from my mouth, a word that will not be revoked: Every knee will bow to me, every tongue will swear allegiance. “It will be said about me, ‘Righteousness and strength are found only in the LORD.’ ” All who are enraged against him will come to him and be put to shame.

Isaiah 45:22-24

The Single Objective

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.

Matthew 13:45-46

How invested are you in the kingdom of God? Yeshua taught us that we should be seeking the kingdom first, not somewhere further down a list of spiritual things we think we should be doing.

This parable illustrates the immense value that a true seeker places on the discovery of the kingdom of God. To be willing to sell everything you have in order to gain one single objective is a demonstration of the very highest commitment.

In a believer’s life, everything one has and does should stem from the reality of the kingdom. God’s purposes should have priority in all decision making. When you are fully invested in seeking the things of God, this desire for conformity to the kingdom becomes second nature. It becomes all-consuming and touches every aspect of your life. Living out the principles of God’s kingdom brings it to life among all of those around you.

Is the kingdom to you a pearl of the highest value, or only one of many other similar pearls strung together that you wear to adorn yourself to be admired by others?

The Kingdom of Empty Cups

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.”

Matthew 5:3

Have an empty spirit, ready to receive and obey the slightest instruction, and you will be blessed as the kingdom of heaven is yours.

To be poor in spirit is to be helpless and powerless among those who have received abundance of wisdom and provision. It is a recognition of lack in the face of great resources. More than that, it is an acceptance of this spiritual destitution as a foundation for understanding.

In modern terms, we might say an individual is an empty cup, ready to be filled. The cup, in its “poor” state, lacks the liquid with which it desires to be filled. However, recognizing that it is empty, it is willing to receive with joy the liquid wisdom as it is poured out.

A cup that is already full of its own liquid cannot receive any further instruction, since it is already full. This individual has no room for growth or further revelation.

To be poor in spirit is to keep your cup empty so that you can always have plenty of room to receive whatever wisdom and instruction God is willing to pour into you.

The Eternal Torah of the Kingdom

“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. “For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others [to do] the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches [them,] he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 5:17-19

Do not relax even the smallest standards of Torah for yourself and others; do it and teach it. 

Torah is the Hebrew word for instruction. The kingdom of God is directly connected to his instruction, and his instruction is directly connected to his kingdom. If the kingdom began in the days of Yeshua and is a kingdom that would never end, then it makes sense that the instruction of God is also eternal and will not pass away unless it is fulfilled in every individual.

Many are of the opinion that Torah has passed away with the death of Messiah. To the contrary, his death was exactly what Torah predicted would happen. Like a seed planted in the ground, the Torah principles taught by Yeshua are continuing to grow into a mighty tree of life as they are practiced by those who follow him.

Clearly, Torah has not been fully accomplished, as we still have murder, adultery, and any other number of commandments from God’s instruction which remain unfulfilled in the lives of people today.

Since God has provided instruction for mankind in his word, we should be faithful in keeping it (i.e., obeying it) and sharing it with others who will listen. Only as it is fulfilled in our lives will it bear fruit for the continued growth of God’s kingdom.

Entering the Kingdom

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.”

Matthew 7:21

Entering into the Kingdom of heaven is possible only by consistently doing the will of the Father in heaven, not by merely claiming to be a disciple. It is the doing of God’s will that provides entrance, not the hope of entering at some future point. God’s kingdom is here and now.

When we are being faithful to God’s word, and doing his work in this world, we have entered his kingdom and are lighting the way for others to join, also. As we faithfully serve him now, the evidence of God’s kingdom continues to touch and transform the lives of others, By living in the kingdom through our righteous actions and example, we are expanding the reach and influence of heaven on earth.

The beginning of the Kingdom of God

Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him from the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob and tell the sons of Israel: ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and [how] I bore you on eagles’ wings, and brought you to Myself. ‘Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel.”

Exodus 19:3-6

This is the first mention in the Bible of a physical, identifiable kingdom related to God’s purpose and will among men. At Sinai, God was setting apart a people for himself. The Kingdom would become a theme and pattern woven throughout the rest of the biblical narrative.