The message of the Gospel today has been diluted and watered down because we have betrayed the message of the Cross of Christ- the power of God UNTO Salvation. The nation of Israel missed the Kingdom presented to it because they missed the sufferings of the Messiah. We have missed the power of the gospel today for the same reason. We cannot "go beyond the Cross." If we go beyond the cross where will we go? The bedrock of the gospel is the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. And the power of our message today is why society as a whole is not changed around us. We must repent in Yeshua's name!
By Chris McDonald
*Special thanks to Dan Juster and his precious book Jewish Roots from which I gleaned a great deal of nuggets for this journal.*
<NOTE: This is the first of a series of journals we pray over time the Lord will help us write on the Cross of Christ and a call to the church to return to sound doctrine. Seducing spirits and doctrines of devils are LOOSED upon planet Earth right now. The greatest vehicle through which these spirits are being channeled is NOT the local bar or brothel. It's Christian television! Jesus warned us in the last days to watch what we "hear" and watch what we "see." Neighbor, that call is to YOU and to ME!>
TEXT: Luke 17:20-22 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: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. 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.
Paul the apostle wrote to the Galatians that he was utterly appalled at how quickly they have been “removed” from the GRACE of Yeshuah unto “another gospel.” If Paul was appalled at Galatia I cannot help but feel that he would turn over in his grave at the way the modern day church has forsaken the pure gospel of Jesus Christ for “another gospel;” He would weep over how we have chased “another Spirit,” and how we are preaching “another Jesus.” The controversy in Galatia is a subject matter we will deal with in a future journal we believe the Lord is dealing with us to write concerning the Cross of Christ and the simplicity of Jesus.
The power of the cross in the gospel message the first church preached is not something that went away with the apostles. If we are to see a mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the church must return to Her roots and return to Biblical preaching and doctrine. For us to see from where we have fallen today, we must go back and see the beginning of the plan of God and see what those foundations truly are. The Psalmist declared that if the foundations were destroyed, what would the righteous do?
Psalm 11:3-4 - If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?
Many preachers are attacking the very foundations of the gospel today – and I’m not talking about the Catholics and the Jehovah Witnesses. I’m talking about those who claim to be spirit-filled and seminary educated with "Drs." and other educational titles a mile long before their names. The salvation of mankind along with the preaching and universal spread of the gospel was part of God’s plan before even the foundations of the earth were laid.
The Hope Of The Prophets
The hope of the prophets was to see the redemption of the whole world take place and the ultimate transition from their age to the Age to Come. Many call this “age to come” the Millennium which is ok. I believe that the teaching of a 1000-year reign of Christ on earth is both scriptural and truth found in the Word of God.
In the Age to Come, the hope of the prophets was nothing less than this: the people of God would so fulfill their destiny that the age would dawn in which it would be said that the knowledge of the Lord covers the earth as the water covers the beds of the seas. There are four main parts to the prophetic hope of the Hebrew Scriptures:
Israel would be delivered
The Gentiles or the nations would come to the light of God through Messiah Yeshua
The Spirit would be poured out upon all flesh. This is a parallel way of describing the Isaiah 11 promise that the knowledge of the Lord would cover the earth as the water cover the beds of the seas. So the knowledge of the Lord would become worldwide; there would be a prophetic gift restored worldwide; an age of glorious peace would come. The lion will lie down with the lamb; the nations will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; and nations would not learn war anymore. There will be safety on earth. Children will play in the dens of dangerous creatures, in the viper’s den and the cobra’s hole. They will not hurt in all God’s holy mountain.
The New Covenant, whereby the Law would be written upon the HEARTS of the people of God, not on tablets of stone as in the days of Moses. This would be universally applied. God’s people would be moved to obey God’s statutes and judgments (EZEKIEL 36). Ezekiel called it having a “new heart” and a “new spirit.”
The prophets agree that the concern of God was and is to establish His justice and righteousness throughout the whole earth. This would be established through the redeemed of humanity in the Earth and would be universal. We read in Isaiah 2, that the word of the Lord would go forth from Jerusalem and that the law would go forth from Zion. We read concerning the Messiah in Isaiah 42 and 49 that He will not rest until He establishes the Law of God on earth.
Isa. 2:2-3 - And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
The grace of the New Covenant, which INTERNALIZES the LAW, does not do away with that prophetic view or hope today! The prophets saw that through the Holy Spirit, the people could finally live out the Law of God. In the Age to Come, God’s LAW will finally reign once again over planet Earth. In the age to come as seen by the prophetic hope, there will no longer be a democracy in place, but instead a theocracy – where God rules and man obeys.
There is also a Jewish "root" to this ideal age which is coming. The entire world will celebrate the Feast of Sukkoth. (Tabernacles) The entire world will celebrate the Sabbath and the new moon (Isaiah 66). The prophets understood that ISRAEL, when faithful to God, was going to be the example for the rest of the nations and to establish the Kingdom of God on earth. When in the Kingdom to Come as in Isaiah 2, 11 and 45 when every knee shall bow and take an oath in the name of the God of Israel, that every one in the whole world will say, “IN THE LORD I have righteousness and strength,” this was understood as the Kingdom of God in fullness. The rule of God in fullness is characterized by these prophetic descriptions of that age. This age is an age of God’s full Kingdom manifestation.
The Kingdom was proclaimed in the preaching of John the Baptist, who came declaring to the people, “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand.” In other words, REPENT that you might enter into the Kingdom. Repent that you may be part of it! What excitement gripped Israel for when John spoke there had not been a prophetic voice for nearly 400 years! John the Baptist emerged as a prophet that paved the way for the Messiah’s revelation to Israel. When he said, “THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS HERE” the people thought, “Now we will be delivered from our enemies. Now we will see the judgment of God come on the earth and the nations come to the light of God.” They had to REPENT, therefore, and GO TO THE WATERS of baptism to prepare themselves to be part of God’s mercy and rule rather than be under God’s judgment.
The announcement of the coming of God’s kingdom was very thrilling and riveting. Israel had not heard anything like it for nearly four centuries. John was proclaiming that when Messiah came the Kingdom would come. It was one fabric woven into Israel's prophetic future.
Then Yeshua came, revealed to Israel as "the prophet like unto Moses." His words stung just as John the Baptist's words had stung the hearts of the listeners. With SIGNS and WONDERS confirming His word, He also announced the arrival of the Kingdom of God – with the same element in His preaching – REPENTANCE! Surely all those who were not biblically illiterate understood that the proclamation of the Kingdom of God was the announcements, in some sway, of the same message of the prophets – the glorious dawning of the Age of Peace, the drawing of the power of God, of worldwide healing, of victory over sin and the glorious fullness of the manifestation of the Spirit in which everyone would prophesy!
Luke 1:26-33 - And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God. And, behold, thou shall conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shall call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
This signaled the dawning of the Kingdom of God that all had been waiting for.
Luke 1:67-75 - And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; As he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; The oath which he swore to our father Abraham, That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.
Did The Kingdom Come?
That was a burning question and is still a burning question for many theologians today. According to the prophets, the fact that Messiah was born literally meant that God had delivered Israel. Many thought it was an accomplished fact. Did it happen? Did the Kingdom come? Or didn’t it come? How do we put in together? Did the last days come when Yeshua came? The people who received Him certainly thought it did. Were they mistaken? Was the kingdom postponed for 2,000 years as the dispensationalists teach? The answer to these questions lay at the heart of the reasons we are in the doctrinal mess we are in today in the modern church!
Luke 2:28-32 - Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now let your servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.
The deliverance of Israel from her enemies and from the constant distresses that plagued her is announced. John the Baptist announced the hope of the prophets. The Messiah’s role is to save all nations. Messiah was for all nations, but especially the glory of Israel. When He came, men realized that the last days were upon them. Deliverance was at their doorsteps. But the deliverance many thought was not what Messiah brought at His First Coming.
At the onset of Messiah’s ministry, John the Baptist baptized him in the river Jordan. He began to preach where John left off. He said, “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.” Then He did extraordinary miracles. He healed the sick. He cast out devils with authority. He taught with authority and not like the scribes and Pharisees. The scribes and Pharisees taught by quoting ancestral teachers as precedents for their positions. They would say, “so and so taught that,” and “So and so taught this.” Therefore according to their dead traditional and religious thinking the correct interpretation of the LAW must be “this” or “must be that.” Their authority for doctrine or practice was a majority consensus. Yeshua taught the Law without appealing to the rabbinic precedent. He said that the Law was in HIM and HE WAS THE LAW – HE came to fulfill it and make REAL in the lives of those who came to HIM!
Matt 5:17-18 - Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
He taught as none other. He commanded nature with AUTHORITY. At His command the sea was calmed, and fish and bread were multiplied. He fed the multitude. He raised the dead. When Messiah came to earth and became Yeshua the Messiah, He left His divine power behind. As Kenneth Weiss puts it “He lost the ‘expression’ of His deity, but never the 'possession' of His deity. Totally the Son of Man, He always remained the Son of God."
And along those lines always remember that the authority He demonstrated was always done as the Son of Man. The miracles were not proof of His divinity, but were a picture (and are today) of restored humanity. He was the SECOND ADAM as Paul pointed out in 1 Corinthians. And as the Second Adam, He had to DIE so that the fallen race of the FIRST ADAM could be redeemed.
1 Cor 15:45-47 - And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
The authority He demonstrated is the ultimate authority that human beings were meant to have, had they not fallen. He is the restoration of the human race. His person represents the greatness in which man could have walked. Mankind could have avoided natural disease and the dangers of evil. This was all part of Yeshua’s role in the restoration of man. As sin and death came through man, so salvation had to come through a man. Because God delegated authority on earth to human beings, it is only through human beings FILLED with HIS SPIRIT that the work of God goes on in the world. Yeshua walking as a man filled with the Holy Spirit showed us the way. We must embrace HIM to walk in that power!
Back to His ministry on earth. Wonderful things were happening. Miracles were happening, demons were fleeing and nature was being tamed at His feet. Compassion was being poured out in miracles of healing. Yet Rome was still ruling. The disciples were growing impatient. They had heard Yeshua announce the Kingdom but nothing “outward” was happening. They knew the prophetic promises of Israel being restored to her rightful place of preeminence in the earth. John the Baptist even, the cousin of Messiah, had to be rejoicing in his heart knowing that Rome’s rule was nearing its end. However instead of victory he finds himself sitting in a jail about to lose his head. In jail he questioned the validity of Yeshua’s Messiahship:
Matt 11:1-3 - And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities. Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?
Yeshua responds to John by quoting Isaiah’s prophecy of the coming Messiah and saying that the signs of the Kingdom of God and the Age to Come were taking place in His ministry. He gave a description of the marks or signs of the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is in manifestation when the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the dead are raised up and the poor have the Gospel preached to them. Yeshua boldly sent word back to John in prison: “I AM THE ONE WHO WAS TO COME. ALL THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE PROPHETS DESCRIBING THE KINGDOM OF GOD ARE MANIFESTED IN MY MINISTRY BY THE HOLY SPIRIT.”
Matt 11:4-11 - Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and show John again those things which ye do hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me. And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind? But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings' houses. But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet. For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
Listen to me neighbor. Listen to me preacher, pastor, and teacher. When the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, and the dead are raised, then we can say our ministry and church are preaching and demonstrating the KINGDOM OF GOD! Any movement or denomination without these signs are manifesting very little of the Kingdom of God. Whether we like it or not these signs are part of the message of the Kingdom of God. The power of the cross is the power of the HOLY GHOST which is called the ETERNAL SPIRIT. He works through the power of the CROSS!
Then Jesus explained something very important to His disciples. Of all the men previously born, none was greater than John the Baptist. Why? Why not Isaiah, Jeremiah, even Moses or David? Moses led the children of Israel through the Exodus and brought them to the entering in of the Promised Land. Why was John the greatest? John was greater because he was privileged to be born at the end of the OLD AGE, to announce the inauguration of the Age to Come and was forerunner of the Messiah. There was no greater prophetic honor than that in the Old Age! Then Yeshua said something else very strange when He stated, “He who is least in the Kingdom of God is greater than John.” This truth is key and pivotal in understanding the Kingdom of God in this age and the last days we live in.
Yeshua saw Himself standing at the end of the Old Age and at the inauguration of the Age to Come that the prophets had predicted. To enter into the realities of the New Age is greater. In the New Age, everyone has ACCESS TO THE FATHER, in the Old Age, they did not. Everyone today can be baptized in the Holy Spirit and can hear the prophetic voice of God. Everyone can come into the power of the life Yeshua demonstrated. This is greater than anything John the Baptist could have experienced. This is why the people who lived in the days of the prophets longed to be partakers of that into which we have entered. They were preparatory prophets, but we have entered into the realities of which they only dreamed! But before we start saying "glory to God," let us never forget that to whom MUCH is given, MUCH will be required.
The Kingdom Of God Is The Gospel Proclaimed
Matt 11:17-20 - And saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented. For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil. The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children. Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not:
The ministry of Yeshua climaxed at the cross. That was unexpected but part of God’s plan for the Kingdom. Confusion filled the hearts and minds of the people who had accepted Him then as their Messiah. Their minds now had to be expanded to a whole different understanding of the Messiah and the Kingdom. They had seen the signs, the miracles and the Kingdom dawning. They had expected to see the Kingdom of God come in such power that mighty Rome would fall at the feet of Messiah. They expected to see Zechariah 14 and the prayer of Simeon come to pass. They expected to see the words the angel spoke to Mary of her divine child come to pass. Instead their Messiah was hanging on a cross. Where did that fit in? I mean, many of them had to think "if the Kingdom of God is here why did John lose his head and Messiah His precious life?" Before we judge them understand this one fact that we have not grasped it any better 2,000 years later!
The problem with their understanding of the Kingdom is the same with ours today. The prophetic hope, the prayers and prophecies of Anna and Simeon, and the announcement of Gabriel were all accurate. The Kingdom came, but it did not come with OBSERVATION! Even though correct, there was a powerful missing piece of the puzzle though that was as clear as anything the prophets said about Messiah ruling and reigning upon planet Earth. That piece was the fact that Messiah was to suffer and DIE for all mankind. And that is the part that Israel STUMBLED over then and we have stumbled over it today! Paul would later write after Messiah's resurrection that the preaching of a crucified Messiah would become a "stumbling block" to the Jewish people and "foolishness" to the Greek.
1 Cor. 1:17-19 - For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.  For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.  For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?  For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.  For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:  But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
The same Isaiah who said that Messiah would deliver Israel from her enemies and be a light to the nations also described the servant as suffering unto death as a sacrifice for His people. (Isaiah 52 and 53)
Isaiah 52:10-15 - The Lord hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.  Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord.  For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the Lord will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rereward.  Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.  As many were astonished at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:  So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.
Isaiah 53:1-6 - Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?  For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.  He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.  But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.  All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
There is no clear evidence that anybody ever put the whole thing together until after Yeshua came and rose from the dead. After that He showed His disciples what the Scriptures had foretold. He not only rose from the dead, but He went through walls and appeared and disappeared. He walked and talked with His disciples for forty days. Then He ascended back to heaven. Before He left He said again, “Go and wait in Jerusalem for the PROMISE of the Father.” That "promise" was none other than the HOLY SPIRIT who would come to earth and testify to the disciples about YESHUA!
In obedience they gathered in the upper room and joined together in prayer. During a prayer meeting on the Jewish Feast Day of Shavuot, the Holy Spirit fell. This was the day when the Jewish people celebrated the giving of the LAW. Never forget that it is only by the SPIRIT that the LAW is established in the EARTH. It is established in the hearts of those who embrace the Kingdom. The Kingdom is not with observation but it is WITHIN YOU! And the CENTERPIECE OF THIS KINGDOM IS THE CROSS OF CHRIST! More on that in a minute. When the Holy Spirit was poured out everyone spoke in another languages. Peter preached that it was a fulfillment of the promise of Joel:
Acts 2:16-18 - But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
If the Spirit was poured out on all flesh, then is it fair to say that AGE TO COME has dawned? The Kingdom has come. Yet the fullness of the judgment foretold in Joel, the sun being darkened, the moon turning to blood and the signs of fire in the last days before the great and terrible Day of Judgment have not fully come. The Holy Spirit was made available to ALL, but was not all poured out yet “ON ALL FLESH.” Peter saw MERCY and JUDGMENT coming together like the prophets. He said, “THIS IS THAT.”
Acts 3:19-21 - Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;  And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:  Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
The restoration of all things is the knowledge of the Lord covering the earth. God spoke this by the mouths of all His prophets since the world began. This passage reflects a truth about the Kingdom of God. This Kingdom had PARTIALLY COME. We can date it from the crucifixion, the resurrection, and the ascension, the outpouring of the Spirit or the combination of the whole. We could date it from the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. Dating its beginning is not important. What is important is that the New Covenant perspective on the Kingdom of God DID come in the life and death of Yeshua and in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the reception by His disciples. The Age to Come really did come, but the Age to Come did not come in fullness. The Kingdom of God is HERE, but it is not here in FULLNESS. It is already, but not yet. The Kingdom of God has come but not with observation – the KINGDOM OF GOD IN REALITY IS IN YOU!
Peter said “this is that,” and that “Yeshua would remain in heaven UNTIL the restitution of all things.” The Kingdom of God in its fullness is yet to come but the reality of that Kingdom is in the hearts of every truly born again and Spirit-filled believer who NOW names the name of Yeshua. It has come and it is yet to come. It is here and it is tomorrow. It is now and it is future.
This truth is essential to end time harvest evangelism. Many ask “if Yeshua is the Messiah then why is the world such a mess?” The answer to that is “IT ISN'T A MESS OVER HERE!!” They may say but yes “I am dying of cancer.” Our response as Kingdom people is “Well let me show you the Kingdom! In the name of the MESSIAH JESUS I rebuke that cancer. Get out of HIM!!”
This is the age of the KINGDOM OF GOD. Many evangelicals claim that we don't preach a gospel that involves signs and wonders and the power of the Holy Spirit because "the gospel of the Kingdom" won't be preached until the Tribulation and Millennium. They are WRONG! While the Kingdom has not come in fullness because people are still sick and dying, the age described by the prophets has come in the hearts of us who know Yeshua and in that realm it has come partially. It comes when families are whole. It comes when marriages are healed. It comes when you see a person lost get saved. It comes when a drunk is delivered from alcohol. It comes when a gossip box stops gossiping and gets delivered from an unruly tongue. It comes when dead lifeless churches gets on fire for God, gets on fire with the heart of Yeshua for the lost, and gets on fire with the power and anointing of the HOLY GHOST. GLORY TO GOD.
The Kingdom of God Is Righteousness, Peace And Joy In The Holy Ghost
Rom 14:17 - For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
1 Cor 4:20-21 - For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power. What will ye? shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness?
The Kingdom of God is not embraced or defined in a church or a denomination. The Kingdom is a movement or theological premise. The Kingdom is not a set of rules and regulations. It is the POWER OF GOD unto Salvation – the HOLY GHOST! And the Holy Ghost only works through the power that is found in the cross of Christ. The power of the Holy Spirit always works through the cross. The Holy Spirit has come to glorify CHRIST and point us to the place where our LIFE ENDS and HIS LIFE BEGINS IN US – the cross!
Neighbor, the Kingdom of God operates on a principle of DEATH. You and I must DIE before we can live. You and I must cease to exist so HE can begin to exist THROUGH US. You and I must come to OUR end so He can become our NEW beginning. And any gospel that preaches anything less than the simple fact the Jesus died and rose again is “another gospel.” The gospel of the Kingdom of God is a gospel that is not in WORD but in POWER. It is not about what we SAY but it is about what the POWER OF THE CROSS CAN DO!! Hear what I say to you. Hear me!
1 Cor 15:50 - Now this I say, brethren that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
No flesh will enter into this Kingdom! Adam’s flesh (and all of Adam's offspring) are under a death sentence. There is no “recycling” or “refining” we can do to this flesh that will make it worthy to enter into the Kingdom. The flesh must die and the place the flesh dies is at Calvary. That is the gospel of the Kingdom- REPENT, DIE and LIVE AGAIN through YESHUAH!
The apostolic church of Acts preached a great deal about the Kingdom of God.
One, they said we would suffer for it -
II Th 1:5-6 -Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;
Two, they taught that the Kingdom of God concerns the THINGS ABOUT THE LORD JESUS! The Kingdom does not concern things regarding our pet doctrines or pet theological teachings. The Kingdom of God is not about manifestations or miracles as much as those things are wonderful and great. But miracles and manifestations will never set you free. Jesus said the TRUTH will set you free. What truth? THE TRUTH THAT YESHUA DIED, ROSE AGAIN AND IS AT THE RIGHT HAND OF THE FATHER victorious over death, hell and the grave! Praise God!
Acts 28:31 - Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.
Thirdly, Paul said that he preached the Kingdom of God by preaching the WHOLE COUNSEL OF GOD. The whole counsel of God is centered around ONE PERSON - YESHUAH! It is not centered around healing, it is not centered around the gifts, it is not centered around the end times even those things are important. NO NO NO. The WHOLE COUNSEL OF GOD is centered on a PERSON and what that PERSON DID for me and you - It's CHRIST and HIM CRUCIFIED. Messiah's death, burial and resurrection will always be the hallmark of the gospel message and the Kingdom of God.
Acts 20:25-27 - And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more. Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
Paul warned the church at Antioch that many would come later as "grievous wolves" and seek to devour the flock. Friend, ANY GOSPEL that seeks to devour people and TAKE from the people is NOT the gospel of the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom Gospel is a gospel that saves men, it does not manipulate or exploit them.
The apostle warned Antioch that these "wolves" would arise and speak "PERVERSE" things to draw away disciples after them. Why do you think the church is so divided? Why do you think there are so many church splits we can't shake a stick at them? Why do you think that cities with populations of less than 600 have at least 35-40 churches within a miles radius of each other????? Because men have tainted and tinkered with the pure gospel message that Jesus died, that Jesus rose again, that Jesus is at the right hand of the Father, that Jesus sent back the Holy Ghost, and that Jesus is coming again. It all starts at Calvary and it will all end at Calvary! Paul said "that I am determined to know NOTHING but Christ and CHRIST crucified!" Glory to God!
Acts 20:28-31 - For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.
Except A Man Be Born Again...
John 3:3-5 - Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 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? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
Jesus said that except a man be "BORN AGAIN" he cannot enter the Kingdom of God. We have lost the definition of what it means to be born again today. Many in America have what I call a "born again" syndrome. A syndrome is when you have just enough of something to inoculate you from the real thing. And that describes most church people today. We are so religious. We shout every Sunday, some even speak in tongues and prophesy. Others tithe and teach Sunday school and think that doing those "THINGS" will save them. They appear very religious and pious to others around them but inwardly they are empty and have no connection to a living GOD! Many have never had a life-changing experience and face-to-face, let me change that, HEART TO HEART, encounter with Yeshua Ha'maschiah. Neighbor, you must be BORN AGAIN to be saved.
When we are born from above our life ends! When we are born again the sin nature in us no longer has dominion over us. Granted, it is not destroyed, for if it was destroyed, then there would have been no reason whatsoever for Paul to write the 6th, 7th and 8th chapter of Romans. But when we are saved, we are no longer SERVANTS TO SIN! We no longer cheat on our taxes. We no longer lie to our neighbor or our wife. We no longer lust after everything in a skirt. We no longer enjoy watching filthy, dirty movies that slander the name of God and have language in them that would make a drunken sailor blush at times. We no longer love the world and the things in it. We no longer embrace this suffocating desire to be entertained in church but we entertain the thoughts of giving our lives TOTALLY to Yeshuah for Him to do with them as He pleases. We no longer belong to OURSELVES but we belong to HIM. We spend our life seeking to PLEASE HIM and none other.
When we are born again, we don't have to have a preacher tell us we're saved. We don't have to have some Christian psychologist tell us that the reason we're acting like the devil is the fact our mother gave us too much applesauce when we were babies. GOD HELP THE CHURCH. GOD HELP THE CHURCH. Listen neighbor the message of the Kingdom of GOD is that ALL have sinned and come short of the GLORY OF GOD. We are all under the death sentence of Sinai because we are TRANSGRESSORS of the law of God. THERE ARE NONE who have not transgressed the law. There are NONE who have not come short of that GLORY on Sinai. There are NONE RIGHTEOUS in themselves NO NOT ONE. When we are born again, we no longer depend on OUR OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS to get us to heaven but we put our faith, our hope and our trust in Yeshua and the power of HIS DEATH, BURIAL and RESURRECTION!
It needs to be said. The greatest harvest field in America is not in the ghettos and back alleys of our major cities - it's on the front pew of the churches in our land. Millions go to church Sunday to Sunday and have never been truly born again. They have never embraced the power of Calvary in their lives and thus they live only for what they can GET from God instead of what they can GIVE to GOD! They live for only what the gospel can do for them instead of living and dying to themselves UNTO JESUS! They wander why they never have enjoyment being around the things of God but are always finding their satisfaction STILL in the things of the world. Hear me neighbor, if you have doubts you are saved, I've got a news flash for you- you probably are not!
One of the biggest lies the evangelical church tells people is that when an individual has doubts about his/her salvation that Satan is the one putting those doubts in their heart. I'd like to ask a simple question. Why would Satan want you to doubt your salvation? Satan is the master deceiver. He much rather wants you to believe your saved when in reality if you died this very moment you'd split hell wide open in a heartbeat. He doesn't want the Holy Spirit- the POWER OF THE KINGDOM - to come to you and convict you of sin. He wants you to keep cheating on your wife sir and not feel any conviction about it. He wants you sir to keep drinking that alcohol and keep looking at that pornography and not feel any conviction about it. He wants you to keep sinning and sinning and still go to church on Sunday and being the best hypocrite in the world. He doesn't want you to get a dose of true Christianity and the power of the Kingdom of God. He doesn't want you to be born again!
So why then do we tell people who come to our altars on Sunday morning that they are "ok" but just need to have receive an "assurance" of their salvation. I remember Bailey Smith, the Southern Baptist Convention evangelist, telling the ushers and counselors at a large Baptist church in Knoxville a few years back to stop "counseling people into hell!" He rebuked them for trying to convince people they were saved when they were NOT!
NEIGHBOR we have already been given an assurance in our hearts if we are truly born again. The Spirit of God bears witness with our spirits that we ARE the SONS OF GOD. Not that we might be the Sons of God but we ARE the SONS OF GOD!! Hear what I am saying to you today!
Romans 8: 14-19 - For as many as
are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.  For ye have not
received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of
adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 
The Spirit itself bears witness with our
spirit, that we are the children of God:  And if children, then
heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with
him, that we may be also glorified together.
1 John 3:18-23 - My little
children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts
before him.  For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.  Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we
confidence toward God.  And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we
keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. 
And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus
Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.  And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that
he abides in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.
1 John 4:13 - Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.  And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.  Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.
1 John 5:3-19 - For this is the love of
God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. 
For whatsoever is born of God overcomes the world: and this is the victory that
overcomes the world, even our faith.  Who is he that overcomes the world, but
he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?  This is he that came by
water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood.
And it is the Spirit that bears witness,
because the Spirit is truth.  For there are three that bear record in
heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 
And there are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit, and the water, and
the blood: and these three agree in one. 
If we receive the witness of men, the
witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath
testified of his Son.  He that believeth on the Son of God hath the
witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because
he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.  And this is
the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath
not life.  These things have
unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye
have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
Both Paul and John said that this witness is INWARD and that by the SPIRIT OF GOD bearing witness with our spirits - we will KNOW that Jesus is the SON OF GOD and that He lives within us! That is the Kingdom of God and it does not come with observation, it is within. And in that sense the Kingdom HAS COME and it has COME TO YOU and it has COME TO ME! We are part of that Kingdom when we are born again by the Spirit of GOD! And that is the message that the church MUST return to in this hour. Men's souls are at stake. Men are dying, men are crying, won't you lead them TO THE CROSS! TO THE CROSS! TO THE CROSS! TO THE CROSS!!!
I know some are reading this and they are not hypocrites and they really and truly love God and yet they struggle with sins in their life still. I will deal with that in the next journal. I'm not talking to the sincere, I'm talking to the religious person out there who has never been to Calvary and had a life-changing encounter with the Master of the Wind. I'm talking to you sir who is reading this and you've never been saved. You've never come to God and REPENTED of your sins and said "LORD IM A SINNER." You've always offered excuses to God and to others for why you act like you do but the answer is not in the excuse it's at the foot of the CROSS of CHRIST - the bedrock of the Kingdom of God. You must be born again.
The Kingdom Of God Cometh NOT By Observation
Luke 17:20-22 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: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. 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, shines 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.
Luke 16:16 - The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presses into it.
The Pharisees spewed their venom to Jesus and demanded Him to show them a sign He was the one sent by God to bring the Kingdom to Israel. Jesus told them what He is telling us today -that the Kingdom does not COME WITH OBSERVATION right now. It will one day, but the Kingdom that is on earth today is a KINGDOM WITHIN! It is a KINGDOM that was not postponed as some teach, but it is a Kingdom that rests in the hearts of every born-again child of God who has come to saving faith in Yeshua Ha'maschiah.
Notice three things Jesus said about this inward Kingdom:
1. He said "The Kingdom is within YOU."
You are not a "little" god and you're not deity walking on earth. You DO however, have the power of the KINGDOM OF GOD in your heart and soul through the Holy Spirit. The way the Holy Spirit works is through the message of what Jesus preached while on earth. He works through the CROSS OF CHRIST. He is called the ETERNAL SPIRIT in Hebrews. The connotation of that scripture carries with it the fact that is was the Holy Spirit who allowed Yeshua to offer Himself up to God as a sin sacrifice for all of mankind. It strips man's argument that there is no way man can be redeemed from sin. It screams at the damnable doctrine and heresy of the "Jesus Died Spiritually" doctrine that claims Jesus went to hell as a sinner and was 'born again' in hell. Friend, if Jesus became a sinner, then NONE OF US ARE SAVED! He didn't become a sinner, He became a sacrifice, a LAMB, led to the slaughter. The Kingdom of God is based on the fact that mankind is a sinner and God's grace and mercy has sent man a substitute - the Lord Jesus Christ!
2. He said "When They Say To You 'The Kingdom Is Here, There, And Lo There Too,' DON'T GO AFTER IT NOR SEEK IT!"
You're going to hear a lot of wild stuff and weird doctrines in these last days. Paul said that many would be drawn away and enticed with teachings that "tickle the ears." He said many would depart from the faith and give heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. The modern church, especially here in America, is so engulfed with this idea that it must entertain the world to keep the world coming to its meetings. We claim "THE KINGDOM IS HERE" while we offer the world contemporary Christian music and other forms of "gospel" entertainment that does nothing to deal with man's condition as a sinner but only appeases his conscience because what he is listening to "gospel" or "Christian" music instead of worldly music. We are not used car salesmen for Jesus. We are preachers of the gospel. And God help CHRIS MCDONALD to get a greater revelation of what I am writing about to you today.
You can't escape the fact that the Kingdom of God is based upon the BLOOD and the CROSS OF CHRIST and if God will help me I am going to preach the cross of Christ till I die even it kills me. The Lord's restorative work in my heart has come at a great price. But one price that I have paid that is worth every tear is the realization of just how far off base I've been in the past in my preaching. As ministers of the gospel we are not called to make the GOSPEL USER FRIENDLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! God forgive Your church for appealing to the fleshly arrogance of man to try and lure him to Christ. God give us the boldness to proclaim that men must REPENT and be BORN AGAIN at all costs!!
The cross of Jesus Christ is NOT the greatest defeat in history as some teach. On the contrary, to the devil it may have seemed that way and to many so-called preachers today who want to make sure they make Christianity a "user friendly" religion it may seem that way. But to the child of God it is where we found salvation and victory over sin and the powers of darkness in our lives. AND IT IS THE SAME PLACE TODAY WHERE WE FIND VICTORY OVER SIN AND THE POWERS OF DARKNESS TOO!!!!!!!
3. Jesus told them that the Son of Man would "suffer many things and be rejected of this generation."
This spoke of His coming dieses in Jerusalem. On the Mount of Transfiguration Moses and Elijah even met with Him to discuss this. One commentator wrote that both Moses and Elijah appeared to offer comfort and encouragement for the Lord's work at Calvary. That's how important it was - not only to us today but to all of eternity. He knew that the Kingdom He came to establish on Earth was going to be established through His death, burial and resurrection. It was NOT established on His miracles, His virgin birth or any other thing that earmarked the Son of God's life here in this awful place. But because of God's infinite love and mercy He came in the form of a man for US. He became a SIN OFFERING for us and became SALVATION for the nations including ISRAEL! And one day Israel will accept Her Messiah!
Today, many are receiving HIM and to THEM THAT RECEIVE HIM to them He is giving the POWER OF THE KINGDOM to become the SONS OF GOD! He told them that His death was part of the Kingdom coming and it has come. It's not with observation today but one day it will be when He comes back KING OF KINGS and LORD OF LORDS and those coming with Him will rule and reign a thousand years with Christ, AND THEN THE END WILL COME.
Jesus Christ does not just HAVE SALVATION to give me and you. LISTEN CAREFULLY TO WHAT I AM SAYING HERE. He does not have salvation, HE IS SALVATION!!!
There is a HUGE difference in a person "HAVING" something and "BEING" something. Paul wrote in Corinthians HE IS, HE IS, HE IS, HE IS OUR REDEMPTION! And for that reason man cannot boast of ANYTHING PERIOD when it comes to the fact we are redeemed. That's what makes the arrogance of the church so damnable. We act like salvation has come to the world through US but neighbor, salvation is of GOD. Salvation is of the LORD. JESUS IS OUR SALVATION. There is no salvation in the CHURCH. And anyone who says there is is a LIAR and a ROBBER. JESUS IS THE WAY!
1 Cor. 1:30-31 - But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:  That, according as it is written, He that glories, let him glory in the Lord.
Even The Very Dust Of Your Feet...
Luke 10:11-12 - Even the very dust of your city, which cleaves on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you. But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city.
Jesus told His disciples that when they preach the Kingdom of God and a city would not receive them that they were to wipe the very dust of their feet off from that city. He proclaimed that the fate of Sodom would be better in the day of judgment than for the cities that rejected the light of the Kingdom of God.
I cannot help but ponder in my heart today as I write these words where America stands in this equation. The KINGDOM OF GOD has come to us. It has come NIGH TO US and we have rejected the LIGHT and the GLORY of that KINGDOM just as Israel did in part so long ago. Many churches have rejected the message of the Kingdom of God and have preached a lie to millions of people and offered them an empty salvation message that has produced nothing but heartache and disappointment. One half of the church is preaching the cross without the Holy Spirit and is actually preaching absolutely NOTHING. And the Pentecostal world is preaching the Holy Spirit without the cross and exchanging the power of the CROSS for the couch of psychology and preaching absolutely much of NOTHING! And our so-called converts are a great barometer of the power of the message we are shoveling them to feed on!
God is going to hold THIS GENERATION accountable more because we have been given so much and we have given the souls of men so very little. God help us in this hour to return to the cross of Christ. We will have more on this in future journals soon. Shalom and love in Yeshua.
Father in Heaven, I repent before you today as I write this journal from drifting away from the bedrock of the Kingdom of God - your Son's death, burial and resurrection. As a minister of the gospel I ask You for grace today to HOLD HIGH the banner of the cross in these last days to the hurting and the dying. Let the power of the Kingdom of God Lord become real in Chris McDonald first and then in the lives of others who will listen. Forgive Your church for its foolishness, its covetousness and its idolatrous union with the world. Bring us back to the roots of our faith and to the foot of the World's redeemer- Yeshuah Ha'maschiah. In Your name Lord Jesus we ask it. Amen.