Kindgdom Bible Studies Kingdom of God Part 12


"Teaching the things concerning the kingdom of God..."


 Part 12


             Jesus’ message of the Kingdom of God cannot be fully appreciated until there is put by its side the conception that was held by the Jews of His day.   The Jews are still looking for their Messiah.  When Jesus came they were expecting a powerful military leader who would deliver them from the tyranny of Rome. They therefore rejected the humble Nazarene even though they saw His mighty works and heard His wonderful words of life.  They wanted a military genius who would save them from the Roman yoke, and they were not interested in a Saviour who would save them from sin.  These men wanted a king of nations God sent a King of hearts; men wanted a mighty deliverer God sent the Son of His love; men wanted temporal, political power God sent His Christ to lead them into spiritual power; men wanted to hear the clash of arms and the swish of swords but God sent a Teacher and Healer and Miracle Worker. 

            The Kingdom was the one hope of the nation, the bright millennium for which every one waited; its establishment would bring in the golden age, whose glory would outvie all the splendors of their past history.  It spoke to them of an exalted nation, a restored people, a perfected society; of the time when their wrongs should be redressed.  This was the Kingdom the Jews expected: a display of divine sovereignty that would overthrow Rome, sweep the godless Gentiles away, purge the earth of unrighteousness and evil, and exalt God’s people, Israel, in their own land over all the nations of the earth.  Then the treasures of the nations should be at their disposal; the Gentiles should come to their light, and kings to the brightness of their rising; strangers (foreign hired workers and slaves) should stand and feed their flocks, and the sons of the alien be their plowmen and vinedressers; and in plenty, prosperity and glory, their Messiah King should rule over them.  The national imagination was fired with the thought of this Kingdom.  The minds of the people were full of it, their patriotism yearned for it.  To them the signs of the times pointed powerfully to the imminence of its arrival. 

            The people of Israel had expectations about an earthly, political kingdom.  Jesus came doing miracles and preaching powerful sermons.  As His fame spread He gained thousands of followers and soon He began to fit their expectations.  Who could better deal with the Romans than a man who could walk on water, feed thousands  with a handful of food, cast out devils, heal the sick and raise the dead?  But from prison John the Baptist sent two messengers to inquire of Jesus, “Art thou he that should come? or look we for another?”  John, like many of his fellow Jews, had expected God to send someone to oppose the powerful authorities, both  Jewish and Roman.  When Jesus came on the scene he trusted that He was the one who would confront the established order and bring it down.  Yet there were things that troubled John...Jesus didn’t seem to be fulfilling all of his expectations. 

            Jesus claimed that the new order of the Kingdom of God had arrived, but there was no visible change in the political order of the day.  Jesus didn’t stir up the crowds with fiery political speeches; He was not recruiting bands of fighters; He was not passing out swords; He urged no one to practice civil disobedience; and He was not organizing any resistance movement.  So John wondered Is Jesus really the One, after all?  As Jesus entered Jerusalem riding upon a donkey, the vast crowds that had gathered felt a surge of patriotism, and in their excitement they waved palm branches and sang, “Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord: Blessed be the King of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest!”  They were eager to raise up Jesus as their King to sit on David’s throne.  But Jesus cried.  He climbed up the mount of Olives and wept.  He could see the folly of seeking a deliverance and peace on the outside instead of in the heart.  Gazing sorrowfully over Jerusalem He said, “If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes” (Lk. 19:42). 

            The corruption of the human heart is incredible beyond words to express and it would have been completely useless had the Lord sent His Son to be the deliverer of His people from enemies without, while leaving their wicked hearts unchanged and their carnal natures uncrucified.  The men of Israel could have believed in Jesus as their Saviour from the Romans.  As their Saviour from their sins they could not believe in Him, for they loved their sins.  The King of Heaven came to offer them a share in His Kingdom; but they were not poor in spirit, and the Kingdom of Heaven was not for them.  Gladly would they have inherited the earth;  but they were not meek, and the earth was for the humble children of the perfect Father.  The whole problem with the kingdom of Judah as a nation in the days of Christ was that they were unconverted.  There was no birth from above.  There was no new heart and no new spirit placed within by which men are transformed into new creatures and conformed into the image of God.  They wanted Christ to come and rule from without over their external enemies, but they had no desire for Him to march triumphantly into their inner life to deliver them from the kings of corruption and idolatry that ruled upon the throne of their hearts.   

            The persistent, perverse, unholy disposition in the natural man and the carnal mind does not change itself.  Refinement will not change it.  Education will not change it.  Social and rehabilitation programs will not change it.  Prison will not change it.  Evolution will not change it.  Society will not change it.  Religious creeds, ceremonies and programs will not change it.  “Deliverance meetings” will not change it.  The perfidious hearts and lives of unregenerated men can no more be changed by these means than an Ethiopian can change his skin or a leopard his spots.  The only way a change can be brought about is by being “created in Christ Jesus unto good works” (Eph. 2:10).  In all the ages past the only permanent reformations have been those which were wrought of God in INDIVIDUALS.  All national reformations and improvements have ended in degeneracy and revolt.  All ecclesiastical reformations, after they have run their course, have ended in backsliding and apostasy. 

            Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Mat. 6:10).  So then the Kingdom of God originates in the realm of Spirit (heaven) and finds expression in the physical realm (earth).  It is set up in the believer’s heart.  He takes unto Himself His mighty power and subdues all things unto Himself.  He goes into the soul, conquering and to conquer, until He has put all things under His feet.  We are praying for the time when God will give every unbeliever in the universe to Jesus Christ for His inheritance.  We pray for the day when the uttermost parts of the earth will come under His dominion and possession.  We pray for the day when all kingdoms will bow before Him and all nations shall serve Him.  We pray for the day when the mountain of the house of the Lord, His government of kings and priests after the order of Melchizedek, the many-membered Christ of God, shall be established everywhere.  We pray for that day when the fullness  of the Gentiles shall come in and all Israel shall be saved.  In that day it shall be seen that Christ is King over the whole earth.  He will appear to every soul on earth, in heaven, and in hell as the King of kings and the Lord of lords.  It is proper for those who love Him and seek His appearing, to pray that He would haste the time.  Everyone should pray that His Kingdom, the Kingdom of grace and glory and righteousness and power, would come quickly and swallow up the kingdoms of the earth. 

            Men need not a King to straighten out the mess in the outer world, in Washington, D.C., in Moscow, in the Middle East or in Bosnia they need a King to change the inside of every man!  “Please come Lord Jesus,” I found myself saying the other day, after reading the gory news.  Killings and muggings, and violent jail-breaks; endless marriage disputes; child abuse; the video tape muck and mire sewering through our cities and homes; drunkenness with its toll of  broken homes and killings and destroyed lives; mass killings of innocents by terrorism and in bloody strife in countries all over the earth; and last but not least, what kind of human beings have we that could push the red button, sending the whole race into oblivion?  THY KINGDOM COME!

            The truth is, not very much has changed in two thousand years.  The vast majority of Christians today think exactly like the Jews of Jesus’ day!  The same crowd is all about us today.  They want deliverance from the government, from persecution, from abortion, from communism, from the antichrist, from the tri-lateral commission and the council on foreign relations, from the banking system, from the vast political conspiracies that are steadily pushing the world toward a nightmlare of tyranny.   Most people are aware of the world’s need for salvation.  In these troubled days there is an almost universal longing for a better world.  But our tragedy is in seeking it from the wrong source.  Like the Jews, we cannot believe that what we need to be saved from is OURSELVES!  


            You remember that when the Pharisees asked Jesus when the Kingdom of God should come, He answered, “The kingdom of God cometh not with observation...for lo, the kingdom of God is within you.”  The Pharisees were treating as future what was already present.  The Kingdom of God was right there within them if they could have understood it.  “But,” someone objects, “surely the Kingdom of God was not within those carnal, hateful, legalistic, Christ-rejecting Pharisees!”  Some say that the correct translation should be: “For the kingdom of God is in your midst,” or “among you,” meaning that the Kingdom was present in their midst in the person of Jesus, “among” them but not “within” them.  It cannot be denied the Kingdom was indeed present among them in the very life of the Son of God, the King of glory!  But that is not the meaning of this passage. 

            The clearest meaning of the Greek can always be ascertained by usage.  The way a word is used reveals its true meaning the meaning that the Holy Spirit of inspiration puts upon it, not the meaning our English translators give it.  It is a thing of wonder the Holy Spirit has faithfully, powerfully, wisely and indisputably recorded for us the precise meaning of the word here translated “within”.  The Greek word is ENTOS meaning simply, according to Strong’s Concordance, “inside; within”.  The word is used in only one other place in the New Testament, in Matthew 23:26.  It is the Lord Jesus Himself that uses the word on both occasions, and notice what He says.  “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.  Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within (entos) the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.”  No one can argue that ENTOS means “in the midst” or “among” in this place it clearly means “within”.  “Within” is contrasted with the “outside” of the cup and platter and plainly speaks of the pollution within the hearts of men, not in their midst or among them.  The evil in men is not something apart from them or outside of them but something rooted deeply in the inward nature. 

            The question follows how could Jesus say to the same Pharisees that both corruption was within them and the Kingdom of God was within them!  It sounds like an obvious contradiction.  But it isn’t.  Paul spoke of a dual reality within man when he said, “For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: but I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my (spiritual) mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members” (Rom. 7:22-23).  Little wonder that in desperation he cried out, “O wretched man that I am!”  It is really very simple.  The carnal, soulish heart of man is the seat of all uncleanness, just as the deeper spirit of man is the root of all godliness.  So it is not surprising that the Pharisees failed to discover the presence of the Kingdom within them, for they were not walking after the spirit, but after the flesh.  Yet they were potentially capable of either. 

            I am absolutely certain that the statement Jesus made to the scribes and Pharisees that day is very true.  “The kingdom of God is within you.”  I totally believe that statement to be accurate.  The Kingdom of God is within you, it is within me, it is within each member of your family, it is within all your relatives, your friends, even within your enemies.  It is within the lowliest citizen of the most backward country, it is within the greatest of the ruling monarchs, presidents, or prime ministers. It is within mankind, it is within every man even the scribes and Pharisees.  This is the true light “that lighteth every man that cometh into the world” (Jn. 1:9).  When the scribes and Pharisees asked Jesus when the Kingdom of God should come He did not tell them when, but He did answer them.  And on various occasions when Jesus’ own disciples asked when the Kingdom would come He never once told them when.  You can’t really say “when” the Kingdom of God is coming because it always is.  There is no “when” to it.  It’s just that we must know what it is and where it is and how it comes, to become conscious of that indwelling Kingdom.  We must “enter in” to it within ourselves, experientially, for the Kingdom is even now “at hand”.   The church world has taught us that the Kingdom is something that came into the earth when Jesus came, but because the Jews refused to receive it, after Jesus died and rose and ascended into heaven it was withheld and deferred until He comes back again, postponed until a coming “Millennium”.  But I have good news for you today.  Every one who reads these lines now receives the good news the Kingdom of God is within you!  YOU!  It is now within you.  It doesn’t have to get within you, it doesn’t have to come from without to enter into you, it is already right there on the inside of you. 

            So note not to the disciples who followed Him and kept His sayings, but to the Pharisees in their spiritual blindness Jesus spoke these amazing words: “The kingdom of God is within you.”  Again, some would say, surely the Kingdom of God could not be found IN these Pharisees, within them, for they were against the King.  But, think again, for the territory is HIS regardless, whether He was actively ruling from within their hearts or not.  The Pharisees were part of His Kingdom, only they were in rebellion against the King, their hearts were filled with treason, and there was a need to dethrone the usurped rulership of the flesh, that the true King might be enthroned.  Where is the King’s domain?  WITHIN YOU!  Yes, the Kingdom of God was indeed “within them” as a bright and radiant possibility.  This appeals to me, in a sense, as the most beautiful thing Jesus ever said.  Consider what the Kingdom of Heaven was in His thought the most pure and perfect and heavenly of all existing realities; then consider that He said this to His implacable enemies, and to the men, who, in their lives, exemplified the exact opposite of what He had come to reveal and establish.  Within these men religious intellectuals and scholars, hypocrites, hateful there slumbered this lovely and lovable thing the Kingdom of the spirit.  They were possible members of that Kingdom; in their spirits were all the materials necessary for the development of the Kingdom of God.  I cannot emphasize too strongly that the Kingdom of God is the Kingdom of the spirit, for God is spirit.  Buried deep within every man is the spirit that has come from God, for every man is body, soul, and spirit. 

            The Bible says that “God is the Father of the spirits of all flesh” (Num. 27:16; Heb. 12:9).  We might ask, “Who, really, is entitled to think of God as Father?”  God is the Father of all men.  Some men walk as children of the devil, for they walk after the flesh, after the serpent nature.  But God is still the Father of their spirit.  God is the Father of all and He is the Saviour of all.  He is the Saviour of all because He is the Father of all.  There is a special sense in which God is the Father only of those who are reborn of Him through the Holy Spirit of regeneration.  To these He gives, in a blessedly unique sense, the “spirit of adoption” or the revelation of their sonship, whereby they cry, “Abba, Father!”  The Holy Spirit quickens their spirit to know that they are sons of God and to enable them to walk in that realm.  Nevertheless, the fact remains, universal and unalterable, that God is the Father of the spirits of all men.  If we had no spirit from God, the Holy Spirit would be unable to quicken our spirit and make it alive unto Him.   

            Father Adam is declared by the Spirit of inspiration to be “the son of God” (Lk. 3:38).  He is indeed a “prodigal son.”  But notwithstanding his disobedience and banishment from Father’s house, he has never ceased to be a son; the Father, notwithstanding His anger and punishment, has never ceased to be a Father.  And He is a loving and tender and gracious Father who waits patiently for every prodigal to come home.  And they will come home!  Blessed be His name.  He has built within the heart of every prodigal the capacity to return.  How precious beyond words to express is the blessed truth that God-life abides within every man down in the depths of his spirit, although most men walk not after the spirit, but after the flesh.  It is there, within man’s spirit, that the Kingdom of Heaven is to be found.  There is the root, the base, the seed, the fountainhead of God’s life and God’s rule.  The Kingdom of God is truly within every man but he knows it not, and therefore walks unheeding its claims and powers.  But if ever he discovers that Kingdom of Life and Light and Love he discovers it within as his spirit is quickened by God’s Spirit, his consciousness awakened to the Kingdom of the spirit within.  The day comes for all, every man in his own order, when it can be said, “And you hath He quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins...” (Eph. 2:1).   

            While the Kingdom of God is thus present, it is also still future.  Its full realization has yet to come.  So long as there is in this world one man who has not surrendered to the spirit of Christ, so long as there is a single area of life that has not been brought into subjection to the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus, so long will the Kingdom remain unrealized, so long shall we need to pray the prayer, “Thy kingdom come!”  All the misery of this world is due to the fact that there are still multitudes of men and women walking after the flesh, there are whole areas of human activity that are not birthed out of, or controlled by, the Spirit.  The Kingdom is still imperfect, incomplete.  Its full establishment lies in the future somewhere, as the apostle has taught, “Then cometh the end, when He shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.  For He must reign until He hath put all enemies under His feet” (I Cor. 15:24-25).  Until that full establishment takes place, until God is experientially King everywhere and over everybody and every thing in the union of love, the world’s “golden age” will not have arrived.   For the elect of God the Day has dawned!  The Sun of Righteousness has arisen within our hearts!  Our old heavens and our old earth have passed away.  We live now in a New World, we sing now a New Song, our night has turned to Day.  Darkness has flown away, sin and sorrow and death are swallowed up, God has wiped all tears from off our faces, we are living stones in the City which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God, and all things are made new!  This is the present glorious and eternal reality of the sons of God in this wonderful Day of the Lord!  This is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory of God within His chosen ones. 

            If I did not believe in the ultimate triumph of the Kingdom of God in all realms and everywhere and over every thing throughout the vastnesses of infinity, and if I believed that this world was to continue to be misruled and misgoverned as it is; if I believed that sin and sorrow and death and wicked men and vile institutions were to continue unto the end, I should despair of humanity and God, and I should certainly tear I Corinthians 15:20-28 out of my Bible and burn it in the stove.   But God never gives up.  God reigns!  The good news which our Lord Jesus Christ came to preach is “good news of great joy to all people.”  Praise God for the good news!  God reigns! that is the good news.  God shall be Victor!  God shall put every enemy under His feet and our feet!  He is Lord of ALL! 


            It is a blessed day for any man when he discovers that what the Bible calls “heaven” is in fact and in truth the REALM OF THE SPIRIT.  It is not a place on some far-away planet, nor a figment of man’s imagination, but a realm of reality where saints of God may dwell here and now.  “And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavens in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:6).  These things are hard to utter, because the vast majority of Christians cling tenaciously to the dark understanding of the carnal mind, and it is almost impossible for them to believe that heaven is an abiding and eternal reality.  It is even harder for them to comprehend that the KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS WITHIN MAN, and that in spirit we possess the fullness of its more excellent glory.  To most of the Lord’s people the outer, physical, and natural realm, including the supposed golden streets of that great “city in the sky,” is the realm of REALITY while the spiritual realm, the unseen Kingdom within, is the realm of shadows, mists, visions, dreams and UNREALITY.  At best it is of only minor importance.  But just the opposite is the truth.  The natural man (and most believers are pathetically natural) receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, for they are spiritually discerned. 

            If you would understand the scope and magnificence of the mighty working of God in your life, my beloved, consider the message of the radiant constellations of the illimitable heavens above and know  that  all the power and glory and wisdom and working so marvelously illustrated in their shining configurations is in fact and in truth wrought out in the deepest recesses of your own being.  If you will give prayerful consideration to the statement of our Lord that the Kingdom of the Heavens is within you, you cannot avoid the conclusion that man is a copy in miniature of the universe, and every thing that exists or takes place in the vast expanses of the cosmos, also exists and takes place in the inner constitution of man.  The powers and forces and laws that make up the nature and constitution of man are the same as the powers and forces and laws that on an infinitely larger scale are called the universe, and every reality in the heavens expresses itself in the consciousness of man, and reflects itself in the experience of man, enabling man to know the universe by himself, and himself by the universe. 

            Scientists are probing into two unseen worlds.  One is a world too vast and far away to be seen by the eye, and the other is a world too small to be observed by the eye.  I want to give you three words in this connection, together with their meanings.  First, we find the word MICROCOSM.  This word means a little world: any thing regarded as a world in miniature: man, viewed as an epitome of the universe.  This word comes from two words in the Greek.  One is MIKROS which means little or miniature.  The other is KOSMOS meaning world, in the sense of an orderly arrangement.  Thus we have the meaning of LITTLE WORLD.  The word MACROCOSM, on the other hand, means the great world, or the universe.  It also comes from two words.  One is MACROS meaning great, and the other is KOSMOS meaning world.  We noted above that the word MIKROS carried the meaning of  “man viewed as an epitome of the universe.”  This word EPITOME means, among other things, a condensed representation of something.  The word MACROCOSM then gives us the meaning that man is a CONDENSED REPRESENTATION OF THE WHOLE UNIVERSE!   Thus, man is the CONDENSED REPRESENTATION of all the universe, or man is all the universe in miniature. 

            After the original creation, God then began to move to bring the whole vast creation into fellowship and harmony with Himself.  In order to accomplish this God made man in the image of the creation, but also in the image of Himself.  Man is therefore the bridge or connecting link between God in His spiritual existence and the creation in its visible and material constitution.  God put both Himself and the whole universe into man in miniature a microcosm of the macrocosm!  His purpose is that by and through man all things shall be brought into subjection to the mind of the Lord.  We read in Hebrews that all things were placed under man, but we do not as yet see all things put in subjection to man, but WE DO SEE JESUS who was, we may safely say, as the second man and the last Adam, a CONDENSED REPRESENTATION of God, the universe, and all mankind.  In other words, what was done in and through the singular Man, Jesus the Christ, will also be done in and through the corporate man, but on an enlarged scale, for Jesus said we would  do even greater works than He did.  There is no stagnation in God, for He continually moves ahead.  And as He moves, we move with Him, advancing according to His pre-determined plan.  What wonders lie ahead of us in this majestic pathway! 

            The seventeenth century German mystic, the simple shoe cobbler from Golitz, Jacob Boehme, penned the following words which are just as revolutionary and up-to-date as the space age.  “Now, dear reader, observe: If you want to know about Heaven and what Heaven is and where it is, you do not need to cast your thoughts many thousands of miles off, for that place, that heaven thousands of miles away, is not your Heaven.  The true Heaven is not a created place but an uncreated place, and it is not found in a particular place but everywhere, even in the very place where you are standing and going.  For when your spirit within yourself is able to penetrate inward through and beyond your own flesh and life, and is able to catch hold upon the innermost moving of God, then you are clearly in Heaven. 

            “I urge you to open the eyes of your spirits and your hearts, for I want earnestly to show you the true and proper way to the gates of God’s Heaven.  Behold!  God is the True, the One, the only Being out of whom you yourselves were created, and within whose Life you are living even now.  Therefore, Oh child of man, when you behold in your flesh the depths of the universe, the stars and the complexity of the earth, and all that is in heaven and earth, you are in fact truly in the presence of God.  For He is All, and in him you live and have your being; and that same God reigns and rules over you as well, because He is your King and Creator.  It is from this God that you receive even your senses and your ability to have consciousness and to know and think and express yourself.  Don’t you see?  You are a part of Him, and your entire being is a derivative of Him.  You are His offspring, you came from Him, and you truly exist in Him.  If this were not true, you would never have been, for you are the image of God. 

            “And so, little children, if you now want and desire to draw near by faith to the Life of God, Listen!  You must enter inward to the depths within yourselves wherein Christ dwells not without.  For within you there exists an eternity, even as there is an eternity within Him.  So you must go in to the depths of the hidden secret place within you, to the very depths of the Eternal Willing in the Father.  For it is within this Will or Desire that Wrath and Love eternally struggle against each other, and in which Love is the eternal victor out of the fiery dark wheel of selfishness, through the eternal cross in God’s Heart, into regeneration bursting forth as the eternal glorious light of God’s nature.  His nature is Light, Gentleness, Mercy, Wisdom and Love forever, and it is expressed to us by His Voice, the Word, the Son, our Lord, Saviour, and God.  And out of this eternally immense depth of God’s Desire, there forever streams forth the Light and Love which is the uncreated glory.  And this is the true Heaven. 

            “For in this depth within you, God eternally rules in Holiness in His uncreated Heaven.  And His Willing within you expresses itself as the willing to all goodness, not wrath, and this willing ever reigns in everlasting dominion, the Sovereign God of Love in victory through the eternal cross on which was slain the Lamb of God before ever a single atom was created.  And when you comprehend this, that is, the tragedy which forever occurs in the eternal depths of the Heart of God, and when you know that our God is safe forever, True forever, Merciful forever, and the Being of Love forever (because He forever dies to Himself on the cross in His own heart  to all wrath and selfish desire), then my brothers and sisters, you will have crossed through and penetrated into the very and holy heart of God”   end quote. 

            Our dear friend and brother, Charles Roby, recently sent us this illustrative story.  There once was a little boy who wanted to meet GOD.  He knew it was a long trip to where God lived, so he packed his suitcase with Twinkies and a six-pack of root beer and he started his journey.  When he had gone about three blocks, he met an old woman.  She was sitting in the park just staring at some pigeons.  The boy sat down next to her and opened his suitcase.  He was about to take a drink from his root beer when he noticed that the old lady looked hungry, so he offered her a Twinkie.  She accepted it and smiled at him.  The boy was delighted!  They sat there all afternoon eating and smiling, but they never said a word.  As it grew dark the boy realized how tired he was and he got up to leave.  But before he had gone more than a few steps, he turned around, ran back to the old woman and gave her a big hug.  She gave him her biggest smile ever.   

            When the boy opened the door to his own house a short time later, his mother was surprised by the look of joy on his face.  She asked him, “What did you do today that made you so happy?”  He replied, “I had lunch with God.”  But before his mother could respond, he added, “You know what?  She’s got the most beautiful smile I’ve ever seen!”  Meanwhile, the old woman, also radiant with joy, returned to her home.  Her son was stunned by the look of peace on her face and he asked, “Mother, what did you do today that made you so happy?”  She replied, “I ate Twinkies in the park with God.”  But before her son responded, she added, “You know, He’s much younger than I expected.”  To which brother Roby added: “As you know, the only way we know GOD or the things pertaining to the KINGDOM of GOD is by the SPIRIT of GOD!  Our mind can’t comprehend this great mystery of GOD IN US, but God who is our Father has revealed it unto us by His Spirit: that we are flesh of His flesh, and bone of His bone.  Jesus said, ‘When you see me, you see MY FATHER.’  Isn’t that a wonderful truth that expresses what Paul wrote: ‘He that is joined unto the LORD is ONE SPIRIT!’” 

            Our transition from the kingdom of the flesh to the Kingdom of God demands the new strength, day by day, of some Fountain springing up through all the bitter wastes of earth.  Bitter wastes cannot make themselves sweet: fountains must spring up in sweetness from the ground of Life.  In a hotel in a certain city in the Northeast there is a notice in each room that the water is drawn from deep artesian wells.  The city is on a narrow strip of sandy land.  On the East is the salty ocean, on the West a brackish marsh.  Shallow wells are all filled with undrinkable salt water.  But shafts sunk deep enough yield pure, sweet water.  Ah, the flesh is a shallow well!  When a man tries to live by the carnal thoughts, ideas, ways, understanding, wisdom, methods and strength of the flesh realm of the outer world, he tries to quench his thirst with salt.  It is the realm of death.  But when a man taps into the deep down inner resources of the SPIRIT he then lives by the freshness, sweetness, vitality and power of the Kingdom of God within. 

            I would say to you that the life of Christ, the life of sonship, is not something outside ourselves.  The idea is not that Christ is in heaven, or standing by us, or worn as a garment, so that we stretch out some mysterious faculty and touch Him there.  This is the vague form  in which babes in Christ conceive the truth, but it is contrary to Christ’s teaching and to the analogy of nature.  Vegetable life is not contained in a reservoir somewhere in the skies, and measured out spasmodically at certain seasons.  Animal life is not bottled up somewhere in the blue beyond and dropped down to earth now and then when it is time for an embryo to be formed.  The life is IN every plant and tree, every animal and fish and fowl, inside its own tissue and cells, and works there as a mighty power to form even that which is contained within the life.  The life is permanently fixed and rooted in the organism. 

            Life is not one of the homeless forces which promiscuously inhabit space, or which can be gathered like electricity from the clouds and dissipated back again into space.  Life is definite  and resident; the Spiritual Life is not a visit from a force, but a resident tenant of Being.  “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a...seed, which a man took, and SOWED IN HIS FIELD.”  The life of sonship is not derived from the occasional touch of Jesus as He “passes this way,” nor from the weekly refreshing that comes to our weary souls as we gather in meetings with others.  Thank God for the opportunity to praise and worship the Lord together, and for the fellowship and encouragement of those of “like precious faith,” but I declare to you that the life of sonship can only be known as we turn INWARD, to discover and know the living and eternal REALITY OF THE CHRIST WITHIN.  Only in the consciousness of His voice speaking, His hand guiding, His power generating, His life producing, from within, is there infallible stability, undiminished strength, unfailing wisdom and knowledge, unlimited power, incorruptible nature and the unveiling of the image of God within.  With my poor and puny ability I cannot make the potential of GOD’S INDWELLING LIFE to be a living, transforming, all-sufficient reality to your heart.  None but the Spirit of God can perform this wonderful and divine  act of illumination.  He alone can take the things of God and show them unto you. 


            The institutions of civilization find no place in God’s program for the redemption of the world.  The wisest and most powerful enterprises on the part of man cannot banish the evils of sin, sorrow, sickness, limitation and death.  Thank God for humanitarian efforts for the alleviation of suffering and misery, the March of Dimes, the United Way, the Christian Children’s Fund, airlifts to refugees fleeing war ravaged areas, welfare programs, rescue missions, and a thousand more.  The heart of the child of God is a heart of compassion for the afflicted and needy on whatever level help can be rendered.  I myself have contributed to such charitable causes.  Yet we must not fail to point out that the root of social and national ills lies too deep for these agencies to eradicate.  Sin, sorrow, sickness, limitation and death do not come merely by ignorance; therefore they cannot be removed by knowledge.  They do not come merely by environment; therefore they cannot be expelled by improved circumstance.  They do not come merely by poverty; therefore they cannot be annihilated by the infusion of money and programs.   

            The redemption of the race from the evils that afflict it, and work mischief and misery in it, must come about by the direct intervention of God.  There is a valid reason why, as the scripture says, “Salvation is of THE LORD.”  It could not be otherwise!  Since God drove man out from the Garden, from life, from the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, into a world of thorns and struggle and need and pain and death, it can only be GOD HIMSELF who brings man back into the blessedness of Eden.  That is exactly why all the efforts of man to eliminate crime and poverty and sickness and bigotry and warfare and bloodshed have utterly failed.  Only the mighty power of God within man can liberate man.  That is the law of the Kingdom within.  God Himself will bring victory as all men are drawn into Him, and the Kingdom of God is released within. 

            The character and procedures of the Kingdom of God are so entirely different from the ways of men, they do not compare.  In far away Babylon the Holy Spirit witnessed through the prophet Daniel, “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever” (Dan. 2:44).  Though many look for a “revived Roman Empire” to arise in Europe with “Antichrist” at its head, the ten-toed confederacy of the end-times, yet, praise God, “IN THE DAYS OF THESE KINGS SHALL THE GOD OF HEAVEN SET UP A KINGDOM WHICH SHALL NEVER BE DESTROYED.”  That there may be a fulfillment in the outer world of appearances I would not deny, although it is my opinion that historically it has already been fulfilled.  But the quickening of the Spirit upon the truth so vital for today bids me look beyond the letter of the word, beyond the outward manifestations, beyond the European Community and the Common Market, along with the religious Ecumenical Movement; and receiving of the spirit of the word, turning inwardly, we find that all that pertains to the kingdoms of this world lies within the heart of man, and there have been so many kings which have ruled within us, and as His Kingdom unfurls its banner over our lives, these kings are subdued and brought to nought.   

            There are kings of self-will, of worldly ambition, of fleshly zeal, of ruling thoughts, of compelling desires, of religious dogmas, creeds, and traditions and commandments of men, of soulish emotions and impulses spirited by the world, of fleshly appetites dominated by the five senses, of fears, doubts, anger, rebellions, weaknesses and sins.  The still small voice speaks a word, and immediately carnal reason tries to argue us out of it.  We sense His direction and leading to “stand still,” but human sympathy and sentiment tell us to get involved  in things He has not led us to do.  So we yield and obey these emotions and impulses, and wonder why we miss the joy and blessing of the Lord.  But, praise God, in the days of these kings while they flourish, control, and bear heavy in their rule shall the God of heaven set up His Kingdom and all authority and power shall be subdued before it.  Into the midst of these kings has rolled THE SONE, it is breaking i n pieces, consuming all these, bringing all into submission to Him! 

            Ray Prinzing has beautifully expounded along this line “Many a battle has been fought and won, though devils were not rebuked, and there was no writhing on the floor in intense travail, nor any challenge by an antagonist against the truth believed it was all INTERNAL.  Battles of the mind, battles of inner spirit conflict, a warfare against the vision, against the thing which God had personally revealed, but which the flesh was not ready to receive.  And while we would ‘reckon ourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, and alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord,’ yet only HE can complete this work in us and make it an experiential reality.  So we surrender, and He works it out.  ‘Now why dost thou cry aloud?  IS THERE NO KING IN THEE? is thy counselor perished?...’ (Micah 4:9).  Israel was desperate, she was in travail, in pain to bring forth, and was crying out in her distress.  God answered back, ‘IS THERE NO KING IN THEE?’  Praise God, there is One in the midst of us who shall take the reins of the government, and He shall rule in righteousness, so that we eagerly await the emergence of His Kingdom. 

            “It is our own little INNER KINGDOM that needs The King, so it is to this realm that we ask the question, and praise God, can answer back positively, YES, THERE IS A KING WITHIN.  Paul declared that ‘we must through much tribulation (Greek: pressure) enter into the kingdom of God’ (Acts 14:22).  As much as the flesh would desire an easier way into His Kingdom, there is no other way.  If there was a list of special works to do, we’d struggle through, checking them off one by one, and lay claim to the glory.  If a baptism would do it, we’d be baptized seven times face forward, or backwards, upside down, or however the requirement.  BUT THIS IS GOD’S PROCESSING IN US, and He has purposed to do it through much pressure.  If it isn’tDa5phsical pressure, it will be a mental one, and if not mental, then a spiritual one as we travail to enter through the straight gate, and receive of His fullness.  There is no cause to view this negatively, for it is this very pressure that shall literally and gloriously PRESS US INTO GOD, as His life becomes a REALITY WITHIN.  One might have doctrines, visions, dreams, revelations, and be able to recite it to all who pass by your way, but they are of little value when just a mere form of head-knowledge.  They have to be worked into us experimentally through the nitty-gritty processings of the day, until self is conquered, and Christ reigns supreme within us, and the vision becomes LIFE, a firm foundation upon which we can stand to face the storms of the times. 

            “In some occupations a man with very little authority, limited in his power to make decisions and rule over others, is referred to as a straw boss.  Yet betimes this individual gets carried away with his own sense of importance and tries to go beyond his rightful place, giving orders and bossing others.  Seems like we have all had our share of straw bosses usurping authority, as they would assume control over that which they have no right.  We’ll pass very lightly over the fact that most of the so-called ‘shepherding movement’ falls into this classification, as they usurp the Headship which rightly belongs to CHRIST  in every individual.  At the moment we are more concerned with these internal straw bosses our own will, our own desires, our own impulses, etc., which would like to hold control within us.  But when we have been OVERCOME BY CHRIST, He shall be King within.  Praise His name!  In fact there is quite a bit of truth in the statement that we shall only become overcomers in Christ in proportion to how much we have been overcome by Christ.  To partake of His victory He must first become Victor over all our inner kingdom”   end quote. 

            I do not hesitate to tell you that the sphere of the Kingdom is the individual heart.  This is the end for which man was made, the final cause of his creation, that he might be a province and principality of God: the King eternal septering him throughout his whole nature, spirit, soul, and body.  When I pray, “Thy Kingdom come,” I do not feel that I am praying solely for my city, my nation, the world, or the vast reaches of the cosmos.  I do not think first or foremost about harlots, drunkards, drug addicts, criminals, atheists, Moslems, communists,  or the masses of sinners throughout the world.  When I pray, “Thy Kingdom come,” I am not content with adding to the thought my unpleasant neighbors, the Mafia, or Fidel Castro.  No!  When I utter the prayer it is with the deep conviction that I am praying for myself.  I am praying that God’s rule may come fully and powerfully in my own heart, mind, nature and life. 

            Oh, yes, this prayer has reference to ourselves.  There is a problem and that is that we have our own kingdom, the kingdom of man.  My business, my enterprise, my family, my ministry, my church, my elders, my people, my thing that I am doing, that we are concerned with.  And over against all that, Jesus sets His “Thy.”  “THY Kingdom come.”  When we pray, “Thy Kingdom come,” we pray, “Father, come in Thy Lordship into my own heart; rule there; take Thy throne there; make me completely Thine.”  See what it means.  It means that we are asking that every wicked way, every cherished sin and passion, every self-serving desire and ambition, every carnal thought, word and deed may be cast out of our hearts.  It means that neither money nor pleasure nor prestige should have any power over us.  It means that the Father’s will and not our own may dictate fully our lives.  It means that the precious mind that was in Christ Jesus so possesses us until all death is swallowed up into HIS VICTORY.  Oh, that is a great prayer! 

            I have known men that loved their sins too much, their pleasures, their money, their position, their religion, their traditions, their power, themselves too much, ever to be able to pray sincerely, “Thy Kingdom come!”  The Kingdom is, first and foremost, the reign of God in the hearts and lives of men.  Less than this it cannot be; more than this it will not be.  There is no department of human life where the Kingdom can rule unless first God rules the heart.  God cannot rule nations until first He rules in the hearts of the citizens of those nations from the king, president or prime minister all the way down to the garbage collector and the shoeshine boy.  God cannot rule over things or institutions until first He rules the hearts of those who form, own and control those things and institutions.  Imagine God trying to rule over an army without first winning the allegiance of the general who commands that army and the soldiers who fight in it! 

            Is it not a right thing and a possible thing, that all men should in their hearts yield allegiance to God?  And were this allegiance yielded, would it not necessarily result that all our relations with one another would be transformed and hallowed by the law of His life within?  Would it not necessarily result that the whole constitution of the world, in all its domestic, political, social, and economic arrangements, would be guided by the Spirit of God and would show in every situation and circumstance that God was ruling?  You see, to bring the Kingdom of God to pass in the earth does not require that all forms of government and all institutions be replaced, though they may be but that the spirit of those who administer them be changed!  Capitalism or communism would either one work just fine if every person involved, from the top to the bottom, were guided and motivated by the spirit of love, generosity, faithfulness, honesty, goodness, brotherly concern, righteousness, meekness, and the mind of Christ.  In order for the kingdoms of this world to become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ it is not necessary for many employments or relations of life to be altered, but it is needful that WE OURSELVES BE ALTERED!   

            As brother Paul Mueller has aptly written: “Indeed, God does not change the world by man’s armies, or by any of man’s carnal systems of government.  The Lord is beginning to change the world by first changing the hearts, souls and minds of mankind.  People shall be changed, not by human agreements or by war, but by the operation of the Spirit of God in their lives.  The Lord also is beginning to dispel the darkness in the world by imparting the greater Light of His presence into the hearts of His elect.  This is the method by which the just and righteous rule of the Kingdom of God is coming to the earth.  In this way alone, all the evil and darkness in all the earth shall be completely dispelled.  Then the blessings and benefits of the Kingdom of God shall be fully manifested in all the earth for the glory and honor of our sovereign and omnipotent Father.  And His glory shall cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. 

            “The Kingdom of God has been planted as a seed in the fertile garden of the hearts of His people.  And His Kingdom has been growing in the hearts of His people ever since.  His Kingdom began in His faithful sons as a word or seed that sprouts in the ground.  The Kingdom seed is the very life of Christ that was planted within us.  As a seed in the natural soil sprouts or explodes by its inherent life, so the seed of the Christ within us has burst forth with His life to manifest the fruit of the Kingdom of God.  The seed is Christ, the Word of God and the word of His Kingdom.  When we receive that seed/word, and it grows within us, the Kingdom of God will grow, and indeed has grown, to become the greatest tree on earth so that the birds of the air will find lodging in it.  That seed/word within us has sprouted, bursting forth by the Life of Christ to manifest first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn  in the ear, until its abundant fruit shall fill the whole earth. 

            “The Kingdom of God is within you, and is not seen by observation.  Christ, the King, reigns within your life and mine.  Within you is the seedbed of His Kingdom that will fill the whole earth and then the universe.  The same Kingdom that began in us has burst forth as a germinated seed to become a tender plant.  That plant is growing until the power and glory of the King who reigns within His elect begins to spread His influence far beyond into all the earth.  As He continues to reign in us and in the earth, all things shall be gathered into the Kingdom of God and nothing will be left outside of it.  With enlightened spiritual eyes, and the mind of Christ, we can see the Kingdom of God as a great tree that is filling the earth and the universe with His peace, justice, righteousness and life.  His Kingdom has now grown so that He is beginning to swallow up the kingdoms of man and reign on this earth.  The Kingdom of God that began within His faithful sons has grown from the original word or seed, then to the blade stage, and finally it has become the full corn in the ear. 

            “Our spiritual life is no longer to be seen as either a seed, or a mere blade, but we are now seen as the full corn in the ear.  The natural earth brings forth fruit of herself when a seed is planted (Mk. 4:26-29).  So also does the word/seed of Christ and His Kingdom grow within us, and of itself, to bring forth a Kingdom plant identical with the original seed.  We cannot see its growth, but it is growing nevertheless.  As long as we are feeding on Christ, nothing can stop the growth of the Kingdom seed within us.  By virtue of the nature and life of the original seed planted within us, Christ must grow up within us to come forth with the same Life that He is.  That is the law of natural seed-life!  But the original seed grows within us by the power of the greater law and life of Christ and the Kingdom of God. 

            “If we have any questions regarding our present trials and tribulations, we should consider a reason for these trials.  Within us is the seed life of the Kingdom of God.  The planting of the Lord requires special care.  As the farmer trims and prunes his crops to produce better plants resulting in a better harvest,  so the great Husbandman and Lord of the vineyard dresses and cares for His Kingdom plantings.  The harvest must go on!  Nothing must be allowed in our lives that will curtail this harvest, either to reduce the quality and quantity of the harvest or to prevent it from taking place.  So our wise Husbandman cuts and prunes us, removing everything in our lives that would affect the harvest.  Christ is the Vine, and we are the branches.  We are growing out of Him!  His life is our life!  As long as we abide in Him, this vine will grow to become that Kingdom tree which shall fill the whole earth with its abundant and life-giving fruit.  Our Husbandman will see to it that we are always trimmed and pruned, fit to abide as a branch within the great Vine that He is.  And now, our time of fruit-bearing approaches. 

            “The seed that we are becoming shall be scattered abroad to reproduce after His kind, filling the earth with Kingdom sons just like us and, more importantly, just like Christ.  Understanding this blessed truth as we do, is it not important then that our wise Husbandman should put His chosen ones to the test, that He might prove us and purge us from all that is not of the purity of Christ?  It must be so, otherwise we would reproduce after the carnal nature and not after the wonderful, loving, restoring and redemptive nature of Christ.  Thank God for the blessed truth in Christ that gives us understanding of our present life and its difficulties!  His truth is also setting us free from the fears and weaknesses of the past and of man.  And how blessed and privileged we are to see the truth as it is in Christ! 

            “Let it be established then that the Lord works with the hearts of mankind, and not with the external things of this worldly order.  Jesus said, ‘When anyone heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart.  But he that receiveth seed into the good ground (of his heart) is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundred fold, some sixty, some thirty’ (Mat. 13:19,23).  So it is that the Lord sows the word of His Kingdom into the hearts of His elect, enabling them to bring forth Kingdom fruit.  The seed-word of His Kingdom sown in our hearts will bring forth the fruit of transformed lives. 

            “In the fullness of time, when the Lord begins to restore mankind, He will do so by transforming the hearts of individuals.  Just as He transformed us by sending His word into our hearts, so the Lord will transform others.  What our nation needs is the impartation of the divine word resulting in the transforming power of the Spirit in the lives of individuals, not more legislation, or more money for more police or more prisons.  We may be sure that when the Lord begins to restore our nation and people, He will do so by sending His word into the hearts of men, and not by any outward, literal, legalistic means. 

            “By the mind of Christ we can see that the Kingdom of God is at hand.  The new order of the Kingdom of God is being  established within us, and we are walking out the path of that new Kingdom Order.  We are becoming the Lord’s new administrative order for the wonderful advance of the Kingdom of God on earth.  The Kingdom of God is not of the status-quo; His Kingdom is the life-force of the creation which is ever progressive.  The Kingdom of God is growing and shall never cease to expand until it fills everything in the universe with the very life that God is.  The Kingdom of God reigns as the Christ within is coming forth from our lives.  The power of the Kingdom of God, which is a spiritual power, is flowing out of Zion now to shake all things and overturn the governments and kingdoms of man”   end quote. 

            It is a great folly to conclude that we can pray the prayer, “Thy Kingdom come,” by rote, in cool detachment.  The Kingdom is not an antiquated Jewish dream, dusty with the history of centuries.  It touches us at all vital points if we are sons of God.  It is an immediate and personal concern.  It is God’s plan of the ages, His time-abiding strategy for redeeming us from ourselves and the vanity of the flesh and the world.  It is God’s way of conforming us into the image of His Son and making us one in Him.  We are faced then with the solemn truth that when we pray for the coming of the Kingdom we are not praying for the advent of some great world-wide political or economic program.  We are not praying for the end of the world, or for the rapture, or for the millennium, or blessing upon the state of Israel, or the exaltation of the United States and Great Britain.  It is far more personal than that.  This is a prayer that storms the gates of my own little kingdom, and breaks down the barriers between the will of God and me.  It brings the rule of the Spirit in mind, heart, and body until the glory of God arises upon me and His glory is seen upon me, bringing blessing and transformation to all He touches.

To be continued...



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