Last updated: 2021-04-21
Verses are in YLT unless otherwise noted.
I see references to communal living in the Bible, the church of Acts for example, and where John (who came to prepare the way for Yeshua and the kingdom of heaven) said that if you have two cloaks to give one to the person who has none:
andhe answering saith to them, `He having two coats — let him impart to him having none, and he having victuals — in like manner let him do.’” (Luke 3:11)
John also came to strengthen the family unit:
“And he hath turned back the heart of fathers to sons, And the heart of sons to their fathers, Before I come and have utterly smitten the land!” (Malachi 4:6)
“and he shall go before Him, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn hearts of fathers unto children, and disobedient ones to the wisdom of righteous ones, to make ready for the Lord, a people prepared.’” (Luke 1:17)
Part of John’s purpose was to strengthen the family unit while Jesus seems to have expanded the family unit:
46While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. 47Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.” 48He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49 Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. 50For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” (Matthew 12)
I also see the kingdom or reign of God (or kingdom of heaven–used to avoid offending people who didn’t want to overuse God’s holy name) as something here on earth that we can be part of; basically, it is the movement that Yeshua started.
“and Jesus having seen, was much displeased, and he said to them, ‘Suffer the children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the reign of God;” (Mark 10:14 NKJV) (NKJV and KJV agree with the “of such” in YLT)
The reign of God does not “belong” to anyone (as it says in some other translations) but is a movement that we can be part of.
21 nor shall they say, Lo, here; or lo, there; for lo, the reign of God is within you.’22 And he said unto his disciples, `Days will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and ye shall not behold [it]; (Luke 17:21-22)
A more accurate translation of “within you” would be the NRSV which says “among you.” There are references to sharing and equity in context of this kingdom:
1‘For the reign of the heavens is like to a man, a householder, who went forth with the morning to hire workmen for his vineyard,… 12that These, the last, wrought one hour, and thou didst make them equal to us, who were bearing the burden of the day — and the heat. … 16So the last shall be first, and the first last, for many are called, and few chosen.’ (Matthew 20:1-16)
When it says “seek first the kingdom of heaven” and you won’t want for what you will wear or what you will eat (basic needs) I think it is talking about first seeking a community that will take care of you in your time of need:
24‘None is able to serve two lords, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to the one, and despise the other; ye are not able to serve God and Mammon. . . . 31therefore ye may not be anxious, saying, What may we eat? or, What may we drink? or, What may we put round? 32for all these do the nations seek for, for your heavenly Father doth know that ye have need of all these; 33but seek ye first the reign of God and His righteousness, and all these shall be added to you. (Matt 6:24-33)
32 `Fear not, little flock, because your Father did delight to give you the reign; 33 sell your goods, and give alms, make to yourselves bags that become not old, a treasure unfailing in the heavens, where thief doth not come near, nor moth destroy; 34 for where your treasure is, there also your heart will be. (Luke 12:32-34)
I think these verses in Luke 18 as well talk of the sharing, where you are guaranteed to acquire many times more houses after leaving one “in this present time” by joining the kingdom of heaven movement because you are joining a community that shares their houses: (this is right after he talked about the rich man going through the eye of the needle and his disciples exclaimed “who then can be saved?” and Peter says that they had left all to follow him)
29and he said to them, ‘Verily I say to you, that there is not one who left house, or parents, or brothers, or wife, or children, for the sake of the reign of God, 30who may not receive back manifold more in this time, and in the coming age, life age-during.’ (Luke 18:29-30)
The parallel in Mark 10 makes this even more clear:
29And Jesus answering said, ‘Verily I say to you, there
isno one who left house, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or fields, for my sake, and for the good news’, 30who may not receive an hundredfoldnow in this time, houses, and brothers, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and fields, with persecutions, and in the age that is coming, life age-during; 31and many first shall be last, and the last first.’ (Mark 10:29-31)
This is also why I think Yeshua says of the rich:
woto you — the rich, because ye have got your comfort. (Luke 6: 24)
and again I say to you, it is easier for a camel through the eye of a needle to
go,than for a rich man to enter into the reign of God. (Matt 19:24)
This isn’t because the rich are worse than regular people or that it will be more difficult for them to have eternal life–I don’t think it is mainly talking about eternal life. It is saying that it will be psychologically much more difficult for them to join a community where you share your wealth.
I think the kingdom of heaven is a precursor to the return of the lost tribes. It’s interesting that right after Matt 19:24 the disciples say “then who can be saved?” when the word saved can mean “made whole” (like “all
(Romans 9:27) “For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, A remnant doth return H7725 (LXX G4982) of it, A consumption determined, Overflowing [with] righteousness.” (Isaiah 10:22)
In addition, the quote “whoever calls on the name of the
32And it hath come to pass,
Every onewho calleth in the name of Jehovah is delivered, For in mount Zion and in Jerusalem there is an escape, As Jehovah hath said, And among the remnants whom Jehovah is calling! (Joel 2:23)
The next verse in Joel is Joel 3:1 which has a
Also, O Judah, appointed is a harvest to thee, In My turning back [to] the captivity of My people (Hosea 6:11)
For lo, in those days, and in that time, When I turn back [to] the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, (Joel 3:1)
Keil and Delitzsch connect this to the return of the lost tribes:
“The train of thought is the following: When the day of the Lord comes, there will be deliverance upon Zion only for those who call upon the name of the Lord; for then will all the heathen nations that have displayed hostility to Jehovah’s inheritance be judged in the valley of Jehoshaphat. By hinnēh, the fact to be announced is held up as something new and important. The notice as to the time points back to the “afterward” in Joel 2:28 : “in those days,” viz., the days of the outpouring of the Spirit of God. This time is still further described by the apposition, “at that time, when I shall turn the captivity of Judah,” as the time of the redemption of the people of God out of their prostrate condition, and out of every kind of distress. שׁוּב את שׁבוּת is not used here in the sense of “to bring back the prisoners,” but, as in Hosea 6:11, in the more comprehensive sense of
restitutioin integrum, which does indeed include the gathering together of those who were dispersed, and the return of the captives, as one element, though it is not exhausted by this one element, but also embraces their elevation into a new and higher state of glory, transcending their earlier state of grace.”
36assuredly, therefore, let all the house of Israel know, that both Lord and Christ did God make him — this Jesus whom ye did crucify.’ 37And having heard, they were pricked to the heart; they say also to Peter, and to the rest of the apostles, ‘What shall we do, men, brethren?’ 38and Peter said unto them, ‘Reform, and be baptized each of you on the name of Jesus Christ, to remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, 39for to you is the promise, and to your children, and to all those afar off, as many as the Lord our God shall call.’ 40Also with many more other words he was testifying and exhorting, saying, ‘Be saved from this perverse generation;’
. . .
42and they were continuing
stedfastlyin the teaching of the apostles, and the fellowship, and the breaking of the bread, and the prayers. 43And fear came on every soul, many wonders also and signs were being done through the apostles, 44and all those believing were at the same place, and had all things common, 45and the possessions and the goods they were selling,and were parting them to all, accordingas any onehad need. (Acts 2)
We also have the fact that the coming of
“And he said to them, ‘Verily I say to you, That there are certain of those standing here, who may not taste of death till they see the reign of God having come in power.’” (Mark 9:1)
but ye shall receive power at the coming of the Holy Spirit upon you, and ye shall be witnesses to me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and unto the end of the earth.’ (Acts 1:8)
The holy spirit did come in the same way that Jesus left (from heaven)
11 who also said, `Men, Galileans, why do ye stand
gazinginto the heaven? this Jesus who was received up from you into the heaven,shall so come in what manner ye saw him going on to the heaven.’ (Acts 1)
2 and there came suddenly out of the heaven a sound as of a bearing violent breath, and it filled all the house where they were sitting,3 and there appeared to them divided tongues, as it were of fire; it sat also upon each one of them, (Acts 2)
Observe these parallels:
25 For whosoever will save his life, shall loose it. And whosoever shall loose his life for my sake, shall find it. 26 What shall it profit a man, if he should win all the whole world: so he loose his own soul? Or else what shall a man give to redeem his soul again withall? 27 For the son of man shall come in the glory of his father, with his angels, and then shall he reward every man according to his deeds. 28 Verily I say unto you, some there be among them that here stand, which shall not taste of death, till they shall have seen the son of man come in his kingdom. (Acts 2)
38 for whoever may be ashamed of me, and of my words, in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man also shall be ashamed of him, when he may come in the glory of his Father, with the holy messengers.’
9 And he said to them, `Verily I say to you, That there are certain of those standing here, who may not taste of death till they see the reign of God having come in power.’ (Mark 8:38-9:1)
26 `For whoever may be ashamed of me, and of my words, of this one shall the Son of Man be ashamed, when he may come in his glory, and the Father’s, and the holy messengers’;
27 and I say to you, truly, there are certain of those here standing, who shall not taste of death till they may see the reign of God.’ (Luke 9:26-27)
“Joseph of Arimathea, an honourable counsellor, who also himself was waiting G4327 for the reign of God, came, boldly entered in unto Pilate, and asked the body of Jesus.” (Mark 15:43) (Parallel in Luke 23:51)
“And lo, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name [is] Simeon, and this man is righteous and devout, looking for the comforting G3874 of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him,” (Luke 2:25)
Acts 9:31 uses the same word G3874 to describe the work of the holy spirit.
“Then, indeed, the assemblies throughout all Judea, and Galilee, and Samaria, had peace, being built up, and, going on in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort G3874 of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.” (Acts 9:31)
Ruach in Hebrew means “breath,” “wind,” and “spirit.” When we add a spirit to a body it gives it movement and personality. When the wind blows it moves things but it is hard to get a hold of, it has motion but not much form. Spirit describes the actions or character of someone, just as God’s word describes his character. We can see here that Yeshua needs to leave to send the comforter (the holy spirit) according to John 16:7 and the waiting on the Messiah
In the great commission Yeshua says “teaching them to observe all, whatever I did command you,) and lo, I am with you all the days — till the full end of the age.'” (Matthew 28:10) This seems to connect with the following: “in this know ye the Spirit of God; every spirit that doth confess Jesus Christ in the flesh having come, of God it is,” (1 John 4:2) “having come” is in the perfect voice which emphasizes the ongoing result of a completed action implying that Christ is still here after having come. Now, since we know that in Hebrew the spirit and the body make a living soul then it becomes apparent the holy spirit is the same spirit that Christ has. So when the Holy Spirit comes it is Yeshua as well.
“and the helmet of the salvation receive, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the saying of God,” (Ephesians 6:17)
We want to clear up some possible confusion and refer readers to an article that distinguishes the son of man “coming in his reign” from the “coming of the son of man” https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/668-what-is-the-meaning-of-
In addition “waiting” G4327 (from Mark 15:43 above) is referenced in another messianic passage:
For with gladness you shall go forth, and in
you shall be led. For the mountains and the hills shall leap out favorably receiving G4327 you in joy, and all the trees of the field shall clap with their tender branches joy Isaiah 55:12 Apostolic Polyglot Bible) .(
There are other uses of this word in the old testament and may refer to the holy spirit indirectly but are certainly referencing messiah:
G3874 is derived from G3870
‘That you should nurse and be filled up from the breast of her comfort; G3874 that sucking out you should indulge at the introduction of her glory. For thus says the LORD, Behold, I turn aside to them as a river of peace, and as a rushing stream inundating the glory of the nations. Their children [2upon 3shoulders 1shall be carried], and [2upon 3knees 1shall be comforted G3870]. As if any mother shall comfort, G3870 so also I shall comfort G3870 you; and in
Jerusalemyou shall be comforted. G3870 As if any mother shall comfort, so also I shall comfort you; and in Jerusalemyou shall be comforted. G3870′ (Isaiah 66:11-13 Apostolic Polyglot Bible)
Now lets look at this verse:
And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. (Matthew 11:12 NKJV)
Some scholars have argued for other translations to this verse. Brad
H. Young for instance says:
“….To sum up the results of our linguistic and historical study of this difficult saying of Jesus, “From the days of
johnthe Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence and the violent take it by force,” a better translation of the text view within its original Jewish context make the message of Jesus concertingJohn the Baptist and the kingdom of heaven so much clearer. According to Lindsey, linguistically the amuch better translation would be, “From the days of John the baptistuntil now, the kingdom of heaven breaks forth and everyone breaks forth with it” (Matt 11:12a and Luke 16:16b).
In keeping more closely with Matthew’s version, the verse is best translated, “From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven breaks forth and those breaking forth are pursuing [seeking] it. (Matt 11:12)”
“The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it. (Luke 16:16 NKJV)
To quote from the book “Understanding the Difficult Words of Jesus”
“This saying is certainly difficult to understand. It is not just ordinary Christians who have been stumped by it. There seems to be no satisfactory explanation of this verse even in scholarly literature. Apparently, a great deal of violence is connected with the Kingdom of Heaven. However, that does not agree very well with the rest of the teachings of Jesus. Many and varied have been the attempts on the part of ministers and scholars alike to explain this passage.
“The key to its understanding turns out to be an old rabbinic interpretation (
midrash) of Micah 2:13 discovered by Professor David Flusser. Micah 2:12-13. reads
12 I will gather all of you, Jacob;
I will collect the remnant of israel.
I will put them all together like sheep in a fold like a flock inside its pen.
It will be noisy and crowded with people.
13 The breach-maker (poretz) goes through before them.
Then they break out.
Passing through the gate,
they leave by it.
Their king passes through before them,
their Lord at their head.
“These verses are full of rich imagery. It is the picture of a shepherd penning up his sheep for the night. He quickly builds a fold by throwing up a makeshift rock fence against the side of a hill. The next morning, to let the sheep out, he makes a hole or a breach in the fence by tossing some of the stones aside. He steps through his “gate” with the sheep following close behind. They have been penned up all night and can hardly wait to get out of their cramped quarters. …in the rabbinic interpretation discovered by Professor Flusser, they are two different persons: the “breach-maker” is interpreted as being Elijah, and “their king” as the Messiah, the Branch of the Son of David.
“Now we can begin to understand what Jesus is saying. He is not only hinting at Micah 2:13, but also a well-known
rabbincinterpretation of it. “The Kingdom of Heaven,” he says, “is breaking forth [not “suffering violence”], and every person in it is breaking forth [literally, “those who are breaking out breakout in it, or by means of it,” not “the violent take it by force”]” (Compare Luke 16:16, the parallel to Matthew 11:12.) Two tremendous things are now happening simultaneously: the Kingdom is bursting forth into the world (like water from a broken dam), and individuals within the Kingdom are finding liberty and freedom.
“In Matthew 11:12, as in the
midrash, Elijah, or John the Baptist, is the breach-maker, the Poretz. He makes the breach in the rock fence and goes through first. He has opened the way. He is the Elijah of Malachi 3:1 and 4:5-6, who goes before the Lord to prepare His way. As in the midrash, Jesus, the King, follows John. Jesus is the Lord himself, who leads the sheep through the gate. It is a powerful image.
“Jesus is again teaching his disciples about the Kingdom of Heaven, his movement. It started when Jesus began calling disciples, during John’s active ministry, “the days of John the Baptist.” Since then, the Kingdom of Heaven has been “breaking out.” Notice that this is further proof that the Kingdom is not futuristic. The Kingdom is something that has been in existence since the time of John the Baptist.
“The Kingdom is breaking out, and members of the Kingdom are breaking out. In Micah and also in the
midrash, it is the Lord and his sheep who are breaking out. Jesus alters that figure slightly so that it is the Kingdom and its sheep who are breaking out. Though Jesus does not refer directly to his own role as the shepherd leading the sheep out, no listener could possibly misunderstand Jesus’ stunning assertion–I am the Lord.
“Elijah had come and opened the way, and the Lord himself was leading a noisy multitude out to freedom. “
This may connect with the verse in Ephesians that also talks about an enclosure being broken out of. See also Tim Hegg’s article: http://messianicpublications.com/tim-hegg/the-dividing-wall-in-ephesians-214/
11Wherefore, remember, that ye [were] once the nations in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that called Circumcision in the flesh made by hands, 12that ye were at that time apart from Christ, having been alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of the promise, having no hope, and without God, in the world; 13and now, in Christ Jesus, ye being once afar off became nigh in the blood of the Christ, 14for he is our peace, who did make both one, and the middle wall of the enclosure did break down, 15the enmity in his flesh, the law of the commands in ordinances having done away, that the two he might create in himself into one new man, making peace, (Ephesians 2)
There also seems to be a thematic connection between the Micah passage and what happened in the church in Acts 4. The same word for “gathered” is used as well. (although that word is relatively common for being gathered together)
12 In being gathered G4863 Jacob shall be brought together G4863 with all. In looking out I shall look out for the remnant of Israel. Together I will establish their return, as sheep in affliction; as a flock in the midst of their fold, they leap out because of men. (Micah 2:12)
And in their beseeching [7was shaken 1the 2place 3in 4which 5they were 6being gathered together G4863], and they were [2filled 1all 4spirit 3of holy], and they spoke the word of God with confidence. (Acts 4:31)
This possibly is related also with Micah 5:
Now gather thyself together, O daughter of troops, A siege he hath laid against us, With a
rodthey smite on the cheek the judge of Israel. 2 And thou, Beth-Lehem Ephratah, Little to be among the chiefs of Judah! From thee to Me he cometh forth — to be ruler in Israel, And his comings forth [are] of old, From the days of antiquity. 3 Therefore he doth give them out till the time She who bringeth forth hath brought forth, And the remnant of his brethren return to the sons of Israel. (Micah 5)
As Keil and Delitzsch note:
“. . . Bath-gegūd, daughter of the troop, mighthttp://biblehub.com/commentaries/kad/micah/5.htm
thou nation accustomed or trained to form troops, thou warlike Zion. But this does not apply to what follows, in which a siege alone is mentioned. This turn is given to the expression, rather “for the purpose of suggesting the thought of a crowd of people pressing anxiously together, as distinguished from gedūd, an invading troop.” The verb hithgōdēd does not mean here to scratch one’s self or make incisions (Deuteronomy 14:1, etc.), but, as in Jeremiah 5:7, to press or crowd together; and the thought is this: Now crowd together with fear in a troop, for he (sc., the enemy) sets, or prepares, a siege against us. . .” mean:
In addition the quote “whoever calls on the name of the
32 And it hath come to pass, Everyone who calleth in the name of Jehovah is delivered, For in mount Zion and in Jerusalem there is an escape, As Jehovah hath said, And among the remnants whom Jehovah is calling! (Joel 2)
The next verse in Joel is Joel 3:1 which has a parallel in Hosea 6:11
Also, O Judah, appointed is a harvest to thee, In My turning back [to] the captivity of My people (Hosea 6:11)
For lo, in those days, and in that time, When I turn back [to] the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, (Joel 3:1)
Keil and Delitzsch connect this to the return of the lost tribes but with more meaning than that as well:
“The train of thought is the following: When the day of the Lord comes, there will be deliverance upon Zion only for those who call upon the name of the Lord; for then will all the heathen nations that have displayed hostility to Jehovah’s inheritance be judged in the valley of Jehoshaphat. By hinnēh, the fact to be announced is held up as something new and important. The notice as to the time points back to the “afterward” in Joel 2:https://biblehub.com/commentaries/kad/joel/3.htm
28 :“in those days,” viz., the days of the outpouring of the Spirit of God. This time is still further described by the apposition, “at that time, when I shall turn the captivity of Judah,” as the time of the redemption of the people of God out of their prostratecondition, and out of every kind of distress. שׁוּב את שׁבוּת is not used here in the sense of “to bring back the prisoners,” but, as in Hosea 6:11, in the more comprehensive sense of restitutioin integrum, which does indeed include the gathering together of those who were dispersed, and the return of the captives, as one element, though it is not exhausted by this one element, but also embraces their elevation into a new and higher state of glory, transcending their earlier state of grace.”
The kingdom of heaven (the sharing and equity associated with such) and communal living seem to be a precursor to the coming of the physical kingdom of God, the return of the lost tribes, the millennial age, world peace, other such associated things. It is odd that this has been overlooked and that people are praying for God to come and establish a righteous kingdom–a dream of humanity for ages–when the keys to this kingdom are among us and only require a sacrifice of ego, our ephemeral assets and a willingness to investigate/screen out leaders or false prophets who do not represent God’s kingdom. Both of these are necessary, as giving up your possessions to a cult will do more harm than good.