Luke 17:20 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: 21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. (KJF)
When we begin to “see” our inclusion in God’s family we begin to perceive our inheritance…Him. We are in Him and of Him and within Him. He is also in us and within us and joined to us. This is the power of the incarnation, death and resurrection of Jesus. This is the good news. Why? It is news. It is something we would have never conceived as humans. In a fallen human understanding, God joined to man, God becoming man, God redeeming man, God coming under man and receiving the wrath of mankind is way beyond our comprehension because we humans would never conceive such a plan.
John 17:20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one (this is the glory!), 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. (ESV, italics mine)
We have sucked from the fallen fruit for so long that we have institutionalized a fallen Adam perspective and insist on bushes instead of light. This is why Jesus as the God-man, as a servant to mankind and a vicarious substitute for mankind is so important to save mankind. Stuck in our fallen thinking we create an image of God in our heads that is an extension of our fallen perspective. We make Him angry and judgmental and harsh and divisive. If Adam can’t trust Eve then of course an infinite version of Adam or Eve can’t be trusted, right? This is what drove mankind deep into the bushes. Jesus said we loved the darkness. We loved to hide in our fallen identity. We didn’t want to let God into our little dark forest to help us. We wanted our own perspective to be truth when our truth wasn’t truth at all but was actually a bunch of junk generated by our fallen-thinker subject to the accuser of the brethren.
Jesus sets us free from all that. He reveals to us that mankind has been worshiping a god of their image instead of the God who made us in Him image…our Father.
Mankind made in God’s image and likeness was always His plan. This was His expression of the Kingdom of Heaven. This was His plan for “dominion” over the Earth.
Gen 1:27 So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 And God blessed them and said to them, Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it [using all its vast resources in the service of God and man]; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and over every living creature that moves upon the earth. (AMP)
Francois Du Toit in his Mirror Bible translation makes this comment:
“Unless a man is born from above (anouthen), he cannot see the Kingdom of God.” The kingdom of God (the reign of God’s image and likeness in human life) is made visible again on earth as it is in heaven; tangible in human form. (Toit, Francois Du (2014-01-08). Mirror Bible)
I highly recommend picking up a copy of this limited translation. It isn’t complete but what is there will totally change your perspective. He begins with the assumption that the writers of the New Testament would have understood or at least perceived and were living the truth of what Jesus said about our union and inclusion within Him and Him within us. Our recognition of this truth comes by His supplied faith and communion expressed by the Holy Spirit and is our revelation of the Kingdom of Heaven. The really good news is we are His kids and He is with us always. Not only that, but Jesus is joined with us in such a way that we find Him at the very beginning of everything we are. When trials come, He is there. When hurts come, He is there. When lies about our identity constantly rage from the accuser, He is there. This is what Paul discovered “on the road.”:
Gal 1:15 But when He, Who had chosen and set me apart [even] before I was born and had called me by His grace (His undeserved favor and blessing), saw fit and was pleased 16 To reveal (unveil, disclose) His Son within me so that I might proclaim Him among the Gentiles (the non-Jewish world) as the glad tidings (Gospel), immediately I did not confer with flesh and blood [did not consult or counsel with any frail human being or communicate with anyone]. (AMP)
Some translations say Jesus was revealed TO him but the meaning of the Greek word is very clear:
1722 en (a preposition) – properly, in (inside, within); (figuratively) “in the realm (sphere) of,” as in the condition (state) in which something operates from the inside (within).
Often times this word “en” is translated as through or throughout. Come on! Paul, the killer of the Christians, the one most likely to hate anyone who declared the name of Jesus, this one absolutely certain of the heresy of Jesus, this Paul who studied under the best and brightest, this Paul who carried papers as a Pharisee of all Pharisees, this guy gets a revelation of JESUS IN HIM. Aren’t you blown away?
This is the really really really good awesome amazing astonishing unbelievable unfathomable news…Jesus in us. Him in us is the certainty of manifest goodness because the glory of the triune God is this family dynamic. Our inclusion in His circle of awesomeness is awesome. We are encountering and experiencing and drawing our very life from this circle of inclusion this God of oneness. John the Baptist saw it:
Matt 3:11-12 “I’m baptizing you here in the river, turning your old life in for a kingdom life. The real action comes next: The main character in this drama—compared to him I’m a mere stagehand—will ignite the kingdom life within you, a fire within you, the Holy Spirit within you, changing you from the inside out. He’s going to clean house—make a clean sweep of your lives. He’ll place everything true in its proper place before God; everything false he’ll put out with the trash to be burned.” (The Message)
All those lies about an angry God will be vaporized. All those false claims of a vengeful God will be burned away. All those lies of the accuser about your nature, your behavior, your lack, your unworthiness, your horrific self-image founded on fallen thinking shrouded in darkness, all of that junk…poof, burned away by the revelation of the LOVE of GOD.
Luke 17:20 Asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He replied to them by saying, The kingdom of God does not come with signs to be observed or with visible display, 21 Nor will people say, Look! Here [it is]! or, See, [it is] there! For behold, the kingdom of God is within you [in your hearts] and among you [surrounding you]. (AMP)
I know this is hard to swallow. It is easier to hide in our religious corner and deny divine entry into our “innermost being.” The truth of Jesus becoming a man and coming down into our darkness is He is already in your innermost being. Religion wants you to clean the cup. Jesus comes into the cup as one of us and perfectly joined to you. He already knows. Whatever IT is, He knows IT, He feels IT, He experiences IT, He has compassion for you in IT, He has a healing plan for you to be free from IT.
That is the Kingdom of Heaven within you. Jesus is there and He brought Dad and the Holy Spirit. It is what you were made for.