Forward

This forward is from the book I published in 2011. Kingdom Relationships: Now and Forever I was born in 1939, so I am 83 now. So, I don’t post as many articles as I did when I was younger.

Forward from Ray Ashmore

Bill and I have known each other for eons… since we both have been in the mind and heart of God from before the world’s foundations. We just hadn’t been formally introduced. That introduction came when we connected online some time ago. We “clicked” immediately. It was not because we shared the same personal or “religious” histories. It was not because we grew up in similar surroundings. It was because we share similar views of the kingdom of God and its outworkings in this present day.

There is a lot of talk about the kingdom in the institutional church these days (for example: Evangelical, Charismatic, and Pentecostal congregations). A lot of talk but very little understanding that leads to transformation. People can understand with their minds but do the grasp the truth with their hearts and souls? Or with a willingness to pack up and leave as Abraham did? To talk and even preach about the Kingdom of God may be mere words leading nowhere. Kingdom preaching does not necessarily mean that Christians will hear the call of God to come away from their settled and comfortable mindsets and embrace a kingdom worldview that radically changes lives.

As Bill points out the house church community has rightly rejected static, unchanging, and lifeless religious structures. But some have not yet heard God’s call to embrace the kingdom. To fully embrace the Kingdom of God in these days is to receive kingdom revelation about God’s work in these last days to embrace a relational family structure of life and ministry.

Families have structure. But their structures are very different from the common institutional ones like the brick box on the corner with the time of services displayed prominently. Family structures are informal, dynamic, and changing as the family journeys through life’s stages.

Structures may change, but the essentials remain. Families, if they are Christians, worship and pray together, share in all the joys and tragedies of life, and have disagreements but also forgiveness and reconciliation. Families grow and have children, training them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. And families stay connected on their journeys through life. In it all families have a purpose for living.

Bill clearly outlines how God’s spiritual family is to live and believe. Think about the spiritual family expressed in the early church. What was its purpose? Winning people to Christ, of course. What else? Growing the children of God into maturity in Christ through servant leadership. What else? Crossing cultural and national boundaries in order to accomplish the task Christ gave them. Anything else? Yes, a willingness to suffer for the sake of Christ. What was not their purpose? Anything that would get them side-tracked from the goals of God.

Readers of this book are challenged to take seriously what Jesus has to say about the kingdom and how we are to live and to relate to one another and to our communities. Perhaps that begins today for you—because you have in your hands the right book to explain the kingdom and lead you into a biblical understanding of it.

Bill’s labor of love gives guidance to willing hearts and rebuke to those who compromise the scriptures’ teachings He also confronts several misinterpretations of the scripture in our day, among them Dispensationalism and Dominion Theology.

Filled with relevant quotes and touching personal illustrations, the book gets to the heart of many issues confronting the church today. Bill gives us a comprehensive look at God’s kingdom and its effect on our lives. As he writes later in the book, “The gospel of the kingdom prepares for real life.”

A beginner in Christ can read this book and start his journey with no side-tracks. A seasoned saint can read it and make adjustments and corrections to his journey. We all can read it and share its insights with our families, friends, and neighbors. Packed with scripture and clear teaching from start to finish, Bill’s manuscript is a prime, a theological treatise, and a devotional study all rolled into one. Don’t miss out on the Kingdom of God. Bill’s insights into the kingdom are of inestimable value.

Ray Ashmore, Author

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Over the years, my wife, Judy and I have fellow-shipped with all kinds of believers. We love them all. However, we have found very few have a picture of the kingdom that encourages them to live for the Lord in everything they do, including changing diapers. The inspiration and instruction they find at Church on Sunday just doesn’t seem to carry over to the rest of the week. So many settle for a drab spiritual future, seek fulfillment elsewhere, and end up unfulfilled.

My search for more life in Christ began in the 1970’s. I began getting a picture of life in the kingdom of God and found marvelous light. Then, along with Judy, I began studying, receiving, and applying the gospel of the kingdom. Since I was raised Lutheran, I started by reading and studying the Bible, sola scriptura—Scripture only.

My parents and siblings were devout Missouri Synod Lutherans. Our farm house was a home of hospitality, often filled with the laughter of happy people. God was the source and center of our relationships. We prayed at every meal, shared the Word in daily devotions, regularly fellowshipped with other believers, and worked together. We lived worthy of our parents, helped one another, and enjoyed our family and our friends. Through this family and neighborly lifestyle, Messiah Jesus led us to know God our Father and helped us be faithful and loyal to God and one another. Even though we didn’t recognize this as participating in the kingdom; it was. I highly value this rich heritage. My wife, Judy, and I have done our utmost to instill it in our children, Troy and Tara, their spouses and our grandchildren.

As I read the Bible, I had a lot of questions and began reading books on the kingdom. There weren’t many and I soon found out the Mormons and the Jehovah Witnesses have very twisted views on the kingdom. Back in 1977, I discovered a gem of a book that helped me begin to see things with kingdom perspective: The Community of the King by Howard Snyder. I still have a well read copy.

I don’t have all the answers, but I have become a disciple of the kingdom of heaven. I treasure the kingdom in my heart.

And Jesus said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has become a disciple of the kingdom of heaven is like a head of a household, who brings out of his treasure things new and old.” Matthew 13:52 NASB

Perhaps some of the things I share will help you along the way.

Bill Bremer

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