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#286 Kingdom: Representatives of the Kingdom

2 Cor 5: 17] Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. [18] Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, [19] namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

2CO 5:20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were entreating through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. [21] He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

If we only see the church as representatives of “the Savior” and we are assigned the task of speaking to the people on behalf of the Lamb of God, our message would be “accept the Savior that God has provided” and He will forgive your sins. That would certainly not be wrong.

However, if we saw ourselves as being representatives of the King and His Kingdom this message would be totally inadequate. Being “reconciled to God” would then mean to be reconciled to His sovereignty, His government, to His Laws, to His demands and to His message and His goals. This has been a huge mistake in too much of the church. We have preached “the Savior” and alluded to the Kingdom instead of preaching the Kingdom and our reconciliation to the King. If when we are “born again” we can see the Kingdom it should alert us to the fact that we may still be a long way off from living under His government and submitting to His sovereignty. We might not even recognize His Laws that are put within our minds and written upon our hearts This is exactly the case in too much of the visible church.

As His representatives functioning under a foreign and hostile government we must understand that we can’t just speak on our own initiative or give our opinion and still represent His Kingdom government.

I remember before the second war with Iraq there was the ambassador of Iraq to the united states by the name of Izeeze. He was Iraq’s representative to the United States and spoke on behalf of Saddam Hussain. He used to say some of the most ridiculous things and I wondered if we were supposed to think he really believed what he was saying. The fact is that it was totally irrelevant what he believed or what he really wanted to say. He wasn’t speaking on his own behalf but he was speaking what Saddam Hussain wanted him to say. He was only here to speak what his government told him to say. If he was lying through his teeth it was not he who was lying but his government was lying to our government. He wasn’t sent to give his own opinion but to convey the wishes of his government. He was Iraq’s ambassador to the USA. USA was a foreign nation to the ambassador and he was a citizen of Iraq. His loyalty was not to the USA but to Iraq and the government that sent him. If he spoke on his own initiative and give his own message he would have been recalled immediately.

Neither Jesus or the Holy Spirit came to speak on their own initiative. Their commission was to speak on behalf or their government and the One who sent them. Jesus was only free to speak in His Father’s name and what He heard from the Father. They were both in a foreign and hostile land that was under a foreign king, even though everything belonged to the One who sent them. The government on the earth was handed over to another king who was ruling over the kingdom of darkness. They didn’t come to reconcile that kingdom of darkness with the Kingdom of Light, which they represented. They came to reconcile the inhabitants of the earth back to God and to translate them out of the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of Light or the Kingdom of God’s dear Son. A change of Kingdoms is what is in view here and not forgiveness for being in the wrong kingdom.

Now, those who had been translated into the Kingdom of Light were given the commission to go back into the kingdom of darkness and preach release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind. However, to go as representatives of the Kingdom of Light they were ONLY commissioned to speak on behalf of their government that sent them and NOT to give their own opinion about anything.

Their message was limited to just preaching the Good News about the Kingdom of God. It is here that the similarity between our ambassadorship to the captives in the kingdom of darkness and the ambassadors to another kingdom ends. We are not sent to represent our Government to the other government, which is very hostile, but our mission is to the captives within that other government. We have to function more like special forces than like governmental ambassadors between two governments. All the captives actually belong to the Government we represent and to our King. They have been taken captive like Lot and the other princes in Genesis 14. Abraham and his forces didn’t go to reconcile with Chedorlaomer and the kings with him who had captured Lot and the things and persons associated with Lot. Abraham’s goal was to rescue Lot and set the captives free. The fact that Abraham had to slaughter the other kings tells us that Abraham had to take the other kingdom by force in order to release the captives.

Therefore, if we are “ambassadors of Christ” we are also representatives of His Kingdom. As representatives of “the Savior” we can speak whatever we decide or whatever works to get people “saved.” However, if we are representatives of His Kingdom Government we can only speak in behalf of the King and His Government and we are not free to make up our own message. This represents a tremendous change in how we view the “gospel of the Kingdom.”

Maybe we could use a clear example from scripture of how Jesus handled this kind of situation.

Mat 19:3 And some Pharisees came to Him, testing Him, and saying, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause at all?” [4] And He answered and said, “Have you not read, that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, [5] and said, `FOR THIS CAUSE A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER, AND SHALL CLEAVE TO HIS WIFE; AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH’? [6] “Consequently they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”

Jesus’ answer was not just His opinion nor did He try to modify the message to bring it up to date and modernize it to fit society and their current customs. He just spoke for His Government and repeated His Father’s words. The human response from the viewpoint of the other kingdom is to challenge that answer by giving human examples. Then why did Moses permit it? The problem is not Moses, the problem is the hardness of your own heart.

Now Jesus is going to respond with the word of His Government and in behalf of the One who sent Him.

Mat 19:8------but from the beginning it has not been this way. [9] “And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

If we speak on behalf of the Savior (the Lamb of God) we could reason that Jesus loves you no matter what you do and He died for your sins. From the viewpoint of “church salvation” our conclusion would be that when God looks at divorce He is not seeing you, He just sees Jesus and His righteousness. He is not counting your trespasses against you so just be happy. But Jesus was the “ambassador of the Kingdom” and couldn’t modify the message that He was sent to deliver. What He said seems too “hard” for today’s believers because we have not been confronted with the Kingdom viewpoint and most of the “ambassadors” up until today just spoke what they thought was a reasonable response from a “Savior.”

Matthew 5-6 &7 then is the “good news” from the Kingdom viewpoint. From the church’s viewpoint of a “Savior” that died for our sins, any demands upon the believer is not “good news.”

Mat 16: 23] But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.” [24] Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. [25] “For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it. [26] “For what will a man be profited, if he gains the whole world, and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? [27] “For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and WILL THEN RECOMPENSE EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS.

According to the “gospel of the half-priced sale” this does not sound like good news. Here He explains that “taking up our cross and following Him” is not an option but a requirement of the Kingdom. When the Son of Man returns we will all have to answer for what we did. If we just lived to save our life, we shall lose it. If we have laid our life down during this time on earth we will find eternal life.

If we remember that Jesus didn’t speak anything on His own initiative and He was just repeating what He heard the Father saying from the throne of the Kingdom Government of God , this word is confronting the believer in every age with the “good news of the Kingdom of God.” The “good news” is if we save our life we will lose it.

Since it has become a very popular custom to preach the “gospel” from the viewpoint of a Savior that died for our sins and loves us just like we are, to preach from the viewpoint of the Kingdom will seem like heresy. The ignorance of preaching “the gospel of salvation” to those outside the Kingdom government of God is part of the gross darkness that covers the earth in our day. Promising “salvation” to those who are just living for themselves and rejecting God’s absolute authority over them defies Kingdom logic. This ignorance is another example of the devil spreading darkness over the minds of believers and doing it through ministers who are standing in the pulpit.

The fact that we must be “born again” to see the Kingdom is not a licence to preach the “good news of being born again.” The fact that we must be born of the water and born of the spirit before we can enter the Kingdom does not give us a licence to preach the good news of the water baptism. The goal of ALL preaching is the Kingdom but one of the steps toward the Kingdom is being born again and another is water baptism but neither of these is the goal. The same applies to the forgiveness of sins. That is a step but we should not be preaching the “gospel of forgiveness of sins.” The “gospel” we preach establishes the goal. Once our sins are forgiven we have NOT reached the goal. If we preach the Kingdom of God, that is the goal we are setting. Then we can preach many steps to the goal once the goal is clearly defined.

Jesus preached the Kingdom 3 1/2 years before forgiveness of sins was provided through Calvary. Forgiveness of sins was NOT the focus of Jesus’ message. The Kingdom was always the central issue and the focus of His ministry. Today the Kingdom has become a side issue or just a cliche. When we leave the Kingdom out of the message, a counterfeit “grace” emerges and people begin to look at eternity from the viewpoint of the church and from man’s interests instead of from God’s interests.

If each of us has been appointed to the calling of “Ambassadors of Christ” then we are “Ambassadors of the Kingdom” and God’s representatives on earth. As His representatives our message to the captives is not what they would like to hear OR what we would like to preach but what they need to hear to set them free. We boldly proclaim “Be reconciled to the Kingdom of God!” That message focuses upon God’s Kingdom sovereignty and His government. First His Laws in us and then manifested through us. Just doing our own thing is condemned as “lawlessness” from the Kingdom viewpoint.

Much of what has become normal and acceptable to the church is an abomination in the Kingdom. The reason this error exists is because we have preached the church, the denomination, our doctrines, ministries, Apostles & Prophets, the gifts, evangelism, eternal security and a host of other things that are irrelevant outside the Kingdom government of God. The Kingdom is primary and EVERYTHING else is secondary. If the “ministries” are held responsible before God for this error and we are judged by what we were given to preach most of us will be in serious trouble.

Most of what we hear preached contains NO NEWS of the Kingdom at all. It is as if the Kingdom was postponed to a later time but is irrelevant today. Preaching “Calvary” without preaching the Kingdom ignores the very reason for Calvary. The reason for Calvary was to re-establish the Kingdom on earth in the hearts and minds of those who surrender to Calvary. Accepting Calvary is not the same as surrendering to Calvary and the sacrifice of Christ as God’s Lamb. Preaching “personal Savior” is not authorized in scripture. Preaching a “personal Lord, Master and King” is the basis of the Kingdom message.

Preaching about personal success, personal victory or fruitfulness without first living within the Kingdom Laws is just another “fantasy message.” The fact that multitudes are preaching these things does not make them true.

There is NO fruitfulness without living in a Vine-branch union with the King and His Kingdom. Without His Laws written on the inside of us and unless we are living according to these Laws there is no Kingdom fruitfulness even if we are enjoying success in the world and the pews are full on Sunday morning.

Speaking about the Kingdom without His Laws and His government being on the inside of us is just a fantasy message without power or relevance. Even if our message is NOT wrong, we are wrong and there can be no confirmation or manifestation of the Kingdom because there is no Kingdom within to manifest.

Years ago many preached the “Kingdom” but since there was no manifestation of the Kingdom it was assumed that the Kingdom had been postponed. The problem is NOT with the message but with the messenger.

Speaking about “our citizenship in the Kingdom” without living according to the Laws of the Kingdom within is another fantasy message. It sounds good but is just gas. Without obedience to the King, the Kingdom is in name only. The Spirit of Christ within is “the King” and doing His will is the Kingdom. Trying to make the Kingdom abstract and ethereal is a big mistake because it is present, tangible, real and relevant today whenever it is obeyed. It is ONLY abstract to those outside the Kingdom. To try to make the Kingdom another “Christian doctrine” to be believed is ignorance. Since we are convinced that the Holy Place Life and Ministry IS the next restoration the current message to propel us into this restoration IS the Kingdom of God. To speak of the Holy Place Life outside of the discipline and obedience to the Kingdom is fantasy.

Luke 6:46 “And why do you call Me, `Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? [47] “Everyone who comes to Me, and hears My words, and acts upon them, I will show you whom he is like: [48] he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation upon the rock; and when a flood rose, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. [49] “But the one who has heard, and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house upon the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.”

The “gospel of a Savior” does not require anything except to believe something about His sacrifice but that won’t buy us very much in the Kingdom. In fact many will say “Lord, Lord on that day” but since they weren’t obedient to Him or His words they will be rejected from the Kingdom.