The Kingdom of God is celestial. It is bigger than our human minds can fathom, greater and more powerful than our imaginations can conceive of; ultimately it is transcendent of our faculties and our experience. If this is true, how then can we know it? How can we know anything about it? How can we even begin to cooperate with it, function within it, or call ourselves citizens of it?
The Kingdom of God cannot be conceived of by human mind alone. It cannot be apprehended by human effort. It can only be entered by faith, and understood by spirit. The reason this is even possible is that we are Kingdom beings. We are created to move, and to breathe, and to have our being in the atmosphere of God’s Kingdom. In fact, each human being has an incredible ultimate destiny in the Kingdom of God. But too many people on the planet aren’t even aware of their Kingdom destiny, let alone reaching out to accomplish it. Why? Because we are limited by this physical world, veils of sin and selfishness, and the mere fact of the individual physical bodies that we find ourselves in. We live as though this physical existence is all there is.
Don’t get me wrong — The physical world is very real. We cannot despise it or deny its reality as long as we are here in it. The Kingdom of God, however, is more real than the physical world that we live in. It is more powerful; it is of more consequence; it is more amazing, more beautiful, and more glorious than anything we can see or imagine on this plane. But, paradoxically, it is in pictures from this physical world that we can understand God’s Kingdom. It’s as if this physical world were the preschool classroom for the Kingdom of God. Jesus knew this. This is why he taught about the Kingdom using stories and pictures from the physical world.
Jesus said that the Kingdom of God is like a woman who lost a coin, and stayed up all night searching for it. This shows us that the Kingdom is a place where we must never give up, because it is where there is ultimate victory. It shows us that we should have such tenacity, and that God shows such tenacity toward us – He will seek us untiringly until He has found us: He will have the ultimate victory.
Jesus also said that the Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed which a man planted in his field. The seed is very small, but the plant grows to a great size, bearing tens of thousands of seeds. This shows us that the Kingdom may look insignificant in the terms of this physical world, but will bring with it amazing growth and extreme fruitfulness when it finds fertile soil. It also shows us that God is intentional, and very interested in planting His Kingdom in the Earth.
When we take the word pictures of Jesus together, we have an account of a widow, a farmer, a rich man, a king, who will finally be triumphant through unexpected means. Jesus shows us that the Kingdom of God is about God Himself and His untiring dedication to claiming the treasure, the harvest, the people that He loves. Interestingly, Jesus used pictures from the physical world to teach us about the Kingdom because the Father Himself has used pictures from the physical world in order that we can understand the Kingdom, and enter into it. These pictures can be found throughout the Bible.
God’s pictures that teach about the Kingdom were very well known to the people in the time and culture that Jesus came to. They form the perfect backdrop to the word pictures that Jesus used in his teaching. The problem for the people in that place and at that time is that they had only seen the pictures in type and symbol. They did not have the opportunity to see the Kingdom in operation. Conversely, our problem is that even though we may see the Kingdom in operation, we have forgotten God’s pictures that show us God’s plan. Because we have forgotten the pictures that God gave us, we have only been able to make the Kingdom work in parts and pieces. Add to that the Church’s historic tendency to want to break up, each part trying to operate independently, and we can see why we have only been able to understand the Kingdom of God with a severely limited view.
It is very important, moreover, that we begin to see and understand the Kingdom in its fullness and reality. The Kingdom is a unity made up of diverse functions, much like our bodies. All of the elements must be present. All must be functioning. All of the elements must be recognized and honored and fit together for the whole to function well. When we look at it in this way, we begin to see that the Kingdom is not a thing. It is not a bureaucracy, a club or an institution. When we see that the Kingdom of God is a unity that operates in diversity, simple biology shows us that it is structured more like an organism. When we further begin to understand that the operation must be directed under a central thought, a central life, we see that it truly must be an organism. It is a spiritual organism. As an organism we can readily understand that the Kingdom of God will not function in parts and pieces. If an organism is separated into parts and pieces it cannot function; it is dead. In just the same way that an organism must be whole in order to function, the elements of the Kingdom of God must function together in order to function at all. This is the task that we are called to. This is the task of our day: The elements of the Kingdom of God must be brought together and begin to operate under the central impulse; the central life of the organism. The time is overdue for us to understand the elements of the Kingdom, to put the pieces together, so to speak, and begin to establish the Kingdom of God in the Earth in its wholeness; in its full effectiveness; under its true head; in its glory.