#348 Kingdom: The Basic Gospel Of The Kingdom
One of the difficult problems that we have faced is preaching a basic Gospel of the Kingdom so that the average person can grasp its significance. After 2000 years, the Gospel of the Kingdom has been reduced down to believe something about Jesus and be “saved.” Others have preached a Kingdom someday, AFTER Jesus returns to the earth. We must ask “But what if He has already returned and is now dwelling in His people.” Many preach that when He comes back it will be as King and not as Savior. Still, what if He really “Saves” when He is King? What if God made Him King following Calvary and He now has been given all power and authority both in heaven and in earth today? What if Jesus Christ is now ruling until every enemy has been put under His feet?
The gospel that is being preached today, in the place of the Gospel of the Kingdom, has so many flaws and shortcomings that we marvel that there is still a visible church around. Of course in some countries where the Gospel of Jesus Christ was very strong many years ago, there is hardly a visible church seen. Strong Christian churches that were in Turkey and Asia minor barely exist now and Turkey and that region has become predominately Muslim. England, that sent missionaries around the world in the 1700s has a very small percentage of gospel preaching churches today. Of these, where a limited gospel is preached, very few are preaching anything about the Kingdom of God. The reason that this is true , we have heard, is this; We don’t understand the Kingdom or its importance! We were not taught about the Kingdom in Bible school.
For that reason I will attempt to write down a few basic things that can be understood and preached by new beginners in the Kingdom. Preaching the Kingdom by those who are not yet in the Kingdom is not effective.
We will begin with Why The Gospel of the Kingdom Must Be Preached!
Mat 3:1 Now in those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying,  “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”  For this is the one referred to by Isaiah the prophet, saying, “THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, `MAKE READY THE WAY OF THE LORD, MAKE HIS PATHS STRAIGHT!’”
Mat 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Mark 1:14 And after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God,  and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
Believing the Gospel of the Kingdom, means believing the Gospel of the Absolute Authority, Power and Dominion of the Kingdom Government of God among men! This is different than believing that Jesus died for our sins on Calvary so now we are “saved.”
Preachers are busy telling people how easy it is to get “saved” by just believing something about Jesus. However, it is difficult to get into the Kingdom Government of God and it has nothing to do with “say these words after me and believe”. His Kingdom is the Kingdom of Light and in Him there is NO DARKNESS at all! In other words we cannot bring ANY darkness with us when we make the transition into the Kingdom of Light.
This DEFECTIVE gospel that is being preached tells people just believe in Jesus and you shall be saved. Some even add “And your household also!” Even if most churches believe that, it is NOT the Gospel of the Kingdom. Even IF that gospel has an element of truth, it is still NOT the Gospel of the Kingdom of Light.
Satan and many others rebelled against the Government of God, which is in heaven and which Is the Kingdom of Light. They were cast out of the Kingdom and it was NOT because they didn’t believe. There were a group that preferred the darkness over the Light and were excommunicated from the Light and they established a rebellious kingdom in the darkness. Everybody who was born on this earth were born into that kingdom of darkness. The Gospel of the Kingdom of Light seeks to lead people out of the darkness into God’s marvelous Light.
COL 1:9 For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,  so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;  strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously  giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.  For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,  in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins
Our redemption or “forgiveness of sins” is intricately linked to the Kingdom of Christ and to His Light. The eternal inheritance is intricately linked to the saints who are in His marvelous Light.
John 8:12 Again therefore Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.”
There are many scriptures that define the difference between the darkness and the Light. Here we discover that the Inner Light IS His LIFE in the inner man. Walking in darkness is a matter of the darkness being in the inner man and not just natural darkness over the outer man.
1John 1:5 And this is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.  If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth;  but if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.
The simple difference between the forgiveness of sin and the cleansing from ALL sin defines the importance of the Kingdom of God. While we can be forgiven of our sins while we are walking in darkness, we must be walking in the Kingdom of Light for the cleansing from ALL sin. This probably means the nature of sin.
Then “a fuller salvation” should be seen in those who have escaped from the kingdom of darkness and have submitted to the full Government of the Kingdom of God’s dear Son, the Kingdom of Light. Therefore, the question we are asking is this “ Have you made the transition from the kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of Light which IS the Kingdom of God?” This is NOT just a matter of believing something about Jesus but of escaping from the kingdom of darkness to come under the absolute power, authority and dominion of the Kingdom of Light.
This Government of Light begins within the New Resurrection Life of Christ as He takes up residence within us. It is at this time that Jesus Christ puts His Laws in our Mind and writes His Laws upon our hearts and we begin to develop into an Epistle of Christ.
2 Cor 3: 3] being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone, but on tablets of human hearts.
We cannot separate the Kingdom of God from the Laws of God OR the Government of God that is inherent within God’s King, the Lord Jesus Christ! When these things become experiential we can say “The Kingdom is within you.”
Then we could accurately say that Kingdom Salvation is escaping the kingdom of darkness and living in the Kingdom of Light. That means according to the Laws of God and the Government of God within each Kingdom person. This precedes the manifestation of Kingdom authority in the church. Some “human being” trying to exercise Kingdom Authority before he is living under the government of God and by the Laws of God written on our hearts and put into our mind has been popular but perverted.
One of the provisions of the Outer Court preparation is escaping the kingdom of darkness so we can walk in the Kingdom of Light that is seen in the Holy Place under the seven Spirits of God. The progressing Outer Court experiences are seen as cyclical or as sometimes in partial darkness and sometimes in partial light. God’s purpose for us is to escape the “in part” measure and for His Lampstand Church to function under His Glorious Light where there is no darkness at all. Why? Because the Lampstand is designed to burn continually with the illumination of the Seven Spirits of God.
The Kingdom of God has certain requirements that we must meet before we can enter into its discipline and its Government. We must first die in the kingdom of darkness and separate ourselves from all darkness. We are then required to be buried in the kingdom of darkness. Then we must be resurrected into the Kingdom of Light, which IS the Kingdom of God. This is when our spirit receives Life again or the Bible term is “the spirit is born again.”
“Born again” is a new birth and has an evidence that shows we are “born again.”
John 3:3] Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
The Bible evidence is that when we are born again is we have the ability to SEE the Kingdom of God. Some will ask “If this is true why is the Kingdom such a mystery among evangelical churches and their believers?” I suppose that most believers have never heard about the Kingdom so they have nothing to attach their faith. The visible evidence should follow the experience of the next progressive births into the Kingdom dimension.
John 3: 5] Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
When we perceive what God is revealing in the seven Outer Court Experiences, it is clear that we are born again at the Bronze Altar, we are born of the water at the Bronze Laver and we are Born of the Spirit at the Anointing with Oil or the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
From Romans 6 we can understand that we experience death at the Bronze Altar, Burial at the Bronze Laver and Resurrection Life at the Anointing. Death, burial and resurrection are the first three experiences. However, to participate in the Kingdom Government we must also participate in the provisions of the New Covenant that God made with us! We do that by a total consecration and by presenting our body as a living sacrifice to do the whole will of God. Why? Because this is not just about forgiveness of sins but involves the demands and discipline of the Kingdom Government of God. In the Kingdom EVERYBODY does the will of God.
Mat 7: 21] “Not everyone who says to Me, `Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven.  “Many will say to Me on that day, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’  “And then I will declare to them, `I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’
Lawlessness [or doing our own thing] is just not permitted in the Kingdom of God. Calling Him Lord but not doing what He says is not permitted in the Kingdom of God. “But, Lord, I have accepted you as my personal Savior” is not valid in the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom knows nothing about a “personal Savior.” “Personal Savior” is an Evangelical cliche that is generally applied to having our sins forgiven.
Luke 6:46 “And why do you call Me, `Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?
If we call Jesus “the Lord”, we are also committed to do what He says. Otherwise we are “building”upon a fragile foundation so that our building that will surely fall at the first storm.
In other words there is no access to the Kingdom for tourists, or visitors or the curious. Neither journalists or theologians are granted a special visa so they can evaluate the benefits and discern the liabilities of the Kingdom. We cannot “enter” by education or because we meet some religious person’s requirements. We enter ONLY by death, burial, resurrection and total consecration to do His will! The rich cannot get a special visa because they pay a large tithe or support missions. We don’t enter the Kingdom because we have planted “kingdom seeds” in some one’s ministry. The greater part of what is preached as Kingdom is a fantasy. Foolishness such as; if you give to my ministry you are participating in the Kingdom, is common but ignorant.
It is not so easy to get free of the kingdom of darkness as some preachers imply. The ONLY means of escape is by death, burial and resurrection AND total commitment to do His will. This is very simple but is considered too complicated and too restrictive by many churches.
If we are not really walking in the Kingdom Light [Lampstand], should we question if we have really made the transition to the Kingdom or are we still in the basic preparation of the 7 Outer Court experiences? We could say this; Being born again, being born of the water and being born of the Spirit are not suggestions but are the requirements as preparations for entering the Kingdom. To preach this death, burial and resurrection as just an outward sign of an inward change, borders on gross ignorance of scripture!
There was a story that went around several years ago about a boy named Job whom Satan was constantly afflicting and tormenting day and night. Satan showed up one day looking for Job and asked his friends where Job was. They said “Oh, Job died last week.” Satan asked “where is his body?” They answered “Well, he was buried.” Satan asked, Where is he now/” Oh, he resurrected and has ascended on high.”
Satan asked, “How could that be true?” “Well, when Jesus Christ died, Job died. When Jesus Christ was buried, Job was buried and when Jesus Christ resurrected, Job also resurrected. When Jesus Christ ascended, Job also ascended.” So, Satan asked, “where is he now?” They answered, “Actually, he has joined a whole new race of men who are not of this world but are citizens in the Kingdom of Light. Satan, he is no longer of your Kingdom but has made the transition to the kingdom of Light.” Satan answered, “Who are you trying to con. I see his body still on the earth.” They answered, “Well, to the natural mind that is true but nevertheless, the new inner man has ascended and is now seated with Christ in heavenly places.”
Understanding the reality of the experiences of young Job is essential to understanding the government of the Kingdom of God. This Kingdom Government is of another realm. His Kingdom is not of this world which makes it unique among ALL the kingdoms of this world. In other words even IF we understood EVERYTHING about the kingdoms of this world it will not help us one bit in understanding the Kingdom of God. Understanding any natural king or any earthly kingdom is totally irrelevant to understanding the Kingdom of God.
Then preaching the Kingdom Government of God requires that we put His Government, authority, power and dominion into perspective with Calvary and Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice! “The Gospel” includes His shed blood, His death, His burial, His resurrection, His ascension and His work of reigning now until all His enemies are put under His feet! This IS the gospel of Christ, the King.
The basic truth about the Kingdom of God is that it is not outward and it is not of this world but is a inward Kingdom that begins within each of us who will fully submit to its rule in us. At the present time the Throne of the Kingdom is in the inner most part of our being, if we are really Kingdom people. That means the Kingdom begins in the inner most sanctuary of our life.
To fully establish the Kingdom as an inner Life, God established the New Covenant. This Covenant provides for the the laws of the Kingdom to be put into our mind and written upon our hearts. My theory is this; Until the Kingdom becomes a reality within us, the Kingdom message will just remain another external doctrine that soon becomes another meeting where we hear truth but do nothing about it.
The “ministries” will just continue to emphasize God’s forgiveness of sins that He has provided through Jesus Christ but continue to ignore His Government rule and His Kingdom Laws within us. Lawlessness will continue to be the normal in the visible church.
These “Laws of the Kingdom” have very little to do with obeying a hierarchal and sometimes a corrupt church system overseen by carnal people who demand submission to a title or a ministry. The implication is this; Just do what we tell you and that is the Kingdom government of God over your life.
This visible and current church system is said to be a hospital for sick patients. God’s Kingdom church is supposed to be an army that is kicking in the gates of hell. An assembly of babies is generally not the headquarters for the army of God. Rather, the church is too often just a nursery for baby Christians who have their sins forgiven but remain totally dependent upon others to take care of them.
My guess is that the current system is designed by men to keep the believers in the first two stages of spiritual development. The bible speaks of four levels of believers. (1) Babies, (2) Children, (3) Young Men and (4) Fathers. These are legitimate levels of growth but these 4 levels should be normal in every assembly. When an assembly is made up of ALL babies it should be clear this is not a church but a nursery. Maybe just a day care center for spiritual babies. This might not be so bad if there was some evidence of progressing spiritual growth.
It is sad and embarrassing that too many “church systems” are designed to guarantee the assembly stays in the first two stages of spiritual growth. Some “pastors” seem to have a psychological need to be needed and want to keep the church in a constant dependence upon their ministry. These assemblies are easily identified by their constant need. Pray for me, counsel me, help me, feed me, take responsibility for my spiritual life, carry me along, pity me, love me, be my spiritual advisor and my father. This may be valid in the beginning but NO army of God can function that way.
While every healthy church will have babies and children, the percentage of babies and children to young men will define the actual church. A Kingdom Church will have babies and children BUT it will have a large percentage of its believers that at very least can qualify as “young men.” There should certainly be more than one person in a Kingdom Church that can qualify as a father. In the visible church, the young men and fathers are asked to leave because they are interfering with the program of running a day care for babies.
Mat 11: 28] “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.  “Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and YOU SHALL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.  “For My yoke is easy, and My load is light.”
Can we even imagine that Jesus Christ would visit a “nursery church” and tell
the babies to take His yoke upon them and learn from Him? First, the pastor of the nursery church would be offended that Jesus would interfere with the program of “shepherding” these babies. Look, Jesus, how I poured out my life for these babies for over 20 years. Look how faithful and compassionate I have been. All the babies are in their cribs and I haven’t lost even one.
The reality is that in many assemblies there may be NO young men who are strong, who have the Word of God abiding in them and who have overcome the evil one. In some groups even the pastor cannot qualify nor has he overcome the evil one.
If the believers are so loaded down with their own yokes, so they are not able to take up His yoke, they are not Kingdom believers. If they are still insisting that Jesus took up His yoke so they wouldn’t have to, these are not Kingdom believers. If they still insist that any yoke is bondage and that their liberty in Christ prevents them from considering ANY yoke, they are not Kingdom people. If the Laws of the Kingdom are considered too legalistic for a Christian, these are not Kingdom Christians. If they cannot discern the difference between the Law of Moses and the Laws of the Kingdom they are underdeveloped believers. If the “believers” still need a baby sitter when the pastor leaves, these are not Kingdom believers. If there is not even one young man who can watch over the assemble or share from the Word of God, this is NOT a Kingdom church.
The visible church has become a great embarrassment to the Kingdom of God. But, whose fault is it? We cannot blame the nursery church if the Gospel of the Kingdom has never been preached. Many don’t grow up or take responsibility for their own lives simply because no one has told them that IS the normal Christian Life. We might not need “more workmen” but just that the existing workmen begin to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom to every creature. The great need today is NOT for more or bigger buildings but for full grown Kingdom believers. Once we have Kingdom believers we may need bigger buildings! However, bigger buildings do not guarantee bigger believers! Bigger buildings may just stroke the ego of the pastor that runs a day care center for baby Christians. Paul didn’t seem to be very impressed by the number of babies that were in the church, when the babies were just remaining babies. His exhortation was “By this time you all ought to be teachers.” Well, Paul in this nursery church we just permit one teacher and he is the pastor who is assigned to do all the necessary ministry AND to maintain the status quo.
All this is the reason the Kingdom must be preached but WHAT IS THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM?