#302 Kingdom: The Living Gospel Message
After we are certain that the Gospel of the Kingdom is the Gospel that we have been commissioned to preach and not just the “gospel of salvation” we then must determine what is the message of the Kingdom. After examining the 150 scriptures dealing with the Kingdom and studying the 34 parables about the Kingdom we might think the message would be clear. However, we discover the message is not clear and the composite of all these scriptures is confused.
Of course there is something that really is clear about the Kingdom and that is that it will be the government of eternity. It is also clear that God is developing and maturing sons that will inherit the Kingdom and they will rule over all the works of God’s hands. It is also clear that this eternal Kingdom and the mature sons that would sit in its government is what God purposed before the world was created. Everything that began with this creation that takes its genesis in Adam will be eliminated and the new creation will be summed up and solidified in Christ and in His eternal government. Therefore, all spiritual roads are converging upon this special event and will become evident to the multitudes when the “sons of God” are manifest.
Then isn’t the message realized in these basic facts? Yes, in many ways! Nevertheless, the details are still very abstract and its is not so evident how we can make this unseen realm clear in a practical way. We can justify our inability to clearly speak these truths by saying “Well some will hear and understand and some will not. It was that way for Jesus and Paul and it is still that way today.” Nevertheless, with a theme so grand and sublime, and of such excellence, grandeur, and beauty so as to define the single greatest topic in the Bible and to set forth the eternal purpose of God, we must preach it as clearly as is possible.
Still, preaching this glorious theme in abstract terms leaves us totally unsatisfied that we have actually “preached the Kingdom.” It is more like we have explained the “philosophy of the Kingdom” or preached the 7 principles of the Kingdom when the principles of the kingdom are infinite. After we have done the very best that we can do we are left feeling ignorant, unfulfilled, dissatisfied and bankrupt of ability and nothing practical has been revealed or accomplished.
We justify our failure by saying “Well, it is up to God to open the understanding and give revelation and there is nothing more we can do.” Mat 24:14] “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations, and then the end shall come.
If a witness is one who presents evidence and proof and verifies its reality then there must be a practical outworking of the message that is visible.
When we have spoken to other ministers about the frustration of preaching something we don’t understand or have words to express, we have been encouraged with the statement “Well, we only know in part and we can only speak in part and we can only understand in part and we can only demonstrate in part, so be satisfied with the ‘in part measure’.” The glaring fact is that we have miserably failed even in the “in part realms.” Trying to justify a spurious prophesy by saying we only prophesy in the “in part measure” is a cop out. If we have been in this “in part measure” for 500 years when is the “fulness measure” supposed to come?
It seems to be the consensus among the pastors, that are meeting together to investigate these things, that we are coming to a time of transition when many, many things must change. The “gospel” that we are preaching is not producing a church that is “overcoming” or that is a witness to all nations that the Kingdom is a reality that is being demonstrated. Rather, our “gospel” is a derision among the nations. The “nations” are getting so bold that they are honoring the Koran by forcing our military to handle it with white gloves on their hands so as not touch it. All the time the world is ridiculing everything that is Christian. Of course we know the world system will readily accept “their god” but always be against everything that has to do with “OUR GOD” but the gospel must be preached to the “nations” anyway.
Psalms 2:1 Why are the nations in an uproar, And the peoples devising a vain thing?
 The kings of the earth take their stand, And the rulers take counsel together Against the LORD and against His Anointed:  “Let us tear their fetters apart, And cast away their cords from us!”
Psalms 2:4 He who sits in the heavens laughs, The Lord scoffs at them.  Then He will speak to them in His anger And terrify them in His fury:  “But as for Me, I have installed My King Upon Zion, My holy mountain.”
Psalms 2:7 “I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to Me, `Thou art My Son, Today I have begotten Thee.  `Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Thine inheritance, And the very ends of the earth as Thy possession.  `Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron, Thou shalt shatter them like earthenware.’”
We again justify our lack of power and effectiveness and apathy by saying “Well, brother, the Bible says things will get worse and worse until the Lord takes us out of here. It will get so bad that only God’s elect will survive.” Then where is that glorious church without spot or wrinkle that is overcoming all the works of darkness and is kicking in the gates of hell? We have justified slothfulness, apathy and lukewarmness long enough.
Of course these things are self evident when we view the church through the Kingdom. There are certain “developments, maturity and perfections” that are necessary to qualify for the Kingdom life and ministry both here and hereafter. It is my opinion that establishing the “inner Kingdom” is a long drawn out process that develops for our entire lifetime and is the very foundation of God’s plan for eternity. It also seems evident that we will not be able to discern how we are progressing into the Kingdom character. We may be able to look back over several years and determine that we are not the same today as we were then and that some progress has been made. However, when we try to measure our development into the King / Priesthood ministry that is synonymous with demonstrating the Kingdom government objectively and personally we sense total failure.
The question arises repeatedly; Since the great majority of the church is unconcerned about these things why are you obsessed with the Kingdom? I think it is because for me the Kingdom is the major focus of the New Testament scriptures. If I read and understand the scriptures correctly our whole eternal future is intricately linked to the Kingdom of God and our function in eternity will be within the Kingdom government of God.
I am anticipating that there are major administrative openings in the Eternal Kingdom Government of God and only a few are being prepared to fill them. It appears that very few are even “applying for entrance” into the Kingdom. Even “church ministries” and what is called the “five-fold ministries” have fallen short in their personal preparation as well as the proclamation. . Why? Lack of vision and understanding about eternity and a focus upon this life and ministry successes. Very few are even aware that God is interviewing subjects right now for those positions. Those who respond in full consecration will enter into very intense training, discipline and preparation so they will be fully qualified and equipped for those positions and will be counted worthy of the Kingdom.
Is this then the message we are searching for in this time period? Not entirely! This sets forth the goal but not the means to reach the goal. The question forces itself upon us. How do we begin? Until the message is preached with sincerity and conviction and with a certain clarity there will not be a response to the message of the Kingdom with faith. Why?
Faith comes by hearing and the “hearing”comes by the impartation of the Word of God to the inner man. The question then arises ;”but who is preaching the Kingdom so other hungry hearts will hear, believe and respond? Desiring to reign with Him is not sufficient to reign with Him. The “church ministries” have presented the “Kingdom of Priests” as an honorary title given to all those who are “saved” and “all believers” will judge the angels and rule and reign with Christ. If Jesus Christ is an honorary King then there could be honorary priests who rule. However, He is the absolute King and the King / Priesthood of the Kingdom is another “absolute.” Forget honorary titles because all that is fantasy. These are all “earned positions” by those who are counted worthy of the Kingdom. There are no “honorary doctor degrees” handed out in the Kingdom.
After “saving a people out of Egypt” God destroyed those who didn’t believe. Didn’t believe what? They didn’t believe in Egypt or in the Red Sea or in Mt. Sinai or in Canaan? God sees “belief” as another realm of action or acting upon their belief. He even demands that we live up to the requirements of the Kingdom experientially. Just spying out the land is unacceptable.
Those that “reign with Christ” cannot be those that throw a tantrum every time something goes wrong or they are challenged on what they believe. Those who rule with Christ cannot be those who are like politicians and corrupted by smooth talking men with big promises and an underhanded way to success. Those who exaggerate their ministry and misrepresent Christ and give a false witness of the government of God in their personal lives can only dream of a position in the Kingdom. Full consecration is a full commitment to change and transformation
In 1 Cor 9 the race is for qualification. We are in the qualification lap now. If Paul could have been disqualified then we can also. But what about those who don’t even know there is a race or couldn’t care less? Since we can get away with about anything in the church we assume it is that way in the Kingdom.
Reconciliation must be separated from son-ship the same as “salvation from Egypt” must be separated from entering Canaan in the experience of Israel. Not even the fact that we have come out of Babylon and believe the truth about son-ship, reconciliation, and the Kingdom of God will make us worthy. This is not just a matter of “believing something” but of God working His character within our character. His goal is to establish us with the mind of Christ and for Christ to be formed in us. He will cleanse us until all the traces of Adam are purged from us. If we are willing, He cannot stop His inner work until we are established in the obedience of faith, submission, love, purity and maturity of the life of Christ developed in us as our very own experience of eternal reality. That means the image and likeness of God is an experiential reality in us, and the will of God done by us. Nothing else will be counted worthy of the Kingdom.
As we listen to the marching feet in the visible church we wonder where they are going and how they will know when they get there. Some of us seem to be out of step with everything called and thought normal today. Everything is already “predestined” including the end and no change in that plan can be expected! God’s eternal purpose is being carried out in fine details and we have a sense of calling and destiny in that purpose. However, to continue without the “support” of the visible church seems to be “the requirement” according to past church history. We probably thought the “next restoration” would be welcomed by the current “church ministries” today who understood the times and seasons..
We discover that all chosen “church ministries” are still temporary and only exist within their time frame. However, the “Kingdom Ministries” will continue until we come to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ and grow up into that ONE PERFECT MAN! Preparing for these “church ministries” is nothing when compared to the preparation required by the Eternal Ministries of the Kingdom of God. Some men “get in the ministry” because of the benefits. It costs very little to get in the “church ministry” if that is our final goal. Many times the benefits far outweigh the responsibilities. We heard of a man recently who saw a successful networking ministry and asked how he could become one of their ministers. The answer was “Just write a check.”
Preparing for “Ministry” in the Kingdom offers very few benefits in this life and the responsibilities far outweigh the benefits. The demands upon our life, the discipline and character requirements seem unreasonable for a “church ministry.” Still, this is the way for the sons of God will be manifested.
The sons of God must also become the sons of the Kingdom. The revealing of the sons of God will issue in another age where all of creation will be drastically affected. Nothing like this is spoken of any other group. To lead creation out of its slavery to corruption [both physical and spiritual] into the glorious liberty of the children of God represents some major changes in the end time ministry.
We might call this “The ministry of the Higher Calling.” This is the “ministry” that we must be counted worthy of and to which we must qualify. Preparing for this “ministry” is not a matter of four years of training but a lifetime of discipline, correction, testing, purging, rectifying and transformation. This process must touch and change everything about our body soul and spirit until we share in His Life and Holiness..
Fretting and worrying about how we are advancing in this preparation is a waste of time because God is disciplining us, dealing with our defects and rectifying us for the long pull and He is prepared to continue to transform us over our entire lifetime. The “graduation garments” are at the end of the “church age” and each will be assigned his position in the Kingdom according to their actual preparation during this church age.
This is a “journey” to the throne that begins when we are justified and then continues throughout our lifetime. This is a “race for the prize of the highest calling” in the universe. If we recognize this is scripturally true, the question we should ask is this; what IS the message that will convey this truth to the hungry hearts sitting in the pew wondering what this Christian life is all about. The message IS the Kingdom of God but the details are still fuzzy.
My theory is that we must begin somewhere and let God add to our message as some respond and surrender to the Kingdom. Beating the “apathetic church” with the Kingdom message will produce nothing. Taking some hungry souls apart to explain to them the basics of the Kingdom seems to be the acceptable method demonstrated by Jesus. Until the Kingdom becomes a Life within us, rather than just a message, the Life of the message will be lacking and the mysteries will remain hidden. Still, we must begin some place. I am guessing that many hungry souls are still to be found in the visible church and among the “believers” so these must not be overlooked.
But what will be the response of the existing “church ministries” when hungry souls respond to the Kingdom message and follows the Kingdom messenger? All kinds of accusations will certainly follow. We saw this in the Charismatic renewal and we see this in most past church history. We cannot stay in the status quo and still participate in the next restoration. Those who tried to stay in the denominational churches and still participate in the Charismatic renewal failed to make the transition. This was evident in the Protestant denominations as well as with the Catholic Charismatics.
Nevertheless, we are not advocating another exodus from the visible churches but that the message be available to every body in every denomination and see who will respond. If a whole denomination does respond then we must try to work with them. Expecting the multitudes to respond to the Kingdom message is not rational at this time. Jesus said that only a few will find and enter the actual Kingdom but that the gospel of the Kingdom should be preached in the whole world as a witness to every nation.
Is our “Kingdom message” just too shallow right now to make an impact upon the visible church? If God has really called us and revealed the message we now have, He must have thought that was adequate to begin. After all this is God’s plan of preaching the Kingdom to every nation and not ours. If we wait for a full and deeper message before we begin we may never begin because the message that God has designed for our day may just be an introduction, a “down-payment” upon the full truth of the Kingdom. We need to be faithful in that before God will give us the increase.
Why is all this important? Because we must begin our “journey to the throne” from the starting place in which we now stand. Either the “first step” begins now or we may forfeit the last step. Delaying until a better time is the identifying mark of the “comatose church ministry” and the lukewarm believer who has the attitude; I really want to put my hand to the plow but right now I am looking back to assess the past and to determine the dangers in the future. Right now I am still counting the cost! This is one of the great hindrance to the next restoration. Always another delay!
Until we realize that there is “a whole race of fallen Adams”out there and another group out there that make up the “fallen visible church”we will not feel the importance and the necessity for the Kingdom message to be forcefully proclaimed at this time. Leading the “fallen race of Adam” into the “fallen visible church” is a big waste of time.
Our job is to deal with both these groups until the message is clear and fully preached. We know there is no way to repair the fallen race of Adam. Only death and burial followed by resurrection is a viable solution. I am suggesting that there is so very little difference between “fallen Adam” and the “fallen visible church.” The solution to both may just be death and burial but of course “religion” will always be with us. Its Bible name is Babylon.
It is essential that the “gospel of the Kingdom” we preach is full of Kingdom Truth. Too much theology is devoid of eternal truth and just focuses upon the blessings and the feel good atmosphere where there is always happiness and prosperity. The emphasis is local, present, superficial and inoffensive. Some theology is simply doctrinal and worthless. Preparing for eternity seems like a “sci-fi”, space cadet message.