We learned previously in Mat 4 and Gen 11, that the kingdom of heaven is where God is King, and the citizens of the kingdom worship, serve, and obey Him. The kingdom of heaven is opposed by the kingdoms of this world, where Satan is king (Mat 4:8-9), and the citizens of the kingdom worship, serve, and obey him, by rebelling against God, serving themselves, and establishing man and his ways on the throne(s) of the kingdom. The first kingdom of this world was established at Babel, and the kingdoms of the nations, the kingdoms of this world, are patterned from Babel.
The disciples were commanded to preach the coming of the kingdom of heaven, not to Gentiles, not to Samaritans, but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Just tuck that bit of trivia away for now because we will return to it later.
In the kingdom of heaven, its citizens can expect:
- Disease and sickness to be healed;
- Uncleanness to be made clean;
- The dead to be restored to life;
- Authority to be exercised over demons.
This is why Peter said of Jesus of Nazareth, that He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed of the devil (Act 10:38). I learned in catechism class as a young Lutheran, that Jesus overcame the power of the devil which had been made manifest by Hell (demons), death, and disease. Death, uncleanness, oppression by demons, disease – these are all the result of sin, for none of these things existed in Eden (Rom 5:12).
If a citizen of the kingdom of heaven is in the service of the King, by preaching, teaching, or other ministry, then Jesus taught His disciples in Mat 10:8-10, that the King will provide for them while they are in His service. They do not need to charge for preaching or healing or deliverance. They can freely give because they have freely received. They do not need to travel having prepared for every contingency, because of the excellency of the King they serve – they are in His service – He is able to provide for their needs.
That the sick are healed, that the unclean are made clean, that the dead are raised, that the demons are cast out – these things are evidence and proof that the message, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand,” is true. That the ministers of the message are provided for from Heaven, is evidence and proof that the message they preach is true.
I have not been to seminary, but I would venture a guess that all of them have departed from this instruction of Jesus to their ministers. This way of life is not feasible to the human mind. But it is the way of those who are called to be sent.
I believe that these instructions are still in force, and did not perish when the twelve apostles perished. Why? Because these are the instructions for the work that is to occupy Yeshua’s disciples until the Son of Man comes (Mat 10:23), because when He comes, they will still be doing it. He has not come yet.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is radical. It is, forsake all, bow the knee to the King, and obey Him. It is a call to bring life where there was death and light where there was darkness. It is a call to confront the enemy is his dominion and do not suffer him to retain his authority. I am preaching to myself, this is challenging me! But this is what the Word of God that we claim we believe, says!
When we settle down and stop preaching the radical message of Jesus, we might be able to comfortably blend in with the world. But for those who choose the radical message of Jesus, opposition from the world will be the norm. Do not fear, and do not cave! They might have power to kill the body, but they do not have power to touch the real person who dwells within the body as a temporary house! The King is on His throne!