Gospel of the Kingdom
Posts : 233
Join date : 2009-08-01
|Subject: Gospel of the Kingdom Sat Aug 08, 2009 11:09 am|| |
WHAT IS THE KINGDOM GOSPEL?
Is It a New Religion?
EMPHATICALLY No! It is a Federation of orthodox Christians of many denominations who believe the Bible to be the inspired Word of God.
Is Israel a Nation or a Church?
Since God cannot change (Malachi 3:6), Israel must still be in existence as a nation (Jeremiah 31:25-37).
Where, then, are these Chosen People Israel?
Only one race today answers in every detail to the Bible picture of “Israel in the latter days” — (Christian Dispensation) — and that is the English-speaking Race — the British Empire and U. S. A. They possess what Israel was to possess, and they are doing what Israel was to do.
What is the Key to Israel Truth?
The distinction between “Israel” and “Judah” is clearly marked throughout the Scripture (1 Kings 7; Jeremiah 16-11; Ps. 114:1-2; Ezekiel 37; Zechariah 10:7-14; 1 Kings 12:16-24). They are not interchangeable terms.
ISRAEL — the ten-tribed Northern kingdom or House of Israel, who kept the surname Israel.
JUDAH — The two-tribed Southern Kingdom or House of Judah. Of this latter House only are the Jews. Hence some Jews are Israelites, but all Israelites are not Jews. Jews — the name given to the remnant of Judah after the captivity. (2 Kings 16:1-6; Esther 2:5-6).
For What was Israel Chosen?
For Service, Leviticus 24:55: “Unto me the children of Israel are servants.” See also Isaiah 43:10, 21:44:21.
For Witness, Isaiah 43:12: “Ye are my witnesses that I am God.” See also Isaiah 49:3.
For Blessing, Genesis 12:1-2,22:16-18: “I will bless thee, and thou shalt be a blessing.”
Not for Favouritism or Special Righteousness. Ezekiel 36:22-24, 32: “I do not this for your sakes, 0 House of Israel, but for my Holy Name’s Sake.” See also Isaiah 48:9-11.
What of Salvation?
Individually, personal Salvation by faith in the atonement of Jesus Christ is as necessary for an Israelite as for any other, but nationally the Israel race is charged with the responsibility of distributing the Gospel and proclaiming it to the world. See Isaiah 61:1-14.
Is the Kingdom Message Truth Necessary?
I. It alone throws light on the prophetic Scriptures, and on British origin, history and destiny.
2. As part of God’s Word and God’s plan, it must be as necessary as any other part.
3. It alone completely demonstrates the inspiration of the Bible, and reveals the Covenant-keeping God.
4. In the conflict of nations Israel leads those nations fighting for God (Christian) against the combination of nations fighting against God (Anti-Christian). Britain and the U.S.A. are the “Chief of Nations” today.
If these statements are not correct — prove the contrary!
If they are the Truth — accept them! and pass them on!
Posts : 233
Join date : 2009-08-01
|Subject: The Sanctuary and the Dominion Sat Aug 08, 2009 12:23 pm|| |
THE SANCTUARY AND THE DOMINION
Dr. Bertrand Comparet
THOSE who have deeply studied the Bible know that the living descendants of God’s People ISRAEL are today those nations which are commonly known as the “Anglo-Saxon” group, including the British, the Germans, the Scandinavians, the Dutch, and their descendants in the United States and the various colonies of these nations. Knowing this fact enables us to explain and understand their history as the fulfillment of Bible prophecies concerning ISRAEL: and it also enables us to foretell their future by applying those few Bible prophecies concerning ISRAEL which have not yet been fulfilled.
Every event in our history for 3,000 years has demonstrated its faithful adherence to God’s prophesied plan: each event for its own purpose - which also required each event to come at its appointed time. If we lose sight of PURPOSE, we fail to understand why the event happened WHEN it did; if we lose sight of TIME, we misunderstand the PURPOSE.
When the people of ISRAEL entered the Promised Land of Palestine, they were 12 Tribes organized into one nation - just like this United States of 50 States. Even from early times, however, there were internal jealousies which foretold the coming division into two nations: David was king over Judah for several years before he became king over all ISRAEL. On the death of King Solomon, in 975 B.C., the nation was broken in two - the ten northern Tribes becoming a separate kingdom with their capital city at Samaria, and keeping the name Israel; while the two southern Tribes of Judah and Benjamin kept the old capital city of Jerusalem, and took the name JUDAH for their kingdom. The great turning points of our history are no mere accidents; and God said of this division, “This thing is of Me” - (I Kings 12: 24).
ISRAEL left Egypt and entered Palestine as ONE nation: yet God’s purpose in the later division was already predestined. Psalm 114: 1-2 says:
“When Israel went out of Egypt, the House of Jacob from a people of strange language, JUDAH was His SANCTUARY, and ISRAEL His DOMINION”
- TWO PURPOSES to be served, each by a separate nation.
Through Jesus Christ, God reached down toward man, to bring man salvation, redemption, a good life under God’s own rule; to complete this contact and receive these gifts, man reached up toward God, through God’s Chosen People, ISRAEL. But what is too often lost sight of is the fact that God’s purpose toward man involves more than just the religious phase, necessary though that is. FOR WHAT PURPOSE are we saved? It is to live in THE KINGDOM OF GOD, that same Kingdom of God which Jesus Christ preached throughout His entire career. The end of God’s purpose is social, economic, governmental, to which the other is but the means. Hence we must recognize both the religious and the governmental purposes.
Jesus Christ came the first time as our High Priest, to offer on our behalf the sacrifice of His own blood for our sins; He will come again as King of kings and Lord of lords, to rule a world-wide empire from the throne of His own Kingdom. A priest functions only at the altar; a king only at the throne. Hence, there must be provided for Him the altar of sacrifice at His first coming, and the throne at His second coming. Note how God fulfilled this: Psalm 114 tells us that JUDAH was His SANCTUARY, and ISRAEL His DOMINION, and that this was predestined from the time they left Egypt -5 centuries before the nation was divided, and 15 centuries before the crucifixion.
After the division into the two nations in 975 B.C., the 10-tribed northern kingdom of Israel had no need to remain longer in Palestine, for its destiny was to furnish the DOMINION, the Kingdom of God, to be ruled by Jesus Christ when He shall come the second time. The tiny land of Palestine can never furnish this: it would scarcely provide standing room for the multitudes which ISRAEL would become, according to God’s promises in the Bible, and it lacked the enormous resources promised to ISRAEL and which were needed to produce the mighty power of the predestined Kingdom. Accordingly, they were removed from their old, Palestinian land, by the Assyrian captivity - a thing which seemed harsh at the time, yet it was necessary for they would not have left their old home voluntarily. After about 715 B.C., they were out of Palestine, embarked on the long migration which would bring them, many centuries later, into their north and west European homelands, and from there to spread into the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. In these new homes, they developed such advanced civilization, such wealth and power as were never before known in all world history - and this, also in fulfillment of God’s prophecies for ISRAEL. While they remained frankly, boldly CHRISTIAN, these nations ruled half the world. It was only after we allowed those who hate Jesus Christ to immigrate, to infiltrate our institutions, to influence and corrupt our leaders, that we have been put on the defensive and driven out of our colonial possessions. We must remember that it is JESUS CHRIST’S DOMINION that we hold: and we can keep it only as long as we hold it FOR HIM. In these, the ISRAEL nations, we find the DOMINION, just as the 114th Psalm prophesied; but they had no part in the First Coming of Jesus Christ, as the SANCTUARY for the High Priest was not in their destiny.
But what of the other, the southern, two-Tribed Kingdom of Judah? Originally, the throne had been in Judah, but out of the Tribe of Judah was taken David and his family to be the kings; and the throne was forever given to the House of David. But the DOMINION was not in the destiny of the Kingdom of Judah, so the Davidic king line ceased in Judah at the time of the Babylonian captivity; but it was transferred to Ireland, where the two king lines of Pharez and Zarah were united; and from here can be traced the British royal family today-so the throne, the DOMINION, has remained in ISRAEL.
However, the SANCTUARY, the Temple, remained in the southern Kingdom of Judah. True, it was infiltrated and corrupted with alien priests and alien doctrines, after the return from Babylon: yet it was still His Sanctuary, even though occupied by usurpers, just as the Kingdom is still His, even though usurpers have wrongfully occupied His land. Since only the SANCTUARY was to be there, we find no majestic dominion in Judah. In its very origin, it was reduced to only two out of the 12 Tribes. It shrank in importance, becoming vassal alternately to Egypt and Babylonia; after the Babylonian captivity it was vassal to Persia, Syria, and finally the least of the provinces of Rome. But here was the SANCTUARY and to it came Jesus Christ; here He offered Himself in sacrifice, and entered into the real Holy of Holies with His own blood as the offering for our sins. This completed the work of the SANCTUARY, the separate destiny of JUDAH, and 40 years thereafter JUDAH ceased to exist as a nation separate from ISRAEL.
Jesus Christ preached only the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, not the Gospel of Personal Salvation. The prophets before Him had foretold His life, crucifixion, resurrection, and the salvation of men and redemption of ISRAEL which He accomplished thereby. Why repeat it? As Jesus said,
“If they will not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they believe though one rose from the dead.”
Therefore, He did not preach the part of His mission which was finished. Now it was time to preach the KINGDOM OF GOD, to inspire His people ISRAEL to work out their destiny in preparing for Him the Kingdom, the DOMINION, for His second coming.
When He came the first time, the priests ignored the 114th Psalm, and would not accept Him as Saviour, as the Great High Priest: they would accept Him only as King, or not at all. Today, nearly all churches make a similar mistake. They ignore the 114th Psalm; they refuse to see we are ISRAEL, and our destiny is to furnish the DOMINION, not the SANCTUARY. They preach only a Savior, not a King; they offer Him only the cross, not the crown. But God’s destiny is not to be frustrated: The Israel NATIONS have created the DOMINION, whose work is still ahead. The history of JUDAH leads to Christ’s first coming; the history of ISRAEL leads to His second coming. The THRONE is as literal as the CROSS: He was given His SANCTUARY: Now we must give Him His DOMINION.
Posts : 233
Join date : 2009-08-01
|Subject: The Heresy of Democracy of God Sat Aug 08, 2009 1:03 pm|| |
THE HERESY OF DEMOCRACY WITH GOD
Rousas John Rushdoony [From Chalcedon Position Paper No.6]
A YOUNG woman, mother of a girl of six years, described conditions in the grade school (K-6) across from their church. One teacher is openly a lesbian. Some boys regularly drag screaming girls into the boys' restroom to expose themselves to the girls, and nothing is done about it. The leading church officer had an answer to her call for a Christian School: he did not believe in spiritual isolationism for Christians, and this is what Christian Schools represent. Unusual? On the contrary, all too common an attitude.
In Chalcedon Position Paper no. 2, I wrote on "Can We Tithe Our Children?", I quoted Psalm 128:1,
"Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord; that walketh in his ways."
This fell into the hands of a minister, who was apparently very upset by it. He corrected the word of God, and wrote to declare, "I do not like the word feareth, Rather loveth the Lord." Unusual? No, all too common.
A pastor, planning to speak on Biblical authority had the word "authority" altered in the church bulletin by members to read "leadership." A prominent church publication spoke with ridicule and hatred of all who would believe in anything so "primitive" as Biblical law. Another pastor, planning to discipline a seriously sinning member, was attacked by his fellow pastors at a church meeting; somehow, it is unloving to deal with sin as God's word requires it.
Is it necessary to give further examples? More pastors lose pulpits for their faithfulness to Scripture than for any other reason. Trifling excuses are found to make possible the dissolution of a pastoral relationship. Open sin is condoned, and simple faithfulness is despised. The telephone rings regularly to bring reports of fresh instances of churches in revolt against God and His word. Gary North is right. Humanism's accomplices are in the church (Christian Reconstruction, III,2).
Much of this stems from one of the great heresies of our day, the belief in democracy. At the beginning of the century, some churchmen began talking about the democracy of God, i.e., that God wants a universe where He and His creatures can work and plan together in a democratic way. Of course, if our relationship with God is a democratic one, we can correct the Bible where it displeases us, eliminate what we cannot correct, and use other standards and tests for the church and the clergy than God's enscriptured word. Then, logically, our word is as good as God's word, and as authoritative as God's.
In his important study, The Heresy of Democracy (1955), Lord Percy of Newcastle declared of democracy that it is "philosophy which is nothing less than a new religion" (p. 16). The justification for all things is not to be found in the triune God but in the people. Virtue means meeting people's needs, and the democratic state, church, and God have one function, to supply human wants. State, school, church, and God become chaplains to man, called upon to bow down before man's authority. In fact, Lord Percy said of state schools, "This is, indeed, democracy's characteristic Mark of the Beast... of all means of assimilation, the most essential to democracy is a uniform State-controlled education" (p.13). To challenge that system is to shake democracy's structure, including its state and church. Earlier, Fichte saw statist education in messianic terms: "Progress is that perfection of education by which the Nation is made Man."
Within the church, the modernists first advocated the state as God's voice and instrument. Wellhausen, the German leader of the higher criticism of the Old Testament, declared: "We must acknowledge that the Nation is more certainly created by God than the Church, and that God works more powerfully in the history of nations than in Church history."
Behind all this is the question of authority: is it from God, or from man? If God is the sovereign authority over all things, then His law-word alone can govern all things. Religion, politics, economics, science, education, law and all things else must be under God, or they are in revolt!
If the ultimate authority is man, then all things must serve man and bow down before man's authority. As T. Robert Ingram has so clearly pointed out in What's Wrong with Human Rights (1979), the doctrine of human rights is the humanistic replacement for Biblical law. Man now being regarded as sovereign, his rights have replaced God's law as the binding force and authority over man and his world.
The cultural effects of this change have been far reaching. In a remarkably brilliant and telling study, Ann Douglas, in The Feminization of American Culture (I977), has shown the effects of Unitarianism and religious liberalism on American culture. From a God-centred emphasis (not necessarily consistent or thorough in application), a man centred focus emerged. The new justification of women became the cult of motherhood (a humanistic, man centred focus), and for men and women alike, "doing good" for one's fellow men. With this new emphasis, men left the church, or regarded it as peripheral to their lives, and the liberal clergy developed the fundamentals of what we have today as soap opera religion. In Ann Douglas' delightfully incisive wording, it's hardly accidental that soap opera, an increasing speciality of nineteenth century liberal Protestantism, is a "phenomenon which we associate with the special needs of feminine subculture" (p.48). Liberal religion feminized the clergy, made women and Christianity irrelevant to life, and created a spineless, gutless clergy for whom the faith is sentimental talk and not the power of God unto salvation. To quote Dr. Douglas again, "The liberal minister who abandoned theology lost his right to start from the 'facts' of the Bible as his predecessors understood them: that God made man, man sinned against him, and God had and has the right to assign any punishment he judges fit for the offences" (p. 200).
This humanistic soap-opera religion conquered other areas of the church. Arminianism quickly adopted it, as did much of Calvinism, as their emphases shifted from God's sovereign act of salvation to man's ostensible choice, or man's experience, and from the centrality and authority of the word, to an emotional, experientially governed "heart-religion".
In this humanist parody of Christianity, man's experience has priority over God's word. One "Christian worker" told me that it was unwise for people to read the Bible without the guidance of a "real" experience of "Spirit-filled" heart religion. Of course, for him the Spirit freed him from the word, a heretical opinion. One pastor, who announced a series of sermons on authority, i.e., the authority of God, of His word, authority under God, etc., was told bluntly that he should preach on "fellowship" with God, not God's authority. When churchmen are hostile to God's authority, they are not Christians. Fellowship with God through Christ is on His terms and under His grace and authority.
"If we say we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth" (I John 1:6).
A church which denies God's authority will be in no position to resist the state's authority. It will look to authorities other than the Lord's for its justification, and, in yielding to the state, it will do so in the spirit of cooperation, not compromise, because its true fellowship is with man and the state, not the Lord. Ambrose, in A.D. 385, resisted the state's requisition of a church in Milan, declaring, "What belongs to God is outside the emperor's power." Ambrose said further, in his 'Sermon Against Auxentius', "We pay to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's. Tribute is due to Caesar, we do not deny it. The Church belongs to God, therefore it ought not to be assigned to Caesar. For the temple of God cannot be Caesar's by right." The emperor, he added, could be in the church by faith, but never above or over it.
Chrysostom, in dealing also with conflict with Caesar, warned his people, in Concerning the Statutes, Homily III, 19:
"This certainly I foretell and testify, that although this cloud should pass away, and we yet remain in the same condition of listlessness, we shall again have to suffer much heavier evils than those we are now dreading; for I do not so much fear the wrath of the Emperor, as your own listlessness. "
Here Chrysostom put his finger on the heart of the matter: the threat was less the emperor and more a listless and indifferent church. The same problem confronts us today. The greater majority of church members do not feel that Christianity is worth fighting for, let alone dying for. They only want the freedom to be irrelevant, and to emit pious gush as a substitute for faithfulness and obedience. In soap opera religion, life is without dominion; instead, it is a forever abounding mess, met with a sensitive and bleeding heart. Soap opera religion is the faith of the castrated, of the impotent, and the irrelevant. The devotees of soap opera religion are full of impotent self-pity and rage over the human predicament, but are devoid of any constructive action; only destruction and negation become them.
The heresy of democracy leads to the triumph of sentimental religion. Dr. Douglas defines sentimentalism thus:
"Sentimentalism is a cluster of ostensibly private feelings which always attains public and conspicuous expression" (p. 307). The focus in sentimental religion shifts from God's word to man's feelings, and from basic doctrine to psychology and human needs. The doctrine of the sovereignty of man means the sovereignty of the total man, and all his feelings. We have a generation now whose concern is themselves, whose self-love blots out reality and truth.
So great is this self-absorption that, in any office, faculty, church group, or other fellowship, there are commonly persons who give their momentous personal communiques on purely private matters: "I didn't sleep well last night ... I'm so tired today...Nothing I eat agrees with me lately, and I'm always gassy... I saw the film and used oodles of Kleenex. ... The colour green always upsets me... I can't bear to have children around ..." and so on and on. Purely private feelings are announced as though the world should react, be concerned, and be governed by them.
Even worse, God is approached with a similar endless gush of private feelings, as though God should be concerned and upset when an egomaniac is distressed. Few people pray, asking, "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" (Acts 9:6). Rather, they pray with a list of demands on God, for Him to supply. Now Paul declares that God will supply all our needs "according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19), but that promise is preceded by an epistle which speaks at length of God's requirements of us, and also calls for contentment on our parts with our God-decreed lot (Philippians 4: 11).
Basic also to the heresy of democracy in the church is its belief, not only in man's needs as against God's requirements, but its belief in the irrelevance of God's law. If man is sovereign, God's law cannot bind man, and both hell and justice fade away. God, then, is allowed only one approach to man - love. He is portrayed as needing, yearning for, and calling for man's love.
Man is in the driver's seat, to accept or reject that plea. Lord Percy stated it succinctly: "A mere breaker of law... may always be saved; but there is no salvation for the deniers of law" (p.108). They have denied God's sovereignty and His power to save. Their only logical relationship to God, then, is not by salvation but by man-ordained fellowship. Then, too, what man has ordained, man can destroy, so there is efficacious salvation, and no perseverance of the saints.
This brings us to the conclusion of sovereign man. On both sides of the "Iron curtain," politicians trumpet the claim that theirs is the free world. "The free world" is a curious and popular term in the twentieth century, so commonly used that its meaning is hardly considered. What is the free world free from? First of all, it means freedom from the other side. The enemy represents bondage, "our side" freedom, although all the while freedom decreases in the West, even as its relics grow fewer behind the Iron Curtain. The less free we become, the more we are told of the virtues of our freedom. But, second, the whole world is not free in its more basic sense, "free" from God. For the Marxists, religion, Biblical faith in particular, is the opium of the masses. For democratic thinkers like John Dewey and James Bryant Conant, Christianity and the family are anti-democratic and aristocratic, and hence incompatible with democracy. (See R.J. Rushdoony: Messianic Character of American Education.) The Death of God School of a few years ago did not say that God is dead in Himself but that God is dead for us, because, they declared, we find Him "non-historical" and irrelevant to our purposes in this world. Only that which meets man's needs and purposes is alive for man, and therefore man wants to be free from the sovereign God.
The man who did not believe in "spiritual isolationism," of which he accused the Christian Schools, was emphatic on one point: we must obey the powers that be, the state, because God ordains it. Peter's words, "We ought to obey God rather than men" (Acts3:29), brought little response from him. Obedience to many other things in Scripture, such as tithing, bring no similar strong demand for obedience, but all such are ready to call their compromise with Caesar a faithfulness to God.
But to obey in the Hebrew Scripture means essentially to hear the word of God, to believe it, and to act on it. Therefore, W.A.Whitehouse said that the word obey has "the closest possible association with 'believe'" (A. Richardson, editor: A Theological Word Book of the Bible, p. 160.).
Contrary to the humanistic, democratic mood in religious thought today, Christianity is an authoritative faith. It is held, throughout all Scripture, that all human authority is derived or conferred (or falsely claimed) and is always subject to the sovereign and absolute authority of God and is always subject to the terms of His law-word.
We have an age that wants (if it has anything to do with God) only His fellowship, on man's terms, and without His sovereignty and lordship. lt dares to correct and amend God's word; it refuses to hear Him but offers, rather, to love Him. (One Hollywood "Christian" leader of a few years back spoke of God as "a living doll.") It wants a universe in which man plays sovereign and creator, endeavouring to create a brave new world out of sinful man, or out of self-centered churchmen, and it produces a fair facsimile of hell. Such a world is begging for judgment, and then as now "judgment must begin at the house of God" (I Peter 4:17). As always, judgment precedes salvation.
Posts : 233
Join date : 2009-08-01
|Subject: The Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom 0of God Sun Aug 09, 2009 2:11 pm|| |
THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN AND THE KINGDOM OF GOD
P.C. Johnson U.K.
THE kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God are often thought to refer to the same kingdom. This is not so. The two kingdoms have many similarities and will eventually merge. But it is necessary to understand the difference between the two of them especially at this time near to the second advent.
The kingdom of heaven is to be Messianic and Davidic and refers to the future heavenly rule over the earth by our Lord and Saviour Jesus the Christ and King. The kingdom will first be established over a regathered and converted Israel, restored to the 'promised land' with Jerusalem as the capital. Isaiah tells us in chapter 11 in parts of verses 11 and 12:
"... the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people".
"... and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel and the dispersed of Judah".
Ezekiel 37:21 confirms the same message:
"... Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land."
Jeremiah makes an interesting statement in chapter 3 verse 18:
"In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given for an inheritance unto your fathers".
Many of the twelve tribes of Israel must be resident in that area today. The present occupants of the holy land, except perhaps a small minority, cannot therefore be the true children of Israel. Isaiah 62:2 indirectly confirms this:
"..thou (Israel) shall be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name".
The characteristics of the kingdom of heaven are to be righteousness and peace. It is to be heavenly in origin and authority and will spread over all the earth. It has the object of proclaiming the gospel of salvation - the kingdom of God - throughout the whole world. When this is achieved, the two kingdoms will be one glorious one on earth ruled by the divine King Jesus.
The kingdom of God embraces people of all time and nation who are willingly subject to the supreme will of God, that is, they had perfect faith in God prior to the resurrection of Jesus the Christ, or after that time, those who are true believers in the salvation of Jesus the Christ. The members of this kingdom would be the angels, the true church spiritural with its saints of past and future times. John tells us in recording the words of Jesus in John 3:3:
"Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God".
This new birth will be manifested by the resurrection of the 'sleeping' faithful and true christians and the 'changing' of the living true christians at the time of the second advent of Jesus the Christ.
John 3: 16 describes God's salvation:
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life".
It should be noted that the word 'perish' here denotes 'marred' or 'lost', or in other words, no use for the original purpose. It does mean mortal death, but not cessation of existence or annihilation.
The kingdom of God comes not with outward show, (Luke 17:20) but is inward and spiritual. The kingdom of heaven however, will be manifested in great glory on the earth. Paul's words of I Corinthians 15:24-28 refer to the final merging of these two kingdoms:
"...when he (Christ) shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father... and put all enemies under his feet... "
The time for the setting up of the kingdom of heaven will be the second advent. In the wonderful light of scriptural prophecy we are being made aware now, that this second advent will soon take place. In the same time frame, the redeemed true children of Israel, the twelve tribes united as one nation, will be identified from among the nations of the earth. They will return to the holy land as promised, and resume their God ordained role as God's servant nation. Isaiah 61:6 tells us:
"But ye shall be named the priests of the Lord: men shall call you the Ministers of our God:"
Let us now recall a few of the numerous prophecies detailing the second advent.. I Thessalonians 4:16,17 describes the event: .
"For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump(et) of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord".
Mark 13-26 relates:
"And then shall they (all Peoples) see the Son of man (Jesus) coming in the clouds with great power and glory".
Acts 1:10,11tells us about what happened at the end of the first advent, when Jesus ascended up into heaven:
"And while they (the apostles) looked steadfastly towards heaven as he (Jesus) went up, Behold, two men (angels) stood by them in white apparel: Which also said, ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven".
Dr Scofield points out that the second advent is positively an EVENT and certainly not a process gradual or otherwise. It is of vital importance to understand this.
The time of the second advent is not revealed in scripture. But we are given several descriptions of the world at that time, which remind us of our present day
world. Matthew 24:37,38 informs us:
"But as the days of Noah were, so shall the coming of the Son of man (Jesus) be. For as in the days that were before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered intothe ark".
At that time, even as today, God and his precepts were generally ignored by all people (except Noah and his family) in spite of warnings. So retribution came, the people perished in the flood. They were no longer any use in relation to their original purpose for being on the earth. Luke 12:40 warns us:
"Be ye therefore ready also (for the second advent) for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not".
Luke 18:8 prophecies:
"... nevertheless when the Son of man cometh shall he find faith in the earth?"
This question gives its own answer - NO. This reference is to belief in the whole body of truth especially salvation as revealed in the bible - God's word. Certainly true belief by people is 'rare' today.
Corinthians 15:51-53 tells us how all true believers will be affected:
"Behold I show you a mystery: We shall not all sleep (be dead) but we shall be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the the dead shall be raised incorruptible and we shall be changed For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality".
When considering all scripture, it is well to remember that God never has and never will change his mind. All biblical prophecies are certain to be fulfilled. Romans 11:29 confirms this:
"For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance (change of mind) "
Again, Daniel 2:45 in a different context, says that a prophecy is certain and its interpretation sure. In relation to the continuance of the existence of the true children of Israel, God thunders out his message in Malachi 3:6:
"For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed"
Posts : 233
Join date : 2009-08-01
|Subject: Re: Gospel of the Kingdom Sun Aug 09, 2009 2:12 pm|| |
We must therefore understand that the second advent will surely come - and soon. It will be unexpected by the vast majority of mankind, very sudden, like lightning as Matthew 24:27 says, in great glory, and as Isaiah 40:5 says, all mankind shall see it together. It will be in answer to part of the Lord's prayer in Matthew 6:10:
"..Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven...".
The kingdom of God is to be an everlasting kingdom as Daniel tells us chapter 7:14:
"And there was given him (Jesus) dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed".
In Matthew 13:24-36 Jesus relates the parable of the tares among the wheat. He goes on to explain the parable in verses 36 to 43 (to be read). There are no tares (children of the wicked one) in the kingdom of God, therefore this parable relates to the kingdom of heaven. The time of the parable will be at the second advent when the angels will separate the tares from the wheat, that is 'the children of the wicked one' from the 'children of the kingdom'. (of God). Jesus tells us that the former are they which do iniquity (the unredeemed) The children of the kingdom are those in whom God imputed his righteousness because they believe in and have faith in Jesus the Christ and his salvation.
Note the reference to 'all things that offend' which are to be removed by the angels.. Mankind is not the only part of creation affected by the second advent. All
creation will be affected animals, fish, vegetation insects etc. and the earth itself. Enormous changes can be expected for the better. So, the parable of the tares and the wheat in Matthew 13 reveals that the redeemed enter eternal life and the children of the wicked one face the 'furnace of fire'.
I believe that the many references in scripture such as the 'furnace of fire' and similar which relate to the consequences of unforgiven sin, are rhetorical, probably in order to emphasize in terms easily understood, the serious nature of the related sins and the fate awaiting children of the wicked one - that is those who have ignored God and his precepts. At the same time however it is just not valid to think that God would contravene his own law written in Genesis 20:6 "Thou shalt not kill". Therefore the 'furnace of fire' and similar phrases in scripture must have a symbolic meaning.
In this same context let us consider also the often repeated phrase in scripture referring to God's 'sharp two edged sword'. The literal inference to this might be the slaying of sinners with a sword. This also just is not valid. In Ephesians 6:17, Paul refers to: "the sword of the spirit which is the word of God". (The bible)
Part of Revelation 19:15-21 refers to Christ at his second advent:
"...out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword... " and "... the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth... "
Obviously the symbolic meaning here is that God's word is meant.
The bible defines all sin and therefore identifies all sinners. Further, Paul says in Romans 6:23:
"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord"
Note that Paul says 'wages' not 'punishment' What he is saying is that we earn our own mortal death through our own sins. Paul also tells us in Romans 3:23:
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God".
Thus we all suffer mortal death.
Scripture also tells us that Satan is responsible for all sin and all illness as well as death.. Read Psalm 34:21: Luke 13:16; Acts 5:3; 1 Corinthians 5:5 and Hebrews
2:4. Except for the restraint God imposes on Satan's activities and God's protection of us, we would all suffer much more from Satan's spiteful attention. Job 1:12 and 2:7 shows how God put restrictions on Satan's nasty attacks on Job. 2 Thessalonians 2:7 relates to the time just before the second advent and reveals:
"For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth (hindereth) will let (hinder)... "
I believe that this reference indicates God's restriction of Satan's activities. We return to this quotation further on.
In connection with the parable of the tares and the wheat, let us consider John's words in Revelation 14:6, contemporary to the second advent time scale:
"And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people".
Now consider this, if all the children of the wicked one in the tares and wheat parable were to be gathered by the angels for destruction, if, that is, the furnace of
fire were meant literally there would be nobody left for the angel of Revelation 14:6 to preach to. Further, in Isaiah 61:6 above where the children of Israel are
referred to as 'priests of the Lord and ministers of our God' - they also would not have any priestly work to do.
It has to be concluded therefore that not all unredeemed sinners will perish at the second advent. But scripture is also adamant that many others will perish both for and from their sins. Proverbs 2-22 tells us:
"But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it".
Isaiah goes further in chapter 13 verses 11 & 12:
"And I will punish the world for their evil and the wicked for their iniquity: and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and lay low the haughtiness of the terrible. I will make a man more precious (rare) than fine gold: even a man more than the golden wedge of Ophir".(The latter must have been a rare treasure at that time)
The last sentence of this quotation means that large numbers of people will be removed from the earth at the second advent, leaving few by comparison. This terrible warning by Isaiah is similarly quoted many times in scripture. Returning to the quotation from 2 Thessalonians 2:7 above, Paul goes on to say:
"...he who now letteth will let until he be taken out of the way".
It is probable that this indicates that the restriction on Satan's activities will in part, if not entirely be taken away.
We have seen that not all unredeemed sinners will perish at the second advent, and that the everlasting gospel will be preached throughout the earth. It would be a reasonable assumption that God in his undoubted infinite mercy would further enable many of the unredeemed the opportunity to repent. May I suggest that those who have never heard of Jesus Christ, as well as perhaps those who have charity in their character and also those who exhibit severe remorse at the second advent, may come into this category. We have to remember God's words in Ezekiel 33:11:
"...as I live saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live".
Jesus himself shows us in Luke 21-26 the scenario among mankind at the second advent:
"Men's hearts failing them for fear and looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken".
We must therefore conclude that at the second advent, many children of the wicked one will perish through:
(1) The removal of restraint on Satan's activities in causing mortal death. (2 Thessalonians 2:7)
(2) Men's hearts failing them for fear. (Luke 2:26)
(3) The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23)
In the same time frame as the second advent, many other momentous events will take place, such as the detention of Satan in chains in the bottomless pit, the battle of Armageddon, many great earthquakes etc. But these are outside the subject of this article.
Scripture does give wonderful pictures of the kingdom of heaven, which need no explanation...
"The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom (of heaven) all things that offend and them which do iniquity".
"Verily, verily I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do... "
"They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; (Yes, this means that we will fly) they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint"
"The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand in the cockatrice' den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: (kingdom) for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea".
"In his (King Jesus) days shall the righteous flourish and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth ".
"And in that day willI make a covenant with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely".
What a glorious picture of peace and righteousness these quotations paint about the kingdoms of heaven and God combined.
John's words in Revelation 22:20,21 are necessary here:
"He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all Amen".
|Subject: Re: Gospel of the Kingdom || |
Gospel of the Kingdom