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It is imperative that you listen and listen carefully, for even if you are listening to Jesus yet not listening carefully, you can misunderstand Him, for He taught His disciples using parables, and by those parables, He began to teach them about the Kingdoms of Heaven and of God.

That is why He said, “Consider carefully what you hear. With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.”[1] He said this just before He taught on two parables about the Kingdom of God: the Parable of the Growing Seed and the Parable of the Mustard Seed.[2] Look at Mark 4:24 – He said, “Consider carefully what you hear,” which means whoever has considered carefully what they have heard, more will be given. That is, you will not get to hear more if you have not listened carefully with consideration of what you have heard. And how does Jesus know you have not listened carefully? When you have not realised that He has used the same parable for the two kingdoms, so that even now you do not realise there are two kingdoms—the Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of God.

He used the Parable of the Sower and the Parable of the Mustard Seed to illustrate both the Kingdoms of Heaven and of God,[3] but the Parable of the Good Seed for the Kingdom of Heaven,[4] and the Parable of the Growing Seed for the Kingdom of God.[5] It would have been hard for the early disciples to distinguish between the parables, for they were listening to Jesus, but for those of us who have the written word made freely available to us through martyrs like William Tyndale, we are without excuse if we have not studied the word carefully for ourselves.

Has it ever occurred to you that Jesus spoke of kingdoms when we think that all men are equal before God? Whenever you speak of a kingdom, you are no longer speaking of equality as humanism understands equality, but you are speaking of birthrights and privileges, for these are the basic framework of a kingdom. In every kingdom, all are citizens, but the citizens have different responsibilities and privileges, meaning there is nobility and there are the commoners, which we call ‘class’. As such, destroy all misconception that all are equal in the Kingdoms of Heaven and of God. All men are equal before God because all men are sinners, and every man will be proved a liar but God. However, the Kingdoms of Heaven and of God, being kingdoms, will have their hierarchy of privileges and responsibilities.

The purpose of our exercise does not concern those who are of the Kingdom of Heaven, except that we should help them get to Heaven. Our concern is for the Kingdom of God, the kingdom that belongs to God, the kingdom that belongs to a Person and not a location. Herein lies the first difference between these two kingdoms, Heaven is a place and God is a Person. One is a kingdom of a place and the other is the kingdom of a Person. One has no personality and the other is personal. Thus, those who preach the Kingdom of Heaven do not preach relationship, but preach a destination—getting to Heaven. Those who preach the Kingdom of God preach not a destination, but a relationship with God, the pan ultimate of which is to become His son or daughter just like Jesus Christ. Thus you will find that those who claim to be servants of God tend to preach the Gospel of Heaven, which is repent to get there. They preach destination. But those who are children of God, even sons, will preach the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, which is destiny.

And so, which Gospel of which kingdom do you think Jesus was talking about when He said, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come,”[6] when He had made it clear by Matthew 23 that there are two kingdoms – the Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of God. Those who preach about destination are not preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, but those who preach about destiny are.

Jesus preached both destination and destiny, saying, “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.”[7] That’s destination. “Repent and believe the Good News… the Kingdom of God is near.”[8] That’s destiny. The gospel of John 3:16, the Gospel of the Father and the Son, which we quote verbatim so nonchalantly, speaks not of a destination, but of destiny. For Jesus said that, “whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already…”[9] Condemnation and salvation are not destinations, but a destiny. And the destiny of all who are saved is that through the eternal life they receive, they will come to know the only true God and Jesus Christ —now. You see, eternal life has no destination, only a destiny coming to know God now, right where you are. It does not take you anywhere as far as a geographical or spiritual location is concerned, but takes you deeper into a relationship getting to know the Person who made you in His Image and saved you by His death. And you do not need to be in Heaven to do that; you can do that now right here on Earth. As such, destination is irrelevant —destiny is everything.

Jesus said, “Where I am, My servant also will be.”[10] He does not specify where He is —only that where He is, so His servants should also be. And where is He now? When Jesus said, “He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father,”[11] Jesus never actually said where He would be, whether in Heaven or Hell or on Earth, just wherever the Father is. Thus emphasising for us relationship destiny is more important that destination.

The apostle Paul’s life is a classic example of the importance of destiny over destination. After his ministry, Paul did not arrive at a destination. There was no fixed abode, church or cathedral that he could call his own, only a prison cell. But he had fulfilled his destiny to be an apostle of Jesus Christ by God’s grace and being an elect of the Holy Spirit.

Thus, once you understand this about the Kingdom of God, you will no longer worry about where you worship God (destination), but how you worship God (destiny). Going to church is no longer the point. Being the church is the point. Your destiny is not governed by what you wear or where you preach, but rather, what you say and what you can do; and by what you say, we know what you think in your heart. The prophet John the Baptist wore skins and preached in the wilderness about the Kingdom of Heaven, unlike the Pharisees who wore their robes and preached in their synagogues and temple buildings. His message reflected what he thought, and his actions showed us what he was. Without power and without the authority that Jesus had, he could only baptise with water as he preached, “Repent, the Kingdom of Heaven is near.”[12]

So, for those who want to take up their citizenship in the Kingdom of God, it means taking up your destiny to be where Jesus is, whether it be in Heaven or Earth or Hell itself. Destinations are irrelevant, destiny is all that counts. Thus, once you have considered carefully what you have heard, more will be given to you to listen to. However, if you do not use what you have heard, then you will not get to use more of what you have heard. What does this mean?

As you hear the words of Jesus and consider them carefully, more words of Jesus will be given you to hear, and you can hear an abundance of them. However, if you do not use what you have heard, that is, take it and put it into action, practise it and use those words and principles to get you to your destiny, then no more will be given for you to use. In fact, what you have heard will also be taken from you, so that you will be ever hearing, but not understanding. It is in the doing or the using of information that you gain the understanding, which perfects knowledge.

That is why Jesus said, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.”[13] When you look at this, you think, “Yes, figuratively that is correct, and inspirationally, that is correct.” But can you see that Jesus chose His words about rain falling, wind blowing and the river rising, also knowing that anyone who did practise His words would come to discover that the practice of His words causes the power of the Kingdom of God to manifest, power that can stop the wind and rain, and part the river so you can walk across on dry ground. If you practise the words of Jesus, you may be like a wise man, but in fact, in truth, you are far better than the wise man, for you will have the power to turn back the river, wind and rain. So then, how much worse off you really are when you heard those words of Jesus but did not put them to practice, and did not put them to use. Likewise, you are not like that foolish man really, you are worse than that foolish man.

So now is the time, for those of you who have the power that proves you are citizens of the Kingdom of God, to know which parables refer to your kingdom and which ones refer to the Kingdom of Heaven. For if anyone is to know and master the knowledge and secrets of the Kingdom of God; then it is the parables that hold those secrets. And you must also know all there is to know about the Kingdom of Heaven, for the citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven are not our enemies, but rather our allies, for they believe and practise the gospel of the prophets, “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.” Yes, allies, even those who are violent and would lay hold of the Kingdom of Heaven by violence[14] to the point of killing those who do not share their faith. They are our allies, for they are the very instruments of our martyrdom and insurance that we will escape the second death, whether we live or die. Those who die are granted a relief from this work; those who live will continue with the work. Paul concluded it was better that he stayed rather than go, even though he was martyred many times, yet lived.[15]

Thus, from now on you should know the parables of the Kingdom of Heaven so that you may know its secrets to understand the citizens of that kingdom and to help them to their destination of Heaven. But more importantly, you must learn and know the parables of the Kingdom of God so that you can help your fellow citizens of the Kingdom of God achieve their destiny.

Thus, like soldiers looking for more recruits, do not waste your time with those who are fearful and want to escape the coming days of distress by being raptured to Heaven; they will only be a hindrance to us. It is best to help them on their way so that they are taken up to Heaven. As it is written in the rules of going to war, “Let him go home…”[16] All those who consider Heaven as their home should go home. Just ensure that they have repented to God for their sins, regardless of their religion. For if they repent because of the Kingdom of Heaven, then they have already listened to Jesus and they will be saved.

Note that Jesus said, “Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved…”[17] They are not saved but will be saved. Their salvation is not made certain for them, or rather, does not manifest now because until they put the word they have heard to use, they will not know their salvation. Those who believe and put to use the word of the Lord, who drive out demons in His Name, who heal the sick and pray in tongues, and who can drink poison and pick up serpents with their hands,[18] are the ones who have begun, yes, begun to live their salvation. And if they continue on to discipleship, will manifest even more. For many may believe and are baptised, but because they will not put into practice what else Jesus said beyond “Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is near,” or “Repent and believe… for the Kingdom of God is near,” will still be the ones waiting to get to Heaven.

There is a big difference between those who are still waiting to get to their destination compared to those who have arrived at their destination and are living their destiny. Since the Kingdom of God is within us as Jesus said, then we have already arrived at the Kingdom of God, and what we have to do is to live it out now. It is like a tourist who is waiting to catch the plane to his holiday and the tourist who has arrived at his holiday resort —one is still waiting and the other is living.

So do not wait for tomorrow, that is, “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.”[19] When Jesus said that, He also said, “For the pagans run after all these things, and your Heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”[20] What is the Kingdom of your Heavenly Father but the Kingdom of God? So therefore, seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and what righteousness is that? It is not, “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near,” but, “Repent and believe… for the Kingdom of God is near.” That is righteousness, the righteousness that comes through grace by faith in Jesus Christ, and Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in Me will do what I have been doing.” If you can do what Jesus has been doing, have you not already received all that the pagans run after?

The power of the Kingdom of God that is available for all who use what they have heard carefully, that is, full of care and for God, then provides to all who are in God’s Kingdom more than what pagans run after. So then, the troubles of each day that Jesus told us are merely occasions and opportunities for us to use the power of the kingdom we have and to practise what we are given, until we become experts in the power of God. Those daily troubles then generate daily testimonies and reminders for us that we are in the Kingdom of God. What a blessing they are! The troubles of today tell you that you are now in the Kingdom of God. You are not of the group that is still waiting to get into Heaven.

So listen carefully, consider what you hear, and use it. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.”[21] Know your kingdom—but better still, know your King!


 

[1] Mark 4:24-25

[2] Mark 4:26-32

[3] Kingdom of Heaven: Matthew 13:3-9 (Sower); 31-32 (Mustard Seed); Kingdom of God: Mark 4:3-9 (Sower); 30-32 (Mustard Seed)

[4] Matthew 13:24-30

[5] Mark 4:26-29

[6] Matthew 24:14

[7] Matthew 4:17

[8] Mark 1:15

[9] John 3:16,18

[10] John 12:26

[11] John 14:12

[12] Matthew 3:2

[13] Matthew 7:24-25

[14] Matthew 11:12 KJV

[15] 2 Corinthians 11:23-25

[16] Deuteronomy 20:5-8

[17] Mark 16:15

[18] Mark 16:17-18

[19] Matthew 6:34

[20] Matthew 6:32-33

[21] Mark 4:24

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