Part 2 Eating in the kingdom
There has always been a kingdom of God on earth. Its standards and stories of the men who follow those righteous precepts, and those who don’t, is what the Bible is all about. Those who deny that the kingdom is at hand have gone the way of Cain, while they idly claim to wait for the Lord. They say there is no kingdom of God at hand and that it was not restored but postponed.
When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. Acts 1:6
We are told to believe that the power1 of the kingdom has not yet come. Is that what the Bible and history tells us? The Apostles knew the kingdom had always been there. They knew Christ had taken the kingdom of Judea from the Pharisees and moneychangers and appointed it to them. They knew that thousands now believed. They were asking if he would, “restore again the kingdom to Israel” ,which had separated many years before.
Jesus told them that they would receive the power of that kingdom first.
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. Acts 1:8
People have learned to think that governments are locked into single locations by boundaries and borders. The kingdom of which Jesus spoke was not a territory, but the right to rule.2 Although there is often land set aside to mark some place, the seat of government, the jurisdiction, and authority of the government travels with its people wherever they go. Jesus was the king of Judea, but they queried when He would restore all of Israel, not just in that single geographical place.
As it was in the day when Moses pulled down the walls of the camp of the Golden Calf and gave the people a tabernacle that moved about, Jesus had made it clear that He was not limiting His Kingdom to one centralized place.3 This was also true in Abraham’s day when God promised the lands of the merchants of men as possession to the seed of Abraham’s faith.4
For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, [was] not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. Romans 4:13
It is the whole world that is to be the footstool of God’s heavenly Kingdom. The Apostles had already been told what to do by the Anointed King in Acts 1:4.
And, being assembled together with [them], commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, [saith he], ye have heard of me.
After they were assured power would come, they returned unto Jerusalem and waited as they were told. They did not have to wait long.
And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost… Acts 2:1
The power was received by those called out by Jesus the King and they went out preaching that the Kingdom of Heaven was at hand. In this moment the ekklesia, called today “His Church”, began preaching and teaching the Kingdom in earnest.
The Kingdom, like life, may come to us individually in stages of development and growth, but it was always here. Jesus took it from the Pharisees, Scribes, and moneychangers who were unfruitful as they sat in the seat of Moses. He also said it was His pleasure5 to appoint that Kingdom to His disciples and He did. He told them at the last supper that He would not eat with them again until the Kingdom of God was fulfilled.
For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. Luke 22:16, Matthew 26:29, Mark 14:25.
After Jesus explains that the apostles are not to exercise authority like the benefactors6 of other governments, He appoints a Kingdom unto them.
And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; Luke 22:29
This is a very direct statement, which was part of the fulfillment of Christ’s purpose and salvation. It was an essential part of Christ’s gospel. It is so ignored by modern religion and churches, who are entangled and unequally yoked with governments that do exercise authority. These modern churches send the people to governments that exercise authority to obtain the daily ministration. The first-century Church did not do that, but fulfilled those needs of the people, though, in those days, government programs were available to the people.
How do these modern Churches excuse such neglectful behavior? They claim that the Kingdom is only spiritual. Yet, they still call for a physical tithe while neglecting, or abandoning altogether, those services once provided by Christ’s appointed Kingdom.
Jesus tells the apostles that they will eat and drink with Him at His table in the Kingdom.7 After the resurrection, the Bible makes it very clear that Jesus’ promise of not eating again until He ate with them in the Kingdom was to be fulfilled.
And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat? And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And he took [it], and did eat before them. Luke 24:41-3
This physical act of eating and drinking in a real kingdom is important to understand and is reaffirmed in the Gospel of John and in Acts.
Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise. John 21:13
Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, [even] to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead. Acts 10:41
It was at that time that Jesus began to open their understanding even more as to the nature and reality of the Kingdom of God, telling them that they would have to wait in Jerusalem for a little while before the power would be restored to them.
Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures... I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. Luke 24:45-49
Each of us must have our understanding opened to comprehend the nature of His Kingdom. This is what we are to seek in communion with His precepts: doing as He says and allowing the doctrine of His gospel to be fulfilled in us. The Kingdom is at hand and within our reach. We must seek it and apply to it. Put on the full character, or armor, of God the Father, that you may all eat in the Kingdom, established by Christ the King.
He saith unto him the third time, Simon, [son] of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep. John 21:17
1exousia 1) power of choice, liberty of doing as one pleases … the power of rule or government … a thing subject to authority or rule; jurisdiction.
2The American Heritage Dictionary defines ‘kingdom’ as, “A political or territorial unit ruled by a sovereign”. ‘Kingdom’ translated from ‘basileia’ means ‘the right to rule’ rather than ‘territory’.
3John 4:21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.
4Genesis 17:8 And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.
5Luke 12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
6Luke 22:25 And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: [Matthew 20:25 Mark 10:42]
7Luke 22:30 That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.