A Modern Woman's Perspective On The Kingdom of God on Earth

Showing posts with label Enter the Kingdom. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Enter the Kingdom. Show all posts

January 24, 2024

The Gospel of the Kingdom & the Kingdom Lifestyle: Putting the Puzzle Pieces Together

If you are familiar with my blog, then you know that my husband, Mark, and I have put sharing (and doing) a Kingdom lifestyle at the core of our how we live our lives and conduct our ministry. I have shared how frustrating that has been at times, as if everything we say is falling on deaf ears, but we continue to be obedient and try to find different ways to engage friends, family, and the Church. To that end, we recently invited our good friend, Steve Harmon, to come speak to a group of our acquaintances that the Holy Spirit highlighted, and who might be interested to hear Steve's message. 

Mark and I are always careful to discern who can be trusted to teach God's Word accurately on this subject. And through our years of friendship, we have found that we and Steve are closely aligned with each other's theology regarding an authentic understanding of the Gospel of the Kingdom. So, I'm going to try and summarize the high points of his 7 hours of teaching the best that I can. So, I hope you are blessed with this teaching on the Kingdom of God.

When you meet Steve Harmon, he is a bundle of high energy, whose rapid-fire enthusiasm for the Kingdom of God demands that your spirit sit up and pay attention. From the time we picked him up at the airport until we arrived home 2 hours later, and until we went to bed after midnight, he regaled us with his latest ministry exploits. We hardly got a word in edge-wise, because we had lots to catch up on. But when he told us how excited he was that we had asked if he was interested in teaching about the Kingdom of God, then the three of us entered into our happy place... talking about the Kingdom. We discussed what he would cover and finding that we were all on the same page, we told him, "Go for it! And don't hold back"! So here are the golden nuggets that came from his excellent teaching...

The Kingdom of God ... what is it? We Christians pray "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth and it is in heaven", but do we understand the breadth and depth of what God's Kingdom is? On one level it is His government -- He reigns and rules. Kingdom includes His authority, His dominion, His military, and all things (and people) under His influence. His dominion is the territory over which He reigns.

That question of dominion on the earth is addressed in Genesis 1:26-31, where God tells us He made us in His image and gave man dominion (authority) over His creation. We were to rule the earth [both physically and spiritually] as He rules in Heaven, incorporating His rules, statutes, and laws. But, as we know, Adam (the first man given dominion over the earth) gave it up and handed the dominion over to Satan through his disobedience in the Garden. 

Remember, when Satan is tempting Jesus in the wilderness, he tells the Lord in Luke 4:6-7,  “I will give You all this realm and its glory [its power, its renown]; because it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You worship before me, it will all be Yours.” So, it's important that the Church understand that Satan claims authority over the earth through the "legal transaction and transference" done by Adam when he ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. In 2 Corinthians 4:4, Paul teaches his followers, "among them the god of this world [Satan] has blinded the minds of the unbelieving to prevent them from seeing the illuminating light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God". And Jesus refers to Satan in this way in John 14:30, "I will not speak with you much longer, for the ruler of the world (Satan) is coming. And he has no claim on Me [no power over Me nor anything that he can use against Me]". But has the Church taught this truth so that the Body of Christ understands the authority the Enemy has and the importance of the Kingdom and our position in it?

What is your theology regarding the Kingdom of God? Do you understand that when Jesus began His ministry and said, "The Kingdom of God is at hand", that He meant it is here NOW, and it is within reach? Many in the Church teach that it is a future event, but when Jesus came to re-establish the Kingdom over 2000 years ago, He intended to show men how to take back their dominion and territory in people's lives from Satan, and how to sow the seeds of God's will in the earth. 

The Kingdom of God exists now and into the future. Re-establishing the Kingdom is a process we are to engage in until Jesus returns, when He will defeat His enemies and rule and reign on the earth. It doesn't just manifest itself, and it's not based on how you "feel" about the Kingdom. You can't worship it in; you can't establish it within the four walls of your church building and expect it to expand across the earth; and prayer alone won't increase the Kingdom. A Kingdom lifestyle requires a renewing of your mind; letting go of old paradigms and seeing God's Kingdom on earth through His perspective. And it requires action. It's a verb! You must apply, exercise, implement, execute and carry out the Kingdom in your life! You should base your theology [belief system] on the fruit you bear for the Kingdom. A Kingdom lifestyle is a bold [cold-hearted] and fearless act of your free will to "DO Kingdom".  

What did Jesus come to teach/preach -- Gospel of Salvation or the Gospel of the Kingdom? If you asked any group of Christians that question, I contend that the majority would say Jesus came to Save us. So, would you be surprised to know that Jesus talks far more often about the Gospel of the Kingdom than the Gospel of Salvation -- (especially in the Book of Matthew)? "Salvation" or "Saved" is mentioned 11 times, and I have counted 62 times that He talks about "the Kingdom of God/Heaven". 

Sadly, Jesus's message has been distorted down through the ages, until now the Church has adopted a platform of Saving the world; teaching the Good News that Jesus came to die for our sins. But that was not the primary message of the First Century Church; it's not what the Church in the Book of Acts nor the Apostle Paul focused on when preaching and teaching. The last verses in Acts tell us that Paul spent two years teaching about the Kingdom of God and about the Lord Jesus Christ. And, yes, Salvation would have been a part of his teaching about what the Kingdom of God offered, but he taught so much more. 

Read the Book of Romans. Yes, Jesus paid the price to give us Eternal Life and erase the penalty of Death for our sins. Paul taught that we are to yield to Jesus as our Lord, not just our Savior. "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved". Salvation is the result of believing and submitting to Jesus as LORD and MASTER of the Kingdom. That word "Lord" refers to our recognition of His power, authority, and majesty as God -- His dominion as owner of the earth, which belongs to His Kingdom. And notice how that sentence is constructed --- IF you recognize and yield to His Kingdom, THEN you will be saved. 

Salvation is dependent on your understanding and recognition of His Kingship and Kingdom. The Church has taught that Salvation should be our priority -- "save me so I can go to your Heavenly Kingdom". Salvation is focused on getting to Heaven. Kingdom is about submitting ourselves and our lives to bring the Kingdom of Heaven to earth -- to make earth look like Heaven. Salvation is our reward for a lifestyle of Kingdom. 

REMINDER: Adam was given dominion of the earth, but he forfeited it to Satan. Man could no longer walk in that intimate relationship with God that Adam enjoyed in the Garden, where death did not exist. After the Fall, man was subject to a mortal death that meant eternal separation from our Creator. But Jesus trumped Satan's strategy by taking Death upon Himself and paving a way [through faith in Him] for us to avoid eternal death and receive Eternal Life. Jesus, as a mortal man, had to win back our freedom from death. God couldn't do it. Our eternal relationship with God was lost by the first man [Adam], so it had to be won back by a man, Jesus, as the second Adam. That act foiled Satan's plan for eternal possession of the earth [through death], and established the dominion of the earth once again through the Kingdom of God.

Jesus came to make those changes on the earth and to change our position with the Father; seating us in heavenly places with Him and uniting us in His resurrection life -- He overcame death and we overcome life in this world; He ascended and we can ascend [in the spirit] to receive His counsel and guidance; He came to life in this world and we come to a new life in Christ, seated in heavenly places. 

How do we walk in a Kingdom lifestyle? The reason the modern American Church doesn't know the answer to that question is because the American Church preaches the Salvation message only. They do not teach Christians how to take back dominion from Satan's kingdom of darkness. Instead they try to "do kingdom" by impacting the so-called 7 Mountains of influence -- Family, Religion, Education, Media, Entertainment, Government, and Business. But that's not God's way. For instance, Christians put too much stock in politics, thinking if they can get a good Christian in office, that person can guarantee our personal and national safety. 

But incorporating that mindset into your theology won't keep you safe. Your best chance of being protected in this life is to be in a deep relationship with God. You are protected because the previous generation(s) have set up protected borders through their relationship with God. But consider our latest generations. Did they do that for us? Go test the American Church's theology of protection over in Iraq. How protected do you think you would be? God's protection comes from the spiritual lifestyle through which you are living. That's what matters -- not the politicians, not your religion, not your business model, or anything of this earth. 

God's way of walking in a Kingdom lifestyle is to submit to our Lord Jesus and His ways in order to bring His Heavenly Kingdom to earth. Part of that submission includes living a lifestyle of prayer. We also need to engage with people the way Jesus did ... He was led by the Spirit and He did and brought "Kingdom" everywhere He went. We have been given His power and authority to do what He did --healing the sick; casting out demons; cleansing the lepers [the socially unacceptable]; raising the dead; and spreading the Good News of the Kingdom everywhere He stepped foot. 

When we carry out the King's agenda [and our purpose for being here] we will live a supernatural life. We will walk in great signs and wonders. We will encounter angels. We will move and live in the spirit realm. We will enjoy God's provision. We will receive special revelation. And most importantly, we will live in the love and presence of God.

What are the hindrances to walking in a Kingdom lifestyle? Once again our theology and what we believe about God and His Kingdom will either advance us or hinder us from stepping into the Jesus-like lifestyle that we so desperately need.

One of the simplest hindrances to discern is the false image that the pursuit of the American dream of a house, two cars in the garage, a vacation every year, and a healthy bank account is the evidence that you're walking in the Kingdom of God. That's the Prosperity Gospel, not the Gospel of the Kingdom. Jesus never promised that. In fact, He told His Disciples that He had no place to lay His head at night, and they needed to leave all their possessions behind, grab their cloak and sword [if they had one], and come follow Him. It would not be a ministry of affluence, but they would receive everything they needed by "Seeking the Kingdom first and righteousness". 

One of the most pervasive impediments to a Kingdom lifestyle is the false teaching that God is in control of everything. Put another way, it is the teaching that God has "allowed" everything that has happened in your life, whether good or bad. But that doesn't take into account that God, in His Sovereignty, has given us all Free Will, and therefore some of our experiences are the results of choices we have made, or choices another person has made against us, or the choices of action by our Enemy, the devil.   

God's "Sovereignty" doesn't mean He will control everything; only that He can, if it is His will/desire. We must not forget that we have an Enemy who prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. We must be careful to make righteous decisions, and not give him the legal authority by being in agreement with his unrighteous temptations. We cannot, and must not, lay the evil deeds of the Enemy at the feet of our Just and Righteous God. 

And one more stumbling block to the Kingdom lifestyle is End Times Eschatology. None of us know what it will actually look like at the End of the Age. Our understanding of Tribulation and the teaching of an End Times Rapture of the Church is only a little over 200 years old, thanks to John Darby and Cyrus Scofield. None of the early Church Fathers taught it! And they were 2000 years closer to Jesus than we are. If we believe in this theology, we receive the message that we are not destined for wrath and will be "raptured" out of this world before "the bad stuff happens". This does nothing but convince us to sit on the sidelines and wait to be swept up to Heaven. It does nothing encourage us to enter or walk in the Kingdom of our Lord. 

My summary statement: This doesn't by any means capture everything that Steve Harmon taught. But it highlights some of his key points, especially the understanding that the key to a rewarding and fruitful Kingdom lifestyle is the desire to experience that deep spiritual relationship with God that comes only from putting Him and His Kingdom first in your life. You have to be willing to give up everything for Him; to pour out your life before Him and sacrifice [give up] all that this world has to offer -- your family, your money, your job, your status, and even your life! 

The Kingdom lifestyle is not an escape from this world so we can go to Heaven. It's an invasion of Heaven into this evil world. It's a restoration to the lifestyle Adam enjoyed in the Garden with God. We are to take back ground from the false kingdom of Satan wherever we find ourselves -- in our families, our communities, our jobs; even in Walmart! If we can manifest the presence of Jesus wherever we go, we can and will see the increase of His government, and it will have no end. 

That, my friends, is a quick summary of Steve Harmon's Kingdom teaching. Of course, it was impossible to give a synopsis of the entire 7 hours in this one blog post, but I encourage you to visit his website for more teachings: steveharmon.org. And, I know Steve would agree with me when I say this ... if your spirit is feeling uncomfortable and challenged, that’s not a bad thing. Let that tension help you to examine your theology and take your questions to God and ask Him … how do I need to renew my mind so that I am in sync with your thoughts and ways? Will you teach me how to see and enter your kingdom and begin to influence people for their healing… physically and spiritually? Tell Him you want to grow up into that super level of experiencing the Kingdom in your life; of entering the Kingdom in the fullness of your destiny and purpose.

Let me leave you with a prayer that expresses my heart on the subject of the Kingdom lifestyle ... Father, We thank you for providing the opportunity of attaining the fruit and the benefits of seeing and entering the kingdom. And from our kingdom position, help us to use the power and authority you transferred to us to take back territory from the kingdom of darkness and transition it into your kingdom on earth.

I pray that each of us will make the choice to make Jesus Lord of our life. That we will GO and take the Good News that Jesus invaded the earth, bringing His Father’s Kingdom and its authority and dominion to the earth so that we can partner with Him to make earth look like Heaven. 

Lord, change our hearts to help restore the earth for the glory of your Kingdom — on earth as it is in heaven. Help us to walk in the miracles and signs and wonders that the Kingdom is at hand… it is here NOW and it is for us! Amen!

#Kingdomlifestyle #GospeloftheKingdom #KingJesus #WhatdidJesusComeToTeach? #Kingdomtheology #HindrancestotheKingdomofGod #BenefitsoftheKingdomofGod #FalseTheologyoftheWesternChurch #steveharmon 

Isaiah 9:7    There shall be no end to the increase of His government and of peace, [He shall rule] on the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From that time forward and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.     



September 15, 2023

What Exactly Does It Mean To "Expand The Kingdom of God"?

By now, it should be apparent that I am attempting to expand our understanding of the Kingdom of God. And since "Kingdom" has become somewhat of a buzzword among the Christian community in the last few years, it should not be a new concept for the Body of Christ. But I will qualify that statement by saying that although you might be aware that Jesus commanded us to "seek the Kingdom first", you might not be quite sure what that looks like. 

I can remember when I began to concentrate on studying the Book of Matthew, which I found full of the revelation that Jesus is King of a heavenly kingdom realm that was being established on earth with His birth. With that divine disclosure to the human world, it makes "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven" a much more powerful statement.

I cannot go forward with this discussion without addressing the difference of opinion as to whether the Kingdom of God on earth is a future event [at the return of Christ] or whether it is present today. I can only share what my spirit is telling me, and each of you have to study the Word and come to your own theological understanding. In fact, we should each establish a Biblical worldview for ourselves, always being open to new revelations from the Holy Spirit.

Several years ago, I established the cornerstone of my Biblical worldview, and as of today, nothing has changed my opinion. And if I had to give you a concise statement as to my belief system, it would be this .... Both John the Baptist and Jesus warned those who would hear them to "Repent!" .... John, saying "for the Kingdom of God is near", and Jesus telling them, "for the Kingdom of God is at hand". It is my belief that both John and Jesus were announcing that God's representative from Heaven (Jesus) had come to plant Heaven's flag, so to speak, in the earth, staking territory for the Kingdom of God; in effect, inaugurating [or beginning] the heavenly Kingdom system of government on the earth. So, in that sense, the Kingdom is present now, or "in your midst" (Luke 17:21), but is not yet complete. The Kingdom is here in a partial sense as we Christians continue to take territory from the devil and take back dominion of the earth until the Day of the Lord, when Jesus will return, bringing His Justice and destroying the evil and corruption in the world, while establishing the good and perfect Kingdom realm on earth that God had planned from the beginning.

And one of the reasons that the Book of Matthew is at the center of my belief system is that it focuses on Jesus's teachings about how people are to behave as citizens of that Kingdom realm on earth, with Jesus as their loving King. Which takes me to the born again experience that Jesus speaks to Nicodemus about in John, Chapter 3. Jesus says, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God."  To me, this says that we come into the Kingdom as a citizen through being born again -- [reborn from above by the Holy Spirit—spiritually transformed, renewed, and sanctified].

When we are born again into the Kingdom, with Jesus as our King, we use a key to enter into that Kingdom. Jesus is the door and that key. Romans 10:9-10 tells us, "For if you publicly declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will experience salvation." To sum it up, when you are born again and confess your faith in Jesus, you are saved and become a citizen of the Kingdom. And with that citizenship come keys. [I have spoken about these keys in a previous post, titled "Have You Accepted Jesus's Gift of the Keys to the Kingdom?".

We see this confession/citizenship/keys relationship in Matthew 16:13-20. Peter confesses Jesus as the Christ (Anointed One from God), is given keys of the kingdom of heaven, and now has the authority "to forbid [bind, stop] on earth that which is forbidden in heaven, and to release [loose, permit] on earth that which is released in heaven." Those rights are only conveyed to one who is a citizen of the Kingdom of God/Heaven! And that is the purpose of the keys of the Kingdom -- to transform this earth, to look like it is in heaven! 

I also want to point out that it is my belief that there is a false narrative that this passage is establishing Peter as the head of the Church; which is a corruption of Scripture promulgated by Constantine. I believe, truth be told, that the keys to the Kingdom are principles given to all who are born again into the Kingdom as citizens; principles to rule and reign until the return of our King. These keys represent our authority and provide access to the Kingdom of Heaven. And that access is initiated through Scripture. It's not enough to just know Scripture ... we must DO Scripture! You see, God is moved by His Word, not our tears. Hebrews 6:17 says, "in His desire to show to the heirs of the Promise the unchangeable nature of His purpose, [God] intervened and guaranteed it with an oath" -- in other words, He says He is bound by His Word. So when we DO His Word, He will move in our lives and in this world; we will see results. 

And we must realize that there is no Master Key of the Kingdom-- no one-key-fits-all system -- and it is inherent upon us to know what the keys are; to understand and employ them to their fullest effect. If not, "my people perish for lack of knowledge", comes to mind. We also need to remember what our Lord tells us in Luke 12:32: "It is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom". We are to remember that we are citizens of the Kingdom; "sons of Light", and we are to be operating in the Kingdom system, not the system of the world. Sadly, I think that too many people (including Christians) are not "seeking the Kingdom first". They have gotten too attached to the world system and have compromised for the sake of succeeding in this world.

So, here's a truth we need to be aware of ... If we are born again and Saved, we are citizens of the Kingdom. But which system are we operating in? We can be considered citizens of the Kingdom, but still be operating in the world system. I believe we are all guilty of that at one time or another in our lives. For instance, if we get offended by someone [which is one of Satan's favorite schemes], do we withdraw and sulk, or do we work in the Kingdom government system and handle it with a Kingdom principle; for instance praying for those who curse you? We must recognize that the system of this world is not our system! Our system is Kingdom government!

The bottom line is this: we must know that if we call ourselves Christians, our primary citizenship is in the Kingdom of God! Yes, we wait for the fulfillment [completion] of the Kingdom on earth. But we serve our Lord, who is King of that Kingdom, and He has entrusted us to continue His work in establishing the Kingdom He came to inaugurate. Just because He has not yet returned, it doesn't mean we are to remain idle until that glorious Day. When He returns, we will give an account of the fruit we have borne for the Kingdom. I can imagine Him embracing us as Saved Christians; welcoming us as citizens of the Kingdom of God. And then I can hear Him ask, "What did you do with the keys of the Kingdom that I gave you? Did you read my Word? If so, did you seek to understand and experience it? Did you DO My Word?" 

It goes without saying that we are in a critical time in the history of our country, and the world. If we truly believe we are citizens of Heaven, here on earth to take back the dominion God gave man when He created the world, then it is crucial that we step into our identity and our assignment. As citizens of Heaven, we need to operate in God's government system and call on the power of Heaven, which is by legal rights, ours, as sons and daughters of the King. As citizens of Heaven, we do not settle for this world's corruption, ungodliness, and unrighteousness. We stand for everything that is Good and Pure and Just. It is my prayer that each of us know that the Kingdom in us is greater than the kingdom of this world. Let us use the keys He has given us in His Word to lock and secure our hearts in His Kingdom system. Let us be transferred from this world system into the spiritual realm of the Kingdom of God, where the reality of His Kingdom is apparent, and we bring it into the present through the abundant and prosperous fruit we bear, in the Mighty Name of Jesus. Amen!

Luke 17:21      "The Kingdom is not discovered in one place or another, for God’s Kingdom realm is already expanding within some of you."

August 28, 2023

How Close Are You To Entering The Kingdom of God?

This title is a play on a blog post I originally wrote in 2017, and then revisited again in 2019. And here I am again in 2023, always amazed at what my God has revealed anew. You see, I like to take a frequent assessment of my spiritual awareness to see if I am staying tuned in to the Holy Spirit. The original post was based on Mark 12:33-34, in which one of the experts in Mosaic law [scribe] asks Jesus which commandment was the first and most important. Jesus answers him ... "Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, is One Lord, and you are to love Him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to [unselfishly] love one's neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices. There is no other commandment greater than these. The scribe responds, "Admirably answered, Teacher" and proceeds to repeat the commandments. And when Jesus saw that the scribe spoke thoughtfully and intelligently, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” 

It's important that we look at this exchange within the context of the entire passage. Jesus has made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, setting the stage for His eventual trial and crucifixion. He has already thrown the money-changers out of His Father's House, and then the chief priests, scribes, and elders begin questioning His authority to "do these things".  When they cannot answer His question about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, He refuses to tell them under Whose authority He acts. So, now in Mark, Chapter 12, we find both the Pharisees and the Herodians (Hellenistic Jews who were more Greek than Hebrew) trying to trap Him in their questions about loyalty to Caesar versus loyalty to God.  We then find the Sadducees trying to ambush Him about the afterlife (in which they don't even believe).   

But there's one scribe who has been watching all the arguing and subterfuge, and realizes that Jesus's answers are accurate. And then He asks a question that shows His heart ... Which commandment is the most important one of all? He is not interested in maintaining his own power or prestige, or in trying to diminish Jesus's authority. It is in his heart to be obedient to the commands of God and he wants to find out the answer that this man, Jesus, has to this important question.

And then follows Jesus's answer and the curious words that I wonder how many Christians have seriously pondered ... “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” What did Jesus mean, and what's the connection between the commandments to love God and your neighbor being more important than all the burnt offerings and sacrifices, and being not far from the kingdom of God? Let me see if I can make sense of what God revealed to meals  those years ago; revealed by casting a series of bread crumbs throughout Scripture that led me to a profound Biblical truth. 

Although this Scribe may not have come to the full realization that Jesus is the Son of God, he is beginning to connect the dots that are leading him to the doorstep of the Kingdom of God. I believe he was able to correctly discern the underlying principles of the Ten Commandments in Jesus's answer. The first five commandments point to God as the One True God, and that we are to love and seek Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.  The last five commandments exhort us to love our neighbors as we would wish to be loved.

Then the Scribe realized that Jesus was saying that the two commandments He mentioned were greater in God's eyes than any of the rituals or sacrifices that had been instituted when Israel came out of bondage to Egypt.  Those rituals were established to separate the Israelites from 400 years of being immersed in a false god system.  They were meant to be temporary, and God now expected them to have grasped what He wanted to accomplish with them through His covenant. And it was also understood that these numerous rituals could never save them from the judgment of Almighty God. That's why they had to be repeated each year for the nation. Salvation would never come through observing rituals! It would come from a heart connected to God!

The next dot Jesus connected for the Scribe [and He connected for me through Scripture] was the understanding that God desires that we show our love for Him by obeying His commands. And I can remember the moment that connection was made in my spirit -- that I am to show my love for Him by obeying His commands to do the Great Commission [which is to cast out demons, heal the sick, cleanse the lepers/spiritually unclean, raise the dead, and spread the Good News that the Kingdom of God had arrived on the earth]. My obedience [and yours!] will certainly mean that territory will be taken from the kingdom of Satan and transferred to the Kingdom of God.

It wasn't long before Jesus led me to the next bread crumb ... a more credible understanding of His remark that the Scribe was not far from the Kingdom of God. And it is centered on Jesus's conversation with Nicodemus, another religious man, in John, Chapter 3. He tells the Pharisee priest that unless one is born again [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, sanctified -- SAVED] he cannot see or enter the kingdom of God (John 3:1-5). So, can you see that Salvation is the key to our admittance into the Kingdom? But in the Mark passage, Jesus has not yet gone to the Cross, so mankind has not been given the gift of Salvation at this time. But it wasn't far off... hence, this is why Jesus tells the Scribe, "You are not far from the kingdom of God". Furthermore, it is important to understand that Salvation is the first essential step, but it's not the the ultimate conclusion of the matter. 

I just love it when the Holy Spirit reveals another nugget of truth and glory in the Word! Remember, Scripture says it is the glory of God to conceal a matter, and the glory of kings to search it out (Proverbs 25:2).  The dots of truth that the wise Scribe connected are these:  God commands us to love Him and others ... we show our love for Him by following His commands ... Jesus commands us (in the Great Commission) to do the things He did (healing, casting out demons, preaching the gospel) ... and it brings the Kingdom of God to earth! I just added dots that the Scribe would have been unable to understand because Salvation was not a reality yet. 

So, I invite you to join me; whether you are Saved or not, the Kingdom is nearer than you may think. But it's not enough to be Saved --- to enter the Kingdom, Jesus desires that we DO kingdom ... anyone who believes in Me [as Savior] will also do the things that I do; and he will do even greater things than these [in extent and outreach], because I am going to the Father. Don't waste another day! I believe that seeing the Kingdom and entering it may be two different things. For myself, I do not want to be like those servants who were invited to the wedding feast, but paid no attention and disregarded it with contempt, choosing to go about their business. I want my life to be about doing Jesus's business! I want a seat at that wedding banquet table! Thank you, Father, for revealing these scriptural jewels, and I am not through with being willing to learn more. Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! 

Matthew 5:20    "For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."