“And 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: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the Kingdom of God is within you,” Luke 17:20-21.
Jesus said some startling things to the Pharisees in various instances, and the verses quoted above, point to some of these. And yet many can twist His words and not fully understand the meaning of what He is actually saying.
For if one were to compare the statement, “The Kingdom of God is within you,” to the philosophies and religions of the east, they might find a parallel in it.
Those who have practiced or studied Hinduism or Buddhism, understand that one can attain a state of supposed universal peace and freedom, in searching within. Through the process of letting go of the attachments of this world, eventually one supposedly can reach a higher plane of enlightenment and self-awareness.
But the parallel between these two beliefs is not as concrete as it may seem at first. For when Jesus said these things about the kingdom of God being within, He was not implying that the origin of that kingdom is within.
For if He had meant that then there would have been no need for us to seek Him and His righteousness first. We know that He is seated at the right of God and that His Kingdom is an everlasting one.
When we hear God’s voice speak to us, indeed it comes from within and is embodied in Spirit as we hear the words. But even though we hear the words “within” that does not mean that His voice has not first come from outside us.
We behold the beauty of the sun and we see its light as it emanates from it, but the sun’s rays come from the sun. A light bulb that has been turned on in a dark room shines forth its light to the surrounding areas in the room, but the light comes forth from that light bulb.
In the same way, the voice of God and the light of God, comes forth from Him, and not from us.
Much of the world’s philosophies and religions, attempt to find a way to enlightenment through seeking wisdom from within.
One can sacrifice and attempt to get rid of attachments and find peace through these means, but it is through the act of self and not from the realization that we are not God, and our frail self would only lead to dissolution and self-deception.
When we begin our new life in Christ the old is slowly being chipped away, and the new man is being formed in Him daily. And so in that sense then when we hear His voice speak to us, it is within.
The nurturing and the creation of this new man in Christ is being developed within, and yet the walking out of this new life is seen in our daily actions and deeds.
We see the Kingdom of God being developed within others who are part of the body of Christ, and yet we know that He will come again. He will come again with a sword to separate the sheep from the goats, and then His everlasting kingdom will be set up.
We have a foretaste of these things within, but it will be yet a place where we reside, where the kingdom within gives us the assurance of it outside of ourselves.
~ Stephen Hanson
Stephen Hanson of In His Truth Ministries came to the LORD is a special way in 1975 and has prophesied regularly since. In these end-time birthing pangs we are reminded that judgment must first begin with the household of God. Will we be prepared and ready?