Kingdom of God Part 1

Written by Pastor John Garcia on .

The laws of the Kingdom of God are contrary to the ways of men (Mat 13:44). Hidden from the casual seeker or church-goer, the Kingdom is not superficial to be stumbled upon. It does not lie on the surface and is not obvious, it is like a treasure hidden in the field, a lost coin, or a pearl hidden in the secret place of an oyster. It is in fact, concealed, obscured from our natural perceptions.

Christ the King - the Rock of Offence

 

This fact brings light to the birth of Christ. The promised Messiah did not come as the anticipated Warrior-King delivering Israel from Roman control. On the contrary, born in obscurity he came as a humble Nazarene, the son of Joseph riding on a donkey. Thus, Nathaniel's statement of the Christ in John 1:46. Defying human expectation of an earthly kingdom he became a stumbling stone, the rock of offence (Rom 9:32-33). Even after associating with him as his closest friends, throughout his earthly ministry, the disciples still misunderstood the Kingdom. Despite forty days of Jesus speaking concerning the Kingdom of God, they still nursed hopes of a worldly kingdom (Acts 1:6). They still perceived the Kingdom in terms of external criteria, particularly social and political ones. However, while the Kingdom will manifest through external signs, which I will discuss in a moment, it is primarily an inner and hidden reality. It is therefore, not discernible to the natural senses or cognitive abilities.

The More Excellent Way

Written by Pastor John Garcia on .

However, not all the signs of the Kingdom are equal. Remember, like the Corinthians, we may experience the supernatural, but still be called upwards to the more ‘excellent way' (1Cor 12:31). As necessary as they are, even some of the supernatural signs of the Kingdom (the gifts and operations of the Spirit) can sometimes distract from the main play-from the Giver himself. As the descendants of Greek culture, the West is prone to the Corinthian distraction with gifts and super-apostles, with charisma and personality, looking only on the surface of things and taking pride in what is seen, rather than what is in the heart (2 Cor 10:7; 5:12). Nevertheless, through the sound of competing voices, through the crazed crowd of celebrity Christians, there is another sound being heard. And it is the sound of heaven; of deep calling to deep; of the heart of God calling to the hearts of men and of our hearts burning within us: When You said, Seek My face, my heart said to You, Your face, O LORD, I shall seek." (Ps 27:8).

Hybrid Thoughts on Worship

Written by Pastor John Garcia on .

In my years of study on this subject, I have discovered three frequencies of expression toward God. As with many things in scripture, there are gateways into the realm of truth. Thanksgiving is always the gateway into to praise. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. (Ps. 100:4) The three frequencies of expression are praise, worship and tehillah. Neither one of these expressions are determined by the speed or mood of the expression, but rather by the level of abandonment. These levels of abandonment are categorized in Ezequiel's vision of the river that flowed from the heavenly tabernacle- H20 to walk in, H20 to pray in, H20 to produce in and finally H20 to completely surrender in. I have a lot more information on this in my six-part series titled, "The River of God". By the way, there are other gateways. For example, the book of Jude is the gateway to the Revelation and The Beatitudes are the gateway to power...