The nature of God’s kingdom and discovering God’s will.

Core of the Bible Podcast, Episode 9 – The Kingdom and the Will of God

In this episode we will be exploring the nature of the kingdom of God, and what we are able to discover about God’s will. We will be looking at how Yeshua explains those who participate in the kingdom, and also what the biblical writers have to say about accomplishing God’s will in the kingdom.

Now, you may be aware I have a previous episode where some of these kingdom ideas are discussed, looking at the kingdom of God thematically through the Bible. If you haven’t yet listened to that, it’s the second Core of the Bible episode titled simply The Kingdom, so be sure to check that out if you would like some further background on the topic today.

The kingdom of God is a topic that is debated among various groups regarding what it is, who it belongs to, and how will it be manifested over time.

Our  highlighted verse this week contains some vital instruction from Yeshua that can help to settle some of those questions. More importantly, he provides clarity as to who would be, and who wouldn’t be, participating in this kingdom:

Matthew 7:21 “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.” 

You see, just claiming to be a disciple doesn’t make you a member of God’s kingdom. Anybody can claim to be something, but how are they truly determined to be what it is they are claiming to be?

Yeshua instructs us that it is the doing of the will of God that reveals who the real disciples are. This is the same principle he has expressed in other places such as Luke 6:

Luke 6:43-44 No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. For each tree is known by its own fruit. 

While this admonition is contextually based in how to spot a false teacher, it still bears weight as a general maxim. It is our actions which show what we really believe, not just what we think or say.

To corroborate this general teaching, here are a few other verses that speak of the same principle:

Romans 2:13
For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but it is the doers of the law who will be declared righteous.

Matthew 19:17
And he said to him, 'Why do you call me good? no one 'is' good except One -- God; but if you desire to enter into the life, keep the commands.'

1 John 2:4
He who professes to know Him, and yet does not obey His commands, is a liar, and the truth has no place in his heart.

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. This is how we demonstrate what we believe.

I happen to be a fan of the Christopher Nolan Batman movies starring Christian Bale as Batman. The writing and dialogue is challenging and can be morally confrontational in many different areas. In one pivotal and climactic scene, when the Batman character in full costume has helped save some individuals from harm, the female lead, wanting to know who to thank for their rescue asks him, “At least tell me your name.” He responds with a line she had previously chastised him with: “It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.”

Christopher Nolan here is not inventing some new philosophy; he is simply tapping into a moral and philosophical truth that is timeless in its simplicity and plainness. People can say they believe anything, but the truth of what they actually believe as a practical outworking of that professed faith is demonstrated by what they actually do. We know this simply as “actions speak louder than words.”

This is the principle expressed most clearly in a very famous passage from the book of James, which speaks about our actions revealing our faith:

James 2:14-18 What good is it, my brothers, if someone claims to have faith, but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you tells him, “Go in peace; stay warm and well fed,” but does not provide for his physical needs, what good is that? So too, faith by itself, if it does not result in action, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.

The Psalmist was also a proponent of the active nature of our believing faith, imploring God that his actions would match the righteous principles of God.

Teach me Your way, O LORD, that I may walk in Your truth. Give me an undivided heart, that I may fear Your name. Ps 86:11

Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. Your Spirit is good. Lead me in the land of uprightness. Ps 143:10

Through passages like these, I hope it is becoming apparent that the kingdom doesn’t have an entrance gate, or a ceremony that one must pass through in order to participate in it. Being attentive to, practicing, and obeying God’s instruction IS the kingdom.

To illustrate this further, this can also be shown by looking at examples of who is depicted as NOT participating in the kingdom: those who are sinful, disobedient and willfully defiant.

In the book of Revelation, the writer expresses many truths symbolically and with reference to many other poetic and apocalyptic writings in the Hebrew scriptures. One of those symbols is a reference to Zion or the New Jerusalem. In his depiction he illustrates who is “in” the city and who is “outside of” the city:

Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and may enter the city by its gates. But outside are the dogs, the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. Rev 22:14-15

The tree of life, the new Jerusalem, the kingdom: these are all symbols of doing God’s will, being obedient to his instruction, his torah. Those who are not obedient to the will of God (i.e., the sorcerers, sexually immoral, murderers, idolaters, etc.) are not participants in the tree of life, the new Jerusalem, and the kingdom.

Alphonsus de Ligouri was a spiritual writer and theologian living in the 1700’s in Catholic Italy. He has been quoted as writing:

The man who follows his own will independently of God's, is guilty of a kind of idolatry. Instead of adoring God's will, he, in a certain sense, adores his own.

And isn’t this true? If we are not accomplishing God’s will, then we are seeking to accomplish our own, which can place us with the idolaters outside of God’s kingdom.

The kingdom is not defined by where you are (Jerusalem) or who you are (which denomination or descent you belong to), but WHAT YOU DO. This is why it is NEAR at all times; we always have a choice to obey God.

You see, the kingdom is being defined throughout the Bible as any place where God’s will is done. It is metaphorically idealized as a tree of life, or a city with open gates, but these are just metaphors for the reality of the actualization of God’s will in our life. God desires we accomplish his will from the heart, and if we are truly living out his will, then that’s where God’s kingdom really resides: in our hearts, and in our actions.

This is why Yeshua can say:

Matt. 7:21 ...he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter [the kingdom].” 

The very definition by Yeshua of the kingdom IS the doing of God’s will on earth

may your kingdom come, may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Matt. 6:10

That’s the kingdom.

So now, you might be thinking, “If participating in the kingdom involves actively knowing and doing God’s will, the question then becomes, what is the will of God?” Let’s take a closer look at understanding what God’s will is.

Now that we have established that the kingdom is the doing of God’s will, that naturally leads us to ask, “What is God’s will?”

The short answer is the will of God is his word. As we live and conform our lives more and more to his word, we are accomplishing his will for us.

The longer answer is that we can actually make a practical list of characteristics from biblical writers who were describing what living according to God’s will looks like:

1 Thessalonians 4:3, 7-12- God's will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin. ... God has called us to live holy lives, not impure lives. Therefore, anyone who refuses to live by these rules is not disobeying human teaching but is rejecting God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you. But we don't need to write to you about the importance of loving each other, for God himself has taught you to love one another. Indeed, you already show your love for all the believers throughout Macedonia. Even so, dear brothers and sisters, we urge you to love them even more. Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before. Then outsiders will respect the way you live, and you will not need to depend on others.

In this passage we are taught that God’s will is to avoid sexual sins, to live a life that is set apart from the sinful lives of others. We are to love each other, mind our own business, keep busy by working hard to support ourselves. In so doing, we can also gain respect of others and independence. This sounds very familiar from our former discussion, as we are demonstrating our faith to others through what we do.

1 Peter 3:17 - Remember, it is better to suffer for doing good, if that is God's will, than to suffer for doing wrong!

1 Peter 4:19 - So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you.

Sometimes, it might be God’s will that we suffer, even if we are doing good things. This is one of the reasons we need to maintain a close relationship with him through his word and prayer at all times, so that we can endure when needed and to be encouraged through these times. This allows us to persevere and to continue to do what is right in all aspects of our lives.

1 Peter 4:2-3 ESV - so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God. For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Nations want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry.

Again, we can learn what God’s will is by learning what it ISN’T: sensuality, fleshly passions, drunkenness, idolatry, etc. As our lives conform more and more to the ideal that God expects, these aberrations become less and less prevalent in our lives.

1 Peter 2:15 - 15 For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people.

It is God’s will that we do good. Doing good means our actions should back up what we say and believe. In so doing, we will be silencing our detractors who would only capitalize on our hypocrisy if we lived in an inconsistent fashion.

Micah 6:8 - 8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

We are encouraged to be just, merciful, and humble in all of our dealings with others. This requires careful attention and wisdom.

Ephesians 5:15-20 - 15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Here we are encouraged to live wisely, and to make the most of every opportunity presented to us. We are not get drunk on wine, but instead to be filled with the Spirit of God. Singing and making music from the heart are lyrical ways of expressing thanks to God for everything he has provided us.

Closely linked to this admonition is Paul’s instruction to the Thessalonians:

1 Thessalonians 5:18 KJV - In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

This famous passage teaches us that God’s will is for us to be thankful, to be demonstrating thankfulness in all aspects of our lives.

One of my favorite examples of what God’s will is, or the “works” that God expects we should be doing is:

John 6:28-29 KJV - Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said to them, This is the work of God, that you believe on him whom he has sent.

Luke 9:23 23 Then he said to them all: "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me."

To be a follower of Yeshua, which is the work that God would have us do, is to deny ourselves, and to take up our own cross, that is, to bear that symbol of continual self-sacrifice before him in all things.

Hebrews 13:21 - May this God of peace prepare you to do every good thing for his will. May he work in us through Jesus Christ to do what is pleasing to him. Glory belongs to Jesus Christ forever. Amen.

God’s will is us doing what is pleasing to him. How do we know what is pleasing to him? By remaining in his word on a regular basis, and allowing his word and his Spirit through his word, to transform us:

Romans 12:1-2 1And so, dear brothers and sisters,a I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.b 2Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Hebrews 10:36 - 36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.

And what has God promised? Yeshua states it plainly:

Matthew 12:50
For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

To be an obedient believer is to be a brother or sister to Yeshua; a true child of God who is exhibiting the characteristics our Father here on earth.

John 1:12 However, he gave the right to become God's children to everyone who believed in him. 13 These people didn't become God's children in a physical way-from a human impulse or from a husband's desire [to have a child]. They were born from God.

I John 3:1 See how much the Father has loved us! His love is so great that we are called God's children--and so, in fact, we are.

It is the doing of God’s will that provides entrance to this kingdom of obedience, where we are living in obedience to God among other brothers and sisters with the same goals and objectives. It is not the hope of entering some mystical realm at some future point in an incomprehensible future. God’s kingdom is here and now.

All of these verses simply show us that, if we’re honest with ourselves and we know our Bible, we already know what God’s will is for us. We just need to overcome any reluctance that may be inhibiting us from carrying it out.

When we are being faithful to God’s word, and doing his work in this world, we have entered his kingdom and are demonstrating ourselves to be his children. Additionally, we 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 choosing to live in the kingdom through our righteous actions and faithful example, we are expanding the reach and influence of heaven on earth.


Well, as always, I hope I’ve been able to provide you some ideas and concepts to meditate on further. The kingdom of God is the active doing of God’s will, and his will is expressed all throughout the Bible.

We need to keep in mind that the Kingdom of God is the overarching concept that is integral within the teachings of Yeshua. Within the kingdom are exhibited the core of the Bible qualities of integrity, vigilance, holiness, trust, forgiveness, and compassion. It is my hope you will continue to review with me these aspects of human expression that, I believe, God expects of all people.

If you found today’s information helpful, you can view all other episodes of the podcast by clicking here.

Serving in a kingdom without icon

You shall not make for yourselves an idol, nor any image of anything that is in the heavens above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: you shall not bow yourself down to them, nor serve them…

Exodus 20:4-5

But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such to be his worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

John 4:23-24

Have nothing to do with tangible representations of any god, including the one true God. Worship the Father (Yahweh) alone, and in spirit and in truth only.

Humans love icons. We seek to identify everything with a symbolic representation of some sort, whether it is a brand logo, an app, or a digital navigation menu. In honesty, I must admit there is a logic to this mode of communication: it acts as a type of shorthand for a larger idea or concept that can be communicated quickly and simply.

Throughout history, civilizations have represented their concepts of their gods with a plethora of iconic representation, from statues to intricate carvings of various symbols to grandiose temples. To this day, iconic representation can be found throughout the world, some even becoming popular tourist destinations due to their magnificence.

However, God warns us that although this is typical and commonplace among our cultures, we are not to identify him in this sort of way. He is to be worshiped in spirit and truth only, not by some sort of symbolic representation. The wisdom in this instruction is that he knows that the thing that is created to represent him can then replace him in the minds of the worshipers.

Consider the golden calf incident. The Israelites created the golden calf as a representation of the gods who had brought them out of Egypt (Ex. 32:4), and bowed down to it and danced around it. This shamed the magnificence of the one true God and Moses rightly and immediately destroyed it.

Consider the bronze snake that Moses had made in obedience to Yahweh’s command for healing of the Israelites in the wilderness (Numbers 21:6-9). When Hezekiah became king, he ended up having to destroy it because it had become an object of worship in and of itself (2 Kings 18:4).

Consider the ephod that Gideon made to represent the victories of the Israelites over the Midianites (Judges 8:22-27). While his intent was to honor God, it became an object of worship itself and created corruption among the Israelites.

Idolatry is the most represented affront to God and his majesty throughout the entire Bible.

Idols of other gods are an offense to him, because there are no other gods that have created all things, and ascribing power to something other than him is an insult to his sovereignty over his Creation.

Idols meant to represent him or aspects of his power are also offensive to him, because no one thing can represent his majesty and glory in all of Creation. Ultimately, as we have seen, he knows that the representative thing becomes the object of worship. Any created thing is not a thing to be worshiped, even if we believe it is representing the one true God. No one thing in all of Creation can represent him, and is therefore offensive to him.

What if I was to create an icon of my wife, and in order to honor her, I burnt incense to that statue every day, or got down on my knees and professed my love for her to the image? I don’t need an iconic representation of my wife to honor her; I just need to demonstrate my love to her every day in how I live my life by respecting her and caring for her.

In the same way, God doesn’t want to be worshiped through some shallow representation of a portion of his being; he wants to be recognized for the beneficent Creator that he is in all of his qualities and honored from the heart. God expects the same simplicity and sincerity that I would show my wife in my worship of him.

God sets himself apart from all other gods by demanding we stop trying to represent him or his kingdom symbolically. It can’t be done, and if it is attempted, whatever we make becomes an object of corruption.

There are thousands of faith traditions in regards to the God of the Bible. Whatever your personal faith tradition, you must remove all idolatry, iconography, statues, and symbolic representation in your practice. God hates all of it. He just desires our sincere honoring of him everyday by the outworking of our practical faith among the rest of his Creation. This is what living in and for his kingdom should be.

What is your motivation for seeking first the kingdom?

I am the God who redeemed you out of slavery, therefore you shall have no other gods before me.

Exodus 20:2

There is only one God, Yahweh, eternally existent, who liberates from worldliness, and separates a people for himself. No one and nothing else must rival or supersede God’s importance in life.

Israel was admonished to always remember why God was worthy of their allegiance: he had redeemed them out of their bondage in Egypt. This is so central to the entire Bible narrative that it cannot be overstated. It is of such primary importance that it is memorialized for all time as the first of the Ten Commandments.

The Hebraic and Christian traditions differ on whether this is the first commandment, or if this statement is just an introduction, and the first commandment is the verse that follows: “You shall have no gods before me,” (Exodus 20:3).

Part of this misunderstanding arises from our use of the word “commandment” in this passage. In reality, the Hebrew text speaks of the Ten “Words” of God, not necessarily commandments. There are other Hebrew designations that designate specific aspects of commandments, statutes, and requirements. But here, what we call the commandments should really be considered the Ten Words, sayings, or statements of God.

Because verses 3 and 4 of Exodus 20 are linked together with speaking of other gods and their representations (idols), the Hebraic understanding of isolating the “introduction” in verse 2 as the first of these Words makes sense. This is consistent with the overarching view that there has been revealed to them only one God who deserves complete allegiance.

Love Yahweh your God with all of your heart, soul, and mind.

Deuteronomy 6:5

Because they viewed God’s revelation of himself in this manner provided a solid basis for every commandment that follows. The motivation for abiding by any or all of the commandments rested in the realization of why there was any reason to listen to God at all: because he had recently redeemed them from slavery. This was a miraculous and undeniable testimony as to why he was worthy of their worship over any of the gods that existed in the “superpower” nation of Egypt, or anywhere else, for that matter.

Why should anyone follow a king who has not liberated them? Or why should anyone obey a king’s commandment if they do not believe he is all-powerful?

The King of the kingdom that was being formed in that desert wilderness of Sinai deserved to be king because he had demonstrated himself faithful to the promises that had been made to the forefathers. He had exhibited real, demonstrable power in breaking them free from their yoke of slavery that had overcome them. There was no greater exhibition of power than that which had not only removed them from their oppressors, but destroyed those former masters completely so they could now worship and obey Yahweh in that freedom which he had obtained for them,

A true king establishes and maintains the freedom of his people, and is therefore worthy of all allegiance. Sometimes, in our day, we become so enamored with trying to understand the kingdom that we lose sight of the King. If the primary motivation for all we do does not stem from a recognition of the power and authority of the King, then we need to reevaluate our participation in his kingdom.

However, if we take to heart the example of how God has revealed himself as the God who redeems out of slavery and worldliness, we can be reminded of why we have been drawn to follow him in the first place.

The God of the universe has provided us a way out of our blind and unthinking bondage to worldliness. In this new freedom, we have been liberated to worship him in spirit and truth which then enables and motivates us to abide by his instruction.

This is all the motivation we should need to make him central to all of our thoughts and actions each day. In so doing, we demonstrate we are his people, and that we are seeking his kingdom first by honoring him as he truly deserves to be, as our King.

An invisible kingdom, a present reality

When asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God will not come with observable signs. Nor will people say, ‘Look, here it is,’ or ‘There it is.’ For you see, the kingdom of God is in your midst.”

Luke 17:20-21

All throughout his ministry, Yeshua spoke of the nearness of the kingdom. This nearness was to be demonstrated through healings (Luke 10:9) and it was to be a witness against those who would not believe (Luke 10:11). The nearness was to be the motivation for repentance (Matt. 4:17) and for a reevaluation of accepted expectations, as discussed here in Luke 17.

The nearness of the kingdom presents these same challenges even today. Most believers in our day have the same expectation as the Pharisees: that the Messiah of God will come to rule and reign over a physical kingdom, and all nations will be a witness to the power and majesty of God.

However, to hold this view misses the essence of what Yeshua was teaching: the kingdom is not the coming visible manifestation of a political entity, but is a present reality already changing hearts, minds, and bodies.

Commentators have split over the interpretation of the words expressing that the kingdom of God is “in your midst,” or “within/inside you.” Even in English, we can sense the similarity of these meanings, and both present different shades of the reality of the kingdom as Yeshua describes it.

Many modern commentators have sided with the “in your midst” interpretation citing the fact that the kingdom was already being manifested in that day as Yeshua ministered to the people of Israel. Many others have chosen to interpret the meaning as “within you,” pointing to the internal nature of being born from above, and how God desired to rule their hearts.

Both interpretations have merit, and both present the obvious truth that Yeshua was making with the Pharisees: whether internal to each individual or already present in their midst, either way, the coming of the kingdom has nothing to do with the setting up of a visible organization or entity ruling over the entire earth.

The kingdom of God is not to be observed outwardly as a place or destination one can go to or inhabit. However, the kingdom is being manifested every day in the lives of believers through changed hearts, minds, and bodies. It is promised to continue to grow until God is “all in all,” (1 Cor. 15:28).

In that day, there will be no need for a physical representative kingdom, because God will be ruling every heart as he intended from the beginning, and all the world will manifest his glory and majesty.

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.