Someone emailed me the two unrelated passages below and asked for a brief explanation. My explanation of the two passages follows. Robert Alan Balaicius
1. Luke 17: 20-21:
"20And when He was demanded of the Pharisees, when the Kingdom of God should come, He answered them and said, The Kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 21Neither shall they say, 'Lo here!' or, 'lo there!' for, behold, the Kingdom of God is within you."
First of all, Christ did not perform to anyone's demands. When asked a question to entrap Him, He often sidestepped the question and answered something different than the question asked, or even asked a question of His own. Here the Pharisees made a demand of Him. It seems most probable to me, that Christ's answer was not to those demanding, evil Pharisees, but to the crowd itself; and thus He spake in parables, for the truth was intended only for His sheep, only for those whose ears the Spirit of God had opened to truly hear, understand, believe, and obey. The "you" Christ speaks of, is not the Pharisees, but the elect of His people in the crowd whom the Holy Spirit quickened unto life to be able to hear and receive.
The Kingdom of God (for true believers) will not be something that is forced upon God's people from without, but they shall desire it from within and only when we truly long for it--as a people--will God deliver it to us. As I have written innumerably, "Why should God deliver us from what we are willing to tolerate?" God commanded us to HATE EVIL. Those who do not, God is showering down upon them a deluge of evil to the point that it either destroys them, or they FINALLY begin to hate it as He commanded. So God is using evil to destroy those who don't want Him to rule over them, and causing others to hate the world (system and all the corruption / perversion in it) realizing how evil it is.
The Kingdom of God in relation to God's people proceeds forth out of their hearts: hearts of obedience. Those truly of God, those TRULY regenerated, those TRULY converted who will stop walking after their former lusts, or the traditions of men, and walk as God commanded us to walk.
The Kingdom of God will not be forced on those who are not God's people, for they want nothing of it and it was not prepared for them, nor they for it. While they may like the idea of a wonderful Kingdom, they despise the notion of being subject to, in submission to, in obedience to God.
[Like someone I once knew who liked the idea of a "side job" for extra cash, but did not like the idea of actually working to earn that cash; he had to stop to take a smoke break every 15 minutes, and the pace at which he pushed the wheelbarrow, well, due to the earth's rotation I think he lost ground.]
They will not be part of God's Kingdom, but be banished from it. Truly "heaven on earth" (God's Kingdom, here on earth, where He said His Kingdom would be—a colony of Heaven here on earth) would be "Hell" to those who hate God; so God has a place more suited for their nature which He has prepared for them and likewise prepared them for it.
Those who do not keep God's Commandments, who walk even as they did in their former life, with little difference after their "conversion" (and rarely meditating upon God's Word to daily learn exactly what God commands), God does not hear their prayers. Until they are humbled to the point of death or TRUE submission and obedience (realizing that it is the only way to true life and that it is life itself, rather than some "oppressive yoke forced on them"), their hearts will not desire His Kingdom. They desire only selfishness: what they think is good for them according to their own corrupt minds and avarice. God will either change the heart to desire His Kingdom or discard body, mind, and soul altogether unto Judgment.
"Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you." How and when will they be added...? In the Kingdom, as well as in this life.
[—though sometimes we cannot appreciate the good things that God gives us, looking back once we have matured and our minds are ripened, we can see the purpose and actually be thankful for it—like later in life looking back and thanking God for a godly father who was a stern disciplinarian who as Scripture says, chastised us... though it was not pleasant, even seemingly unbearable at times; a wise man looking back will be thankful, when he sees the vast majority of wandering, mindless flesh without any conscience or discipline, respect or self-possession merely rudely, even violently forcing their way through other people's lives like a bull in a china shop.]
"29And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. " (Matthew 19)
The Kingdom being in us is not merely some way of spiritualizing away God's Truth and claiming that there will be no literal Kingdom. Christ taught us to pray, "Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven." God said, "As I have thought is, so shall it come to pass, as I have purposed, so shall it stand." God desires for us to "get with" His Program (rather than resist it), so that we can share a part in the blessing of having by His Grace, been quickened to true life and played some minor role of ushering it in... by resisting evil and by preaching, "repent: the Kingdom of Heaven is soon to come" and by daily praying to God that He would make the ushering in of that Kingdom a reality.... again, why should God deliver us from (evil) what we are willing to tolerate, that which insults Him daily and is an abominable affront to Him...? If we don't hate what He hates, we are not His honorable children in whom He has placed His Spirit (we are merely eyes that see not and ears that hear not). If we don't hate and take offense at what insults and affronts our Father—how dispicable then we are! King David, the only man of whom God said was a man after the Lord's Own Heart, declared,
"21 Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate Thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against Thee?
22 I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." (Psalm 139)
If we would be men and women after the Lord's Own Heart, then likewise, we should have the same sentiments as David, and experience them as continually and naturally as breathing.
The Kingdom of God--that Kingdom He Determined in His Mind before the foundation of the world in eternity past, shall be let down from Heaven and superimposed over this world when God's people truly repent, seek Him and His Ways, and "pray it down".
2. Micah 3:8-9:
8But truly I am full of power by the Spirit of the LORD, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin. 9Hear this, I pray you, ye heads of the house of Jacob, and princes of the house of Israel, that abhor judgment, and pervert all equity.
This passage, like most of prophecy, can only be understood in context with the whole chapter or prophecy or declaration, otherwise, it is like looking through a telephoto lens at something rather close... you have no idea what you are seeing... you may be able to make out certain colors and shapes, but you really don't understand it in context and "can't see the forest for the trees".
God, through bold Micah, is lambasting God's people, and accusing the "upper crust" (the princes, prophets, priests, teachers) of CANNIBALISM!
In today's degenerate society, all forms of perversity have lost their edge of disgust on the general polluted, brainwashed, desensitized public who has been marinating in evil for so long, they vomit with offense when they see something pure and good.
Those who think that God abolished the dietary laws don't have a clue about what Peter's Vision was about (see my booklet, So, You Call Yourself a Christian...) and don't have a clue about the feelings of disgust that God purposely solicited from Peter when He let down a sheet full of UNCLEAN ABOMINATIONS and told Peter to kill and eat (it was not a command, and Peter did not kill and eat, the declaration was given to solicit disgust, not desensitize Peter's conscience to learning to sin and defile himself and enjoy it).
[What a change from Christ's thrice-repeated command, "Feed my sheep". To understand the depth of that command, given using several different Greek words, see my S.T.E. Commentary on John 18-21 that covers the betrayal to the post-ascension. To understand why God was so confronting Peter, see my booklet, "So You Call...".]
This concept of disgust (if the reader still has a gag reflex and can comprehend holiness and the utter reprehensible holy hatred that is raised when holiness is offended) is what the prophet Micah, who by God's Holy Spirit in boldness, leveled this accusation in the the Lord's "power... and jugment... and might"--and accused the self-righteous upper crust and his kinsmen in positions of RESPONSIBILITY as being guilty of CANNIBALISM--tearing the flesh off their brethren, chopping them and their bones up into pieces and tossing them in a pot of boiling water and making "Kinsmen Soup!" Since God's people had degenerated to such an immoral level (as we have again today), there really are not too many sins that are considered abominations any more, and cannibalism is one of them (though it may eventually be legalized as more and more perverse aliens and antichrists are allowed to enter our society and pollute it from our "holy city on a hill" into "the law of the jungle".
Jeremiah made a similar accusation; but the disgust of it is blunted, by the use of the analogy of a shepherd feeding off his flock, devouring them. It is natural for a shepherd to eat mutton; that is why sheep are raised. However, cannibalism is not the intention of Jeremiah's illustration. Wealthy men do not shepherd their own sheep. They hire shepherds. Thus, the intention of that analogy is unfaithfulness, irresponsibility, betrayal, and theft: a shepherd has had the care of the flock put in his trust and charge (which princes and rulers and priests, likewise, have had a sacred responsibility given to them—not a personal flock to fleece and feast off and sell for their own profit whenever it suits them!); to then devour the sheep and feed himself off them (instead of guarding, feeding and even giving his life to protect them) is the highest outrage and abomination committable one in such a position. Christ, the Good Shepherd, gave His Life for His sheep.
But Micah takes it a step further than Jeremiah; with a heaping helping of revoltion on top of betrayal.
Similarly, God told Ezekiel to make bread with HUMAN DUNG in it, in the sight of the people (though he did not eat that bread, it got their attention).
So Micah did not use the refined analogy of shepherd and sheep, but that of bloodthirsty human cannibals feeding off their own brethren!
As people degenerate into sin, sin becomes "normal" to them (even as does slavery—and fools confuse it with freedom!). They turn a blind eye to immorality and evil in society and even in their own family... erasing the boundaries of evil that GOD established, and "penciling" them back in to include their abominable relatives ("penciling" them in, so that they are more easily erased with less trace of the original boundaries, time and time again, as their family tree continues to rot down to the very roots). God said he that spareth the rod HATETH his son. Christ, the Personification of Wisdom declared, "he that sinneth against Me wrongeth his own soul, all they who hate Me love death!" Those who coddle their sinful, immoral family members love evil more than they love God and love evil family members more than they love righteousness, and therefore they hate God. God said to love the Lord is to hate evil; ergo, those who love evil hate God. Christ said whoever loves family more than Him cannot be His disciples, cannot be His followers, are not His sheep! HIS sheep hear His Voice and follow [obey] Him.
The preachers, the teachers, the politicians, the lawyers are all MOST RESPONSIBLE for the degeneracy of society... they have betrayed their own people--and traitors that they are, God says that He WILL NOT hear their prayers and that He will hide Himself from them (v.4) when the beginning of His Judgment falls on them, when calamity and chaos and "payback" and their "reaping what they have sown" overtakes them like a Flood. God says that He will remove His Spirit from them and they shall flounder in darkness and depravity and ignorance and they shall eventually be exposed as being morally and spiritually bankrupt--FRAUDS--and be ashamed (vv.6,7)—though in the face of merciless Judgment, shame is such a trifling matter.
After all of this indictment, Micah tells us in vv.8,9 that these are not his own words, but those of God, and he speaks them boldly before those in positions of trust who have betrayed that trust--and he speaks it as God's JUDGMENT upon them. After Judgment (those who pass through it alive), the last shall be first and the first shall be last.
Those in positions of honor and power and trust (kings, princes, priests, teachers, lawyers, politicians) do not hold those positions for their own gain or because of any goodness or inherent value of their own—but because they have been placed in those positions by God to do His Will and CARE for and LEAD in godliness those committed to their charge... not use them as their own disposable, impersonal "items", pawns, chattel, miscellaneous dispensable things in their "junk drawer"...!
THEY WILL BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE AND THEY SHALL NOT ESCAPE JUDGMENT!
Romans 11:26 is one of my daily continual prayers:
"turn away ungodliness from Jacob"