Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Will We Saints Eat And Drink In The Kingdom Of God Or Not?

Is There Eating And Drinking In Heaven?

Question : If what Paul the apostle said about the Kingdom of God not being in eating or drinking is correct, why should Jesus say when He drank the fruit of the vine during the last supper, "But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.” (Matt 26:29) and also Mark the apostle expressed the same thing with the following words, "Assuredly, I say to you, I will no longer drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God." (Mark 14:25)? This means directly that there is eating and drinking in the Kingdom of God and that Jesus is even awaiting for it to happen in its set time of God after the rapture of the Church, is it a contradiction?

Answer : The same apostle Paul who said,
"For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." (Rom 14:17) has also said in 1 Cor 4:20, "For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power." Does that mean that words are not at all used in the kingdom of God to communicate but only sign language or some other means only are used powerfully to express it? No. It means Paul is telling that speaking about the kingdom of God on earth by preaching the word of God is not enough, but let it be preached with the demonstration of that word in signs, miracles, wonders along with living an exemplary life of godliness that will demonstrate the power of God to the people who hear the word of God like the apostles themselves did (Mark 16:20). Some people during the time of the early founding apostles, got jealous of their ministries and tried to proudly preach and teach like the apostles did with authority over the people, without living a godly life that has died to self and flesh through accepting the suffering that God has prepared with persecution to tune their lives (2 Tim 3:12; Heb 12:7-11). To these people apostle Paul warned not to boast in their words, but in their supernatural Spirit led lives of power from heaven.

The meaning of each verse in the Bible depends upon the context in which it was spoken. In
Rom 14:17, when Paul spoke that "the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking", he was emphasizing to those Gentile Christians who were living in the area of Rome not to openly take advantage of their liberty which Christ has given to them to eat any meat with a word of prayer which sanctifies it (1 Tim 4:3-5), to the extent of causing a Jewish Brother or a Vegetarian Brother from a religious background in their past which has prevented them from eating meat to get stumbled away from Christ because of it. So Paul the apostle exhorted that it is not good to do anything that would become a stumbling block to the spiritual growth of the brethren who have mindsets based on their past religious upbringing. It will take time for the new believers to come out into the liberty that the Lord gives to eat all animal flesh that is available on the market with thanksgiving and a prayer of blessing over it. But until then those who have grown in faith and liberty which the Holy Spirit gives (Rom 14:22-23; 2 Cor 3:17-18), should consider these brethren who have limited themselves to their past upbringing and the way of life in which they have been trained, and make sure that they do not become offended by anybody mature in Christ saying that the religious values that they hold in high esteem are unchristianly foolish or tell them that they have no faith in this area of their spiritual life. For this reason Paul expressed that the kingdom of God is not in any religious rules of what to eat or what not to eat, but for all people on earth the manifestation of the kingdom of God can be seen and felt only through the righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit that they receive from God and give to all those who are living around them on earth as it is in heaven. In other words Paul the apostle was saying that eating or drinking doesn't matter at all in spiritual life compared to importance of regularly experiencing God's righteousness, peace and joy as they are the only evidence that we are becoming spiritually mature in the Lord.

So what Paul said is in no way a contradiction to what Jesus said because Paul the apostle spoke about food in a earthly context and Jesus spoke about it in a heavenly context. But both spoke about the kingdom of God which is nothing but living under the direct control and rulership of God as a citizen of heaven
(Heb 12:22-23; Php 3:20-21). We should understand that when the Israelites ate manna from heaven, it was angels food that they ate (Psa 78:25; Exo 16:31; Num 11:7). This shows that even angels in heaven do eat food even though they have a meta-physical body that is unlike earthly. Even when Jesus said to the apostles, "Assuredly, I say to you, I will no longer drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God." (Mark 14:25), it is a confirmation that wine will be available in the kingdom of God and that drinking it is not an unspiritual thing but a joy to take within. Kingdom of God is not in eating and drinking means that the survival and joy in heaven comes not just by eating food like on earth. Though we will be able to eat in heaven and will be supplied with choice delicacies yet it will be a choice to be enjoyed and not a unavoidable and mandatory need to be fulfilled. Even Jesus in his new resurrected metaphysical body ate fish and honey with His disciples (Luke 24:41-43), but that does not mean that the second Man who is the Lord from heaven with a spiritual body will die if He totally fails to eat unlike when He was on earth before His death and resurrection (1 Cor 15:47, 44). In the spiritual body, eating will be a fun and a hobby, most importantly we need to understand that it will not be a necessity when we are in heaven. Yes we as the Church along with all the apostles will all partake in the marriage ceremony of the Lamb in heaven, after which the supper of the Lamb will follow in which Jesus and we the Church will also drink the fruit of the vine with Him and the angels (Rev 19:7-9). GLORY TO GOD! Praise the Lord!

Much Blessings....


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