Kindgdom Bible Studies Kingdom of God Part 17


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


 Part 17



            In our last Study I wrote of the great truth that the Kingdom of God does not come by law or legislation it comes by regeneration and transformation into the image and likeness of God.  Some of us have surely noted in scripture that God does indeed use law to govern the unregenerate and ungodly.  Paul states this as plainly as it can be stated in I Timothy 1:8-10.  “Now we recognize and know that the Law is good, if any one uses it lawfully for the purpose for which it was designed; knowing and understanding this: that the Law is not enacted for the righteous but for the lawless and unruly, for the ungodly and sinful, for the irreverent and profane, for those who strike and beat and even murder fathers and strike and beat and even murder mothers; for manslayers, for impure and immoral persons, those who abuse themselves with men, kidnapers, liars, perjurers and whatever else is opposed to wholesome teaching” (Amplified Bible). 

            Let it be thoroughly known and understood that the law God has ordained to govern those outside of Christ is not God’s law, but man’s law.  Every nation, every state and province, every city, town and community is regulated by the law of man.  Under the Old Covenant the law of God was given to only one nation out of all the nations of the world, the nation of Israel.  God’s law was never given to any Gentile nation or people anywhere on earth.  And that law was given to Israel only under the Old Covenant.  The law given to Israel completely and forever passed away when the New Covenant was ratified by the blood of Jesus.  It is no longer in effect for Israel nor has it been passed on to either the New Testament Church or the Kingdom brought by Jesus.  “The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it” (Lk. 16:16).   

            To these words of Jesus the apostle Paul adds his testimony: “Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to Him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.  But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.  For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.  For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.  But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.  And the law is not of faith: but, the man that doeth them shall live in them.  Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.  But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster” (Rom. 7:4,6; 6:14; Gal. 3:10-12,24,25). 


            A man who keeps his bulldog tied to a fence has no right to brag that the dog has never bitten the mailman.  How could the dog bite the mailman?  If the owner wants to brag about his dog, let him set the dog free; then everyone (including the mailman) will know the dog’s true nature.  There you have the difference between the law and the Kingdom of God.  The law merely restrains evil men (like the chain on the dog) from the ability to do their evil the Kingdom of God transforms the nature so that men become righteous.  Human government is an instrument of restraint, not a fountain of love and grace.  It prohibits, forbids, restricts, regulates, sets limits, restrains, and, if it is not strictly limited itself, oppresses.  The instruments of governments are sheriffs, police, marshals, bailiffs, detectives, guards,  and soldiers.  They use pistols, shotguns, nightsticks, tear gas, handcuffs, cells with bars, machine guns, cannon, bombs, and other assorted immobilizing and death-dealing weapons.  Government is the enforcer of man’s laws, it is not an instrument of the Kingdom of God.  In itself, this is no reproach against government.  Men are given to wrongdoing, and it has been the considered judgment of the wise down through the ages that there must be a public force to maintain law and order by restraining and punishing those who do wrong.  And God Himself has ordained it so! 

            A brother once wrote: “While I was pastor in a certain city, a man who had been a Christian for twenty years approached me after one of our services.  ‘I enjoyed your message,’ he said with a smile, ‘but I really need more hellfire-and-damnation sermons to keep me in line.’  The man had been a believer for years, and yet he had not matured enough to take responsibility for himself.  He wanted to be told what to do and when to do it.  Is God pleased by such an attitude?  Would the father of a twenty-year-old man be pleased to hear his son say, ‘Dad, I need to be kept in line’? 

            “As a teenager, I participated in a ministry to the inmates of the Louisiana State Penitentiary.  During my visits to the prison, I became friends with an inmate who claimed to be a Christian.  But each time the man was paroled he would immediately commit a crime and return to prison.  One day I asked him why he couldn’t stay on the outside.  His answer astonished me.  He said, ‘I can’t handle life on the outside, man.  It scares me, all those decisions.  No, back here they tell me when to get up, when to eat, and when to go to bed.’  He had to have the restraint of law and order over his life”   end quote. 

            Learn this, O man, and you will understand a great truth.  There are people in this world  that must be ruled by law, and God has ordained it so.  When God instituted His first law He said, “If you do not live by it, you shall die.”  You have to understand that the law of God began in that long ago beginning in the garden of Eden, for that is where the first rule was laid down and the first penalty for breaking that rule was experienced.  God has still ordained that the world be ruled by law.  The vast majority of men, at this time, must be ruled by law.  The Lord has established in the world two orders of government, one order is for the lawless, the other is for the righteous.  The order for the lawless is law, and the order for the righteous is the spirit.  “Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners” (I Tim. 1:9).  “There is therefore now no condemnation no adjudging guilty of wrong for those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh but after the spirit.  For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death...for as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Rom. 8:1-2,14, KJV & Amplified).   

            Evil can be dealt with only in one of two ways it must be restrained, or it must be remedied.  Human government is ordained by God for the restraint of evil.  “Let every person be subject to the governing (civil) authorities.  For there is no authority except from God; and those that exist do so by God’s appointment.  Therefore he who resists the authorities resists what God has appointed and arranged in divine order.  And those who resist will bring down judgment upon themselves receiving the penalty due them.  For civil authorities are not a terror to people of good conduct, but to those of bad behavior.  For he is God’s servant for your good.  But if you do wrong you should dread him and be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing.  He is God’s servant to execute His wrath (His punishment) on the wrongdoer” (Rom. 13:1-4, Amplified).  Words cannot be plainer.  Thank God for our judicial and law enforcement officers who restrain the wickedness and violence and injustice of the criminal elements in our society!  That is precisely what God has appointed human government to do.   

            There are a great many people who must be governed by a strong hand without their consent.  When it comes to the restraint and punishment of evil the governed lose their right to be governed with their consent.  They remind me of a very clever cartoon of a little boy who disputed that point with his mother.  He had been studying in school about the right of the governed under our Constitution to consent to all government above them, and it had gotten into his mind.  He had stolen apples, and his mother had warned him, but it had no effect.  So she was spanking him.  The little man turned around and said, “Mama, I object.  Our glorious Declaration of Independence says that all just government must rest upon the consent of the governed, and I do not consent!”  There are a great many children who will not consent, and they have to be governed whether they consent or not.  There are a great many people who will never, short of God’s salvation, consent to do right.  You have to govern them with a strong hand.  We all need God to rule us one way or the other

            Government speaks of ORDER.  Without government there would be only chaos.  Do you know the difference between a mob and an army?  The difference is discipline.  Order is the difference.  An army is orderly.  An army moves in governmental order, under submission to chains of command.  An army is controlled by an inward state of being.  A mob is not controlled by anything.  A mob gets out of hand, burning buildings, looting, lynching.  There is no order, no inward law of responsibility.  There is only one way to bring a mob under control by the law, by force.  They must be subdued by tear gas and bullets and carried away in paddy wagons.  They must be restrained.  If there is a remedy it must come later, through different means.   

            It is for this very reason that wicked  men are shut up in hell, reserved under chains of darkness, awaiting a day of deliverance and release.  God restrains wicked men until according to His purpose He can save them.  With the release of the mystery of iniquity into the Adamic race, the wickedness of man soon became great in the earth, and by Noah’s day we find that “every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Gen. 6:5).  God allowed man’s sin and violence to go a certain course for a certain length of time, knowing full well just how far He could allow man to express these evil inclinations, and just where to draw the line.  At the appropriate moment the spirits of these wicked men were put in prison, as society today puts a criminal in prison; the flood swept them away into hell and hell restrained the Antediluvians from committing more wrath upon the earth. 

            But God only restrains until He can save!  That is precisely why Jesus, after His death and resurrection, went to PREACH to these spirits in prison, the spirits of the men who had been disobedient in the days of Noah.  To them He carried the word of reconciliation, showing not only that Christ had died for their sins, but that He was risen for their justification.  If perchance our minds are numbed with the wonder of such a thought, let us consider the record of this great event from Weymouth’s translation.  “Christ also once for all died for sins, the innocent One for the guilty many, in order to bring us to God.  He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive by the Spirit, BY WHICH HE ALSO WENT AND P-R-E-A-C-H-E-D TO THE SPIRITS THAT WERE IN PRISON, who in former times had been disobedient, when God’s long-suffering patiently waited in the days of Noah during the building of the ark, in which a few persons eight in number were brought safely through the water” (I Pet. 3:18-20). 

            Despite the crafty and deceptive efforts of some to twist and explain away the plain meaning of this passage, it reveals that Jesus, after His death and resurrection, went and preached, not to men in the flesh, but to SPIRITS in prison; not to angels, not to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob or any of the other Old Testament saints, but to those men who had been DISOBEDIENT to the preaching of Noah in the days preceding the flood!  And what did He preach to these long-departed spirits?  Well, I Peter 4:6 certainly answers this question!  The passage is only a few verses further on from the one under consideration, and as Peter continues speaking of the same subject we are informed, “For this cause was the Gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit...”  The message is clear though these were dead so far as their flesh bodies were concerned, and lived on only in the spirit, but not in the flesh, THE GOSPEL WAS PREACHED UNTO THEM that they might be judged, or dealt with, the same as men who were alive in the flesh.  Please notice, precious friend of mine, it was not doom or gloom or judgment or eternal damnation that was preached to these, but THE GOSPEL, the GOOD NEWS WHICH IS THE POWER OF GOD UNTO SALVATION, was PREACHED even to these spirits in prison, the disobedient ones! 

            It is written in the plainest of plain language.  But there are some people who will not understand plain speech.  They do not believe that Christ went down into hell to preach the gospel to dis-embodied spirits of wicked and rebellious men; they think He went somewhere down in the heart of the earth to rescue Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and all the Old Testament righteous people out of a place called Paradise and take them up to heaven.  He may have done that, but there is not one shred of evidence for it anywhere in the pages of God’s wonderful Book.  The Bible nowhere says that.  He went down into the lowest hell, and He was there on business!  Wherever He went He did business for God.  He went there to begin His new age deliverance ministry among a group of spirits that had been imprisoned there for two thousand three hundred and fifty years.  He went and preached to the disobedient in the days of Noah, who were so bad that God could not wait for them to die, and another generation to arise, but in order to re-establish some order on the earth He had to sweep them all off the earth into hell.  The fact that they remained there so long indicates the depth of their wickedness.  They were ignorant and rebellious and would not learn of God.  They were hateful and violent and perverted and murderers, boastful and vile in the extreme, and would not obey any law of God or man. And, blessed be God! it was the Gospel that was preached to them, informing them of the death and resurrection of God’s Son, who was given as a propitiation for them, and that God had faith in the blood of His Son to deliver them from the bondage of sin and death and hell into the glorious liberty of the children of God.  There is no other reason to preach the Gospel (Good News) to anyone, anywhere!  He led captive a host of captives, He brought under His dominion a vast company of men who had been captives of the devil, and carried them through the gates of hell to a glorious ascension into the realms of God’s Spirit (Eph. 4:8-10).  Hallelu-yah! 

            The law is done away in Christ.  For the man in Christ the only law is the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus which makes us free from the law of sin and death.  I said earlier that there are only two ways in the universe, in the wisdom of the Almighty, to deal with evil it must be either restrained or it must be remedied.  In Christ is found the eternal remedy.  In Christ men are forgiven, cleansed, changed, transformed, and made whole by the power of His Life.  But for every man outside of Christ the law remains.  I say for those who do wrong, if they do not embrace God’s government of grace, then the next thing to do is give them the law.  This club is not administered by the sons of God, for the sons of God are not God’s policemen, neither God’s bailiffs nor His prison guards.  Sons are not called to that ministry.  I would have a real problem being a sheriff or a policeman.  Jesus never administered the law, He never enforced any of its demands, nor inflicted any of its penalties.  His whole administration was one of mercy, forgiveness, love and restoration.  The sons of God are on the side of the remedy, not the side of restraint or punishment.  I have no condemnation of those who serve in law enforcement.  It is ordained by God!  But sons have a different calling, a higher calling.  Sons are always on the mercy and deliverance side, for that is the order of the Priesthood of Melchizedek which is the order of the Son of God.  God has committed unto us the word of reconciliation and the ministry of reconciliation.  But to human government God has committed the ministry of restraint.  The law administration must in God’s due time pass away before the all-conquering Light of Life.  There will never be enough law enforcement officers to stem the present overflowing tide of evil in the world!  This darkness can only be dispelled by the blazing light of God’s Christ.  And His light is now arising in His elect at this junction of ages to dispel the darkness.  We may expect tremendous things from His bountiful hand during this new Day! 


            As we follow on to know the Lord in this new and living way, it is with confidence that the Spirit of the Most High will direct our steps and open our understanding.  We are at the point in history, at the breaking of the dawn of a new age, when only God can lead us step by step into the NEW ORDER He has prepared for us.  No man but Jesus has trodden this way before.  Only HE can teach us the path of sonship, and direct our steps on the highway to Zion, for there are no other manifested sons to lead the way.  I do not say that the words of Jesus which are contained in the four Gospels are the only words that God has ever inspired; for I believe that God inspired all the holy prophets from the beginning of the world before Christ came.  I believe that He inspired apostles and prophets and teachers after He came.  I believe that God still inspires men and women who walk with Him in intimacy of fellowship and vital union today.  I believe that inspiration is as continuous and perpetual as God; God’s inspiration will never cease.  “There is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding” (Job 32:8).  If I believed anything else, I should realize that I were talking in direct conflict with my own experience. 

            I desire to speak with perfect frankness, for I do not wish to be misunderstood.  I do not believe that God’s elect today is bound either by the example of Jesus Christ in the flesh, or of the first twelve apostles, or of the New Testament Church.  While Christ certainly left us an example, that we should follow in His steps where the great principles of sonship are concerned, if you attempt to bind me to the exact modes of Jesus Christ and to follow in His example in all things, I will not do it.  Jesus the Christ was born in a stable and laid in a manger, was He not?  Am I to go away and have my next baby my wife will never have any more babies, but if she had any more babies am I to go away and hunt for a stable in which our baby is to be born?  Am I myself disqualified from manifested sonship because I was born in a bedroom in a brick house in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania?  Because my Lord Jesus Christ in the days of His flesh had no place to lay His head, am I to sleep in the open air on the mountain tops and out in the deserts, just because I want to follow the example of Jesus? 

            Because God by His boundless grace through many years enabled me to travel and speak in homes, halls, conference rooms and  church buildings, am I going to say, “The firstborn Son spoke only on the mountain sides, and by the lakes; if the people are to hear me, they have to all come to the mountain.”  That is not it at all.  We are to follow Christ in the same Faith, in the same Hope, in the same Love, in the same Nature, in the same Wisdom, in the same Patience, in the same Obedience, in the same Vision, in the same Relationship with the Father, in the same Power, in the same spirit of Forbearance and Mercy and Compassion for humanity, and with the same Courage in fighting sin and sorrow and death. 

            If you tell me that I am to follow the example of the apostles, I say No, I will not do any such thing.  The apostle Paul, for instance, went away and shaved his head at Cenchrea  for a vow.  How undesirable it would be for me to go away and shave off the little hair that is left on my head just because I want to follow the example of Paul!  The apostle Paul did a number of things I would not care to do.  He rather boasted that he did not have a wife.  There is no doubt that he was a widower, because he would not have been a member of the Rabbinical Council, and would never have been an official witness at the death of Stephen, consenting to that death, unless he had been a Rabbi of rank.  A member of that Council must needs be a married man.  I agree with some of the Bible scholars, that the apostle Paul was probably a widower at the time he wrote the epistle in which he writes about the virtues of not having a wife.  But I am a married man and have no leading of God and no desire to be otherwise.  Am I to follow Paul, or the Spirit? 

            I am not going to follow in the footsteps of Peter, because I think we may learn a few things, and keep away from doing some things that Peter did.  I hold, and I teach, and I will teach, that the example of even Christ Himself is not to be wholly followed.  It is not as many as are led by what Jesus did two thousand years ago, who are the sons of God; but “as many as are led by the Spirit, they are the sons of God.”  We are not to have enforced poverty because Jesus made Himself poor.  We are not to gather around us twelve disciples because He had twelve disciples.  We are not to work at getting ourselves assassinated because He was hung on a cross by a mob.  If we are LED BY THE SPIRIT to offer ourselves in a martyr’s death, gladly will we do so; but we shall not seek it as a means of following in Jesus’ footsteps.  We are not to expect to have a ministry that lasts only three and one half years, nor to ascend into heaven before our disciples just because He did.  We may never spit in the dirt and make clay to anoint a blind man’s eyes.  We may never go to a Convention and with whips chase out those who sell books and tapes (although I have been tempted!), as Jesus did those who sold doves and pigeons in the temple in Jerusalem.  May I wax bold to add that there is not even any need to try to duplicate precisely the way the Churches were structured in the early days, or the way their ministries functioned.  The order of sonship and the priesthood of Melchizedek are not concerned with orders of eldership, whether we meet in a home or in a conventional church building, how the chairs are arranged,  nor even with orders of the so-called “five-fold ministry.”  It is not a priesthood after the flesh.  It is an outflow of  life after the Spirit.  It does not concern itself with outward form; it breathes forth as an essence.  Jesus wasn’t a Son because He had twelve disciples, or preached off the bow of a boat.  He was a Son because He manifested and ministered the LIFE OF THE FATHER. 

            In the religious systems the order, the method, the technique, the organization, the creed, the liturgy is all-important.  And in the so-called “New Testament Churches” it is no different they just have a little different system, one from two thousand years ago, they are trying to reproduce.  But in the Melchizedekian Order THE ONE WAY IS THE LIFE OF THE LORD.  We must live and move and have our being  in the life of the Spirit.  Forget the outward forms!  This is why there are no patterns, no methods, no precedents of any kind established in the New Testament for the ministry of manifested sonship.  Jesus never did the same thing in exactly the same way twice.  When He healed blind Bartimaeus He merely spoke the word, “Go thy way, thy faith hath made thee whole,” and he received his sight.  But when He healed the two blind men in the house He touched their eyes in addition to speaking a word.  And when He healed the man born blind from birth He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, and commanded him to go wash in the pool of Siloam. 

            So what is the best way, the right way, the sonship way to heal a blind man?  No one can tell you not even Jesus!  What is the best way to preach the Gospel?  No one can tell you, although the seminaries think they can!  What is the best way to hold a meeting?  Again no one can tell you.  Jesus never had a song leader or worship director, never by singing, clapping, or worshipping “created an environment” for the Father to manifest Himself in their midst.  Yet, if you were to ask me what the right way is, I would have to say that I do not know.  I really do not know what is the right way to do anything.  I do not know the right way to meet humanity’s needs, or solve the saint’s problems, or bring people into the present truth.  In the Bible you cannot find THE RIGHT WAY to minister or to do the work of the Kingdom.  This is because the Kingdom of God comes by the dispensation of the Spirit.  It does not come by outward observation by forms, methods, or techniques.  What ever you do in the Kingdom, what ever way you use, wherever you go, it must be by the Spirit.  The Spirit is never traditional, predictable, or static He is always original, always fresh, new, and transcendental.  He may never repeat what He did yesterday, or the way He did it.  In these last years, wherever I have gone, I have never paid any attention to the way.  Regardless of the way people meet, or don’t meet, or minister, or serve the Lord, or walk with God, it does not mean anything.  The real question is: Are they led by the Spirit?  Is there the flow of His Life?  Is there the manifestation and quickening of Himself?  What is GOD doing?  And HOW is HE doing it?  I look to see what God IS DOING, rather than trying to introduce some “order” for God to move in. 

            One of the most intriguing descriptions of the unique character of the High Priesthood of Jesus is found in Hebrews 7:17 wherein it is stated, “Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.”  The order of Melchizedek is an order of “King-Priests.”  “For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God...first being by interpretation King of Righteousness, and after that...King of Peace” (Heb. 7:1-2).  There were the Levitical priests of Israel and they were of the Aaronic order.  But when the Kingdom of God came through Jesus, the priesthood of Aaron was terminated and replaced with the MELCHIZEDEK PRIESTHOOD.  Jesus is a King-Priest after the “order” of Melchizedek.  Aaron was made a priest after the law of a carnal commandment, but Jesus is made priest after the power of an endless (indissoluble) life (Heb. 7:16).  The order of Melchizedek is the ORDER OF LIFE. 

            May the Lord have mercy upon all who cherish the hope of sonship that we may be delivered from anything other than the life of this priesthood.  Christ Jesus is a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek, which is after the power of an indissoluble life.  He is the High Priest of this order, and there can be no High Priest apart from a priesthood.  The writer to the Hebrews tells us that the order of Melchizedek is the order of the Son of God.  Just as the firstborn Son is the High Priest of the Melchizedekian Priesthood, so are the other sons of God the body of this glorious Priesthood of Life.  They are kings who reign by life and priests who minister life.  Of these it is written, “Thou hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth” (Rev. 5:10).  It is this dual order of King-Priest that identifies these overcoming ones as pertaining to the order of Melchizedek.  We must learn this one lesson, that the Melchizedek Priesthood is known only by the OUTFLOW OF HIS LIFE.  Then we will enter into the Holiest of all to abide there in His presence until we come out from His presence with the heavenly and eternal bread and wine to minister to creation’s needs.  The order of Melchizedek is not in any way related to so-called New Testament Church order.  It is more than that, it is something of life, the order of life, the order brought forth by life, something living, vibrant, imperishable, incorruptible, immortal, celestial, divine, sovereign, transcendental.  We are conscious that God is bringing something new and glorious into being.  The church order has never produced one manifested son of God.  God is bringing something into this earth that is far, far beyond anything we know.  He is birthing a manchild, a priesthood, a kingship, a  government, a brand new order.  It will make right everything that has been wrong.  It will make everything as God planned it to be.  It will bring righteous judgment, it will bring mercy, and wisdom, and deliverance, and power and glory to creation beyond our fondest hopes and dreams or wildest imaginations.  IT WILL SET CREATION FREE.  The great contrast in the book of Hebrews is between the law and the order of Melchizedek.  The Kingdom of God can never come by law, for law brings bondage, the consciousness of sin, and death.  The Kingdom of God is the REIGN OF LIFE which brings deliverance, liberty, righteousness, peace and joy.   


            A dear sister in Christ, Michelle Sperber, has graciously given me permission to share one of her beautiful parables which speaks so eloquently of this Kingdom order and ministry of Life.  She writes: “There was once a Kingdom down by the sea by the name of Peace.  It wasn’t a big Kingdom, but it was a happy one; and all the people rested in the Knowledge of Good.  The King whose name was Teachable Spirit was married to Queen Tender Heart, and they had two beautiful girls, Harmony and Grace, and two boys, Trusting and Loyal. 

            “Every day Harmony and Grace  would sing songs to the little ducks that would gather by the pool on the right side of the castle while Trusting and Loyal taught dancing lessons to the chickadees.  Now when the chickadees heard the lovely songs, they were filled with so much joy that they would flap their wings so hard that they would exhaust themselves.  New Vigor, Trusting’s faithful companion, would transform them when they fell to the ground, and they would be enabled to learn the dance which they yearned to do since Trusting and Loyal began teaching.  The dance was called ‘Together.’  The dance received such wide acclaim that all the animals of the Kingdom desired to learn it, so before long, every animal, big and small, came to Trusting and Loyal to be taught ‘Together.’  Even the fishes of the sea were compelled to leave their habitation to learn the new dance and everyone was empowered to overcome all natural limitations. 

            “But in the neighboring Kingdom, the mother of Teachable Spirit, whose name was Bondage Law, ruled.  There was no singing or dancing in her Kingdom only arguments and quarrels, sadness and misery.  Her Kingdom was called Tyranny.  No one who heard of it would dare pass through, for armed guards with iron teeth, that could bite a man in ten pieces, prevented any from entering.  Now, Bondage Law was very unhappy with her daughter-in-law, Tender Heart, and her grandchildren, Harmony and Grace, were a real disappointment to her.  She plotted day and night how to change her family and most fervently, how she could kill Tender Heart. 

            “One day after consulting with Fear and Torment, Bondage Law visited her innocent family.  She planned on overcoming Tender Heart having Fear and Torment as able task masters.  When Bondage Law arrived at the castle, her son Teachable Spirit was out riding his horse, Easy Going.  Fear and Torment took Easy Going by such surprise that he reared up and threw his rider to the ground.  Teachable Spirit’s neck was snapped and he died instantly.  When Tender Heart, who was looking over the balcony, saw all that had happened to her husband, grief overcame her; and in that moment her heart left her.  It was taken away by Sorrow and was brought into the darkest room of the dungeon.  A black veil was draped over the now stone heart which once was a vibrating, living one, while an invisible flashing sword prevented anyone from coming near it. 

            “A proclamation went out over the land that King Teachable Spirit was dead and that Queen Tender Heart’s name had been changed to No Heart.  No Heart, with the insistence of her mother-in-law, Bondage Law, who was at her side continuously, changed the name of the Kingdom to War.  For you see, now that Tender Heart had lost her heart and name, Bondage Law ruled both Kingdoms of Tyranny and War. 

            “Now on the day of the King’s death, a dove whose name was Hope was sent from the realm of the most high with the message that the Kingdom of Peace could be restored if the black veil was lifted.  There was only one possibility that this could happen, for only the entrance of a king could cause the sword to cease flashing.  The invisible sword would cut asunder anyone who was not a king.  So the dove flew into the Kingdom of War, that had every man now against each other, looking for one who could marry the Queen.  There was no one to be found, even though those were the days that kings were such not because of what family they came from, but because of their nature.  He who overcame his natural tendencies became a king. 

            “Hope saw that there was none on earth who fit the qualification but she remembered one in heaven whose name was Goodwill.  Upon thinking of him and then calling his name, he immediately appeared.  Dressed in the armor of charity, loving kindness, and meekness, he was ready to follow Hope into the neighboring land of Faith.  It was in the land of Faith that an army could be prepared to do battle against the inhabitants of Tyranny.  The plans were quickly made with General Integrity and Major Honor.  All the overcomers were gathered together, mustered with Brave and Courage, the 100th Battalion’s squad leaders.

            “They all marched under the Banner of Love, and because they had such power not a weapon was lifted against them all enemies fled at their sight.  The Hands of Glory came from the invisible realm to assist Goodwill as he boldly entered the dungeon.  Goodwill rejoiced at seeing the Hands of Glory, for it was written in the Book of Books that only the Hands of Glory could remove the veil.  In the twinkling of an eye, the black veil was lifted.  The stone heart that had stopped its beating became a vibrating, pulsating giver of life again, immediately returning to its home in Tender Heart.  A shout of victory came forth in one voice from all the inhabitants of the Kingdom.  All were made whole again by this one act. 

            “Goodwill had compassion even on Bondage Law and because the Hands of Glory were with him, he had the power to change her name.  ‘Bondage, you shall no longer be Bondage Law, but you shall be called Law of Life,’ he announced with Forgiveness, his best friend.  ‘All those who need to be set free from the law of sin and death will be sent to you, Law of Life, and your Kingdom will be called Righteousness.’ 

            “And it came to pass that one year later, King Goodwill and Love Fulfilled bore a son.  It was Law of Life who inspired his name, Joy, and gave him a Kingdom.  It was in the Kingdom of Joy that all three Kingdoms of Righteousness, Peace and Joy became one.  An invitation was sent into all the world beckoning everyone to come to the Kingdom of Happily Ever After, and King Joy issued this one command: ‘All passports must be obtained in the Land of Faith and upon arrival to the Kingdom, this proclamation shall be heard:

                                                            ‘GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST

                                        AND ON EARTH, PEACE AND GOODWILL TOWARD MEN!

                                                               WELCOME TO ETERNAL LIFE!’” 

                                                                                                                                    end quote. 

            Let it be thoroughly known and understood by every man and woman who names the name of Christ that the only purpose of the law is to give the knowledge of sin.  “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.  Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin” (Rom. 3:19-20).  The law imparts the knowledge of sin by contrasting the weakness of the flesh, what we are and do by human nature, with the pure and holy and righteous nature of God.  The law is weak through the flesh, Paul said.  Man is chained and locked in to the law of sin and death.  Mankind doesn’t have to learn how to sin, that’s all he knows how to do.  Mankind doesn’t have to learn how to die, that’s all he can do you’re born and you sin, you sin and you die.  No one taught you how to steal, no one taught you how to fly off the handle and say ungodly things, no one taught you how to lie, no one instructed you how to be filled with lust and passion, no one gave you lessons on how to be greedy and self-centered, no one told you at two years of age how to claim your turf and kick and scream if anyone stepped on it.  You’re born with it.  It’s part of the make-up of the natural man.   

            The law has never, ever, saved any man anywhere from being a sinner.  If by nature you are righteous, you need no law.  Law is irrelevant to the righteous man.  New creatures do not need old laws.  On the other hand, if you by nature are unrighteous, the law can in no way help you.  All it can do is proclaim your guilt and punish you.  It has no power to make you obey.   

            Christians are always interested in what is going on in the world.  They are always trying to legislate a righteousness of God upon those who don’t even know God.  But I have news for you.  Legislation that is, law does nothing more than make sin exceedingly sinful (Rom. 7:13).  God is not the one who is laying law on the world in this hour.  God never did lay the law on the world.  He only gave the law to His people Israel, and He gave it to them to teach them what sin is.  The law never did and never could take away sin.  The Lord brought the law to its result, its fulfillment, its completion, its conclusion and its end in Jesus Christ.  “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth” (Rom. 10:4).  We must understand that when Jesus came as the firstborn among many brethren He concluded the law, He met the law’s every righteous requirement by the power of divine life, and Himself became the righteousness of God, available to us now by the spirit of sonship.  New creation men are partakers of the nature of Christ, they are no longer natural men under law.  If you are under the law you are not a son.  If you are the son of God, you are not under law.

            The problem the church world has today is that they are out trying to change the behavior of unregenerated men by laying the law upon them!  Most Christians glory in death.  They find death and condemnation glorious.  For, you see, the law, even the ten commandments that people would like to see posted in every classroom, court of law, and government building, is, according to Paul, “the ministration of death and condemnation, written and engraven in stones” (II Cor. 3:6-9).  But God has no law for the world in this hour.  Oh, yes, there is still the restraining law of human government, but GOD by the ministration of His  Spirit has no law for mankind.   “For if that which is done away (the law) was glorious, much more that which remaineth (the Spirit) is glorious” (II Cor. 3:11).  God is working with His people, His elect, His chosen, His seed that He has destined before the foundation of the world  to become His sons.  He has delegated all responsibility for law and order to the kingdoms of this world.  The only law in His Kingdom is the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus!  That is the power and glory of the Kingdom of God. 

            The church world today is following some really strange paths, trying to lay upon the world the law that God gave Israel under the Old Covenant, which law was never, ever, given to the world, and which was even less ever given to the Church, and which is now abolished.  It is a gross stupidity, it is blatant idiocy, it is an incredible absurdity to try and establish the Kingdom of God by law!  You see, rather than telling those who are getting abortions that we are working to get the law changed, we need to be preaching peace by Jesus Christ so that men will come to know the love of God that is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost.  Our business is to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and bring transforming power into men’s lives.  As sons of God it is not our business to legislate how much a man can drink, where he can drink it, how much a man can smoke, whether he can carry a gun, or to set penalties and punishments for any number of sins.  These issues are somebody’s business,  they are just  not OURS!  Christians love to jump on these “legislative” and “political” bandwagons but you won’t find Jesus on any of them!  Jesus did not come to lay the law on the world, God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.  Salvation that is the business of the Kingdom of God.  May all who cherish the beautiful hope of sonship say today with the firstborn Son, “Wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?”  God does not send His sons into the world to tell the world what they can and cannot do, and what the penalties will be if they do or do not do it He is bringing SAVIOURS up on mount Zion, and it is by salvation that the mount of Esau will be judged and the Kingdom shall be the Lord’s (Obadiah 21).  That is God’s strange work. 

            Yet, there are brethren who insist that the Kingdom of God will be an age governed by the law of God.  By this they mean  laws given by Moses.  At the very least they mean the Ten Commandments.  Let us examine this theory.  We shall suppose, for the sake of argument, that I have a friend in Central America who owns a large banana plantation.  His name is Carlos.  Carlos has raised bananas all of his life and has become independently wealthy with his enterprise.  Now, let us further suppose that, because of our close friendship, Carlos decides that he would like to come and live near us here in El Paso, Texas.  He purposes  to sell his banana plantation in Guatemala and move to El Paso, where he intends to purchase a large tract of land to put in a banana plantation!  I warn my friend, “You cannot raise bananas in West Texas.  We are in the middle of a desert and during the winter the night temperatures dip into the 20’s.  The bananas will die either from thirst or from freezing.  There is no way you can have a banana plantation in West Texas! 

            My friend, however, is unconvinced and implacable.  He has never been in a desert, nor has he ever in his life seen freezing temperatures.  His entire life has been spent in Guatemala and his whole world has been bananas.  He believes he can devise a way to make his project work.  So he moves to El Paso lock, stock, and barrel.  Soon he has purchased a large ranch nearby and the time comes for him to plant his banana trees.  The trees do grow for a while, but the leaves are yellow and the plants stunted.  Then, one fair October night, the final catastrophe strikes the first fall freeze arrives in all its fury.  The poor man walks out and views the devastation.  His whole crop is a failure.  All his toil has been for nothing.  This year he will have NO BANANAS!  Carlos, however, is an incurable optimist.  After all, this is but one try, and perhaps next year will be different.  But next year is not different; again he loses his crop and doesn’t get even one banana.  Now, let us suppose that Carlos plants a banana crop every year for fifteen hundred years and each year the result is the same no bananas!  Would he then, I ask, be justified in trying just one more time?  The answer is obvious. 

            Thirty-five centuries ago at mount Sinai, amidst flaming fire and quaking earth, God gave Israel the Law.  Under the leadership of faithful servants of God, the nation of Israel at times seemed fairly enthusiastic in their effort to keep the Law and enjoy the blessings that it provided.  Doubtless, in every generation there were individuals who endeavored earnestly  to maintain their covenant relationship with God upon the basis of keeping the Law.  But they all failed.  To keep the Law was beyond the ability of any member of the fallen race!  God knew this; but He wanted the Israelites to try to keep the Law, for He wished to demonstrate the need for a mighty change within their heart and nature.  The Old Covenant failed, not because the law was faulty, but because of the weakness of the flesh.  Israel lived as a nation under that Law for fifteen hundred years.  And in those fifteen hundred long centuries not one single Israelite was ever able to perfectly keep that Law.  Not one!  Not one in fifteen hundred years!  NO BANANAS!  And now, O fools, and slow of heart to believe, you come to inform me that God will establish His Kingdom by PLACING THE WHOLE WORLD UNDER LAW!  Hear it!  Oh, my friends, hear it!  “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law; that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God...for by the law is the knowledge of sin...for ALL HAVE SINNED, AND COME SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD” (Rom. 3:19-20,23).  Have Paul and I said enough to STOP EVERY MOUTH?  The Law bore absolutely no fruit in fifteen hundred years.  Would God now be justified in trying it one more time in the Kingdom? 

            Dearly beloved brethren, only the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has the power to make mankind free from the law of sin and death.  Only as men are raised from the dead by the power of the everlasting Father who raised up Christ from the dead, can any man fulfill the righteousness of the law by walking in newness of life.  Let us not be so stupid as to believe that the manifested sons of God will be dispensers and enforcers of law.  The terrible truth is that the law is the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, that mysterious tree in the very precincts of Eden that brings naught but the knowledge of sin and death to all who reach forth their hand to partake of it.  But, thank God! there is another tree, the Tree of Life.   

            The wonderful Tree of Life in Eden was, as is said of Christ, “in the world” but “not of the world.”  The life-giving fruit of this Tree was accessible to man but had absolutely nothing to do with the realm of earthiness, for it was heaven’s own divine life brought into man’s world and made available to him.  In the Tree of Life God invited man to find Him as the source and center of life, that in union with Him God would be at once both the indwelling power of life and the environment in which man would live, and move, and have his being.  By eating of the Tree of Life man would be full of light, abounding in heavenly wisdom and knowledge, fearful in power and dominion, ethereal as a spirit (Jn. 3:8) and shining in the image of God.  As George Hawtin once pointed out, the fruit of this wonderful Tree would make men radiant with the resplendent glory of God as was Jesus, the last Adam, at the transfiguration, whose face shone as the sun and His raiment was as the light.  The mighty power of this Tree would raise man up beyond any possibility of sin, corruption and death into the incorruptible and divine life demonstrated by Jesus when He arose from the dead in a body of glorification.  In this Tree of Life the effulgent perfumes of the heavenly realm would be fragrance and life to man’s nostrils.  He would taste spiritualities and touch celestial things.  The wisdom and power of God would be wide open to him and he would walk in the atmosphere and glory of celestial realms.  The gates of that realm would never be shut by day or night.  The heavens would be opened over his head and he would walk in the power and majesty of God Almighty. 

            This was the glory of the Tree of Life in Eden!  Trees in scripture are often used to represent men, and the Tree of Life represents a wonderful person one with ENDLESS LIFE, DIVINE LIFE, CELESTIAL LIFE.  It is written of Melchizedek that he had neither beginning of days nor end of life, but abides a priest continually (Heb. 7:3).  It states that “he liveth” (Heb. 7:8).  And again it says that the order of Melchizedek is “after the power of an endless life” (Heb. 7:16).  Furthermore, it is revealed that the order of Melchizedek IS THE ORDER OF THE SON OF GOD.  Other scriptures confirm these mentioned, but I point these out to emphasize the fact that life is one of the chief signs of the order of Melchizedek.  Therefore, it is my deep conviction that the Tree of Life in the garden of Eden represented the MELCHIZEDEK PRIESTHOOD, and upon the disobedience of Adam and Eve they were banished from the Garden and Cherubim with a flaming sword which turned in every direction were stationed at Eden’s gate to guard the way to the Tree of Life.  In their unclean and corrupted condition they could not partake of that great Priesthood which both ensured eternal life and ministered eternal life.  And thus it has been through long millenniums, the Melchizedek Priesthood has been guarded and kept secret and untouched until another Priest after the order of Melchizedek, even Jesus the Saviour, should arise and clear the way for partaking of that glorious life.  Of course, there are some qualifications and requirements, even now, for partaking fully of that blessed realm.  The Spirit saith, “To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the TREE OF LIFE, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God” (Rev. 2:7).  Not everyone eats of it, only those who are prepared to eat of it.  The promise is not of eternal life shouting and dancing up and down the streets of Glory-land, but of attaining to the power and glory of THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK. 

            Hebrews 7:11-15 tells us that we cannot be perfected by the Levitical priesthood.  In the order of Aaron there was a continual succession of priests, one dying and another taking his place.  One by one they grew old and died: the eye, often filmed with tears, was closed; the heart stood still; the hands crossed meekly on the breast.  Aaron died on Hor, and all his successors in mystic procession followed him.  The office remained, but the occupants passed.  That characterized the whole system; it bore the mark of change and weakness and death.  It could not effect anything that was really abiding and permanent, much less anything that was eternal.  And it was all because of sin.  Every High Priest of the order of Aaron had to offer sacrifice first for his own sins, and then for the people’s.  The  whole inner life of the worshipper was what the system was, subject to sin and failure and decay.   

            Therefore another Order of priesthood must arise.  Jesus is the High Priest of this new Order.  The glorious statement is made that another priest arises after the similitude of Melchizedek who is made “after the power of an endless life.”  This brings us to what is implied by the word “endless.”  This is the Greek word AKATALUTOS which means INDISSOLUBLE.  It was in the power of an indissoluble life that Jesus was constituted a priest after the Order of Melchizedek.  As the writer to the Hebrews has pointed out, on earth Jesus was not a priest.  He would have needed to be of the tribe of Levi in order to be a priest during the days of His flesh on earth, because that priesthood at that time was still in force.  Nor could He at that time have been a priest after the order of Melchizedek!  On earth His life was dissoluble, or He could not have died for us.  Now His life has become “indissoluble”; and now He cannot die.  The mystery of the Melchizedekian Priesthood is the mystery of ETERNAL LIFE.   

            Christ Jesus Himself is the Eternal One, who abideth Priest forever.  His priesthood is unchangeable, for His priesthood is an everlasting one, ever living, ever active.  What a contrast to all the Levitical priests, on whose graves this epitaph may ever be inscribed: “Not suffered to continue by reason of death.”   How different is our High Priest, after the Order of Melchizedek!  Death tried to master Him; but He could not be holden of it.  “He continueth ever.”  “He ever liveth.”  “He is a priest forever.”  WHEREFORE HE IS ABLE TO SAVE COMPLETELY THEM THAT DRAW NEAR UNTO GOD BY HIM.  Save us completely!  What a thought!  Full salvation spirit, soul, and body!  Nothing left untouched, untransformed.  It is by virtue of His QUALITY OF LIFE that He is able to start the work of redemption and also bring it to its completeness.  Because He is of an endless indissoluble, incorruptible life, He can bring all that He ministers unto into this same endless and incorruptible life. 

            Praise God, the Melchizedek Priesthood BRINGS PERFECTION.  Jesus lives in the Spirit as High Priest in the power of an endless life.  And Christ dwells within us in the power of an endless life.  Each work He does within us He is able to do in the power of an endless life.  Nothing can stand before that transforming life.  What hope this evokes within us!  He breathes His own life into us.  He works within us AS A LIFE, as our own life, so that it is our very nature to radiate the glory and power of God.  His life as our life within us is the power that must triumph over all the powers of sin and death. 

            What a glorious path is marked out for us!  THE SONS OF GOD ARE A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD.  THEIR PRIESTHOOD IS AFTER THE ORDER OF MELCHISEDEK.  The High Priest of this Order has run on before and entered the veil into the Holiest of all.  And we are running also and are entering that veil.  Something marvelous, amazing and stupendous is about to happen, beloved, as we press on into God.  God shall surely and truly usher us into the fullness of the    Order of Melchizedek.  Through His flesh we too shall enter fully the unseen and eternal realm of God and learn of its mystery.  Having entered this realm, we shall deliver creation from the bondage of corruption.  Therefore I say that the great Melchizedekian Priesthood Ministry will be functioning to the full when the priests of this Order have fully put on immortality and incorruption (I Cor. 15:53).  This will be the great manifestation of the sons of God that all creation “groaneth and travaileth in pain” for (Rom. 8:18-25).

            The Lord is in the process of bringing His overcoming remnant into THE POWER OF AN ENDLESS LIFE.  It is greater than the forgiveness of sins, greater than the new birth, greater than Pentecostal power.  It is greater than power to speak in tongues, prophesy, heal the sick, cast out devils, and do signs and wonders.  It is greater than witnessing power, apostolic power, and even greater than power to raise the dead.  Soon, very soon, those powers will no longer be needed because the manifested sons of God shall arise in the power of the Melchizedekian Priesthood which is the power of an incorruptible life, to deliver creation from the bondage of corruption.  A world is coming where there is no limited measure of the Spirit, no “in part” works and manifestations of power in the gift realm.  There will be no need to heal the sick, cast out devils, multiply bread and fish, or raise the dead it is an eternal realm where everlasting life will flow fully and freely to all creation.  Death is not the grave or the coffin DEATH IS THIS WHOLE REALM IN WHICH WE HAVE EXISTED EVER SINCE THE TRANSGRESSION IN EDEN.  Mankind groans to be delivered, not merely from sin and sickness and trouble and the grave, but out of death, out of the DEATH REALM altogether. 

            We can only speculate what it will be like to be in the full power and glory of incorruptible life.  God is moving to bring His holy remnant into the fullness where Christ Jesus now dwells.  No Christian alive has ever come to this.  There will be a full and complete severing from the earth realm, from the carnal mind, from fleshly passions, from lack and immaturity, from the death realm with all its claims.  God wants a free, heavenly, celestial people right here on earth, a body of sons totally detached from all that is earthly, limited, and temporal.  It is possible to move into a resurrection realm that places us beyond time, beyond the thinking and power of the world, beyond human nature, beyond the bondage of health, security, and death itself.  Is that not the greatest power God can give to mankind to make him an eternal, spiritual being in the very glory of God?  And God’s order to accomplish this is very simple Jesus Christ; then His body, the manifested sons of God; and finally all creation.  Jesus ministers this power to us; we minister it to creation.  THIS IS THE POWER AND GLORY OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD!


To be continued...                                                                                                                                                                       J.



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