Kingdom Principles #2

 •  29 min. read  •  grade level: 9
Today we have a very similar chart to that we had yesterday, but with just a few additions on it. And we purpose to speak on those things that are added to the chart. We would like to deal with the Kingdom of God today. Yesterday we spoke in a general way of the whole time span, with the little outline of it all. Now today we'd like to focus a little more on the Kingdom in the aspect of the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is a general term for the Kingdom, and I believe it includes all the other aspects in a general way. The Kingdom of God is also often seen as the moral view of it. And we'll talk a little bit about that. I would like to read some scriptures to start out with which maybe will help us get the concept of what the meaning is of the Kingdom of God. Lets opened first to Luke 17 versus 20 and 21, "and when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the Kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The Kingdom of God cometh not with observation: neither shall they say, Lo here! or lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.", or the margin in my Bible says "in the midst of you". That is, the Lord Jesus was there as the perfect demonstration of the Kingdom of God, he was there, and they weren't receiving what they were seeing. Therefore, the other appearances that people looked for, because generally when they thought about the Kingdom they thought about a king on a throne, all glorious, and reigning with power, and peace and blessings flowing out from that king of great power. So they were looking for those kinds of things, but when the king came, he was born in a manger and they didn't notice him, they didn't recognize him, and they even cast him out. So the Kingdom of God is those moral qualities that God stands for, that was represented before them by the Lord Jesus, of which they were oblivious in many ways. In spite of all the miracles and power and demonstration that the Lord Jesus did, to show who he was, and the peace and blessing that he wanted to bring.
Now turn over to Romans, chapter 14, verse 17 "For the Kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost". Again, these are moral principles, moral qualities, that God stands for. And as we enter into the kingdom of God, we begin to appreciate and enjoy these things. When a person gets saved, there is a joy in their heart that they never had before, there's a piece in their heart that they never had before, and righteousness has been met at the cross, and so their sins are put away, and there's no slurring over Gods holiness, and his righteousness is perfectly upheld. So that's the way that we enter into the kingdom today. We, even now, enjoy some of those things of God, that He stands for, the moral qualities of God. Just to use a similar expression, sometimes we talk about the good American life, and when they say that, we, I think, mean that we grow up, and we have a nice car, and a nice home, with a good job and we can go on vacation a few times a year, and we live in homes where we're protected in quite a good measure, and we don't have an enemy coming in, and taking things away from us every day and we speak of that as the good American life; the moral qualities of the life that we enjoy. That's what the Kingdom of God is like. God has a Kingdom in view, and he's going to put into effect all of these things. Well, when he came, when the Lord Jesus came, he was rejected, and so, we have here on our chart, the Kingdom of God presented, that's the first new addition that were focusing on here. Right here, when the Lord Jesus came, he presented those qualities of the Kingdom of God, and they rejected him. They opposed that, and cast him out.
Well, God knew that before hand, so midway through the ministry of our Lord on this earth, he changed the aspect of the Kingdom and begin teaching a new thing. Which we have put up here, the Kingdom of gone in mystery. Let's turn to Luke's Gospel chapter 8, for a passage. Luke's gospel chapter 8 verse 10, "And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand". And then he proceeds to give them the parable of the sower, which is a parable of the formation of the Kingdom of God. The new aspect that it was going to take on, after His rejection when they rejected the King here on earth. God is always above, and in control, and nothing thwarts his purposes of blessing. God is not stopped in his desire to bless, so then he introduces something new, the sower.
Now in the kingdom, as we've mentioned before under the law and so on, under authority, man sought to enter into the kingdom on his own merits, by his own righteousness, by the law and so on. Of course no one could really enter in on that basis. So God makes a new way of entering into the Kingdom. Nicodemus came to the Lord kind of on that basis. You know, he walked up to the Lord, and let's just notice what he says there, we'll read it in John. (I'm trying to abreviate the scriptures that we turn to for the sake of time.) Lets just notice how Nicodemus speaks to the Lord. John chapter 3 verse two, "The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God". You see, Nicodemus had this concept of entering in on the basis of the law, and he recognize that the Lord was a good teacher of the law, and so he walks up to the Lord and says I want to be associated with this good teacher, we can be good buddies together here, and we'll go on happily in the kingdom. The Lord stops him short, Nicodemus, nobody's going to get in the kingdom that way. You must be born again. And that's how we enter into the kingdom.
So entering into the kingdom now is on the basis of the righteousness of another. That is, it's the basis of the work of Christ on the cross. And we accept that by faith, we're born anew by the spirit of God from above, the power comes from him, and so this is the new character that the kingdom takes at this time here, and it's only seen by faith. They rejected him when he came visibly, presenting it, and so the Lord opens up a new way, it's by faith. Therefore it's in mystery, that seeing they might not see, that is people see these things outwardly, but they have no faith to lay hold of it, and therefore they don't really enter into. And so, this is the new character that the kingdom takes at this time, and God purposely does this so that he might gather a Kingdom in this world, where the Lord Jesus was rejected. This is God's way and so we'll notice tomorrow, Lord willing, when we get into this part of this time span, of the Kingdom of God in mystery, and it's also the kingdom of heaven in mystery. We'll notice that, for example, the parable of the tares and the wheat, and how when men slept, the enemy sowed tares in the wheat, and the disciples thought they should pull up the tares when they saw this and the Lord says; no, let them grow together. This is God's way of gathering a kingdom that men do not see, in the very place where the Lord Jesus was rejected. How could God get a Kingdom when they rejected his king? Well, this is the way. And that's why we preach the gospel, we preach the gospel to all, and only those who have faith enter into the kingdom, only those who trust in the Lord as their Savior, and are born of the spirit of God enter in to the kingdom.
Now the kingdom of God,I believe, really only includes the true believers, in a general way. There may be a sense that in the kingdom of God there is an outward association with the kingdom of those who profess. They may be outwardly associated with the kingdom those who profess to be the Lord's but who are not, but they are really/technically they're not in the Kingdom of God I don't believe. Now there is a distinction between the Kingdom of God and kingdom of heaven, in that sense that the kingdom of heaven does include the tares. They are in that kingdom and we'll talk about that more tomorrow, Lord willing. So we have the kingdom of God taking on this new character here at this present time, it's being formed, and this kingdom is being formed here on earth, but remember at the close, at the rapture, the true believers, those who have really entered into the Kingdom, are going to be caught up with the Lord. And then they are going to reign with Christ in the manifestation of glory in the future time. But you have to enter in now, anyone who waits until a second after the rapture, who has heard the gospel down here on Earth, will be forever shut out. We've had some of that in our gospel meetings; very solemn consideration. To enter into the kingdom you have to enter in now whiel the invitation is being proclaimed. And so, one of the parables of the kingdom of God, is the invitation to the marriagew of the Son, and the king sends out the marriage invite, and the people make excuse and so on, and they won't go in.
Let's go on to Mark nine for a verse that I passed over, something I wanted to comment on, verse one, "And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power. And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into a high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them. And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them." And so on, and it says there appeared Moses and Elias, I think you're well familiar with this portion. This was a display to the disciples, back at this time, when the Lord was here, of what the kingdom was going to be. He gave to them this preview of this time, when he would reign in righteousness, and shine in glory, and have a people around him, Moses and Elias. They were the lawgiver and the Law preacher, Moses and Elias, and they appeared there, also Peter saw them and so on.
And we too have this preview, during this time, by reading the scriptures, to know that, when we enter into the kingdom here now, there's coming the reigning time. As we mentioned before, the kingdom is (or we're) in the time of patiece now. We don't have thrones. We're now reigning yet. The apostle Paul had to exhort the Corinthians, because they were reiging ahead of time, they were trying to find their kingdom here on earth. I think that's a real practical point for us today, because you know, the good American life is, really, seeking to reign now. And it affects us as believers, we have a heart that is drawn after those things. We love the fun things of life, the pleasurable things, the times of peace and joy, but we have to be careful what things we accept in that way. Is whatever we're doing, is it with a view of reigning with Christ in glory, or is it trying to get some of the kingdom now at the expense of identification with the Lord in his rejection?
In all this time, of the day of grace, in this present time, when the heavenly part of the kingdom is being gathered in. We must enter in by faith in the Lord Jesus, the rejected one. The Scriptures says, "the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence". That is, when the Lord Jesus was here on earth, they rejected him. They robbed from him his due right, to take the kingdom then. And so it still keeps that character, the King has been rejected. And if we really want to enter into the heavenly part, and enjoy the kingdom with the Lord, we have to do it now, in this present time. Those who enter into the kingdom during the millennium, they won't enjoy this heavenly part with Christ. There will be a people here of faith, where the gospel of the kingdom is preached during this time, and there will be a people that enter in, but that's not what's being presented to us now. That gospel of the kingdom at this time, is to enter in, to share in the kingdom, in the heavenly part of it. And the only way to get in is by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
And the last part of that verse that I quoted, it says, and the violent take it by force. That's rather a hard scripture to lay of. And I just want to mention at this point, that at the close of these meetings I am going to hand out a little additional commentary on the kingdom of heaven. It will give some added exclamation, and I hope will encourage you to continue your meditations on this subject, as the Lord gives you opportunity. It's our intent here to give an outline of these things, and not a whole lot of detail, but to encourage each of us to lay hold of these things. And that scripture, the violent take it by force; a brother was speaking about going against the current. There's a current in this world, there's a movement in this world, it's the same movement that rejected Christ and it's in the world, and it's still prevelant to this day. And to enter into the kingdom now, you have to go against the current. If you follow the trend of the day, which is to have a good time here in this world now, you'll never enter the kingdom. No, you have to have faith, you have to see that the real time of reigning is future, and have the patience to wait, have the courage to identify and live for the Lord Jesus now, and to wait. And so that takes not only courage, but you have to go against the current, you have to use force or violence in that sense. Not violence in the bad sense, but violence in the sense of strong force against the tide.
And so, I know it's hard, and you young people feel that, as you go to school and so on, and enter into the workforce. It is difficult to really show, or let your light shine, and give witness to your faith of what the real kingdom that you are laying hold of. When we really see, that everything in this present world, in this present life is going to come to an end and be burned up, judged. What is the point then, of living for these things? But when you see that the Lord Jesus is forming a kingdom outside of this world, in heaven, and calling saints by the gospel, then when you see that, you know, that gives you the motive to separate from the world, that gives you the courage to be faithful to the Lord, and to walk for him. Because he wanted a people there. Remember, when the Lord was crucified on the cross, he said my kingdom is not of this world, if my kingdom were of this world, than would my servants fight, but now is not my kingdom from hence. His kingdom was taking on a new character, heavenly. And so that's our portion today. May the Lord help us to have that real faith, to lay hold of that, and to see our place in the kingdom now, what we expect to happen, what we believe is going to happen. And to not let temporal things now in this life, turn us aside from wholly following the Lord.
A brother spoke last night about consecration, and how Jonathan surrendered all. You know everything we have in the kingdom of God, we have by grace. Its God's goodness to give us the salvation of our souls, as well as everything else of life. And when we realize that, when that lays hold of our soul, it will really motivate us to live for the Lord. Oh, may God impress that on our hearts, and encourage us. It's not a legal thing, God wants us to have a willing heart, he wants us to follow willingly. The Lord doesn't want to have a people here in the kingdom who are sitting up there and saying, Oh I didn't really want, this wasn't really my mind, but my Mom and Dad made me go to meeting, and my Mom and Dad did this, and the preacher told me I had to do this. Is that the kind of people that's going to be up there? That's not what the kingdom of God is about. The kingdom of God is about righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. You can be a Christian, you follow the Lord today in rejection and still be happy. And you can enjoy those real qualities of the kingdom right now, even though you're surrounded by bad circumstances, the same circumstances that existed when the Lord was here on earth and rejected. And he hasn't changed those circumstances, he didn't turn around in vengence immediately, when he was rejected and say, I'm going to judge you, I'm going to cut you all off now, and I'm going to call in a people and reign. No, the kingdom is in patience, he postponed the judgments, until the future day.
When he descends in his second coming in manifestation and glory, let's read in second Thessalonians a little bit, chapter one and begin with the third verse, I'm going to go ahead and read several verses here, because this does give us a pretty good overview, II Thessalonians 1:3. "We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith growth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth; so that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God, for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; and to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power". Now this is one part of the character of the kingdom. We enter in here, at the time of the mystery, and then we're manifest with the Lord in glory, when he comes back to judge the ungodly, the unrighteous. We'll be identified with him in his judgments, so that should encourage us, that should strengthen our faith, in the difficult times when everything is against the name of Christ and you have a desire to live for Christ.
But there's the second part here, that's going to be enjoyed in this coming day. You can't talk about this time, without referring to this, because they're all connected. We enter now, but we're going to really be manifest then. And so we've read about that, when the Lord comes from heaven, he's revealed from heaven, taking vengeance on them that know not God..........{Gap in the tape}........ this is another part of the kingdom, another character that it takes, verse 10, "When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day". And so, that's another character it takes on here, in the kingdom of manifestation of glory. That the Lord, having his heavenly people that are taken with him at the rapture and come back with him at his second coming, they are going to be a part of the glory that is shared. For everything that you suffer for the Lord now in rejection at this time, I believe, there will be a recompense of glory in the coming time. That should really help us get through the tough times. It's what's put before us, this is the kingdom of God.
Now I'd like to refer to some other scriptures that refer to the connection between this time and a future time in the millennial kingdom. Let's turned to Luke chapter 19 next, this has a very helpful portion to me, to get hold of the kingdom of God. I'd like to read just a few verses here, Luke 19 verse 11, "And as they heard these things", this is the Lord Jesus, "he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear. He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us. And it came to pass, when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading." And then it goes on and gives the rewards, according to the pounds that each had received, and their faithfulness. This scripture shows us the connection between this time, and the future time of glory, the time of suffering, the time when the pounds are entrusted to us, and then when the rewards will be given.
And we notice that it says, that when the certain man went into a far country. Now what's the far country? The far country is heaven. That's where the Lord has gone to receive his kingdom. And so the Lord Jesus is on his Father's throne, receiving a kingdom at this time. He sent the Holy Spirit down, to give the power of the gospel and he's gathering out a kingdom to those who have the faith to enter in. And then it says, the wording here is very precise, it says in verse 15, "And it came to pass, when he was returned, having received the kingdom". This is talking about this time here, the second coming of Christ, in his appearing, and his manifestation, he already has received the kingdom. Now this is totally contrary to what the jews were expecting. They were expecting the kingdom to form on earth. But now the kingdom, in its new character, is forming in heaven. And then he's going to receive that at the rapture, and also the saints that are martyred in the tribulation, I believe, are going to be included.
And there, the kingdom, the marriage of the Lamb is in heaven, and he's going to come back with his saints to be admired in them. The saints are going to be a display and a testimony of the work of Christ. They are the fruit of the travail of his soul, or a part of it anyway. And the glory is going to be displayed in them. You see, he is such a glorious King, and he didn't want to go to Heaven alone, and he prayed to have a people with him there, so they could share the place of glory. And so in the kingdom here it says, Christ returns with his heavenly saints. Christ reigns over the earthly people. During the kingdom, in the millennium, the thousand years of reign, we're not looking for the Lord to reign over us. No, we have a better place than that, beloved. We're going to be with Christ, and share, and be a display, a witness to his glory there. Now another scripture that refers to this, is in the book of Jude, it's rather interesting, this little prophecy, I wonder if this is really is the first prophecy of a prophet in the Bible. The book of Jude, verse 14, "And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh, with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him". Notice again, the Lord comes with his saints. To me this is rather interesting, because Enoch was the one who never died, he's the one who was translated, the Lord took him up alive into heaven, and I tend to believe that he's a picture of the raptured saints. They are the ones who enter into the kingdom in that character, the heavenly character, whom the Lord will bring back with him, as a display of his power and glory. So this is our place, beloved, to be associated.
I don't want these talks to be just an academic understanding of our minds, of entering into these things, but there's a real practical thing in connection with this, beloved, to be with the Lord Jesus. You know it's a wonderful thing to be associated with the Lord when he reigns, but there's a better portion for us to enjoy than that. Entering into the kingdom of God, is a moral thing of entering into the things that God enjoys with his own. It says of Adam, when he was first created, that he was alone and there was no helpmeet, and then God builded or made a woman from his side, and brought her unto him, a picture of Christ and the Church. And this is our place, to enjoy fellowship with the Lord Jesus. This is not just some academic story, or prophecy, this is the way into the heart of God. This is the way for you and I to live with God in his kingdom for all eternity, and share with his part. Is it worth a few hard years here on earth, of rejection? We know it is, we really know it is.
But sometimes our faith gets weak, and our desire is for things right now. We're living in the now generation, and everybody wants it right now. I tend to believe that Satan is particularly using that tactic to deceive souls, because he knows we're so near the time when the true Kingdom is going to be caught out his world. And so he's getting everybody super occupied with things right now, lest they lay hold of the true kingdom, lest they enter in. Don't let Satan deceive you, beloved, it's worth sharing a little with the Lord in his rebjection, entering into the kingdom in that way.
Now a verse in Revelation Chapter 20 verse four, "and I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years". Well I believe this really refers to those who are martyred in the tribulation time, but I just wanted to read this verse to show the 1000 years of reign. They also enter in, into the heavenly part, and share in the reign of Christ over the earth for a thousand years.
Now let's go back to Matthew's gospel, chapter 24, just to briefly consider the earthly part of it, verse 8, "All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."
Again this is the character that the kingdom takes after the church is caught out, the heavenly side is with Christ in glory. There's the judgment here on earth of those who made a profession but weren't real. Then the gospel of the kingdom in it's earthly side, is going to be preached, and so we put in here the gopel of kingdom. Well, this is also the gospel of the kingdom but it's in a different character. The gospel of the kingdom that's going to be preached after the rapture, is going to be largely preached by the Jews, and to the Jews and to all nations, and to the whole world. And there's going to be kind of a repetition of what took place here, when the Lord came the first time, when he came to be received on Earth. Then it will be close to the time when the Lord really is going to set a kingdom up here on earth. And again there will be a man like Elias or Elijah, or John the Baptist. John the Baptist fulfilled that ministry, in preparing for the king to come. It speaks in Revelation about the two witnesses that are going to be slain. They're going to give witness, they're going to show the same miracles that Moses and Elijah showed in their ministry of announcing that the Lord is coming, prepare here on earth to reign.
Now we don't preach the gospel that way, we preach the gospel to enter into the kingdom because the Lord's going to take us to heaven. They won't be talking about heaven, they are going to be talking about Earth, and that's why it says he that endureth to the end. That is, he who is faithful, and believes in the Lord, prepares in heart in repentance, then when the Lord comes, he will pass the judgments, and he will enter in and then live through the earthly part of the kingdom that Christ reigns over, the earthly people. And so if you don't see this distinction between the heavenly people and the earthly people, a lot of people get confused and think the church is going to go through the tribulation and so on, when they read these verses. But when you see that/how this is the kingdom in its new character, that it's going to take here on earth, than it clarifies everything. At least it does to me.
Well, the last thing we're going to touch on, is in first Corinthians chapter 15, just to very briefly, the day of God, really it ushers into eternity. This verse probably carries us farther than any other verse in the Bible. First Corinthians chapter 15, verses 24 and 25, "Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule, and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet". This refers to the very far right here of the chart, the Son gives the kingdom to the Father. After the thousand years of reign here, when the Lord has a perfect kingdom, everything is going to be in subjection and perfection, it's going to be just like it was back in the beginning when God created man, it'll be perfect, he's going to have everything in perfection. As a man he is going to subdue everything, and there's going to be no more sin anymore, no more lawlessness, no more sorrow and pain. And then as a man, the Lord Jesus is going to give that, all the kingdom that he's reigned over and got back into control, he's going to give it all back to God. That God may be all in all. It all is going to end in perfection. People talk about the world self-destructing, the problem and there's no solution. This is the solution, it's in perfection. That's the kingdom the Lord Jesus gives back to God. Well, may the Lord help us then, as we lay hold of this, to enter into what really is our proper place, and what the Lord's proper place is for us, and before all. Let's just give Him thanks.