Assemblies of God Empowered Magazine Kingdom Initiatives - Page 5

THEOLOGICAL Buried Treasure, Hidden Glory. The majesty of the Son, the one sent from the Father was hidden in his early form. Likewise the full expression of the kingdom is also hidden. We live in the 'already and the not yet'. We await its full expression. Pastor Steve Allen, Alphacrucis College Dean, Senior Pastor, Sandringham Christian Family Church, Auckland, NZ Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. " I’m with Philip. ‘Show us the Father, and we will be satisfied’. We would all like the veil of heaven to be pulled back, to see as Isaiah saw. Yet God remains hidden. I am sure that Philip was puzzled by Jesus’ response. How is God who created the heavens and the earth seen in this rabbi with the dusty sandals? We might similarly pose the question, “Lord, show us the kingdom”. To which Jesus might well respond “he who has seen me has seen the kingdom”. His earthly ministry was not simply a set of ideas or words interspersed with miracles, it was a demonstration of what God’s kingdom looks like. We are often impatient with a kingdom that is discerned only with the eyes of faith. We want to see. Yet for the most part his kingdom remains hidden with no sign of outward glory. It is as Jesus described a treasure hidden in a field waiting to be discovered. The disciples also failed to realise that the kingdom had come among them. This was evident in the conversation before the ascension. “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” they asked. Jesus responded by speaking about the coming Holy Spirit and the witness of the church. He was not simply avoiding the question but saying that the church ministering in the power of the Spirit would be the agent and the sign of the kingdom. The kingdom announced by Jesus is now among us, but we await, at his return, its full expression. At present its form is hidden – God working with us to invade human hearts, to bring about his rule and reign. Jesus’ words, “No man has seen the Father”, speaks of the hiddenness of God, dwelling in unapproachable light. The majesty of the Son, the one sent from the Father was hidden in his early form. To many he was just the ‘carpenter’s son’. Likewise the full expression of the kingdom is also hidden. We live in the ‘already and the not yet’. We await its full expression. Jesus announced the coming of the Kingdom, he declared its arrival, its presence and pointed ahead to its full realization on his return. However much we might want to see the church as the kingdom, the church is not the kingdom. It is not to be seen as bringing about the fullness of the kingdom on earth nor as the hapless remnant awaiting the coming of the Lord. It is however the community of the king. As it is faithful to its calling it is a sign and an agent of the kingdom. If the world is to catch a glimpse of the kingdom it should be through the community of those who are faithfully following Jesus. The words and actions of the community of believers should be a sign to the world that there is a different kingdom present. Such is our privilege. The church of Jesus Christ has always been an ‘end-times’ church. Our gaze, our worship and our proclamation point towards a day when we will gaze upon the Father, when we will see Jesus face to face, and when we will see the full realization of the Kingdom. We seek out the kingdom, looking for th B[[ۜ][ۜو8&\Z[[B[Hܙ[\Hو\]\ˈ]\H[YBY[ۙH\X[Y ]YK܈Y\[\H[HوH[HX\B&H[Hو\[[ۙ\&KH[XHXܛH\YYX\\BوH[H[[[H]H[ܙ\X]Z\H] ۙH^H[]\šY[[H]X[Y ]\HY[[XHX\[]X[]X\\KH[\و\ܛ[XYBH[\و\ ۙH^HB[YHH\[\XHXB[[\ܞK]\\H\[ۜ]\Z[\]\˂TQḦSH M B