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  • Edwin Shank

What do Plain People believe about King Jesus?

Photograph taken in the California Redwood Forests by Wesley Shank

What do Plain People believe about King Jesus? I have always liked ‘nutshell’ explanations. A man came to Jesus one day and asked a question somewhat like this: “Jesus, you have been teaching a lot of truths and the Jewish law says a lot too, but can you boil it down to the most important thing? Just give us the condensed version. Simplify it. Please? Put it into a nutshell to give us an easy-to-grasp, take-home point.” So Jesus did exactly what the man asked. He gave him the condensed version. And this is what Jesus said: “The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” ~ Mark 12:30 I totally admire this seventy-one-word nutshell answer from Jesus. It is just so powerful and yet so concise and clear! Since starting this ‘explaining-the-plain-people’s-faith’ blog, we have received a lot of questions. They are good questions, and they all deserve good answers. But sometimes I have this niggling awareness that there is an often-unstated core point of our faith that begs explaining to make all the rest better understood. So, please stick with me. I’m going to try my farmer-best to put this core point of our faith into a nutshell. Understanding this is crucial if you wish to understand our people and our faith. Here it is: Jesus Christ is our King. As King, He has a real domain, a Kingdom with real citizens who obey His real laws. It is not an imaginary far-off-in-the-future Kingdom. Throughout the Bible, Jesus’ Kingdom is called The Kingdom of Heaven or sometimes The Kingdom of God or The Kingdom of His Dear Son. Even though this Kingdom of God has future elements and will last into eternity, its domain also exists here on this earth in the form of The Body of Kingdom Believers, or “The Church of the living God” as the scripture says it. Citizenship in this Kingdom is totally voluntary, open to all, and is never by compulsion. There is only one portal into the Kingdom. That is by being born the second time, this time spiritually. In fact, it is only when we are born again that we can even see the Kingdom. It is only then that The Kingdom makes sense and becomes visible to us. Being spiritually born, and thereby stepping into the Kingdom, is to believe and confess that King Jesus Christ is the Son of God, believe by faith in the sacrifice of His own life that He gave for our sins, confess our sins to Him and ask His forgiveness, trust in His forgiveness and then to pledge our allegiance to His Kingship and to His Kingdom. This pledge of allegiance is real. When we enter through this portal into His Kingdom, we pledge full allegiance to obey Jesus as our King. We pledge to love Him (and His Father God) with all our heart, and with all our soul, and with all our mind, and with all our strength and to love other people as ourselves. By pledging all our love, we pledge allegiance to His Word and His commandments and to His Kingdom of fellow citizens above any other allegiance on this earth. If we think we can have King Jesus as our friend and Saviour and convince ourselves that we love him without honoring and respecting him in obeying his teachings, we deceive ourselves. For our plain people’s faith, the goal is not so much to imagine: ‘What Would Jesus Do?’ (WWJD) as it is to ask: ‘What Has Jesus Commanded?’ (WHJC) Does this “Gospel of The Kingdom” sound strange to you? (Matthew 4:23) Don’t worry. You are quite normal. Throughout history, this has been one of the most missed, misunderstood, miss-taught truths of Scripture. But you don’t have to take my word on it. Please search the scripture to see if these things are so. Take the Word of God on the Gospel of the Kingdom. So here's a little homework: If you have a Bible software program, it’s especially easy to search the scriptures. Do a search for these three phrases.

  • Kingdom of Heaven

  • Kingdom of God

  • Gospel of the Kingdom

Pay special attention to what John the Baptist’s message was, what Jesus’ message was and to what Jesus told his apostles to preach after he was gone. It might surprise you. I know it surprised me when I first did and in-depth study of this subject a number of years ago. So what do you think of King Jesus and his Kingdom? Does this surprise you? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts... after you have done your homework. :) To be continued... Love and Blessings from: Your Mennonite Christian friend, ~ Edwin Shank P.S. Please remember, if you have questions or would like to talk more on this or any subject, you can always reach me by replying to this email. I'm here for you. I'd be glad to help if I can in some way.

Song of the Week This week's song is special in a 'real way.' It's a song about Christian homes sung by a young father and mother at home with small children. I thought it's especially fitting since tomorrow is Mother's day and next month is Father's day. Maybe we should have a children's day too! :) It seems they have a special place in The Kingdom according to Jesus. Jesus says of children, "Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." ~Matthew 18:3 And another place, "Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven." ~ Matthew 18:3 For maximum worship experience, read and contemplate on the lyrics while listening. Just let the message sink into your heart. Sing along if you wish. Remember... it's only the message of the words that feeds the soul! (Click on the title to hear the song. It may take a minute to open.)

Lord Give Us Christian Homes Lord, give us Christian homes! Homes where the Bible is loved and taught, Homes where the Master's will is sought, Homes crowned with beauty thy love hath wrought; Lord, give us Christian homes; Lord, give us Christian homes! Lord, give us Christian homes! Homes where the father is true and strong, Homes that are free from the blight of wrong, Homes that are joyous with love and song; Lord, give us Christian homes; Lord, give us Christian homes! Lord, give us Christian homes! Homes where the mother, in queenly quest, Strives to show others Thy way is best, Homes where the Lord is an honored guest; Lord, give us Christian homes; Lord, give us Christian homes! Lord, give us Christian homes! Homes where the children are led to know, Christ in His beauty who loves them so, Homes where the altar fires burn and glow; Lord, give us Christian homes; Lord, give us Christian homes!

Would you like to get free songs like this every morning? You can. Here's how. ​Sim Yoder is a Mennonite bishop from a little congregation in Doublin Georgia who Dawn and I know personally. Sim shares a new song every morning for the benefit of any and all who wish to listen, sing along and worship. He calls this ministry of his 'Morning Song' The songs are always songs of God and faith, are often hymns and are always acapella with deeply meaningful, soul-feeding words. The songs are not always professional. They might be sung by a Mennonite family and recorded impromptu at a family gathering... But that is what makes them so authentic. It's what makes them a rare opportunity to listen in. Sometimes you can hear the voices of Dad and Mom and all the ranges of sweet immature voices of the children... just worshiping and praising God together. Below are three easy ways to receive 'Morning Song' WhatsApp: Simply send a WhatsApp message to Sim at 478-278-4646 asking to be on "Morning Song." CloudVeil / Telegram: Use this link to join the Morning Song Group: Or simply email: Put "Morning Song" in the subject line and Sim will understand to put you on the morning song email. And yes, I did personally check with Brother Sim before I posted this contact info. He assured me with pure southern hospitality that, "Of course all are welcome! I'll just be glad to bless and encourage more lives with song!" -----------------------------------------------------------------

P.S. Feel free to share our emails in any way you want. Food for the Soul posts are free for all. We do not copyright any of our material nor are we possessive of its use. Freely we have received so freely we give.


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