#519 – The Millennial Kingdom Of God
The Great Tribulation
The Beast, The False Prophet and the Anti-Christ.
June 27, 2012
The Book of Revelation has been an enigma for many for hundreds of years. When I think I have it figured out, some new understanding seems to arise that shatters my “clear understanding.” I remember a few years ago a man was visiting who said he was a prophet and believed that “We all took the mark of the beast in Genesis 3. The first priority is to get rid of it and then don’t take it again.” Somehow this made sense to me at the time.
Another man who obviously is a teacher said (in effect) the Book of Revelation is just a revelation of Jesus Christ and what is described is current events in each of our lives. Our first priority is to get rid of the anti-Christ attitudes and character defects within, then deal with the dragon / beast qualities that we inherited from first Adam and destroy the false prophet within that is always setting itself against the Word of God. Of course this has also made sense to me from time to time.
The TV preachers that focus upon the end times were forced to change their doctrines several times in the last 30 years as the Iron Curtain fell and the Chinese economy rose and Muslim threat grew to the extreme. Before that became clear, everything was spelled out very precisely and without question and presented as an absolute. Russia was coming down to attack Israel to get the oil that would be discovered there, they said.
The various churches are divided on the question of whether the Lord will return before the Great tribulation, in the middle of the Tribulation or at the end of the Tribulation. My answer has always been “He is coming at all three of those times.” He is coming for the bride (first fruits) before the Great Tribulation, He is coming for the “main harvest” in the middle of the Tribulation and He is coming for the “final aspect of harvest” or the “gleanings” at the end of the Great Tribulation. This concept is rejected by most end time preachers who say He is coming for the church which is one body and cannot be divided by three “raptures” or three separate resurrection times. Some think that “in the body called church “ everyone is equal and of equal maturity in the eyes of God and He sees EVERYONE as “perfect in Christ.” Some say everyone is perfect and mature as soon as they are born again and the Glorious Church without spot or wrinkle is formed at that time. Some believe there is but ONE resurrection for all saints. However, when that will happen is still not clear.
It seems fruitless to enter into this continuous controversy because everyone has an opinion and opinions change constantly. However, I would like to add to all this confusion my concept of the Christian Life and the Kingdom dimensions of the Church, along with God’s Eternal Purpose and the Preparation of the Saints for the World yet to Come!
Since one whole Book of the Bible has been devoted to this subject, it seems important to understand the “the Who”, “the Why,” the “What,” the “Where” and the reason for all these disastrous events that seem to be assigned to the end times. Surely, if God just wanted to remove the “saved” from the earth and destroy the “unsaved” and take the “saved” to “heaven,” He could have done that a little in each generation without this cataclysmic event at the end of this age and before the beginning of the next.
If we only see “heaven” according to the popular concepts, there would be no reason to grow up into Christ or to live a Holy Life because “we are all SAVED” and that was God’s purpose from the beginning. According to the popular gospel, since man fell into sin and death in Genesis 3, God’s whole purpose is to forgive man of his sins and rebellion and take him to heaven. For that reason Jesus came to provide a way for man to enter heaven through His sacrifice! According to this gospel, the day we receive forgiveness of sins we are fully redeemed and ready for heaven. God’s purpose is fulfilled immediately when we accept Jesus as personal Savior and by that act of faith we have done the whole will of God. Therefore, we are then ready to take our place in the Eternal Kingdom of God. For that reason, man and his sin becomes the central issue of the Gospel of Salvation and the Eternal Purpose of God! Everything on earth, then, revolves around man and his fall and man’s redemption is what Calvary was all about. This, of course, ignores nearly all but a few scriptures about “salvation” and what the Bible means by growth, perfection, development, doing His will, and progressively fulfilling our calling and living the Christian Life. While this “present gospel” is certainly too little, too late, too simple and too ignorant to incorporate the Kingdom Government of God, it has become VERY popular. The Kingdom is rejected or delayed because “We can’t preach that evangelistically because it is too complicated and too difficult.” The Gospel of the Giveaways and the Gospel of the Half-priced Sale and the Gospel of the Bargains is what we have to preach or no one will want to “get saved.”
If “get saved” was the whole purpose of God, then that counterfeit gospel might be acceptable. Jesus never preached the “get saved” gospel but focused almost entirely upon the Kingdom of God! Within the Kingdom Government of God and under His absolute Sovereignty there is a blessing called “SALVATION” that is extended to mankind that have submitted to and participated in His Kingdom Government. Of course this is a VERY radical gospel and not to the expectation of the casual Christian that wants to live for himself but to go to heaven someday. But why rehash all these things again and again?
It is because I want to share about the Great Tribulation, but from the viewpoint of the violent conflicts that are caused by these various “kingdoms” struggling to be sovereign. The “tribulation” is a time of open and war like conflicts between TWO KINGDOMS. Within the kingdom, that is in conflict with the Kingdom of God, there are several lessor kingdoms. These multiple and varied kingdoms join forces in the Book of Revelation in a corporate attempt to defeat the Kingdom of God and displace the Great King.
These various kingdoms have been in constant conflict with each other and with the Kingdom of God ever since the first Pentecost. Multitudes in the early church were put to death over this controversy! The conflict involves around who will rule over the earth and its various quadrants. The basic issues, personally, in this conflict revolves around the realty of “who is going to reign in my life.”
Luke 19:26 “I tell you, that to everyone who has shall more be given, but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. 27 “But these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them in my presence.”
Here, the enemies of God are defined as those who rejected His Kingdom Government over their lives. This “small” infraction caused their rejection and death. Most believe that this “GOSPEL”is much too radical for the casual Christians to hear because they might get offended, quit the church and quit paying their tithe? This statement of Jesus, if it is true, will eliminate 90 % of the people in the visible church. But what if it is TRUE and the sissy pastors refuse to preach this aspect of the Kingdom because they are trying to build a congregation of half-saved people? Surely, these pastors will be held in contempt at the Judgement Seat of Christ!
I hope we can all see and understand that whether we held to the doctrine of pre-millennial, mid-millennial, or post millennial rapture / resurrection is totally irrelevant if we refuse to permit Him to reign over us. These, at very best, end up as the DEAD doctrines of the dead persons who died in their ignorance of the Kingdom realities! Why? Because the “pastors” refused to preach the real Kingdom Truths, and many will certainly perish.
Now if we could set ALL these “end time doctrines” in this context, we might clearly understand what our first priorities ought to be. NONE of these end time doctrines are relevant if we can’t get our congregations into the Kingdom of God and fully submitted to His Absolute Reign over our Lives!
But shouldn’t we store water and dried food and make sure we can protect our families from this violence and tribulation? Shouldn’t ALL Christians enter into the SURVIVAL MODE and be prepared for the worst? Yes! That would give you a few more days on earth until HE SAID “slay them in my presence.” At that time automatic weapons, stored water and dried food or survival houses will not save you.
My conclusion is this; knowing all the facts about the Book of Revelation and the Great Tribulation will not be how we are judged on that great day! Neither will our being aware of the governmental conspiracies to bring us into subjection to a universal monetary and world system of government. All this will be irrelevant at that time of Jacob’s troubles! Neither will our understanding of the political ramifications of a progressing socialistic systems of the world or the communist tendencies beginning or our progressing lack of freedoms in this country! Even if we mount a military resistance to these things, it will not compensate for our rejection of His Kingdom Government or His Reign over our lives! Are we saying all these things are not important? Not at all! But we MUST set the eternal things in their proper order in our lives. This then is the purpose of this document! Of course NONE of these things are new but we must refocus upon what is essential and what is peripheral to the Kingdom.
There must be a real reason that He has put “His Laws” in our minds and written “His Laws” upon our hearts as part of the New Covenant. These Laws are the basis of the Kingdom Government of God becoming real and experiential in our lives. We ignore these Laws at our own peril. If the Lord Jesus Christ is going to reign over our lives He will surely begin with these Laws. If the Holy Spirit is going to cause us to walk in His ways so we will be careful to keep His Statutes and His Ordinances, this is surely part of His Kingdom that MUST become experiential to become effective.
The Ten Commandments sets forth the Moral Laws of God that He has determined to be normal
for His people. Not one jot or title of these Laws shall pass away until all is fulfilled. These Laws
reflect parts of the Laws of the Kingdom which now extends these Laws to those
Laws that are written on the inner man within the provisions of the New Covenant!
The physical Laws of the Universe is another aspect of the Laws of God and are a visible witness to ALL of mankind so that no one has an excuse to reject God or His Kingdom.
The Laws of Gravity, the Laws of Mathematics and the Laws of Science all testify to the Kingdom of God and the Divine order of ALL things. Even the Laws of Relativity, though they were hidden until recently, always existed, and testify to the Dominion and Sovereignty of God over His Creation. Another example is this; The Laws of Electricity were hidden for thousands of years but were revealed within the last 130 years. These Laws ALWAYS existed but must be discovered to become effective. Now multitudes are blessed by these Laws of Electricity.
This is how the Kingdom Government of God is in the present age. It has NOT been hidden but was clearly exposed by Jesus, by both His Life and by His Words. Still, the Kingdom must be discovered and obeyed by each person for the Kingdom to become effective in each Life! The Moral Laws of God are the basic beginnings, the primary obedience, the entrance into the Greater and More Perfect Laws of the Kingdom. If we can’t, at very least, keep these Laws how can we even take the Laws of the Kingdom in our mouth and preach what we are not able to live? These Laws represent the very basic principles of the Kingdom and the expectation of Christianity.
Complete societies and civilizations of past centuries have self-destructed simply because they ignored these basic principles of creation. They discovered that they CANNOT break these Laws and survive but they will always break themselves upon these Laws. We may assume that God judged and destroyed these societies but in reality they destroyed themselves by rejecting these Laws. Some even preach that God had a personal vendetta against these perversions of Truth. However, I have guessed that these “judgements and destructions” were by their own creation because the judgements of God and the Judgement Seat of Christ are still future. These judgements are what we have to look forward to and judge our life accordingly now!
God has created all things to work in a certain way and that WAY today is the Kingdom Way. Any other WAY is NOT THE WAY to eternity but the way of destruction. This is certainly not complicated or difficult to understand but the Kingdom begins when Jesus is Reigning experientially over your Life.
Heb 5:8 Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. 9 And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation, 10 being designated by God as a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.
But , Brother, we have created a doctrine against this concept of Government and obedience. We call it the “Gospel of Salvation” and we have decided this blessing is outside of the Kingdom Government of God and therefore, no obedience is required and all Law concerning us has been canceled. Because of our “faith” and God’s “grace,” these two wonderful blessings have overridden all requirements except to believe something about Jesus and His sacrifice. This is what we have labeled “Our Freedom in Christ” and we will not permit anyone to bring us into any bondage to any Law again.
Well, good luck with that “gospel” because it flies in the face of the Kingdom Government of God and the serious preparation necessary for us to enter into our eternal destiny! Well, Brother, we have cleverly invalidated all those scriptures by just labeling all these requirements as “just works” that can never save you! Well, that is wonderful, and that doctrine may help you build a large assembly of half-saved people but on the day of judgement you may have to quickly and radically change your doctrines.
God has established His Eternity to be guarded by His Eternal Laws and Government and He has predestined exactly how these things work and how we must be prepared to participate in His Eternity. For us to try to redesign these things to be more compatible with our lifestyles is a big waste of time. Even if we create doctrines against His Eternity, they will not fly or even arise above the dirt of this earth. Why? Because He is absolutely Sovereign over His Eternity and He accepts or rejects whomever He wills and according to His Eternal Purpose!
Well, brother, we are certainly not worried about any of that because we are “already saved” and no one can snatch me out of His hand. No, but He can certainly cast you out of His hand and into outer darkness.
Mat 22:13 “Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and cast him into the outer darkness; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14 “For many are called, but few are chosen.”
Mat 25:29 “For to everyone who has shall more be given, and he shall have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. 30 “And cast out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Mat 25:31 “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. 32 “And all the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; 33 and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.
Mat 25:45 “Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 “And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
This doctrine of Eternal Security needs to be reexamined in the light of the Kingdom Scriptures! The “Gospel of Salvation” needs to be reexamined in the Light of the Kingdom Scriptures! Then the real GOSPEL of the Kingdom needs to be preached very clearly so there is no excuse and no possibility that the poor souls that have been led astray can accuse the pastors of neglect of duty in that Great Day of the Lord.
If web are being alerted to the disastrous events that will occur in the Tribulation and before, all this MUST be secondary to this Gospel of the FULL-PRICED sale! The “half-priced sale” of the message of Calvary is just not getting the results we expected. This has produced a pitiful church system that is rejected by many as irrelevant and it certainly is irrelevant and a terrible example what Jesus really purchased by His TOTAL sacrifice! To even suggest that what we see is the “Glorious Church without Spot or Wrinkle, Holy and Blameless” is to close our eyes to reality.
Well, brother, we just don’t believe that what you share is true! Whether it is true or not according to your standards is really not the issue but the Kingdom and its Laws will never be invalidated by what you believe. Therefore, I suggest you get your “belief” in line with what the Kingdom really is; a Totalitarian and Sovereign Government that will never pass away or be destroyed.
Because these Laws of the Kingdom are always in effect, they are in force today. If these Laws of the Kingdom are not obeyed by the Church today when will they be obeyed? If we can’t, at very least, live by the basic Moral Laws ( the Ten Commandments) how will we survive the Kingdom Laws? These Laws are not just written down in The Book but are written into our Creation so we cannot escape them by NOT believing in them.
There are various viewpoints about our existence and some think it can only be explained by science and that is dependent upon the Climate Control and the ice at the North Pole. It is not necessary to examine all the viewpoints about our existence because they are ALL irrelevant. However, some use the scriptures to prove that the Great Tribulation and the terrible times that are approaching should fashion our life and vision. Seeking solace and safety in storing food and other preparations for our survival should be our first and immediate concern. Why? Because the conflict between these two Kingdoms will soon begin!
The conflict between these Two Kingdoms is not new and neither is it just about to take place. This battle of who will reign over our lives has been in full expression since Pentecost. Many died in this conflict from the very beginning of the church age. Most all the disciples were martyred along with Paul and many others. Why? It was this conflict between the Two Kingdoms that prompted these deaths in order to discourage anyone from seeking the Kingdom of God.
Those who don’t actively come out of the wrong kingdom and come under the Sovereign Government of God and willingly permit Jesus full access to Reign over their life will be slain along with ALL in that perverted kingdom. But, brother, where is the Love of God in all that? This is NOT about the Love of God but about establishing His Kingdom Government over His people! Please, don’t confuse these two aspects of the Kingdom. Eliminating the opposing kingdom is not a reflection upon the Love of God at all but a confirmation of His Love for His Kingdom people! The kingdom of darkness does not qualify to be included in the grace of God or the Mercy of God or the Love of God. Why? Because, it is a active enemy of God and ALL that He stands for. It is actively deceiving millions of people into ignoring the Kingdom of God and the devil is doing it by using the pulpits within the visible church. How is he doing it? Through this gospel of the half-priced sale and by labeling all preparation for the Kingdom as “just works” than can never save you! We could say that the Pure Gold Lampstand Church WILL live by the Laws of the Kingdom of God be reigned over by our High Priest, the Lord Jesus Christ!
Years ago there was a movement in England called the Oxford Movement that eventually sent many ministers to many of the mission fields of the earth. They were part of the two hundred years of the “preaching revival” that saw a change in the way people responded to the Sacrifice of Calvary.
They had a “principle of Ministry” that is just basic to the Kingdom Laws of God but set the character and direction of the Revival. They insisted upon Four rules of Life. (1) Only Absolute Honesty can be permitted, (2) Only Absolute Purity will be accepted, (3) Only Absolute Unselfishness can be demonstrated, (4) Only Absolute Love can be manifested.
These all seem reasonable to become an effective Minister of the New Covenant by demonstrating the Internal Laws of God. However, as we might imagine, several arguments arose against these “man made laws” that we have been set free from by Calvary. These principle of ministry were NOT seen as “liberating” but as another bondage! They were thought, by some, to be not possible to live in that dimension, or against nature itself, or to be a ridiculous infringement upon our freedom in Christ, or unnecessary to evangelism and beyond the ability of any man to live and function.
Today, any mention of those kind of rules or requirements of ministry life must be silenced before it is widely accepted because it is believed to be against our actual humanity. This also was the argument against this intrusion by these rules into the ministry at that time. Why? Many thought and still think that Man is NOT designed or equipped to live under that impossible and religious regimen.
Therefore, let us use the argument against this “intrusion into the Ministry” but just reverse the requirements. We will insist upon these four rules of ministry life!
(1) Absolute Dishonesty, (2) Absolute Impurity, (3) Absolute Selfishness, (4) Absolute Hate! We could even add (a) Absolute Pride (b) Absolute Indifference, (c) Absolute Personal Authority (d) Absolute Human Hierarchy or until EVERYTHING Jesus taught in Matthew 5-6 and 7 is rejected and invalidated as Kingdom Truth.
It is so obvious that the opposite of these positive things as “principles of ministry” would produce disastrous results. However, within the Kingdom Life, each of the Positive things are not only possible but also required. Nevertheless, can’t we still preach ABOUT the Kingdom without living in this “advanced realm” of Christian Life? Yes! However, we CANNOT preach the Kingdom “ITSELF” without this kind of advanced Life! Why? The Kingdom must be preached as Spirit and Life to be effective!
That is why we believe that the Priesthood after the Oder of Melchizedek can ONLY function after the Power of an Indestructible Life!
Heb 7:15 And this is clearer still, if another priest arises according to the likeness of Melchizedek, 16 who has become such not on the basis of a law of physical requirement, but according to the power of an indestructible life. 17 For it is witnessed of Him, “THOU ART A PRIEST FOREVER ACCORDING TO THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK.”
Many groups and religious persons as well as many pastors will agree with these four principles of Christian Ministry. They will agree that this would certainly be the ideal ministry. They may even create a sermon along this line and give an altar call for all who want to live in that dimension. They might even publish a doctrine in the church bulletin promoting this truth and preach a series of meetings ABOUT this truth from the pulpit. Still, MOST are not able or willing to build their life experience by living in this dimension of the Kingdom Life.
After preaching these things, they do not really believe in the reality of living that way simply because they cannot accept the fact that it is really possible to live that way. Some just do not believe it is even necessary because we are “saved by grace” and not by how we live or the integrity of our ministry. Some believe we can lie, steal, commit adultery, be hypocrites and deceive without consequences because we are “already SAVED.”
This abomination IS the “fruit” of this “gospel of the give-a-ways” that requires nothing of the “believer” except to believe something about Jesus and accept His sacrifice. No message is given or any thought presented that asks “if He has accepted you or if He has received you into His EXCLUSIVE Kingdom.” There is NO thought that He must REIGN over your life for you to be accepted into His eternal dwellings.
Mat 3:10 “And the axe is already laid at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 12 “And His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
Mat 7:19 “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
Mat 13:41 “The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, 42 and will cast them into the furnace of fire; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Mat 18:8 “And if your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; it is better for you to enter life crippled or lame, than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the eternal fire.
This Gospel of the Kingdom is so severe that the casual Christian must be made aware of the Eternal Danger of living in this visible church deception! The gospel of just accept Jesus as personal Savior and you are saved must be refuted! To teach that upon death you will go immediately to the throne of God because you believe something is all part of this great deception that ignores the Kingdom Of God.
This casual salvation, of course, is a very gross lie built upon the fact that the thief on the Cross was with Jesus in Paradise. Surely, we are not willing to trust our Christian Life and eternity upon such an incomplete concept as that. Still we know many pastors are preaching this as the “final truth” and our confidence of “a full salvation,” even if we repent at the very last minute.
A friend that worked in the Electrical Trade believed that “doctrine” but died instantly without recovering consciousness. Still, that was the advise of his pastor but we think that pastor will be in big trouble! This lie is really diabolical in its deception because it eliminates any consciousness of needing to be prepared to function in total righteousness and maturity in the World yet to Come.
If we just preached the “Gospel of the Requirements to Participate in the Kingdom” we might escape that judgement upon the slave that knew the will of God but neglected to get ready.
The Slave that was thrown into the fire must surely been surprised by what happened. After all he was a servant of God but didn’t want Him to reign over him. Suddenly, some will discover, after they had “done the ministry,” that Jesus didn’t even know them. They were strangers who were active in “the ministry” and prophesied, cast out demons and did miracles. Still, they were rejected. Would it be prudent to ask, why? If that happened to a “slave / servant” then what about the person that just sits in a pew and does nothing? How will he be judged? These things are actually hidden from the multitudes that attend “church” each week and trust their eternal destiny to some “minister” that is afraid to tell them the truth because they might be offended.
I was one of the many liars that stood in the pulpit week after week and thought we are immune from judgement because we read a verse that appears to vindicate us.
Well, I discovered the Kingdom is NOT like that and My Kingdom Salvation depends upon my genuine repentance and turning from my wicked way. There is still time for us all to get back on the track and begin to ascend on the highway to Zion.
At very least we could agree that (1) Absolute Honesty might be possible, (2) That Absolute Purity Might be possible, (3) That Absolute Unselfishness might be possible, (4) that Absolute Love might be possible and the Kingdom Life MIGHT be within the realm of possibility. Since, however, living experientially in these things IS really beyond the capacity of the natural man, the ONLY hope we have is to surrender completely to the Government of God and cry out to God that He might permit Jesus to Reign over us completely and in EVERY area of our Life. Why? Until that becomes a reality we are just on the outside looking into the Kingdom reality but still see it from a distance! Why is this important?
Rev 21:8 “But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
This should be enough warning for any of us to Repent, Turn and Change from our wicked ways.
But Brother, you seem to forget that “WE ARE ALREADY SAVED.” Well, it might be good if you took the time to reevaluate what “salvation” really means and make sure you got the real thing that actually relates you to God’s Kingdom Government by your actual experience and NOT just a “doctrinal salvation” based upon a few scriptures.
Mat 7:21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he ( and only he) who does the will of My Father who is in heaven.
Isn’t this gospel too radical and restrictive for the modern church? Probably! But, doesn’t “our freedom in Christ” eliminate us for all these restrictive requirements? No! That is another lie / tare that the devil slipped into the church as the pastors slept!
Mat 13:24 He presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 “But while men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares also among the wheat, and went away. 26 “But when the wheat sprang up and bore grain, then the tares became evident also.
The “tares” are sown in God’s field! The problem is that the deception of the tares is not discovered until the time of harvest when it is too late to change anything but to face eternity naked. The “fire” does not discriminate because some of the tares claim that they were saved by faith and not by works or suddenly decide to repent and become wheat.
My plea is this; Please, take the time to be sure you got everything that Jesus purchased on Calvary that relates us to His Kingdom Government and that which permits Him full access to REIGN over everything in your life. Please, make sure that EVERYTHING about the Holy Spirit that is promised in John 14-14 and 16 is your actual experience or He will not be able to finish the work He was sent to accomplish. Eternity is TOO long to take ANY chances on some phony gospel that ignores the Kingdom of God.