Saturday, 6 August 2016

Doctrine - Kingdom of God



Module 2 Lesson 1: Mysteries of the Scriptures – Kingdom of God

Now that we’ve already dealt with the history of the OAC, warts and all without the typical sugar coating, let’s delve into the doctrine of “spiritual” interpretation. Here we will look at how the phrase “Kingdom of God” is interpreted “spiritually”.

The original document was updated in Afrikaans on April 10th, 2012.

Original Afrikaans:
 “…Vir ons eerste onderwerp in Module twee gesels ons oor die Koninkryk van God (Hemel). Ons moet die volgende vrae oor die Koninkryk van God be-antwoord:
Vraag: Wat is die Koninkryk van God?
Antwoord: Dit is die Koninkryk waarin die wil van God gedoen word en waar God
alleenheerser is.
1 Korinthërs 4:20 Die Koninkryk van God bestaan nie in woorde nie maar in krag.
Romeine 14:17 Want die koninkryk van God is nie spys en drank nie, maar geregtigheid en vrede en blydskap in die Heilige Gees.
Vraag: Waar is die Koninkryk van God?
Antwoord:
Mattheus 6:33 Soek eers die Koninkryk van God en sy geregtigheid en al hierdie dinge sal vir julle bygevoeg word.
Ontleding: God gee ons ‘n opdrag om die Koninkryk te soek en daarna sal al Sy
verborgenhede aan ons geopenbaar word…”

English translation:
“…For our first topic in Module two we’ll discuss the Kingdom of God (Heaven). We must answer the following questions about the Kingdom of God:
Question: What is the Kingdom of God?
Answer: It is the Kingdom wherein the will of God is done and where God is the only ruler.
1 Corinthans 4:20 For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.
Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
Question: Where is the Kingdom of God?
Answer:
Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Analysis: God gives us an instruction to seek the Kingdom and afterwards all His mysteries will be revealed to us…”

To the author and readers of the original document:
No, that is not what it says. There is absolutely no mention of mysteries to be revealed.

Please read the previous verses very carefully:
Matthew 6:31-32 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

You can also read Luke 12:27-31. Solomon prayed for wisdom and knowledge and it was given to him (2 Chronicles 1:11-12). By trusting in the LORD and doing good you will be fed (Psalms 37:3). Man will not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Deuteronomy 8:3, Matthew 4:4).  We should not walk as other Gentiles walk in the vanity of their minds (Ephesians 4:17-32, Philippians 3:7-11, 1 Thessalonians 4:3-7, 1 Peter 5:6-7).

The kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost (Romans 14:17). There appears to be some confusion regarding the kingdom of God and heaven. Let me explain it in simple terms. There is a difference between a king’s kingdom and his castle. A king’s castle is his dwelling place and the kingdom is the realm or region governed by the king. In both instances the king is still king. 

According to Strong’s, the word “kingdom” in the New Testament is translated from the Greek word basileia and is defined as:
properly royalty, that is, (abstractly) rule, or (concretely) a realm (literally or figuratively): - kingdom, + reign.

The kingdom of God is where God rules as King and it begins with our hearts and minds.
Matthew 13:19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.

When we accept Him as King, the Holy Spirit works in our lives and we become strangers and pilgrims here on earth (Hebrews 11:13, 1 Peter 2:11). When we accept Him as King, we become partakers of the heavenly calling and become heavenly citizens (Hebrews 3:1, Philippians 3:20).

To first seek His kingdom means to place Him first by seeking His will over our own. I think Jesus summed it up beautifully when He said you should love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind, and your neighbour as yourself (Matthew 22:37-39, Mark 12:29-31, Luke 10:25-28).

Original Afrikaans (continued):
 “…Vraag: Wanneer sal ek dit kan doen?
Antwoord: Vandag, want God sal nie so onregverdig wees om ‘n opdrag aan my te gee wat ek nie kan uitdra nie.
Mattheus 6:20 Maak vir julle skatte bymekaar in die hemel waar geen mot of roes verniel nie en waar diewe nie inbreek en steel nie.
Ontleding: Hier gee God weereens ‘n opdrag aan my as sielsmens om te verrig. Hier sien ek dat ek vandag die Koninkryk van God moet vind om hierdie taak te kan uitdra. Met ander woorde dit is dus moontlik om die Konikryk van God vandag te kan vind, nê?…”

English translation:
“…Question: When can I do this?
Answer: Today, because God won’t be so unfair as to give me an instruction that I couldn’t carry out.
Matthew 6:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.
Analysis: Here again God gives me an instruction as a soul man to carry out. Here I see that today I must find the Kingdom of God to carry out this task. In other words it is thus possible to find the Kingdom of God today, right?…”

To the author and readers of the original document:
The fear of the LORD is treasure (Isaiah 33:6). We seek the kingdom of God when we seek His will over our own evil fleshly lusts and desires. Our focus should be on Jesus and not on the temporary things of this world (2 Corinthians 4:2-18, Hebrews 12:1-2).

To read it in the correct context, read the other verses together:
Matthew 6:20-23 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness.

You can also refer to Luke 12:22-34.

Original Afrikaans (continued):
 “…Markus 9:1 Jesus sê vir Sy dissipels en die skare, daar is sommige van die wat hier staan wat die dood sekerlik nie sal smaak voordat hulle die Koninkryk van God met krag sien kom het nie.
Ontleding: Hierdie mense met wie Jesus hier gepraat het is almal alreeds dood en Jesus het pertinent gesê dat van hulle die Koninkryk met krag sou sien kom, m.a.w die Koninkryk van God het gekom, al in daardie mense se leeftyd. Dit bewys dat dit vir my moontlik is om die Koninkryk te sien kom met krag…”

English translation:
“…Mark 9:1 Jesus says to His disciples and the crowd, there are some that stand here who will not taste death before they see the Kingdom of God come with power.
Analysis: These people with whom Jesus spoke are all dead already and Jesus pertinently said that some of them would see the Kingdom of God come with power, i.e. the Kingdom of God came already, in those people’s lifetime. This proves that it’s possible for me to see the Kingdom come with power…”

To the author and readers of the original document:
Do you really believe those people are dead? Did you ever read what Jesus said in the previous verses (Mark 8:34-38)?

You may also want to read Matthew 16:24-28, Luke 9:23-27, John 3:15-16, John 5:24-25, John 6:47-51, John 8:51 and John 11:25-26.

Anyway, after Jesus was crucified, everyone thought that was the end of Him, that He was dead and buried, finish and klaar...

He overcame DEATH! He came back from the dead and showed Himself alive for forty days to His disciples by many infallible proofs (Acts 1:3, Acts 2:29-32). Earlier in that forty day period He first had to ascend to His Father (John 20:17) before returning to His disciples so that they could physically touch Him (Luke 24:39-43). During that forty day period He gave commandments to His chosen apostles through the Holy Ghost and spoke of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God (Acts 1:2-5). Before He ascended into heaven He promised that they would receive power and the Holy Ghost (Acts 1:8). Afterwards He ascended into heaven and sat on the right hand of God (Mark 16:19, Luke 24:50-51). Acts 2:1-21 gives a detailed account of how the Holy Ghost was poured out on them as promised. The kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost (Romans 14:17).

Original Afrikaans (continued):
 “…Lukas 17:20 En toe Hy deur die Fariseërs gevra is wanneer die koninkryk van God sal kom, het Hy hulle geantwoord en gesê: Die koninkryk van God kom nie met sigbare tekens nie.
Lukas 17:21 En hulle sal nie sê: Kyk hier! of: Kyk daar! nie; want die koninkryk van God is binne-in julle.
Ontleding: Hier word dit vir ons baie duidelik dat die Koninkryk van God nie met sigbare tekens kom vir my nie maar dat dit binne in my is. Word dit nou vir jou duidelik waar jy moet soek na die Koninkryk? Ja! Binne in jouself! Kom ons soek dit!…”

English translation:
“…Luke 17:20 AND when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:
Luke 17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
Analysis: Here it gets very clear to us that the Kingdom of God won’t come with visible signs but that it’s inside me. Is it now clear to you where you must look for the Kingdom? Yes! Inside yourself! Come let’s seek it!…”

To the author and readers of the original document:
Jesus was in their presence when the Pharisees questioned Him, but they were too blind to “see” Him as the Son of God. They were unaware of how close the kingdom of God had come to them. See also Matthew 12:28 and Luke 10:8-11.

You quote verses 20-21. Now let’s read a little further:
Luke 17:22-25 And he said unto the disciples, The days will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it. And they shall say to you, See here; or see there: go not after them, nor follow them. For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day. But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation.

The kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost (Romans 14:17). The words of the kingdom are sown in our hearts (Matthew 13:19, Matthew 22:37, Mark 12:30, Luke 10:27). 

Original Afrikaans (continued):
 “…Johannes 3:3 sê Jesus vir Nikodemus, as iemand nie weer gebore word nie, kan hy die Koninkryk van God nie sien nie.
Ontleding: Hier sien ons dat ons wel die Koninkryk van God vandag kan sien.
Johannes 3:5 Jesus sê weer, as iemand nie wedergebore word uit water en Gees nie, kan hy in die koninkryk van God nie ingaan nie.
Ontleding: Hier sien ons nou dat ons die Koninkryk van God vandag kan ingaan mits ons wedergebore word uit water en gees…”

English translation:
“…John 3:3 says Jesus to Nicodemus, if someone is not born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.
Analysis: Here we see that we can see the Kingdom of God today.
John 3:5 Jesus says again, if someone is not born again out of water and Spirit, he can’t enter into the kingdom of God.
Analysis: Here we see now that we can go into the Kingdom of God if we are born again out of water and spirit…”

To the author and readers of the original document:
Jesus gives us the living water (John 4:10-14 , John 7:37-39) which is the Holy Ghost and we should walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-24). If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17, Galatians 6:14-15). The kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost (Romans 14:17).

Original Afrikaans (continued):
 “…Markus 10:14 sê Jesus, Laat die kindertjies na My toe kom en verhinder hulle nie, want aan sulkes behoort die koninkryk van God.
Markus 10:15 Voorwaar Ek sê vir julle, elkeen wat die koninkryk van God nie soos 'n kindjie ontvang nie, sal daar nooit ingaan nie.
Ontleding: Bogenoemde tekse bewys dat die Koninkryk van God aan kindertjies behoort en dat hulle alleen dit kan ontvang en ingaan…”

English translation:
“…Mark 10:14 Jesus says, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.
Mark 10:15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.
Analysis: Above-mentioned texts prove that the Kingdom of God belongs to little children and that they alone can receive and enter it…”

To the author and readers of the original document:
Take note of what it says in Mark 10:15, we must receive the kingdom of God as a little child. Please also read Matthew 18:3 and Luke 18:17. Nowhere does it say that little children alone can receive and enter the kingdom of God. In all instances it says as a little child.

Original Afrikaans (continued):
 “…Vraag: Wat dan nou van ons groot mense, het ons dan geen kans om ook toegang tot die Koninkryk van God te verkry nie?
Antwoord: Ons het alreeds in Joh 3:5 gelees dat dit noodsaaklik is om wedergebore te word uit water en gees om die Koninkryk van God vandag te kan ingaan. Hierdeur kry ‘n grootmens dan die voorreg om uit God gebore te word en daardeur verkry hy toegang tot Gods Koninkryk…”

English translation:
“…Question: What then now about us adults, have we then no chance of also gaining access to the Kingdom of God?
Answer: We already read in Joh 3:5 that it’s necessary to be born again of water and spirit to enter the Kingdom of God. Hereby an adult gets the privilege to be born out of God and thereby the entrance to God’s Kingdom…”

To the author and readers of the original document:
Matthew 18:2-4 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Original Afrikaans (continued):
 “…Johannes 3:4 Nikodemus sê vir Hom, hoe kan ‘n mens wat oud is, gebore word? Hy kan tog nie ‘n tweede keer in die skoot van sy moeder ingaan nie.
Johannes 3:6 sê Jesus vir hom wat uit vlees gebore is, is vlees en wat uit Gees gebore is, is gees.
Ontleding: Nou word dit vir ons duidelik dat ons die vleeslike geboorte reeds deurgegaan het en daarin opgegroei het en dat ons nou die geleentheid kry om die geestelike geboorte te ondergaan waardeur ons dan die Koninkryk van God soos ‘n kindjie kan ontvang…”

English translation:
“…John 3:4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
John 3:6 said Jesus to him which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Analysis: Now it becomes clear to us that we have already been through the fleshly birth and grew up in it and that now we get the opportunity to undergo the spiritual birth whereby we can receive the Kingdom of God like a little child…”

To the author and readers of the original document:
Those that are in the flesh cannot please God (Romans 8).

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolators, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

We are only justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

          Original Afrikaans (continued):
“…Dit bring ons by die einde van Lesing 1 van Module 2. In ons volgende lesing gaan ons gesels oor die geestelike geboorte …”

English translation:
“…This brings us to the end of Lesson 1 of Module 2. In our next lesson we are going to discuss the spiritual birth...”

Thus ends the fourth attempt by the author of the original document to insult your intelligence.

Summary:
I think this is enough for now to understand “spiritual interpretation” which is not spiritual at all, but an attempt to hide the salvation in Jesus Christ which is available to all who believe.

The form of “spiritual interpretation” which we have seen in the original Afrikaans document is more akin to Gnosticism, Alexandrian philosophy and the theory of realized eschatology. These are based on man’s knowledge and wisdom.

A Gnostic typically claims to have knowledge (Gnosis) of esoteric spiritual mysteries and the material world is shunned. Gnosticism appears to be a second century development.

Philo Judaeus (25 BCE–50 CE) was a Hellenistic Jewish philosopher who lived in Alexandria, a Roman province in Egypt. Philo Judaeus used philosophical allegory to attempt to fuse and harmonize Greek philosophy with Jewish philosophy. His method followed the practices of both Jewish exegesis and Stoic philosophy. He tried to interpret the ancient Jewish Scriptures by the aid of Greek philosophy, to expound the Old Testament in terms of Plato's thought and to discover allegorical meanings where none were intended.

Traditional Jewish forms of exegesis appear throughout rabbinic literature, which includes the Mishnah, the Talmud and the Midrash literature. The OAC do not teach the Mishnah, Talmud or Midrash and the “spiritual interpretation” which we read in the original Afrikaans document is nothing like exegesis.

Stoic philosophy on the other hand was a pagan philosophy and they thought that the best indication of an individual's philosophy was not what a person said but how that person behaved.

Realized eschatology is an eschatological theory popularized by C. H. Dodd (1884–1973). This type of theology will build upon a single word to build a case, but when whole chapters disagree with the case, the chapters are believed to be unreliable. The nature of such interpretation is subjective. Such subjective interpretation goes to great lengths to make a literal point if it supports the case, but rejects the point as non-literal or in error if it contradicts their point of view. The selection of proof texts is always motivated by the desire to make a case for this theology, but in the process many Scriptures which contradict this theology are ignored. Adherents to this theology have a low view of inspiration and revelation.

While there are obviously some present forms of the kingdom of God operating spiritually in the world, these do not exhaust the prophecies that relate to future consummation. A spiritual kingdom was indeed introduced by Jesus Christ in His first coming, but a literal kingdom is still a future eschatological event.

While they recognized a spiritual kingdom on earth as in Romans 14:17, they also expected future fulfillment of such passages as Luke 22:29-30 which prophesied a future kingdom in which the disciples would sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. All such passages, however, are dismissed as not worthy of literal interpretation in realized eschatology. It is, of course, obvious that the kingdom was in a sense present wherever Jesus spoke and acted in the name and power of God—to that extent “the kingdom of God has come” because the long-hoped-for advent of the Messiah had taken place. 

Further reading:

2 comments:

  1. In reference to Revd. Adrio Konig (Dutch Reformed Church) in his book: Die Groot Geloofskommentaar, there is no difference between the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven.
    The second issue is that the New Testament was not totally written in Greek. Large parts were in Aramaic, a semetic language. It is totally idiotic to run to the Greek, as it is not the original language. You are using the wrong sources.
    Prof Izak Spangenberg (Dutch Reformed Church) in his book: Perspectives on the Bible clearly shows that the Church Fathers such as Augustine in his book City of God, shows that the Bible must be interpreted in an allegorical (spiritual) way. Otherwise the Bible makes no sense at all. Spangenberg quote Augustine as interpreting a specific text in four different ways (fourfold ministry).
    Concerning the accusation of Gnosticism, it is true. But, you are using it as a snarl-word. In the past, Gnosticism was demonized to make it sound evil. Recent research has shown that Irenaeus was wrong concerning his writings on Gnosticism such as Against the Heresies. Modern theology has rehabilitated the ideas surrounding Gnosticism. Many scholars today such as Bart Ehrman, Karin Armstrong and Rudolph Kasser has shown that there were several forms of Christianity, even in the first century, and that the original derived from a form of Gnosticism.
    Christianity as it developed since the rise of Constantine is an amalgamation of Christianity with paganism.
    The current view of the Kingdom of God as seen by most Pentecostals, Baptists and other Christians is a Christianized view of Mount Olympus were the gods sit in judgement upon the world.
    It should be noted that the authors of the Left Behind books received finance and support from the Unification Church (Moonies). It incorporated much of their ideas.
    The view that the Kingdom of God is realized today is that God rules in the heart of the believer, and that the believer is subject to the Will of God. It is also a testimony that the Holy Spirit is present in that person, and that that person is used by the Holy Spirit to enact the Will of God to all. That person, infused by the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit alone becomes an envoy and messenger (Apostle/Angel) of God by making the Will of God known to all, and thereby giving the Holy Spirit to all those willing to receive (laying on of hands, the hands being the various ministries in the Church/Kingdom of God).
    The presence of the Holy Spirit is then visible in that person through the fruits of the Spirit.
    The judgement has already commenced and the true Church sit in judgement upon the world. This is the judgement:For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

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    Replies
    1. Take note that ‘kingdom of’ which precedes God/Heaven is not the same as God/Heaven.
      The New Testament in the KJV which is officially recognized by the OAC was translated from the Greek Textus Receptus. The Aramaic New Testament written in Syriac was written between the second and fifth centuries A.D. and called the Peshitta. Almost all biblical scholars recognize that the Peshitta is a translation from the Greek text.
      I discussed allegorical interpretations here: http://oldapostolicchurchrevealed.blogspot.co.za/2016/08/doctrine-too-vast.html.
      Gnosticism is a heresy and contradicts what it means to be a true Christian and there’s no such thing as Christian Gnosticism.
      I can’t comment on other authors, churches or their origins, this post is about the OAC and their view of the kingdom of God as compared to what’s written in the Bible. Keep reading your Bible; believe in Jesus as your only Lord and Savior and you’ll get there :-)
      Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6

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