After His resurrection, Jesus continued teaching on the importance, values and principles of the kingdom of God.  The book of
Acts begins with an account of what Jesus did for forty days with His followers.

1  The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach.  2   until the day in which he was
taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen,  3   to whom He
also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of
the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.  Acts 1:1-3

Just as He did before His death, Jesus continued to teach about and reinforce principles, laws, mindsets and mentalities about
the kingdom of God.  Jesus taught how to live and operate successfully as kingdom citizens.  Just as a person focuses on
necessary things before leaving on a vacation, before leaving the earth and ascending into heaven Jesus spent time sharing
the most important things His followers would need to carry on His mission.  He left a kingdom mandate.

As we look in the gospels, we find that teaching and modeling the kingdom  of God was Jesus' standard procedure of
operation.  Jesus invested much time, energy and effort in impressing the reality of the kingdom of God on the hearts of men.  
In fact, His first message in Mark 1 was that the kingdom of God was present and was to influence the lives and activities of
men and nations.

14   Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,  15   And
saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe the gospel.  Mark 1:14-15

Jesus came declaring the good news that there is a new way of living available to men.  Beginning at Galilee, he taught the
ways of the kingdom and proclaimed the good news that God's kingdom would positively affect and change lives.  In Matthew
4:23, we find that "...Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and
healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people..."

Jesus left a mark  the size of the kingdom where he traveled  Just as you can see the path of storm in the aftermath of a
tornado, you could see the impact of the message Jesus spoke and the actions that He took in healing after He left.  The
things Jesus did had such impact that "...the people sought Him, and came to Him, and tried to keep Him from leaving them.  
But He said to them, I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also: because for this purpose I have been sent."  
Luke 4:42-43

In Luke 8:1, we see the intentionality of Jesus.  "Now it came to pass, afterward, that He went through every city and village,
preaching the glad tidings of the kingdom of God.  And the twelve were with Him."

Jesus clearly understood and demonstrated that this message of the kingdom must be systematically spread throughout every
region.  Through His traveling and ministering, Jesus sought to  multiply the knowledge of the kingdom by planting the seed,
the word of the kingdom, in every city to which He traveled.  His message remained consistent and the same everywhere:  
"The kingdom of God is come to the lives of men, to every family, to every village and city, and ultimately, for every nation."

Jesus explained that the mysteries, or revelation of the kingdom, are given to us to know, but we must receive them and
explore them.  As we receive light, or understanding of the basics about the kingdom of God, further light and understanding
are given to us.

Jesus taught with simplicity, repetition, depth and respect.  In every setting where He taught, He used natural everyday
examples and illustrations, like the Parable of the Sower, to reveal the nature of God and the ways of the kingdom of God.  
And He made sure that the 12 disciples, or carriers of the mantle of the kingdom going forward, were with Him, saw how He did
it and were sent out and held accountable to the message.

1   The he called his twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases.  2   
He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.  6   So they departed and went through the towns, preaching
the gospel and healing everywhere.  10   And the apostles, when they had returned, told Him all that they had done.  Then He
took them and went aside privately into a deserted place belonging to the city called Bethsaida.  11   But when the multitude
knew it, they followed Him: and He received them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who had
need of healing.  Luke 9:1-2, 6, 10-11

After diligently modeling the message, beliefs and behavior He expected from His disciples, Jesus sent the 12 to declare the
kingdom of God everywhere they went.  We see that Jesus commissioned the 12 to go about doing the same things He had
been doing from the beginning of His ministry.  The apostles, or sent ones, taught and preached the kingdom of God, and
healed the sick.

From these verses of scripture in Luke 9, we also see that healing is a kingdom provision, healing is a need provided for and
met by preaching the gospel (good news) of the kingdom.  This gospel of the kingdom is to demonstrate the power of God
unto salvation--of being saved, delivered, protected, preserved, healed and made whole--for all who believe.

Later in Luke 9, Jesus called someone to follow Him.  Jesus told him to "...go and preach the kingdom of God."  Another
person in Luke 9 expressed their desire to follow Jesus, but the man said he wanted to go spend a season of time with his
family and his old way of life before he could commit to following Jesus.  Jesus' response was, "No one, having put his hand to
the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."

Jesus proclaimed the gospel of the kingdom in the synagogues, in the open air with the multitudes, privately with His disciples
and with individuals who came to Him for counsel and direction.  When Jesus called people to follow Him, He told them to
preach the kingdom of God.  After demonstrating the kingdom and commissioning the 12, Jesus did the same thing with 70
others.  They, too, were sent to preach the gospel of the kingdom and heal the sick.

1   After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and
place where He Himself was about to go.  2   Then He said to them...  9   ...heal the sick there, and say to them, "The kingdom
of God has come near to you."  17   Then the seventy returned with joy saying, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in
Your name.."  Luke 10:1-2, 9, 17

The kingdom of God is ruled over by a King.  This King expects His subjects to follow His instructions and commands.  The
King requires a commitment from those who consider themselves citizens.  Jesus understood that He is a King with a kingdom,
and that His Father is the Great King over all.  (John 18:33-37)

This same commission to preach and demonstrate the kingdom of God is upon believers in our day.  In Mark 16, Jesus said to
His followers, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.  He who believes and is baptized will be saved;
but he who does not believe will be condemned.  And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out
demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt
them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."  

In other words, preach the gospel of the kingdom.  This is called the Great Commission that was to be passed as a mantle
from generation to generation.  It's now upon this generation of believers to carry the mantle of the kingdom of God forward
and be like Jesus: change the lives of people around us for their good and God's glory.

Lance Ivey
www.lanceivey.com
Copyright ©2007 Agape Life Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved.
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