Except a person be born again, they cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:3

The words above were spoken by Jesus to a "ruler of the Jews". Nicodemus' whole life had been spent building up and defending Judaism. He was convinced that his people were the "chosen people" -- predestined by God to rule the world. He had scores of verses from the Bible to prove it. To challenge Nicodemus in his commitment, would be, in Nicodemus’ mind, like challenging God himself.

Yet here was this obscure carpenter's son telling Nicodemus that there was another kingdom, ordained by God, that he (Nicodemus) had never even begun to comprehend. Jesus said that Nicodemus would have to start all over again -- like a newborn baby -- if he wanted to even be able to SEE the real kingdom.

What was transpiring between these two men was of profound significance. And it continues to be missed even today because of a movement that has taken the term Jesus used at the time (being "born again") and attached it to a shallow, though sometimes emotional, religious ritual that has little or nothing to do with what Jesus really taught.

Throughout his ministry, Jesus spoke constantly of this mysterious kingdom. He said it was an invisible kingdom. (Luke 17:20) He said it was not a political kingdom, to be promoted through military action. (John 18:36) It was, however, a kingdom that one would sacrifice everything they have to be a part of. (Matthew 13:44-46) He said it would take over one' s whole life. (Matthew 13:31-33) Jesus promised that citizens of this kingdom would have all of their material needs provided for by God. (Matthew 6:33)

So many of Jesus' teachings and parables begin with "The kingdom of heaven is like this..." that it becomes clear that the kingdom of heaven (or kingdom of God) is the one underlying theme of all that he taught. (Luke 4:43)

When you see this, then the fundamental link between the Gospels and The Revelation of Jesus Christ becomes clear. For the same message is there throughout The Revelation: the invisible kingdom of the Lamb winning out over the military empires of man, referred to collectively as Babylon.

Immortality is definitely part of what the kingdom of heaven represents; but the message Jesus brought is far more than a simplistic formula for going to heaven when you die. The kingdom of heaven starts right now. In Mark 1:15, Jesus says, "The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe the gospel." And that was before he had even died on the cross.

The "gospel" is much more than a message of forgiveness for sins (although that, too, is certainly a part of it). In Mark 1:14, it says that what Jesus preached was "the gospel of the kingdom of God". (See also Matthew 4:23 and 9:35.) A gospel (which literally means "good news") about a kingdom to replace Israel would hardly have been received as "good news" by people like Nicodemus. But it is the gospel that Jesus preached, and it is the gospel that he says must be preached in all the world before he will return. (Matthew 24:14) Unfortunately, it is NOT being preached much of anywhere today.

The Apostle Paul cautions us to curse anyone (including himself) if they should preach any other gospel than this one which Jesus preached. (Galatians 1:8-9)

Unfortunately, those people who have stolen the phrase "born again" are almost universally obsessed with the kingdom of Israel. They actively campaign for politicial rulers in the modern world… often leaders who symbolise greed. Their kingdom comes through bombs. And they work feverishly to build the kingdom of Israel on the assumption that God is going to bless them for doing so. Like Nicodemus, they base it all on some Old Testament scriptures about the kingdom of Israel, while ignoring the new revelation through Jesus of a kingdom that has superceded and replaced the now defunct kingdom of Israel.

In this obsession with the kingdom of Israel, America has, ironically, become the modern day equivalent of Babylon.

America needs to be born again. America needs to open its eyes to the kingdom of heaven... a kingdom that is infinitely superior to the Israeli counterfeit. The greatest sin of America is not atheism, paedophilia, or drug addiction. The greatest sin of America is, arguably, that it claims to be born again while, at the same time, putting its faith in military might.

This is not an attempt to promote Muslims or communists, or any other real or imaginary opponents of America. In God's eyes, the world is not divided between good governments and bad governments. In God’s eyes, the world is divided between those who are for the kingdom of God (as taught by Jesus), and those who are for any lesser kingdom. It could be Israel. It could be Palestine. It could be America. It could be your religious denomination. Or it could be your family. All other loyalties must fade in preference to the kingdom of heaven.  If not, you are going to be left behind when it appears in its fullness at the return of Jesus.