Who is considered THE GREATEST IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN?
Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. Mathew11:11.
When it comes Christians of this modern church everybody thinks about the greatest or powerful in the kingdom of God should be this person who exercises power in praying and either people are healed or are delivered from diseases, they expect the powerful man of God should be calling the fire from heaven, they also think that the greatest man of God should be praying and people are falling down feeling the power of God, that is what Christians consider being great especially in a person who performs the miracles and people are healed instantly.
However, this need to be analyzed with much insight using the biblical scriptural reference so that we may not be lured by deception in exalting people than they ought to be because Just so, men define power as position in politics, as victory in warfare, and as the miraculous in religion. Whoever succeeds in these ways is acclaimed great. The same is true in every field—economics, farming, art, sports, child-rearing.
In the early church and before the times of the new testament era the men of God did many things which also need to look at and then maybe we can start get answers towards who is the greatest in the kingdom of God.
Jeremiah uprooted and toppled kingdoms (Jer. 1:10). David slain the palestines and many of them, he won very many victories;
Joshua made the sun stand still and could not move forward or go backward, On the day the Lord gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the Lord in the presence of Israel: “Sun, stand still over Gibeon, and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.”
So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies,
as it is written in the Book of Jashar. The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day. There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the Lord listened to a human being. Surely the Lord was fighting for Israel. During his fighting against the Amorites. (Joshua10; 12-14)
Isaiah turned the clock back ten degrees (Isa. 38:8). Moses led Israel out of captivity, received the Ten Commandments, worked miracles, and, in Numbers 12:8, spoke with God face-to-face. Elisha multiplied oil, raised the dead, and caused iron to swim in water (2 Kings 4:1–16; 6:5–6).
Elijah deposed King Ahab and Jezebel, slew 850 prophets of Baal and Asherah, purged all Israel, anointed Jehu king, called down fire from heaven upon a bullock covered with water, kept back the rains for three and a half years, then gave rain, called down fire from heaven and burned up a captain and his fifty and then another, and was finally translated to heaven in a fiery chariot!
Yet Jesus Christ tells us that among men born of women none was ever greater than John! Indeed someone could wonder what john the Baptist could have done for Jesus Christ to call him the greatest man born of women in all men who had risen but he added who is least in the kingdom of God shall be greater than John the Baptist. As Christians we need to see this matter the way Jesus Christ saw in mathew11; 11. (Surprised by the seeing of the Lord)
Honestly speaking someone could have said Moses or Elijah have done a great job and they needed to be considered greatest in the kingdom because Elijah called fire down from heaven and Moses did many wonders with the children of Israel and everyone remembers the wonders in pharaoh kingdom but this was not mentioned by the Lord Jesus Christ, instead Jesus Christ called John the baptist.
Here lies a mystery. We are told of no miracles nor calling of fire from heaven performed by John. He toppled no kingdoms; no healing, instead, he was beheaded by a king inspired by a dancing girl. As to preparing the way for Jesus, on the face of it one could wonder just what John the Baptist accomplished to be called the greatest amongst men born of women.
This is very puzzling in the carnal mind to call John the Baptist the greatest amongst men born of women and leave out people like Moses, Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Joshua, Samson and the so many. Jesus Christ nullifies our own thinking regarding seeing the Kingdom of Heaven. The heavenly seeing is not the same way the earth way sees, they differ in the dimensions in regards to rewarding, and the earth could have rewarded David, Moses, Joshua and Elijah for being greatest amongst all men of God or prophets but Jesus Christ beats all our understanding by saying John the Baptist being greatest amongst men born of women.
WHAT DID JOHN THE BAPTIST DO?
When need to know John the Baptist’s ministry then we can get the picture of what made John the Baptist did to be called the greatest among men born of women.
Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” Luke1; 11-17.
When see the above commission and ministry , John the Baptist was to prepare the way for the Lord Jesus Christ and he was to come before Jesus Christ, we never see John into healing, praying, and never see John calling the fire from heaven and yet the angel of God was already prophesying on him that he shall be great in the presence of God by turning the hearts of the parents to their children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous as makes the way for people to be prepared for the Lord Jesus Christ to manifest, and this manifest was spiritual and physical manifest but of course Jesus Christ was not going to stay with people until heavens come down in his physical manifest. John the Baptist was to be in the power of Elijah and the spirit of Elijah too which we need to understand as well in the John the Baptist ministry that made him the greatest among men born of women as opposed to the great men of God we knew by signs and wonders.( The hidden ministry)
The way was supposed to be smoothed and the crooked made straight, mountains leveled and valleys exalted. Yet Jesus was seized to be cast headlong over a precipice (Luke 4:29), was in danger of being stoned to death (John 10:31–34), and was deserted, betrayed, and finally crucified. What was smooth and level about that? What power did John exercise? Wherein was he great? How did he prepare the way of the Lord? Did he fail at his job?
Let’s look at what Jesus Christ spoke of John the Baptist in relation to John the Baptist’s ministry before the Lord Jesus Christ.
As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to behold? A reed shaken by the wind? Why then did you go out? To see a man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, those who wear soft raiment are in kings’ houses. Why then did you go out? To see a prophet. Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is he of whom it is written, ‘Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, who shall prepare thy way before thee.’ Truly I say to you, among those born of women there has risen no one greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and men of violence take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John; and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”—Matthew 11:7–15, RSV
John the Baptist preached by the shores of Jordan. In that region were beautiful reeds. In the morning those reeds stood tall in the mist and rays of sunlight; during the heat of the day they sank down. In the cool of the evening they rose again, shaking gently in the touch of the breeze. Tourists came for miles solely to sit and watch the beauty of the rising and shaking of he reeds. Jesus therefore could have been saying many things to His hearers: “Did you really hear what John the Baptist was saying, or did you get distracted by watching the reeds?”*
This would be the same as He may say to some at judgment day: “I said to you this or that needful thing in church on a certain day when a Pastor was teaching; were you looking out the window that day?” The people very well could have become distracted, just as we do in our pews today. Or, He may also have meant, “Did you go out there expecting John the Baptist to be like others, shaken and tossed about (by every wind of doctrine and the cunning of men, as stated in Ephesians 4:14)? Did you expect him, like so many others, to be beaten down by opposition, only to arise, shaking, when the comforting breezes of a safe evening have come? Is that why you did not hear him?” Whatever meaning we prefer, He was clearly contrasting the weakness of the reeds to the strength found in John.
John wore a camel’s-hair shirt, with the soft side turned out and the bristles turned in. Ouch! Anyone who has rubbed his young face against his father’s unshaved morning bristle has a hint. Anyone who has scraped a bare foot on the bristle of a welcome mat has a touch. Whoever has tried rubbing sandpaper on his arm or chest has even a better idea. John was an ascetic. An ascetic is one who imposes rigors on himself for his own mortification and, in the case of a prophet or intercessor, for repentance on behalf of others. The pain of camel’s hair turned inward was a constant call to repentance for the grating of our sins, like camel’s bristle, against the righteous nature of God.
The people knew the symbolic nature of clothing. Was Jesus therefore saying to them, “Your mental clothing, the way you think, your habits and traditions, are too comfortable for your spirit. Have you wrapped about you the easy ways of living that are the wide road to destruction?” John wore not merely the exterior chafe of a camel’s bristle; his inner clothing stabbed him sharply to continual repentance and change.
Whoever would stand in the spirit and power of Elijah must be willing to wear the inner camel’s bristle. He may never take it off. For the spirit of Elijah is the spirit of repentance. Repentance is not sadness. Repentance is change. Change is joy. The prophet’s nature must never become fixed, stationary, and unbending. He wears an inward bristle.
Like a spoiled vase upon the potter’s wheel that is constantly being re-worked, described in Jeremiah 18, so is the Elijah spirit. The soul, which is, among other things, our character and personality, is the clothing of our spirit. This is one meaning of the fig leaves. Adam and Eve developed personalities full of guile, hiding the true attitudes of the spirit from the sight of God (as though He did not already know). This is why Psalm 32 says, “In whose spirit there is no guile” (v. 2, emphasis added). John’s inner garment is the garment of continuous piercing, pricking of the conscience, exposing every deception. We build the sort of self-congratulatory walls of pride and self-righteousness that John the Baptist opposed and that God would hew down, for “all our righteousness are as filthy rags” (Isa. 64:6).
Let us pass for a moment the next verses and ask why the statement, “yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and men of violence take it by force” (Matt. 11:11–12, RSV). What is wrong with John? Why is he the greatest of the old but the least of the new? What does our Lord mean that “from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force” (v. 12, emphasis added)? With the coming of John the Baptist, a change came in the approach to heaven. Jesus was speaking of a very brief period of history.
How long did John preach before Jesus began His ministry? Probably fewer than ten years. In that short span of time he introduced a radically new approach to God. Jesus took note of the change when He said, “From the days of John the Baptist until now” and “All the prophets and the law prophesied until John.” Something more than prophecy was at work in John; therefore, the kingdom of heaven suffered violence as never before, and violent men took it by force. How? What violence? What had changed?
The answer is profoundly simple. Mankind inevitably attempts to live heaven’s way by striving to be good, good enough to be worthy of heaven. In the Old Testament repentance was preached by all the prophets, but until John, repentance never became a thing in itself, never itself the means to heaven. Repentance was the antidote to falling short of the glory of God. It was a returning to the established path of righteousness. Living in righteousness, obeying the statutes of God, was the sole way of heaven preached among men. Repentance only summoned a return to that way.
In John, however, repentance became something completely radical. In him the axe was to be laid to the root of the trees. Men came to John thinking it would be enough to repent as before, by returning to the established ways. John rejected such thought and demanded fruits befitting a new form of repentance. John had despaired of man’s capacity for righteousness of any kind. He called men not merely to return to an outward show of righteousness by doing good deeds, but to entire death of self. He said, yes, do good deeds, but no longer could that be thought of as enough. The axe must go to the root. John’s way is the way of death.
The violence then is to the self and to all around us. Radical repentance was a new way begun in John, which was blessedly short in history. So should it be with us. Where the axe of John works, the cross and resurrection should follow immediately. The kingdom comes violently and remains in peace.
Many, however, work the reverse and hide from themselves behind the seeming shelter of the cross. Claiming with their lips to honor the Lord, they won’t let the slice of the axe touch their hearts when it should. They regard the cross as cheap grace that avoids the pain of the blade stripping us bare before God. Whenever the preacher touches home, he has “quit preaching’ and gone to meddlin’.” For them, the facing of the sinful nature ceased when they accepted Jesus as Savior. Millions of Christians are hiding from God and from their own flesh in the very sanctuary of the Lord!
But, if we would grow in our Lord, there is no escape from the sword of truth. We’re spiritually lazy. Like those
THE POWER OF ELIJAH
So far we have spoken only of the spirit of Elijah, that of repentance. Elijah comes in power as well. But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet.—Matthew 11:9
John the Baptist was more than any prophet of the Old Testament. He would “prepare thy way before thee.” John’s commission was more than that of any other prophet.
We said that men typically seek heaven by striving to be good externally, whereas John sought change in the heart through repentance of inner evil. Just so, men define power as position in politics, as victory in warfare, and as the miraculous in religion. Whoever succeeds in these ways is acclaimed great. The same is true in every field—economics, farming, art, sports, child-rearing. Whoever can do the most with the least or rule over others is touted by the world as the greatest. But we learn in the New Testament that true greatness is none of these things (e.g., Matt. 18:1–4; Luke 22:24–27). True greatness is an inner self-emptying humility that manifests itself in service to others, like washing the disciples’ feet. We see it in John when he says, “He that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear” (Matt. 3:11), and “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). John was the first among men before Jesus to discover true greatness in self-emptying and humble service to others. ( The Elijah Task)
Real power is not to lord it over others (Luke 22:25), but to become as the least in order to up build others. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). In the kingdom, true greatness and power are not at all what the world supposes. John discussed the principle of meekness, to die to self for others’ sake, as the way of the kingdom, and he put it into so must every valley be exalted. All those who have utterly failed, not those who have succeeded, not those who are righteous, shall be saved. Jesus came to save the lost, those who go through the valley of the shadow of death. Not death itself but the shadow—the fears, the hurts, the failures—wrecks the mind and brings down haughty pride. John’s way might be the way of death, his way might tear down what is noble in the sight of man, but it is a comfort to those already down! Every person who has ever known depression would love and understand John the Baptist. Some people know his way to the fullest. His message was balm to the conquered multitudes. They were the ones who came in true heart to him to be baptized. The unrepentant he sent away empty (Luke 3:8).
THE PROPHET, AN ENABLER
Whoever, then, would come in the power of Elijah must divest himself of visions of grandeur. Although a prophet of the New Testament may be a miracle worker, healer, teacher or evangelist, he will not use these gifts as a segue into the limelight. The prophet is the enabler, the spark plug who gets others doing. John’s work was largely hidden, a wrestling in the desert with the unseen phantasmagoria of men’s hearts. John’s work was done in fasting and hiddenness that others might shine when Jesus came. He was the intercessor from the desert wildernesses that the inner prison doors might be broken and others come to Jesus. That too is the work of the prophets of the New Testament.
This was the great change that made John more than a prophet. Old Testament prophets shone as lights and leaders. They worked great miracles and signs. But rarely do we read of New Testament prophets performing miracles. Paul and his companions are exceptions. We do not know if other New Testament prophets worked miracles. If they did, scripture writers chose not to showcase them. Philip had four prophetess daughters mentioned in
The Christian prophet’s power is to humble the mighty and to raise the destitute. When others are laughing, he weeps in his spirit, and when they weep, his spirit rejoices. For he is one step ahead in vision and in the burden on his spirit. The Lord is the forerunner, but He is most often that forerunner through His prophets. They go before Him to prepare His way in the body. When the church is rejoicing and celebrating the victory of our Lord, the prophet is already called to the next battle, the next pit of sorrow. The next work of the Lord is upon him. When the body of Christ is groveling in pain and repentance, the prophet is rejoicing both that the body is repenting.( The true Power of the Prophet)
You can imagine what John the Baptist could have done for Jesus Christ to call the greatest among men born of women, but the answer is that John was dealing with a disobedient generation that had turned away from the Lord God, and all people had turned away, and the hearts of men were too obstinate to hear God’s voice and many prophets tried but many remained unchanged, people would only mind about changing the outside by doing good deeds and that’s all. John the Baptist was coming the sons of those who were disobedient from the beginning during Moses’ time and the prophets. These people did not need prosperity gospel to change or miracles to change, if it was they could have believed during Moses’ time of miracles and signs.
John had a great a task and a hard one to accomplish which needed a hidden ministry in the desert in order to prepare the way of death to glory and bring humility into the hearts of the people of Israel in order to hear God’s voice. The desert is the best way to die to glory in order to prepare for the cross since Jesus was the death on the cross.
The Task of John the Baptist was to do hidden intercession to break the yokes, stubbornness, rebellion, and other inner prison sins that had taken hold of Israel. The people minded their own business and forgot about God in those times, this task needed a humble intercession but john the Baptist died to himself and carried all the burdens of sins for Israel in the hidden deserts through fasting, praying which broke the mountains and brought the valleys high that the Lord Jesus Christ may come in, but this was a spiritual manifested in both tasks between John the Baptist and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Surprised by the work of John the Baptist)
The Spirit of Repentance was upon John the Baptist in the desert in order others to be accepted and have the gospel be effective, John the Baptist repented on behalf of everyone whom Jesus Christ would reach that his manifestation would become effective.
So John the Baptist did the greatest the Job in that time where prophets prophesied until Jesus Christ ministry and it could have taken much time to realize that ministry. In that this means that greatest in the kingdom of God are whose their ministries are seen by the Lord Jesus Christ not by men. No one saw John’s work but the ministry was a humble ministry that recognized the greatest ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ but his ministry humbled the mighty men and brought up the low people and that is the ministry of Christ and of the Holy Spirit that was coming ahead. This is what John had to start in his openings marks to the listens that came to him;
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. Mathew3; 7-10.
I do not know in this generational greedy pastors and teachers who have said the words of John the Baptist to those people who are rich today. You can imagine John the Baptist did not mind about the reputation of the Pharisees and the Sadducees who were Jewish leaders and their money. But he humbled them down and accepted those who were coming lowly hearts for repentance, John’s work was to see the kingdom of God becoming a reality in Christ Jesus and therefore he minded much about the genuine change in people in true repentance and this was turning people from their crooked ways to know the will of God for them, he knew if they do not do true repentance Jesus Christ might by pass them and his work would be in vain. He did prepare the way for the Lord Jesus Christ. John wanted people on the way of death on the cross with Jesus Christ that they may be resurrected with him. The entire earth was blind so it needed someone to first prepare the way for the Lord manifestation, this was the hearts had to be broken into humility, contrition for the death Jesus Christ to be effective in the humbled.
Therefore Jesus Christ regarded John the Baptist the greatest because he turned many to the lordship of Jesus Christ through hidden intercession, repentance, holiness and righteousness gospel which made the work of Jesus Christ begin to follow in that way of death on the cross and he completed his by resurrecting from the dead and that would turn many more to the Almighty God and even forgiveness of the sins through his precious blood shed on the cross. And anyone to resurrect with Jesus Christ must endure his cross for death to occur and resurrection later.
WHO CAN BE THE GREATEST IN THE KINGDOM THEN?
Jesus Christ spoke of john the Baptist being the greatest among men born of women but he added that whoever is the least is greater than he (John the Baptist). According to Jesus Christ regarding the greatest his view different with what we have in our minds and the modern church today.
At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. Mathew18:1-5.
Jesus Christ demonstrates the greatest in the kingdom of heaven to be like children and the little babes, which means we need to understand why he would use a representation of a little child to be likened to the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.
- Social dependent, developing trust.
- Express feelings though crying, facial expressions, body language.
- Falling in love with particular adults.
- Innocent and have faith
- Ready to be taught by anyone
- They are humble
- Full of joy and love their parents with pure hearts and with Love even when not provided for
- Never worried
- They do not trust anybody apart from their used parents who have raised them.
- Dependent on their parents
- Not self reliant
- They use spiritual sensing and spiritual seeing, spiritual hearing
Those are some of the characteristics of the little children have in their domain and if a Christian wants to be the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven must have the same characters of the child and must have trust the Father and must have Faith, never worried, humble, never self reliant, and this makes him to be the greatest in the kingdom but Jesus Christ had another view in being the greatest still;
A dispute also arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. Luke22; 24-27.
The principle of becoming the greatest in the kingdom of God is really a mystery. Jesus Christ describes it to the humility of serving others without imposing authority on others. This comes to our Lord Jesus Christ that he came to serve not be served in that he wanted voluntary submission to him, in serving others we get to know them, their opinions, their likes and dislikes, their creativity and how to relate with them in a good way which makes us friends with them and we gain authority in the exchange, at this stage we can influence them. Considering that fact, it would have been easier for Jesus Christ since he has absolute power to make us obey him and submit to him but this is contrary to his principle and his view, he never forces anyone to believe in him, so in that he wants Christians to love him without being imposed authority over them and that is humility of Jesus Christ to man, God stooped so low in order to communicate with man through his depraved nature, that shows great humility yet he could have used force or exercise power on us and we believe him.
Authority from below is voluntary, never oppressive. When a person chooses to submit to authority, they remain free. They are free to step out from under that authority at any time. People who freely submit freely to the authority of a leader, they lose nothing in prestige or dignity, because they still have their freedom.
When people freely submit to a leader, they create authority that did not previously exist. This is why submission is important in the scriptures. When Christians submit, they are increasing the scope of authority and bringing greater order to life.
Authority from below has two sides.
The one with authority must provide enough benefit to the people under authority to preserve their loyalty. Employers must pay wages to their employees. If judges stop making wise decisions, people will stop submitting cases to them. Love is the most powerful force for attracting submission.
The people under authority must willingly submit to the one with authority. They remain free to withdraw their submission at any time.
Love and freedom meet perfectly in authority from below. (The Perfect will of God)
God Uses Authority from Below
Although God could seize authority from above, he has chosen to use authority from below. For his will to be done, we must freely choose to submit to him. He will not use force to make us obey his will. He prefers people to obey him, because they have chosen to love him.
God is so reticent about using authority from above that many people are not even certain that he exists. If he wanted to use that authority, he would make everyone on earth understand his holiness. He could reveal his majesty on earth and force people to obey him, but he has chosen a different way. The fact that many people do not understand his awesome nature proves that he is not using authority from above.
Authority from Above needs Force
Authority from above is defined by the way it operates and not by its source. It can come from two quite opposite sources.
God has sufficient power to impose power from above. He created everything and everything belongs to him, so he is entitled to establish his authority over it. Despite his position, God does not demand authority from above. When he had created the universe, he immediately created man and gave all authority over the earth to him. He chopped his authority up, pushed it down and spread it around to all who would live on earth.
Authority from above is usually enforced with physical power. Most authority that comes from above is backed by force. The centurion gained his authority from above. His authority came down from the Roman Emperor. Caesar Augustus had gained his authority because he had won a war. His military victories gave him authority from above.( Mathew8:5-13)
Authority from above has no place in the Kingdom of God. He is totally committed to authority from below and will not use authority from above to force people into his kingdom. God will not accomplish his will by forcing unwilling people to do things they do not want to do, so coercion and control have not place in his Kingdom.
God’s kingdom operates in a totally different way from any other kingdom. Jesus condemned the rulers for using authority from above. They “lord it over” their people and use force to get them to do what they want.
The rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them (Matt 20:25).
They maintain their position using domination and coercion. Their kingdoms are based on authority from above.
The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors (Luke 22:25).
The rulers of the Gentiles call themselves benefactors, but they control the people in the kingdom by force.
The Kingdom of God is totally different from any other kingdom. All authority in the kingdom comes from below, as people freely submit to people that love them and serve them.
But you are not to be like that Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves (Luke 22:26).
People gain authority in the kingdom by serving those they lead.
Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant (Matt 20:26).
A servant cannot force the person they are serving to do things they do not want to do. A servant cannot control the one they are serving. They cannot use force or coercion to get their will done.
In the above mystery of being the greatest in the kingdom of God or to be called powerful in the kingdom of God is not gained by praying and people get healed, you call fire from heaven to burn people in fact that is very dangerous it could mean mis use of gifting for a show off and this was opposed by Jesus Christ when john and James wanted to call fire from heaven in luke9; 51-56.
As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?” But Jesus turned and rebuked them. You know not what manner of spirit you are of.
For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village
Then he and his disciples went to another village. Luke9:51-56.
In the above scripture, Jesus Christ demonstrates how it was wrong to call fire from heaven to show power to the public. In their view the apostles thought that the greatest is he, who calls fire from heaven but Jesus Christ is against that because that Spirit does not belong to him, if we call fire to burn God’s people just to show how we are working with God is a wrong spirit, that would show that we work out of our own feelings not Jesus Christ will, God would want everybody to get saved even though they are so rebellious. I have seen the modern church today still dwells in the spirit of James and John of self pride to show power of God by doing miracles that Jesus Christ rebuked. It’s true that God does miracles but his are made out of love and mercy to show he cares for his people not in the Spirit of destroying.
Jesus Christ puts a big challenge before us, we always think those who do miracles are the most powerful men but the Spirit of Jesus Christ is the opposite of this thinking. Jesus Christ wants the humble in the Spirit, serving others, voluntary submission and those who to die to glory every day are the most greatest in the kingdom of God. These will have a place in the Kingdom of God. The way of holiness is a straight way, where the unrighteous shall not travel, the dumb will talk and the humble shall travel on it and never get lost, and that high way is the Lord Jesus Christ.
I have seen today the greatest enemy we have today is mis understanding the word of God by assuming what we see in the reading of texts and scriptures in the letter but it kills, but the spirit gives life.
Jesus Christ calls he the powerful in the kingdom of God who dies to self for others to receive life in the power of resurrection, john the Baptist exercised this and Jesus Christ described him as the greatest man born of women amongst men which is opposite to the modern church today but he who is the least in the Kingdom of Heaven shall be greater than John the Baptist. It means someone has to do much more than John the Baptist in terms of inner transformation, dying to glory and we must never the camels bristle from us, to activate repentance in all days of our lives.
For someone to be considered the greatest man of God in the Kingdom of heaven must be willing to forget about his life and the lead the people of God to know his will and change in their hearts to receive Jesus Christ amongst them. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. Mathew5; 19.
Jesus Christ describes the greatest in the kingdom of God as being the most obedient in teaching others the will of God, even if it’s considered to be the least of the law, God loves a person who does not under look any of his commands or law and teaches it another person.
In the conclusion according to Jesus Christ demonstration is opposite to the current generational thinking in exercising the power of God. The power of God in seen in the change of obstinate hearts to repentant hearts and following after his heart and this can be accomplished by the Holy Spirit in regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit. Our seeing seems dim compared to that of Jesus Christ in his rebuke to John and James to call fire from heaven to destroy those who have opposed Jesus Christ and his gospel, instead the Spirit of Jesus Christ is that of love, and he does not want to force people to love just because they have refused.
The humble accept the judgments of God towards them as opposite to the miracle makers, they could still have bad attitudes, but those who have spirit of face opposition in wrath speak out of bitterness and frustration which is not the Spirit of Jesus Christ. When we read the bible we normally see the old testament men of God to have been great according to what they did but if you analyze them against the ministry of Jesus Christ, you would see that they made a lot of mistakes and were not perfect, only Christ Jesus perfected the ministry of the Holy Spirit, as he reflected the best character of God that is; Love and Holiness unto righteousness.
This subject of who is the greatest and powerful could go on and on. However, this you can know much about it through the Holy Spirit, take time and ask the Holy Spirit to teach you all things, and thy will be successful in whatever you want to accomplish.
May God of peace give you abundant grace and be humble in order to be rewarded truly through Christ Jesus our savior God.
I remain Asher Namanya the Bondservant of God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.