John Mark is an old friend. A guy with a real connection to the Kingdom and Pastor of Warrensburg Assembly of God in Warrensburg, MO. He had posted this on Facebook and it has a powerful message about the Kingdom perspective. I thought you might get something from it. I know I did. Thank you JM!
Context is important to understanding most written works. The Bible is no different. When reading a verse of Scripture one should not ignore the chapter for the book that the verse came from.
The same is true with the cultural context. To understand what an author is saying saying, it helps to know what circumstances the document was written under.
Though both cultural and textual context is very important to study scripture, we must understand that both the Old and New Testament times do not represent heavens culture. Nor can we apply the principles found in God’s Word based on our own cultural sensitivities.
After being made aware of the Bibles cultural context and examining our own cultural context, we must then try to discover heaven’s cultural context.
This is not as hard as it sounds because the Bible acknowledges that there is a cultural context outside of the earthly one. It is our job to recognize the difference between the earthly context and the spiritual context.
Jesus spoke from the contextual perspective of heaven. He took stories common in his day and put heaven’s twist on them. His parables used every day events to describe The kingdom of heaven. The thing is the kingdom of heaven works differently then the every day events. Such as the person that hired people at the beginning of the day and some at the end of the day and paid them the same. That didn’t make sense to them then and it doesn’t make sense to us now but it does make sense in the perspective of heaven.
Jesus also interpreted the Old Testament not from the perspective everyone one else said, but from The perspective of who God really is. “You’ve heard it said it ‘an Eye for an eye tooth for tooth’ but let me tell you the perspective of heaven.”
To see Heaven’s perspective you have to allow the Holy Spirit to reveal it to you. That may seem to some like you can make up anything you want and just say the Holy Spirit revealed it to me. No, that is not how it works. Holy Spirit revelation can be tested by the plain reading of Scripture, The witness of other mature believers, confirming signs, and by the truth being played out in reality. Let everything be confirmed by two or three witnesses.
Dig deep into the Word, but make sure you are studying from heaven’s perspective.
John Mark Allen