Kingdom of Heaven

by Alan Breitenstein

April 16 and April 23, 2023

Audio not available.

Part One

Ask and you shall receive. I asked what the Kingdom of Heaven is like. Sometimes in order to figure out what is in the Kingdom you must see what is not in the Kingdom. I am going to play Walt and ask questions. 

Could the Kingdom of Heaven be compared to the 40-year journey that our ancestors made in the wilderness?  So, in comparing the Kingdom of Heaven to the journey in the wilderness what are the similarities?

God is and was there.  Need there be anything else?  The Israelites had everything they needed to sustain. What was it that irritated the Israelites about God? Maybe we can answer that question.

This mini message is to focus on a topic that cannot be in the Kingdom. We will be dealing with the positive results that would happen by the topic of today that cannot be the Kingdom. 

What is the root of all evil?

We are told in 1st Timothy 6 v7  “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. 9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” 

So, what is the root of all evil?

  • The emotion love,
  • The material object money, or
  • Love of money

If money did not exist or had no bearing in a nation, then love could not be given to it. Therefore, would not this root of all evil be extinguished?

Imagine your life as you know it to exist without the use of money or a medium of exchange. Why is money needed?  Everything needed is provided freely. We all have been given a gift to provide to the community a service that is needed by those in the community.

Farmers provide the food, builders provide the shelter and laborers provide assistance.  God provides the seeds, the materials, and the knowledge and designates the land just as He did in the Promised Land.

Imagine the stress-free life, no worries, no insurance, no taxes, no licensing, no debts, no banks, no interest, no corporations, no stealing and whatever else that would lead us to do things we shouldn't.  When helping others it is all done freely, when in need just go to the storehouses and it will be provided freely.

When one helps others freely there is a sense of gratitude not only by the one being helped but by the one helping. It makes them want to help you or others freely.  I know this for I have experienced it.

It would be right here where skeptics would be telling me that I am living in a fantasyland.  And I then would tell them that nothing is ever achieved without a thought.  Did not Jesus give us a prayer asking for Heaven to be on earth?

1st Corinthians 10:1-4:

1) “Moreover, brethren,  I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 

2) And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;

3) And did all eat the same spiritual meat;

4) And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.”

1st Corinthians 12 reinforces the importance of the many positions or gifts needed.

1Corinthians 12:1-31:

1) “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.

2) Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.

3) Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

4) Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.

5) And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.

6) And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.

7) But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.

8) For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;

9) To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;

10) To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another diverse kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:

11) But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

12) For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

13) For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Judeans or lost Israelites whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

14) For the body is not one member, but many.

15) If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?

16) And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?

17) If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?

18) But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.

19) And if they were all one member, where were the body?

20) But now are they many members, yet but one body.

21) And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.

22) Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:

23) And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.

24) For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked:

25) That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.

26) And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.

27) Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

28) And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

29) Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?

30) Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?

31) But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.”

So, in preparing oneself for the Kingdom one has to ponder if this is a life that one could be satisfied with, owing nothing but the sharing of the God given gifts that He gave  and receiving freely and responsibly all that is needed and no more.

One more thought is this parable in Matthew 25 v 14-23: 

14) “For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.

15) And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.

16) Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.

17) And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.

18) But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's talent.

19) After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.

20) And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.

21) His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

22) He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.

23) His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

Is the word talents here really material money or the gifts from God explained in 1st Corinthians 12?

Next week we will see the negative aspect and why our ancestors may possibly be irritated.

Lord God, thank you for this message.

Part Two

Last week we got into what life would be like if the root of all evil was not used. Work freely, get what is needed freely and do it responsibly. This week we will get into what keeps this from happening. The best place to go is to look at the journey in the wilderness.

Adam was given paradise and lost it. Then after bondage in Egypt came the Promised Land. In Numbers 32, the scouts sent by Moses came back with a bad report. This bad report caused a one-year journey to turn into a 40-year journey.

Numbers 32:9-12:

9) “For when they went up unto the valley of Eshcol, and saw the land, they discouraged the heart of the children of Israel, that they should not go into the land which the LORD had given them.

10) And the LORD'S anger was kindled the same time, and he sware, saying,

11) Surely none of the men that came up out of Egypt, from twenty years old and upward, shall see the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob; because they have not wholly followed me:

12) Save Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite, and Joshua the son of Nun: for they have wholly followed the LORD.”

Another failure by the Israelites.

Then came the birth of Jesus bringing in the Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven. There is a song out with the title “Everyone Wants to Go to Heaven but Nobody Wants to Go Right Now”. What is it that God’s people seem to reject an easier life?  What irritates the Israelites about God and His kingdom of Heaven on earth? The churches do not preach the Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven therefore our people know nothing about it. Just as many did not see the Promised Land many will not see the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.

The Pilgrims attempted to use all the gifts or talents of its members and had to break off.  The Pilgrims had to deal with those who were lazy and some were stealing from the storehouses. They also had to deal with the Indians. The Pilgrims had to pay back their much-needed supplies to those whom they got the boat ride from. They were reliant on goods from others and had to trade their food supplies for those goods. They realized that the keeping the belly satisfied was more important.

The Shakers attempted to use all the gifts or talents of its members and were doing good with it until outside interference came in the name of the Civil War. The Shakers’ attempts would not have lasted to another generation for they were forbidden to marry. The Civil War depleted all their food and other supplies.

Pastor Jim brought a message that Hitler brought back the economy of Germany by using the German labor force. The economy was thriving while the rest of the world was in depression. It didn’t take long before an outside source brought that system down.

The Kingdom of Heaven can only be successful on earth if God is the Head and if no unbelieving outside sources are let in. It takes honorable people dedicated to giving all glory to God for a moneyless system to work. 

Let’s go to the journey in the wilderness and look at the type of people we are dealing with. 

1st Corinthians 10 v 5, 6:

5) “But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.

(This is a people who saw the many happenings in Egypt and agreed to follow the Laws of God in a marriage ceremony.)

6) “Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.  

Numbers 11v32-34:

32) “And the people stood up all that day, and all that night, and all the next day, and they gathered the quails: he that gathered least gathered ten homers: and they spread them all abroad for themselves round about the camp.

33) And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORD smote the people with a very great plague.

34) And he called the name of that place Kibrothhattaavah: because there they buried the people that lusted.” 

Can the Kingdom of Heaven prosper with people like this?

1 Corinthians 10:7-14:

7) “Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” ( This phrase “to play” is in reference to the fabricating of the golden calves. Can the Kingdom of Heaven prosper with people like this, idol worshippers?)

8) “Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.” (Can the Kingdom of Heaven prosper with these kinds of people?)

9) “Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.”

(Again would you want to live with people like this?)

10) “Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.”

(Now here is something we could all fall into. Have you ever eaten the same thing over and over and got to the point where you would just want to vomit if you ate it again?  You are hungry or thirsty and the journey is wearing on you, is there any one of us who would not have had a moment of anger?  Another word for murmur nagging. There is nothing more irritating than a nagging spouse.  One can take nagging from friends and fellow employees but when a spouse does it, it just goes right to the heart. This is not to say all nagging but the nagging where there is no trust. The Israelites had no trust in the Lord God therefore bringing on their dilemma. Even the Lord God gets irritated with nagging. 

Would it not have been better to die of starvation or thirst without complaining? Then their death would have been on God. (Example: Abraham sacrificing Isaac.) Does not God know our needs? Would any of these people be in the Kingdom of Heaven?)

11) “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

12) Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

13) There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

14) Wherefore,my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.” 

The Kingdom of Heaven cannot exist on earth as long as there are people of such nature that provoke the Lord.

Greed has no place in the Kingdom of Heaven. Other factors that can hinder the Kingdom of Heaven on earth are those who want to be better than others and were not given the gift or spirit to do such. In Numbers 16, Korah and company seeking to be in charge rather than God.

There are those who want more than just food and raiment.  There are those who want praise for what they've done. There are those who do not want to give all the glory to God even though God deserves all the glory. There are those who only think of their self.

There are those who would get bored doing the same thing over and over and there are those who get lazy and start relying on others to do their work.

1st Corinthians 12v23-25: 

23) “And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.

24) For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked:

25) That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.”

Matthew 25 v 24: “Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:”   (Here this man is accusing the lord stealing. He was defending his laziness by calling his accuser a thief. HMMMM ... It sounds like what is going on today.)

What reason is there for those to not want to share their God given talent?  For the Kingdom of Heaven on earth to work is like a good recipe for your favorite dish. It just tastes better when the right ingredients are used. A community working together is called communism. When we hear the word communism we instantly think of an evil system. That evil system is what happens when men think that they are better than God. 

This world we live in is a repeat of the wilderness our ancestors were in. All the signs are here. How are we doing to get to the Kingdom of Heaven, the Promised Land? 

Praise be to God that we seek to overturn our mistakes.