Heaven on Earth

THE KINGDOM OF GOD: God’s Royal Contract With Abraham by R. Alan Streett

August 16, 2018

From: Heaven on Earth In Genesis 15 and 17 God reestablishes his covenant with Abram and reiterates his promises, explaining them in greater detail.  For instance, God gives the geographical dimensions of the promised land, which Abram’s offspring will inherit. On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates, the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites,” (Genesis 15:18-21). Two chapters later, God charges Abram, “Walk before me, and be blameless,” (17:1).  He then changes Abram’s name to Abraham [...]

THE KINGDOM OF GOD: The Calling Of Abram by R. Alan Streett

August 9, 2018

From: Heaven on Earth With the world in a state of rebellion against its rightful king, God’s utopian plan for humankind seems to have failed once again.  The mandate for humans to rule Earth on God’s behalf and according to his will has yet to be carried out successfully.  Undaunted by these human failures, God chooses one solitary man, Abram, to do his bidding.  To this descendant of Terah of the ancient line of Godly Seth, now living in Ur of the Chaldeans, God communicates a command and a promise. Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.  I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.  I will bless those [...]

THE KINGDOM OF GOD: The Great Deluge And A New Beginning by R. Alan Streett

August 2, 2018

From: Heaven on Earth As the decades pass into centuries, chaos and ungodliness gain the upper hand until evil fills the world.  God’s kingdom plan for humans to rule as his vice-regents seems to be a dismal failure.  God decides to take action. The Lord saw that the wickedness of humankind was great in the Earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually.  And the Lord was sorry that he had made humankind on the Earth, and it grieved him to his heart.  So the Lord said, “I will blot out from the Earth the human beings I have created – people together with animals and creeping things and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.”  But Noah found favor in the sight of the [...]

THE KINGDOM OF GOD: Life Outside The Garden by R. Alan Streett

July 26, 2018

From: Heaven on Earth Cain and Abel follow in their parents’ footsteps.  Cain subdues the land (he’s a farmer), and Abel takes dominion over the animals (he’s a shepherd).  Although they live east of Eden without access to the Tree of Life, God does not abandon them.  Rather, he continues to speak with them.  He desires to have a relationship with humans.  The brothers can still respond to the Voice, (Genesis 4).  But they and all future generations after them will come to realize that God is not the only one speaking to them.  Other voices now seek to influence them and move them away from serving God and fulfilling his mandate to rule the world under his auspices. When Cain murders Abel in a jealous rage, God curses the [...]

THE KINGDOM OF GOD: Exile And Promise by R. Alan Streett

July 12, 2018

From: Heaven on Earth For Adam and Eve, the consequences of heeding the serpent’s voice are immediate.  First, they become self-conscious and experience shame because of their nakedness.  Second, they become fearful of God and hide from him, (Genesis 3:7-10). But before God addresses the man and woman, he speaks to the serpent: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel,” (v. 15).  Two opposing categories of people will emerge – those designated as Eve’s offspring, who will follow God’s voice, and those identified as the serpent’s offspring, who will obey the voice of their diabolical master.  Interestingly, thousands of years [...]

THE KINGDOM OF GOD: A Serpentine Plot by R. Alan Streett

June 28, 2018

From: Heaven on Earth Next, God issues a warning: “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die,” (Genesis 2:15-17).  God sets limitations on what is best for Adam and Eve.  And Adam and Eve are not immortal beings.  They need to eat or they will die. Shortly, after God pronounces that all he has made is good, a slithering creature leads a serpentine rebellion against God’s kingdom plans. Did God say, “You shall not eat from any tree in the garden?”  The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is [...]

THE KINGDOM OF GOD: In The Beginning Was The Kingdom (Part One) by R. Alan Streett

June 21, 2018

From: Heaven on Earth Fill the Earth and subdue it; and have dominion over every living thing that moves upon the Earth. (Genesis 1:28) We first learn of the Kingdom of God in Genesis, the book of beginnings.  There we discover the foundation for all theology, including kingdom theology. The foundation is the most important part of any building.  Without a firm and level foundation, a building will be off-kilter and weak, and it won’t stand the test of time.  I live in north Texas, where the soil is known as black gumbo.  It shifts, expands, and contracts depending on ground moisture.  For years, builders constructed houses on highly reliable pier-and-beam foundations that were raised above ground level.  In more recent times, they [...]

THE KINGDOM OF GOD: Discovering The Kingdom (Part Three) by R. Alan Streett

June 13, 2018

From: Heaven on Earth The Early Church and the Kingdom Our journey continues as we step out of the four gospels and into the Book of Acts.  In this exciting book, which spans the period between A.D. 30 and A. D. 64, Luke describes the early believers, apostles and lay people alike, spreading the kingdom message to the ends of the Roman Empire.  He mentions that after Jesus was crucified and resurrected but before he ascended to Heaven, he spent 40 days with his apostles, “speaking of the things pertaining to the Kingdom of God,” (Acts 1:3).  Stop and think about that for a moment.  Jesus could have spoken about anything, but he chose to speak about one thing only – the kingdom.  Thus, he ended his Earthly ministry the same way [...]

THE KINGDOM OF GOD: Discovering The Kingdom (Part Two) by R. Alan Streett

June 6, 2018

From: Heaven on Earth John the Baptist and the Kingdom According to the four gospel writers, Jesus’s public ministry began with the appearance of John the Baptist, who called the Jews to turn away from their self-centered ways and toward the God of their forefathers.  John’s message was simple and direct: “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!” (Matthew 3:2). I have long been able to quote this verse from memory, but I had not pondered its meaning until just a few years ago.  Have you ever considered what this verse meant to John’s first-century audience? First, John called on his audience to do something – “Repent!”  They were to obey this command then and there without delay.  The message was relevant for [...]

THE KINGDOM OF GOD: Discovering The Kingdom (Part One) by R. Alan Streett

May 22, 2018

From: Heaven on Earth Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand! (Matthew 3:2) The concept of the Kingdom of God is elusive.  From the beginning of Christianity, the greatest minds have been baffled by it.  Theologians have equated it variously with Heaven, the church, Israel, Christendom, democracy, socialism, communism, an ethical ideal, an inward spiritual experience, Christ’s millennial reign, and the eternal state.  No wonder there is so much confusion! In more recent times, New Testament scholars have taken a renewed interest in the Kingdom of God.  Their inquiries have advanced our knowledge of the subject, but we have many more avenues to explore and questions to ask and answer. For more than a decade, learning about the [...]