Haavard Sand

B. Childress
Apr 18 2011

And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the
end will come
(Matthew 24:14).

Our call is to preach the Gospel.  But the question is, the gospel of what?  The word
gospel means "Good News."  So
now we ask the question "Good News about what?"  We used to understand that Good News is just about salvation -
Jesus paying the price for our sins.  The Good News certainly includes that.  But that is not just what the Gospel is all


Jesus modeled what message we should preach.  What did He preach?  He went around preaching the Good News of
the Kingdom!  That was the heart of His message - that the Kingdom of God is near.  Jesus was preaching the kingdom
message, and as He preached it He also demonstrated the power of this Kingdom.

    Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and
    healing every disease and sickness among the people  (Matthew 4:23).

His teaching was focused on the Kingdom. The way He introduced much of His teaching was about the Kingdom.  He
spoke in parables of what the Kingdom of Heaven is like.  In Matthew 13, an important chapter about the Kingdom, He
spoke on kingdom perspectives six times.

This was also the message that Jesus called His disciples to preach.  In Matthew 10, He sends out the twelve and
instructs them to preach the message that the Kingdom of Heaven is near (see Matthew 10:7).  And then He commands
them to demonstrate this Kingdom through healing the sick, raising the dead, cleansing those who had leprosy, and
driving out demons (see Matthew 10:8).

In Luke chapter 10, we see that Jesus sends out 72 followers, and again He instructs them to heal the sick and to say
that "the kingdom of God is near you" (see Luke 10:1,9).  When He taught them to pray in Matthew 6, it was for God's
Kingdom to come on earth as it is in Heaven (see Matthew 6:9-13).  After Jesus' resurrection, this was also the focus of
His message:

    After His suffering, He showed Himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that He was alive.  He
    appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God (Acts 1:3).


We also see this focus in the early believers after the day of Pentecost.  When Philip went to Samaria, it was said:

    But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus
    Christ, they were baptized, both men and women (Acts 8:12).

In the life of Paul, we also see the focus on the kingdom message.  The message he proclaimed in the great revival in
Ephesus was about the Kingdom.  In Acts chapter 19, we read: "Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for
three months,
arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God" (Acts 19:8).

Several years after Paul had said good-bye to the leaders of the Church in Ephesus, he met with them again and
reiterated the message he had preached while he was with them (see Acts 20:1-38).  In his departure speech, he said,
"Now I know that none of you among whom I have gone about
preaching the kingdom will ever see me again (Acts 20:

The last we hear about Paul in the Bible is from his time in Rome where he met with the Jewish leaders.  In Acts 28, it

    They arranged to meet Paul on a certain day, and came in even larger numbers to the place where he was
    staying.  From morning till evening he explained and declared to them the kingdom of God and tried to convince
    them about Jesus from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets (Acts 28:23).

The final word on Paul's life is found at the end of the Book of Acts, which says, "Boldly and without hindrance he
preached the kingdom of God
and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts 28:31).

In his letters, Paul focused mostly on the Gospel of salvation - to establish the important truth that it is by God's grace
alone and not the work of man that we receive salvation.  But this does not discount the fact that he also preached the
kingdom message.

John the Baptist, whom Jesus said was the greatest man born of a woman (see Matthew 11:11) was a forerunner before
the first coming of the Lord.  He preached repentance to the people "for the kingdom of heaven is near" (Matthew 3:2).


Just as John was a forerunner for Jesus' first coming, God is about to raise up a whole army of forerunners to prepare
for the Second Coming of Christ.  And they will again proclaim the kingdom message - the Gospel of the Kingdom in its

Jesus prophetically talks about this group of individuals in Matthew chapter 24.  As He looks down through human
history seeing the end and all the dramatic events that will happen, He also foresees a generation rising up during that
time of difficulty.  

They will go throughout the whole world and preach the Gospel of the Kingdom.  They will not only preach it, but they
will also demonstrate it in such a way that it will even become a testimony to all nations.  When this happens, then the
end will come.

    And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the
    end will come (Matthew 24:14).

As we study this subject it is important to have a paradigm shift.  It should be a shift from merely looking at the
Gospel as a salvation message to a whole kingdom message
.  The salvation message becomes the door through
which  we enter the Kingdom, and the most profound demonstration of the love that permeates this Kingdom.

It is the love of the Prince who was willing to leave His Kingdom of glory to enter a fallen kingdom of darkness, so that He
could rescue His Bride-to-be who was held captive by the prince of the kingdom of darkness.  As He fought to win her
back, He Himself died.  He was willing to give up His life to save his Bride-to-be.  This is the greatest love story ever told,
and it will forever stand as a reminder of His absolute love and commitment to us as His Bride.

That is the salvation message that paved the way for us to enter the Kingdom.  Then as we enter the Kingdom, Jesus
wants us to seek further for the treasure in it.  He wants us to seek for further revelation of what the kingdom message
is all about.

Jesus said, "The Kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field" (Matthew 13:44).  When He taught His disciples
to pray He said, "Ask and it will be given to you [prayer for salvation, the free gift of God]; seek and you will find"
(Matthew 7:7).  We often do the first part, "Ask and you will receive," and then we usually stop there and do not pursue
farther.  But Jesus is teaching a progression in our spiritual life.  He is inviting us not simply to ask but also to seek
treasures in the Kingdom.

Let me try to explain through C.S. Lewis'
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.  In that book, we follow the lives of four
children: Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy.  They are characters who enter the kingdom of Narnia through the mystery
of the wardrobe.  When they first enter, they find themselves in a dark forest during winter.  As they find their way
through the forest, they fully enter the kingdom of Narnia.  But can we say that they found it?  They were in it but had no
understanding of what they had become a part of.  They could have chosen to stay where they first entered the
kingdom through the wardrobe and that would have been all they had known. But instead they chose to explore the
kingdom of Narnia.  And what they found was something beyond their wildest dreams and imagination.

In the same way, as we enter this Kingdom Jesus wants us to go and explore this vast and great Kingdom and to
discover its treasures and secrets.  Finding this Kingdom is really the first step to unearthing what the message of the
Kingdom is all about.

And who will find it?  It will be treasure hunters, and these treasure hunters are forceful.

    From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful
    men lay hold of it (Matthew 11:12).

Jesus is talking about a group of people whom He describes as forceful.  What are they doing?  Laying hold of the
Kingdom.  And what does it mean to be forceful?  Is it to pray the loudest in a prayer meeting? One way to be forceful is
to live a fasted lifestyle.  As you fast, you become forceful.  You are forceful with your own body, telling it who is in

In Matthew chapter 13, it states:

Therefore every teacher of the law who has been instructed about the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house
who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old
(Matthew 13:52).

And we find this Kingdom and receive instruction and teaching about it, we become like the owner of a store house of
treasures - both old and new - that we can share with others.  Some are old treasures that others have found and
instructed and told us about, and some are new that we went out and found all by ourselves - revelation given to us
straight from Heaven not through some of His other vessels.


So what then is the message of the Kingdom?  Rick Joyner answers that question in his book, A Prophetic Vision for the
21st Century

    The message Jesus preached was not the gospel of salvation, although that was contained in His message.  
    Neither was His message about the church.  In all of His messages, He only made a few brief references to the

    His message was the kingdom, and this is the message we have been given to preach.  This does not belittle the
    importance of our salvation, nor negate the high place of the church in His plan.  However, the message of the
    kingdom is bigger than these.  Great truths are included in the message of the kingdom, but they are never
    intended to eclipse it.

    The message of the kingdom is essentially one basic but all encompassing truth - Jesus is the King!  He reigns,
    and His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom.

The message of the Kingdom is the message of the King and His Kingdom.  It is the message of the throne from which
He rules and that He wants to offer His Son.  But it also includes His dream, to give His Son a Bride who can join Him on
the throne so that  they can rule and reign this Kingdom.  It's an eternal Kingdom, and there is no place in this vast
universe that His Kingdom is not ruling, except one tiny planet on the outskirts of the universe - earth.

The Bible tells us that the earth "is under the control of the evil one" (I John 5:19).  This world has rebelled against the
King and His Kingdom and is now being ruled by the king of darkness or the ruler of the kingdom of the air.  He has
taken the inhabitants of this world under his control.  As it says in Ephesus:

    As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways
    of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient  
    (Ephesians 2:1-2).

We were the slaves of this evil ruler and the evil principalities of his kingdom.  But then, like the inhabitants of Narnia -
who whispered to each other that one day the Lion Aslan would come to restore his righteous reign, and the winter
would be over and gone - we also now share the Good News of His coming Kingdom, which will soon fully come to this
dark and fallen world.  As it says in Colossians, we will be:

    Giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of
    light.  For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He
    loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins (Colossians 1:12-14).

As we receive the forgiveness of sins, we are born again as citizens of a totally new Kingdom.  We go from the kingdom
of darkness to the Kingdom of light.  Now, we are being prepared for the ultimate battle of these two opposing kingdoms.

This is our hope and glory: for the day when His Kingdom of light will fully reign forever and ever.

    The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: "The kingdom of the
    world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He will reign for ever and ever" (Revelation 11:

Jesus, in talking about this day, says:

    When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing
    near...Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near (Luke 21:

So the Good News of the Kingdom is the Good News of the all  powerful, beautiful King - who has an everlasting
Kingdom of light, and who did not leave us in darkness.  He sent His only Son to this world that had rebelled against
Him, so that people could enter His Kingdom now, even if it had not yet fully come.  The Good News is that one day His
Kingdom will come in its fullness - to return peace, order, and harmony to the world.

Jesus did not only come to restore us to fellowship with Him, but also restore us to our original mandate in ruling the
earth - His Kingdom.  If Adam and Eve had not failed in the garden, life would have continued as designed, and they
would have filled the earth and ruled over it.  The world then, would have developed and grown in all spheres of life.

God's eternal plan for man is still for Him to rule the earth for all eternity.  Then we will not just be children of God, but
also be the Bride of Christ.  And when His Kingdom has been fully restored and the winter of this fallen world has come
to an end, we will be sitting on thrones ruling with Him over His eternal Kingdom.  That certainly is Good News.  That is
Good News of the Kingdom.


BECOMING THE BRIDE OF CHRIST IN THE LAST DAYS, by Haavard Sand, Copyright 2009, Destiny Image - Europe.