the things concerning the kingdom of God..."
KINGDOM OF GOD
THE KINGDOM COMES
“And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven,
saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of
His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever” (Rev. 15:11).
The “seventh trump” is the last trump — the conclusion of
God’s great Kingdom process. The
day shall surely come when the kingdoms of this
world, the rulerships of this world,
the government of the United States of America, the governments of Europe, the
governments of Mexico and Central and South America, the governments of Asia,
the governments of Africa — the kingdoms of this world, the kingdoms of all the nations in your World Atlas —
ARE BECOME THE KINGDOMS OF OUR LORD, AND OF HIS CHRIST.
They are all His now by ownership, as creations of His hand and under His
sovereignty, but they are not His in a “Kingdom” relationship.
There is a time in God’s great Kingdom program when that truth is
proclaimed out of the heavens: “The kingdoms of this world ARE BECOME the
kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ.”
That means that whatever is true of any man who has “entered the
Kingdom” will be true of all the nations of this world, including both their
inhabitants and their governments.
Who is the Lord? Jesus is our Lord, for truly “God hath made this same Jesus...both LORD AND
CHRIST” (Acts 2:36). Not only do
the Kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our Lord, they also become the
kingdoms of “His Christ”. There
are two items listed here as being involved in the rulership of the whole world.
The whole world is to become converted to the dominion of
OUR LORD and to the dominion of
HIS CHRIST — His anointed ones, His body. Christ
means “the anointed.” “But
the anointing which ye have received of
Him abideth in you...” (I Jn. 2:27). “HE (Jesus) shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.”
Those who have received the anointing of the Spirit that rested upon our
glorious Head and Lord, those who grow up unto maturity in Christ Jesus as the
sons of God, form the corporate body of “His
Christ”. Let it be thoroughly known and understood that our
Christ is the Lord Jesus, whereas His
Christ is His anointed body which in union with Him walks in His spirit,
hears His voice, puts on His mind, is transformed into His image, stands in His
nature, power and glory, and does His will upon the earth.
They are the sons of God. All
nations, all the kingdoms of “this world,” shall be brought under the
Kingdom dominion of the Lord Jesus and His Christ.
That is the immutable word of our infallible God!
Do you suppose that one fair morning some sons of God will show up in
Washington, D.C., walk into the White House, the Capitol, and the Pentagon,
requesting a meeting with the President, the members of Congress and the Joint
Chiefs of Staff? When all are
assembled the sons announce, “Gentlemen, the Lord has sent us here and we are
now taking over the entire country of the United States of America in the name
of Jesus Christ. We hereby dismiss
the President and his cabinet, the Congress, all the department secretaries, the
Joint Chiefs of Staff, and all other officials of the Federal Government.
You can all go home — we
are in charge as of 12 o’clock noon today.”
Do you think that would fly in Washington? No — God has an altogether different plan.
Our Lord Jesus Christ and His anointed body, His Christ, shall gain the
government of the world by KINGDOM POWER — by
the saving, delivering, transforming power of the Holy Ghost.
We love America. We love China. We
love Russia. We love all the
nations of America, Asia, Africa and Europe and the far-flung islands of the
sea. America will be a better
nation when our Lord and His Christ rule
it with a rod of iron. All the
nations of the earth will be more blessed, prosperous, peaceful and righteous
when the Kingdom of God rules in their
midst. In fact, they will be totally blessed, peaceful and righteous! And that is on the agenda, my friend — that
is God’s Kingdom Program in the earth!
In our recent Studies on the subject of HOW THE KINGDOM COMES we have
seen clearly that the Kingdom of God does not come by force,
it does not come by democracy, nor
does it come by law or by any other
method of human government. In this
Study we shall consider the great truth that the Kingdom does not come by any
kind of politics.
Jesus never once discussed with His disciples their relationship to the
government of Israel or to that of Rome, or what kind of political
system they should aim to set up as the Kingdom of God.
Jesus did not institute any social reform, nor did He even suggest any
political, judicial or legislative reforms.
He sanctioned no dream of a renovated government, apart from personal
spiritual regeneration. He did not
denounce the Roman despotism. He
did not interfere with existing customs and institutions. He did not directly attack governmental wrongs which
certainly were rampant. He did not
start a great crusade against the evils of those times.
He let them alone. He did
not intervene in the affairs of statecraft, because the customs, the habits of
men, the laws and institutions of society are but the expression of the human
heart. Put that right, and you make
all things new. Get the Kingdom of
God within men, and you will soon have it without.
Righteous ways, righteous acts and righteous institutions will spring
forth out of the hearts and lives of transformed
men. That is the power and the
glory of the Kingdom of God!
More than a century ago James Lewis penned these penetrating words:
“The establishment of the Kingdom of God upon earth is slow work.
It requires not that men should be busy with the affairs of other people,
but that they should come first to themselves, and mourn over the meanness of
their own nature and the vanity of their own life; not that they should crusade
against the evils of society, but weep bitter tears over their own sins; not
that they should fussily seek to put the world right, but get put right
themselves. Whether the Kingdom of
God does nor does not affect these external matters, we shall presently see.
But directly it does not deal with them.
It deals with the individual. ‘The
kingdom of God cometh not with observation’; it is hidden, internal,
spiritual. It is the establishment
of righteousness in the human soul. It
is the subjugation of the powers of man to the mind of Christ.
“Men talk of this kingdom as mystical, unreal.
Let them try it for a month! Jesus
Christ aspires to a sway such as no Caesar, Emperor, or Dictator, has ever been
able to command. A rule of marching
armies and clanging swords can do much. That grand Roman power was mighty. It could tax men and make them pay. It could stretch its scepter over distant provinces, and awe
men into submission. It could say
to one man, ‘Go,’ and he went, to another ‘Come,’ and he came.
It could command the bodies, the time, the thoughts of men.
It could send men to death, and even in his mortal pangs the poor
gladiator must cry, ‘O Caesar, dying, I salute thee!’
One thing it could not do, even though it bound captives to its chariot
wheels. There is a part of man’s
nature which coercion cannot reach; a path which the ‘lion’s whelps have not
trod.’ To that region man can
retire, and say to all invading powers, ‘Thus far shall you come and no
further.’ That is the region in
which the Kingdom of Christ prevails. He
will possess the heart of man. He
will control the passions, and govern the will, and purify the motives, and mold
the life of man. The whole nature
shall be subdued to the quality of its Lord, and all the current of man’s
being shall turn to Him. The
drunkard and drug addict shall deny his insatiable craving, the thief shall
steal no more, the liar shall speak the truth, the immoral and perverted shall
draw away from his lust, the slothful, lazy and opportunist shall devote himself
to his work, and men shall be changed, captivated, charmed by HIS WORD.
They shall prefer HIM to their chief joy!
“You will have noticed that His promises of help reach the deep,
eternal cravings of the human heart. He
has come, not to satisfy a craze, or gratify a whim, or minister to a passing
fancy, but that men might have life. The
power of the kingdom of God is the love of God in Jesus Christ. Our King comes to dwell with us, to be in us.
His throne is the heart of man. It
is not in word, in formularies, ordinances, creeds, laws, or governmental
coercion. It is in power. It
is the virtue of God in Christ Jesus which enters human weakness at the touch of
faith. It is ‘Christ in you.’
Fling open, then, the gates of your soul.
The Lord, strong and mighty — strong to deliver, mighty to save — waits to enter.
Let the King of Glory in!” —
If you entertain the crude notion that reigning with Christ means sitting
behind a desk over in Jerusalem with telephone at hand and television cameras
running, you know nothing as you ought to know of that blessed Kingdom of God
which is “not of this world” and which “comes not with outward
show,” but is “righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”
And I do not hesitate to tell you that when Christ comes in mighty power
to bring the triumph of His Kingdom into new and vaster dimensions on this earth
through the ministry of that body of sons so painstakingly and meticulously
formed under His hand of dealing throughout this present age, vast multitudes of
Christians will MISS HIS COMING because it will not conform to the manner,
purpose or result that they imagine it should be.
Like the Jews two thousand years ago, these Christians will continue on
with their religious games, singing, clapping, preaching, organizing, crusading,
and waiting for a second coming and a kingdom that will meet their demands and
fulfill their misguided expectations. Ah,
we blame the Jews for their blindness and unbelief, and of making the Word of
God of none effect through their tradition, but are there not vast multitudes of
the Lord’s people in our own day who are doing this very thing?
The Jewish nation was not ignorant of the teaching of scripture
concerning His coming and Kingdom — in fact, they were good “fundamentalists”, anxiously expecting His
arrival — but they had drifted so far from the Holy Spirit of God,
that when the day arrived they did not know it because it took the Holy Spirit
to reveal it. And as the Jews of
old failed to recognize the coming of the Lord and His Kingdom in their day,
even so a sleeping church today fails to recognize the signs and events
that herald a new and glorious and fuller manifestation of that same
Arthur Eedle from England shared the following in an issue of his paper
THE PROPHETIC TELEGRAPH. “If the
testimony of many hymns and choruses is to be believed, then Jesus is due to
receive a warm welcome on His return. In
American terminology, He will be given a ‘ticker-tape parade.’ In Britain He will be received as on a day of Royal
Coronation, with flag-waving and cheering, as He descends from the clouds with
thousands of angels in His train. But
will ‘The Crowning Day’ really be like that?
Does the Lord intend to come in such a manner to receive the admiration
of His people? A moments reflection
should be sufficient to dismiss such ideas as totally out of keeping with the
Divine Character. The image is born
of human typology, how we as humans behave towards Royalty and VIP’s.
Well, not everybody, but most of us!
“In this brief writing we shall take a look at a few very important
facts, in order to present an alternative picture of what the beginning of the
Kingdom of God is like. It may take
some by surprise. When Adam was
first created, God was enthroned in his spirit.
He received all his leading and direction from God. He looked to God as his creator and his provider, his
director and his inspirer. There
was no thought of taking things
into his own hands. At the time of
the ‘fall,’ Adam in effect took the throne from his spirit and placed it in
his soul. But God would not sit on
this throne. He would only take His
seat in man’s SPIRIT, not in his SOUL. Hence
He departed from Adam. The Divine
Life left him, and he became a creature subject to death.
Whilst God lived within him, he would live forever, because God is
immortal. But without the presence
of God in his spirit, he became subject to death.
“The soul is the seat of self-consciousness, where SELF sits on the
throne. That is why God will not
share the throne. The spirit is the
seat of God-consciousness, and only here will He sit.
After king David’s lapse from right living, he cried out to God,
saying, ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a RIGHT SPIRIT within
me’ (Ps. 51:10). He never asked
for his soul to be cleaned, mended, or renewed, because he knew that his sins
had flowed from SELF-ENTHRONEMENT in his soul.
Here is the crux of the matter. There
will be no street ceremonies, no flag waving, no heralds running here and there,
saying, ‘It’s here! Come and see!’ Why?
Because the Kingdom is INSIDE man, not for external observation (Lk.
17:20-21). God is looking for a
re-instatement of His position in man’s spirit.
He says to us in effect, ‘You cannot live without me.
If you try to run your own life, and satisfy your own desires, it will
all end in death. The only way in
which you can enjoy life with me is to give me back the reins of government.
My government is not oppressive, but gently and firmly persuasive,
because I made you, and I alone know what is best for you.’
“All of us are born with Adam’s legacy to self-rule.
The throne has remained in the human soul ever since Adam sinned, and God
does not live there. But each and
every person who is enlightened to this fact, and who desires with a whole heart
to be under God’s government, can enter a new relationship with God.
A right spirit is granted, and God begins to dwell there once again.
This is not the end of the process, however, and it is important to see
why. The majority in the
evangelical world speak about two parties, the Christians and the
Non-Christians. But this is an
artificial distinction. To accept
Christ into one’s life is just a beginning, and there is a distinct
possibility of God being subsequently dethroned.
We have seen young people ‘accept Christ’ and be baptized, only to
reinstate their own kingdom firmly in their souls within a short time.
God is not mocked. Whatever
a man sows, that shall he also reap. He
who sows to the flesh, will of the flesh reap corruption.
He who sows to the spirit shall of the spirit reap life everlasting (Gal.
6:7-8). Paul said to the Galations,
‘Are you so foolish? having begun in the spirit, are you now made perfect in
the flesh?’ (Gal. 3:3).
“God is looking for an initial commitment to Him, a ‘conversion’
experience. But He wants far more
than that! He wants there to be a
steadily growing Kingdom of God within. At
our conversion we see the need for salvation and a state of ‘NEW
MANAGEMENT’. But our hearts are
very deceptive.. We have no idea
just how much we still hold the reins. The
Lord gradually engineers our circumstances to show us who is in control. Therefore there should be a gradual replacement, whereby
self-will is exchanged for God-reliance. Jesus
said that of Himself He was able to do nothing.
His total reliance was on His Father and the Divine Direction He
received. But don’t
misunderstand. Jesus chose
to go that way. He allowed His
Father complete control of His life, not as a puppet, but as one who was utterly
convinced of the Right Way.
“God’s sons are those who
have, through many trials and testings, allowed God to take His rightful place
in their spirits. They began with
but a small reliance on God, but grew to allow Him something approaching total
control. These are the ones whom
God will ask to rule the coming world with Him, and under Him.
Antichrist is said to rule in the temple of God, showing that he is God.
What does this mean? It
means that there are Christians who are all for God’s ways, but struggle to
retain their own rulership of their lives.
Satan sits enthroned in man’s flesh, in the soul of man that is not
subject to God, but subject to human desire.
All those who thus retain self-dominion are collectively the antichrist.
Satan’s kingdom is equally inside
man as God’s Kingdom. These facts
need careful pondering by us all” —
CANNOT BUILD THE KINGDOM!
The Kingdom is coming. “Thy
kingdom come.” Only if we truly
believe the Kingdom is coming can we pray that prayer.
But primarily and fundamentally the Kingdom IS.
“Thine is the kingdom, and
the power, and the glory.” The
Kingdom that is, is coming. Men speak of “building” the Kingdom of God, but in the
truest sense the Kingdom it not built — it is. The Kingdom grows
and increases from age to age and from realm to realm, but only because it is.
The essential thing to be burned into our consciousness is that the
Kingdom of God IS! “The kingdom
of God IS righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”
“The Lord reigneth!” His reign
is a present reality and shall increase from age to age until all things are
subdued unto Him.
Nowhere in the scriptures are we instructed that we are to “build”
the Kingdom. We are told that we
can “see” the Kingdom, “enter” the Kingdom, “receive” the Kingdom,
“inherit” the Kingdom, and “proclaim” the Kingdom, but never build
it. What is the difference?
It is basic and profound. For
if we are to build the Kingdom, then it is something that we
bring into life, something that we
produce. It is a structure that
requires our effort to raise up.
It is an institution that demands our ingenuity and work to establish.
But the Kingdom IS. It is
already in existence; it is a present reality, for it was prepared for us before
the foundation of the world (Mat. 25:34). Men
who go out and try to build the Kingdom always fail for they are trying to do
something that cannot be done. Ah,
yes, there is an increase of the
Kingdom! But it is not the
increase of effort, but of life. You
can build a house, but you cannot build a tree or a fruit.
Things that are built are constructed by an external power; they contain
no life. But things that grow are
produced by an inherent internal life and you cannot build them. The increase and manifestation of the Kingdom is not one of
man’s doing, but something of life. That
is why the Kingdom of God is within you.
It is the life of the Spirit bringing forth the image and glory of God in
the lives and doings of men. Jesus
speaks of those who are “disciples” of the Kingdom, “stewards” of the
Kingdom, “scribes” of the Kingdom, “teachers” of the Kingdom and
“heralds” of the Kingdom. But
there are no “builders” of the Kingdom!
Many who have seen something of the promises and glory of the Kingdom of
God have found it difficult to keep their efforts in the Spirit and cooperate
with God to bless men and nations with the benefits and powers of the Kingdom.
The result of their misunderstanding of how the Kingdom functions has
time and again manifested itself in carnal and fruitless efforts to
“establish” or “build” a visible outward Kingdom.
While individuals and small groups of saints in the early days of the
Church made claims concerning the “establishment” of the Kingdom in their
day, this idea did not take on any great proportion until the time of the
Emperor Constantine. Prior to that
Christians were openly persecuted by the Roman emperors and were accorded no
recognition by the kingdoms of this world.
The gospel was despised and rejected by an unbelieving and pagan world.
This means that those who espoused the name of Christ suffered with Him
because of their allegiance to His cause.
As one has written: “So far as the great body of professed Christians
was concerned, this entire picture of persecution and ostracism on the part of
worldly kingdoms was suddenly changed by Constantine, who himself professed
conversion to Christianity. In the
year 313 A.D., this emperor put his signature to a decree reading, in part,
‘Henceforth in perfect and absolute freedom, each and every person who chooses
to belong to the practice of the Christian religion, shall be at liberty to do
so without let or hindrance in any shape or form.’
How the Christians must have read the lines with astonishment when they
realized the implication of this change of attitude on the part of earthly
governments! Just emerging from ten
years of the bitterest persecution by Diocletian, they were now free to meet and
sing and pray and read their scriptures in the open sunlight, anytime, anywhere.
“And this was but the first of other favors that were shortly to come
to them. The historian records that
‘Constantine ordered the state funds to be used to rebuild their churches,
ruined in the previous persecution; he donated land by the acre, built new
churches wherever needed in the east or the west — magnificent,
costly structures. Christian
ministers were exempted from taxation and became officials representing the
government. Even laymen were shown
marked favor in political appointments. Gift
was piled upon gift, and privilege upon privilege.
Decrees were issued exhorting the public to abandon their ‘ancient
superstitions’ and accept the ‘truth’.
Complete and expensive copies of the scriptures were furnished to
Christians by the state, replacing those destroyed by former persecutors. Could or should they decline these marvelous favors bestowed
upon them? Should they decline to
avail themselves of the wonderful opportunity thus afforded to proclaim the
gospel of the Son of God to the large audiences now forthcoming because of
governmental favor toward the church? Should
they refuse to rejoice because now multitudes suddenly saw the light?’
“The church had endured persecution — bitter,
death-dealing persecution. Now the
reverse was true and they were enjoying the favors of the state. Could they endure prosperity?
What was to be their attitude toward this new development in the
Christian experience? How were they
to view the future? The great and
sudden relief experienced by the lifting of the hand of persecution evidently
had the effect that Satan desired it should, because the historical record shows
that the great body of professed Christians at the time concluded that the days
of waiting for the Kingdom had ended! One
historical writer, in telling about this, says, ‘When they were relieved of
their persecution, and came into honor after having been so long reckoned the
filth of the world, the cry was straitway raised up that the Kingdom of God had
come. The Millennium had begun.
The emperor was the visible favorite of God, the predestined overthrower
of the powers of evil (by the sword, of course!).’
“Following the last session of the Council of Nicea in the year 325,
Constantine made a splendid banquet, about which the historian Eusebius, a
bishop and one of the guests, has left us the following account: ‘The
proceedings were sublime beyond description.
The soldiers of the emperor’s bodyguard were drawn up before the door
of the palace with bared swords. The
men of God, over three hundred bishops, some of them bearing in their bodies the
marks of the last persecution, passed by them proudly into the interior of the
palace. Some sat at the same table
with the emperor. One might easily
believe he beheld an image of the very Kingdom of God.’
“Following this, and amidst violent, stormy internal disputes, the
nominal church multiplied, for the state was still friendly and the sons of
Constantine improved on their father, for they not only favored the church
system, but persecuted paganism! The
professed followers of the Master quickly caught the spirit, and with even more
ardent zeal than was manifested by the strong arm of the state.
They, like so many others who are not willing to await God’s time or
God’s way for the exercise of Kingdom powers, themselves took the law into
their own hands. Professed
Christian mobs tore down pagan temples, shattered their idols, burnt their
libraries, and slaughtered their priests. There was no restraining them, so fierce was their faith and
zeal for the alleged Kingdom of God.
“But the carnal mind was still ‘the god of this world.’
While the professed church as a whole entered into these revelries in
connection with the establishment of a counterfeit kingdom of the Lord, there
still remained a few true followers of the Master who did not share in this
viewpoint and therefore did not enter into these unchristian activities.
Concerning these the historian says, ‘Some indeed during this century,
were disgusted with the pride and arrogance of the clergy and aimed at spiritual
simplicity and opposed the general trend; but the only fruit of their labor was
that they were branded with infamy.’ Evidently
this little flock of the body of Christ were branded as being anti-kingdom,
even as it still is true of some today. When
the devil offered the kingdoms of the world to our Lord, He declined the gift,
choosing the way of the cross and the life of the Spirit, while carrying out the
Father’s plans which must precede the day when all the kingdoms of this world
should become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ.
But what the Son of man refused, the nominal church, centuries later,
accepted, and installed a Roman bishop at the head, who, in the name of God,
received the headship of the kingdoms of this world.
The great religious harlot was fully born, riding upon the beast.
From thenceforth it was woe unto those who dared to be anti-kingdom.
“These abortive Kingdom efforts, however, were not limited to the large
body of professed Christians who finally became amalgamated into the Roman
Catholic church-state system. When
the Protestant movement got under way, Satan still was active both with the
small and large groups of Protestantism and almost without exception these have
fallen prey to this master-stroke of delusion.
The Protestants, in separating from Rome, never completely passed out of
the harmful shadow of the unauthorized kingdom.
Many of the Protestant systems united with the state.
Even today, most professed Christians confuse the present church system
with the Kingdom, and when their hopes prosper or their activity is apparently
blessed, and applauded by people in high places, they forthwith believe that the
Kingdom of God must be here” —
end quote (author
Many other groups have made their own efforts at “building the
Kingdom.” Look for example at the
Munzerites of the sixteenth century, who undertook to establish at Munster a
theocracy or political kingdom of the saints; or the Fifth Monarchy men of the
seventeenth century, who believed it was their duty to establish the Kingdom of
God by force, and actually went through a form of electing at London Jesus
Christ as Universal Monarch; or John Alexander Dowie who in the dawn of this
century founded both the Christian Catholic Apostolic Church and the city of
Zion, Illinois as a theocracy headed by himself as “Elijah the Restorer.”
Dowie ruled the theocratic community strictly and organized the
Theocratic party, a political party to compete with the Republican and
Democratic parties for control of the nation.
This party ran in the elections in both Chicago and Zion City as the
representatives of the Kingdom of God on earth.
At the time of his sudden stroke and paralyses he was in the process of
establishing theocratic cities in various parts of the world and proposed to
purchase the entire city of Jerusalem from the Turks and turn it into a
theocratic Christian city, the seat of the theocratic kingdom, in preparation
for the return of Jesus Christ.
Dr. Dowie was but another in a long list of “kingdom builders” who
imagined that they could “build” the Kingdom of God on earth. They missed altogether the profound and wonderful truth
proclaimed by Jesus when He said, “The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of
mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: which indeed is the
least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and
becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches
thereof” (Mat. 13:31-32). The
Kingdom is not like a house, or an institution, or a
government to be “built”; it is like a seed that is planted and by
the spontaneous process of germination and growth becomes through the power of
an indwelling life the expression and reign of God in the earth.
It is not the work of man by force, law, or politics, but the sovereign
work of God by the power of the
Holy Spirit in and through yielded men.
For what purpose is God bringing us into sonship?
Many will point to the scriptures and say we are being perfected and
brought into the fullness of God so that we can rule and reign with Christ when
He establishes His Kingdom on earth. I
will not say that I disagree with this teaching except to point out that Christ
has already established His Kingdom in
the earth. The “man” who
planted the “grain of mustard seed” which is the Kingdom in its inception
was none other than our Lord Jesus Christ.
But we need to be very clear as to what we have in mind when we speak of
ruling and reigning with Jesus. The
idea that the Kingdom will one day be established in the earth, after the
pattern of the kingdoms of men, and that God’s elect will assume outward
positions of political and governmental power within its hierarchy is the same
carnal-minded error that the people of Israel made when Jesus made His
appearance among them. As a result
they completely missed Him. How
then shall we reign with Christ?
The first principle that must be very clear to us is that the power of
the Kingdom of God is not political power
— it is spiritual power.
“If I by the Spirit of God cast out devils, T-H-E-N THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS COME UNTO YOU” (Mat. 12:28).
The Kingdom of God is that domain where God’s saving,
transforming power defeats all opposition, breaks down every wall, changes
all that is contrary to God’s nature, mind and will, and brings men into
willing submission to His authority. Where
the nature of God and the mind of Christ have mightily conquered, the state of
things is called the Kingdom of God. Where
hearts are changed, where sin and error and darkness have been defeated, where
truth and righteousness advance, where the will and ways of God are raised up as
reality and life in a people, where the mind of Christ rules out of union with
God — there the
Kingdom of God has come and is advancing. In
the Kingdom it is no longer God ruling
over you by sovereignty, but the life, mind, heart, nature, power, wisdom,
knowledge, and will of God entering into
you, becoming your very own reality. How
plain it is to see that this is NOT what happened in the days of Emperor
Constantine! The Kingdom of God is
the power to transform. Its
citizens are a holy people. Its
kings and priests are all righteous, wise, and mighty through God.
What I have said before bears repeating — there is no
greater truth than the truth that our Kingdom is a spiritual Kingdom, our King
is a spiritual King, its citizens are a spiritual people, its ministry is a
spiritual ministry, its authority is a spiritual authority, its dominion is a
spiritual dominion, its laws are spiritual laws, its weapons are spiritual
weapons, its priesthood is a spiritual priesthood, its sovereignty is a
spiritual sovereignty, its power is spiritual power, and its rulers rule only by
the Spirit, praise His wonderful name!
You do not “build” this Kingdom, nor do you exercise any kind of
“political” power to further its cause.
IT MUST BE DEMONSTRATED IN THE AUTHORITY AND MINISTERED BY THE POWER OF
THE HOLY GHOST. That,
my friend, is the power and glory
of the Kingdom of God!
RAISES UP MEN
In any kingdom there is order. It
is very important for us to know that every kingdom has order.
It has a king who is the ruler and it has the government which
administers all the will of the king unto its subjects.
When we have been born of the Spirit into the Kingdom Realm of God, we
have been born into a divine, celestial order.
Someone asks, “Well, how about organization?
Are we born into organization? Doesn’t
the Kingdom have some type of organization?”
No. We are born only into an
organism, a living body, whereby we
receive our identity, our life, our destiny from our heavenly Father.
The Kingdom of God is a living thing.
The organism is CHRIST, the image of God.
To be born into the God family is to be born into the divine, heavenly
order — the body of
Christ. Jesus Christ is the Head of
this body, the firstborn Son, the first manifested Son, joined now by that
glorious company of sons who come into
His image and likeness and are members of His body. The whole company of sons, Head and body, is THE CHRIST. “For
as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body,
being many, are one body: SO ALSO IS
CHRIST” (I Cor. 12:12). The
order of sonship is the order of the many-membered Son of God.
And the order of the Son of God IS THE GOVERNMENT OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD.
The Kingdom of God, the Government of God, is not a method, system or
organization. Any thing that is
“organized” is not the Kingdom of God.
There is one Christian movement that calls itself “Jehovah’s
Organization.” It is not.
God doesn’t have any organizations.
The body of Christ is not an organization, it is an organism.
Organizations are systems — organisms are living
things. God does not raise up
or use organizations — He calls, ordains, prepares, equips, and uses MEN.
God always begins His purposes with a MAN, and consummates His purposes
in a PEOPLE. Under the Old Covenant
the man was Moses, and the people was Israel.
Under the New Covenant the man is Jesus Christ, and the people is the
sons of God.
Many other men have also been involved in God’s purposes throughout the
ages. When the time had come for
God to have a nation as His witness in the earth, He called forth Abraham out of
his homeland to go into a strange land. There
he was to bear a son, and that son would bear sons and someday God’s nation
would be born because God had His man —
Abraham. When Israel,
pressed beyond measure by Egyptian bondage, cried aloud for deliverance, God
didn’t form a committee to devise a plan.
He raised up a man.
Pharaoh, the cruel and ruthless lord of Egypt, was mastered by Moses.
At the very hour when all that Pharaoh represented was tyranny and
slavery, God was creating a mighty deliverer who would captain the forces of the
Lord and lead them toward the Promised Land.
Israel cried hopelessly in the wilderness, wandered aimlessly, lost faith
in divine intervention, and muttered agonizingly, “We die! There is no Promised Land!”
God then strengthened the heart of His
man, Joshua, to march across the Jordan which separated the desolate
wilderness from the promised land of plenty.
At another time Ahab and Jezebel were out-maneuvered by the prophet
Elijah, the thundering Voice of God. Crises
have always produced the grandest of prophets.
David and his mighty men brought deliverance to Israel from all their
enemies that had been thorns in their sides from the days of Joshua.
Rome met its master in Paul. He
transformed its society for the magnificent glory of Jesus Christ the Lord. From the turbulence of the Middle Ages came Martin Luther.
At a moment when religious life ebbed lowest, when spiritual light had
all but flickered and gone out, God brought forth John Wesley to spark into
being the revival that was to impact mightily Great Britain and the world.
So it has always been in the annals of divine history — time
would fail me to tell of Gideon, who routed the enemy; of Samuel and the
prophets who as God’s instruments subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness,
obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire,
escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant
in battle, and put to flight the armies of
the aliens. God has never
judged a nation, met a crisis, delivered a people, manifested His power,
accomplished His purpose, or ushered in a new age by organization. He has always matched the hour and need with MEN.
When God moved to end that first wicked age of human experience He did
not organize the Ante-diluvian Flood
Control Association to accomplish His purpose.
It was by faith that one man — Noah
— “being warned of God of things not yet seen, prepared an
ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world” (Heb.
No age in world history matches in crisis and potential tragedy the age
in which we live. On any moral
chart, on any graph of spiritual decline, on any meter of danger and peril, this age is the age horrendous.
The age is catastrophic with dark predictions of terrorism, of nuclear
war, atomic blasts, thermonuclear annihilation, deadly fall-out, or destruction
of the earth by the sheer weight of over-population and pollution.
Will God leave this age Voiceless? Will
heaven fail to produce a Deliverer? He
has never done so. He has always
had His man. As Basil Miller once
wrote, “When God has selected His man, He has ground that man and polished him
through the cauldron of human need and suffering.
And when the divine process was completed, the schooling finished, His
lapidary stones for hewing character burnished His man to a bright hue.
God freed His man from obsolescent dogma and creed, and armed him with
multifold weapons of spiritual warfare. Then
He lifted him forth to captain the forces of right, a thundering voice of
prophetic power. In the darkest
hours of human night there has always been a lighted torch in the hand of
So it is today. God has a
Voice. God is preparing to blow a
trumpet and rally the armies of the Lord. But
this time it is not a solitary man. It
is a many-membered man. It is a
vast company of the sons of God. The
manifestation of the sons of God is the hope of this dying age. Jesus was the seed
planted at the dawn of this age as a preview of the Kingdom when Christ with His
entire body of sons will appear in power and glory; and His many brethren are
the harvest of that original seed to
bring forth in the earth the completeness of God’s Christ and the triumph of
His Kingdom in all realms. The
certain hope of a new age of progression into the unfoldment of God’s Kingdom
lies directly before us. The whole
creation, that has groaned in travail and pain throughout the dark night of
every dispensation from Adam, is soon to hear the joyous shout of the birth of
God’s new man-child for this hour. This
man shall arise in the midst of the nations and will publish to all the world
the glad news, “thy God reigneth!”
And the knowledge of the glory of the Lord shall fill all the earth as
the waters cover the sea.
I do not hesitate to tell you that I have never been able to work under
committees, organizations, systems, creeds, rules and regulations.
Creeds are not broad enough, dogmas are too binding; organization,
systems and rules are stifling and restrictive man-made instruments of carnality
and death. Those called to the
Kingdom in this hour are given an assignment, a commission from the God of
heaven Himself. They are His
ambassadors, representing His government. Their
orders do not come from headquarters in some distant city, nor from committees,
counsels, boards, or bishops. To
heed the voice of men and change one iota of the assignment would be to betray
the Kingdom of God. It would be an
act of treason against the Kingdom of Heaven.
Those called to sonship have come into contact with the Source of divine
energy and power, of wisdom and knowledge, and there is no alternative but to
obey the heavenly vision. Our
charge is to pursue the course set before us by the spirit of wisdom and
revelation, taking our place within the ranks of that vast company of saints out
of all the ages in their mission of bringing the Kingdom of God to pass in all
The men who have been the molders of the world for God have all been men
full of faith and the Holy Ghost. It
requires no faith nor any Holy Ghost to carry on the ordinary program of the
average church, for running a church these days is not unlike running a business
or corporation. It is all method,
system, charisma, public relations, professional skills and program.
But faith and revelation cause men to venture into the unknown and
develop a reliance upon the unseen
powers of God. When there are no
roadsigns of men’s traditions marking the limits of achievement, when there
are no precedents, when there is nothing to go by, as far as sight is concerned,
and one steps forward with nothing but the word of the Lord birthed within,
depending upon God’s tremendous power, this externalizes the vision and
demonstrates before all men the power and glory of the Kingdom of God.
All the great movements of God in the earth have been accomplished
through men God has sovereignly raised up with a vision, a message, and an
anointing of authority and power. He has never used an existing organization.
The proof that the anointing is upon the man
and not the movement, is that in every case as soon as the man passes from the
scene the movement raised up by that man dies
too. It does not in every case
disappear from the earth, but generally it stagnates, becomes more organized,
and in most cases declines either spiritually or numerically, and eventually
disintegrates or becomes something altogether different from what it was formed
to be. The leaders who
follow just “do not have what it takes” — they are not
the man God raised up and anointed with His Spirit!
The religious systems are always exerting themselves to devise new
methods, new plans, new programs, new organizations to advance the work of the
church and secure enlargement and security for God’s work. This method sinks the man in plan and organization —
becomes a cog in the mechanical wheel. God’s
plan has nothing to do with organizational structures — God’s
emphasis is on men.
Men are God’s method! “There
was a man sent from God...” The
church world is looking for better programs; God is looking for better men.
You never heard of a prophet, priest, or king being voted for!
Prophets are very uncomfortable fellows.
They have a strange way that makes them, even when very young, extremely
obnoxious to slow and unprogressive persons who love to be quiet and at ease,
maintaining the status quo. Prophets
care for nothing but for God and His word, His ways, and His will.
That is how the Kingdom of God works.
God rules in and through men who are totally yielded unto His Voice and
His Spirit. If God has given us a
revelation of His thought, and it is perfectly clear and spiritually sound, then
what we have to do is not vote about it or even talk about it, but to do it, for
it is His will. Men who sit around tables “voting” about what course they
should follow, obviously have not heard from God!
That is not the way nor the wisdom nor the power of the Kingdom.
The will of God once revealed is not open to discussion.
Jesus took no vote about His Kingdom activities.
He formed no committees to study anything, nor any organization to carry
it out. He was led by the Spirit of
God and He ordained men who would be led by the Spirit, for “as many as are led
by the Spirit of God, they are the
sons of God” (Rom. 8:14).
“There was a man sent from
God whose name was John.” The
dispensation that heralded and prepared the way for the Christ of God was bound up in that man John.
“Unto us a child is born,
unto us a son is given.”
“The Word was made” — not made a book, not made a doctrine, not a program, not a
method, not a committee, not an organization — but “the
Word was made flesh and dwelt among
us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,
full of grace and truth” (Jn. 1:14). God
came in the form of a man, “a man
approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by
Him in the midst of you” (Acts 2:22). Jesus
called twelve men as His apostles and gave them — not a plan, not a
blueprint, not a system, not an organization — He gave
them POWER. “But ye shall receive
power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto
me...” (Acts 1:8). This vital,
urgent truth is one that this age of organization and machinery knows nothing
about. What the world needs today
is not more machinery, not new organizations or more novel methods, but the
PERFECT MAN. “Till we all come
unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of
Christ.” The Holy Ghost does not
flow through methods, the Holy Ghost flows through men; and I hesitate not to
tell you that the Holy Ghost will flow most fully and perfectly through God’s
PERFECT MAN, God’s NEW MAN, God’s complete CHRIST, God’s Government of
Kings and Priests after the order of Melchizedek, the manifested sons of God.
The Holy Spirit does not come on machinery, but on men.
He does not anoint plans, but men. He does not reveal His will and His heart to boards and
committees, but to men who walk intimately with God, men who qualify for the
fullness of God. This is the power and glory of the Kingdom of God!
It is a great mystery, but it is a grand fact of truth nevertheless that
Christ first reigns IN us that He may consequently reign THROUGH us. “Then
shall the King say unto them on His right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father,
INHERIT THE KINGDOM prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Mat.
25:34). “Know ye not that the
unrighteous shall not INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD?
Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor
effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous,
nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF
GOD” (I Cor. 6:9-10). “Now this
I say brethren, that flesh and blood cannot INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD...” (I
The word “kingdom” indicates the richness of the heritage of the
saints. It is no petty estate, no
banana republic, no happy corner in obscurity.
I heard a good man say that he should be content with a cabin in the
corner of Gloryland or a spot just inside the gate.
I shall not be! The Lord
says we shall inherit a KINGDOM. We
cannot be satisfied to inherit less, because less than that would not suit our
character. “He hath made us kings
and priests unto God” (Rev. 5:10) and we must reign forever and ever, or be as
wretched as deposed monarchs. A
king without a kingdom is an unhappy and unfulfilled man.
If I were a poor servant, a servant’s quarters would be a boon, for it
would correspond with my condition and degree; but if I am made a son of God, an
heir of God, a joint-heir with Jesus; if I am made a priest and a king, I must
have a kingdom, or I shall not have attained to a position equal to my nature.
He who makes us kings gives us a Kingdom to fit the nature which He has
bestowed upon us.
Beloved, I beseech you to strive more and more after that which the
Spirit of God will give you — a KINGLY HEART; do
not be among those who are satisfied with the miserable nature of ordinary
humanity or the childish hopes of the babes in Christ who throng to the churches
which are merely nurseries for the birthing, care and educating of babes and
which then stifle and threaten to suffocate the life out of these little ones
with their own static creeds, lifeless traditions, and infantile programs.
They eagerly look for mansions and harps and golden streets and wings and
white nightgowns in that glory world above, unable to comprehend that such
glittering diadems are only nursery toys to God’s true kings; true riches are
ETERNAL SPIRITUAL REALITIES; the true treasury wealth looks down upon the stars. Do not sell yourself short, ye sons of the Most High!
Get a kingly heart — ask
the King of kings to give it to you, and beseech of Him a royal spirit.
Act royally on earth towards your Lord, and for His sake towards all men.
Go about the world not as mean men in spirit and action, nor yet
in false humility as paupers and beggars, but as kings and priests of a
race superior to the dirt-scrappers who are on their knees, crawling in the mud
after fleeting earthly riches and transitory worldly fame.
What incredible loss shall be suffered by those who imagine that financial
prosperity in this life is the sign of great faith, blessing and
What the church world in general cannot comprehend is that the Christ
does not rule alone but through a many-membered body.
Man in God’s image, man in Christ at the right hand of God, is God’s
government in the Kingdom of God. I
have met men who professed that they have no desire, no ambition whatever to
rule and reign with Christ. It is
enough, say they, to know that we are saved by grace and shall make heaven at
last. In fact, I have been greatly
criticized and abused by some for my hope of inheriting the Kingdom of God and
sitting with Christ upon the throne of universal dominion.
In the eyes of these accusers I am vain, conceited, self-righteous,
presumptuous, heretical and power-mad, suffering delusions of grandeur because I
cherish the beautiful hope of sonship and rulership in the Kingdom of God.
But I do not hesitate to tell you that Christ Himself has graciously
bidden us to overcome and share with Him in His authority over the nations and
all things. He would both be King
IN US and exercise His regal power THROUGH US.
“To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even
as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in His throne” (Rev. 3:21).
Such reward to His faithful followers is merely the tangible expression
of the approval of God, and we may no more deny Him the pleasure of expressing
that approval than we may renounce it once
it is conferred. Someone has truly said, HE WHO DESPISES A THRONE DESPISES HIM
WHO CONFERS THE THRONE. It was one
of our Lord’s rebukes to the Pharisees — “The glory that
cometh only from God YE SEEK NOT” (Jn. 4:44).
As one has written, “God is exceedingly rich.
He is like a successful business man who has an enormous amount of
capital. God has a business in this
universe, and His vast wealth is His capital.
We do not realize how many billions, countless billions, He has.
All of this capital is simply HIMSELF, and with it He intends to
‘manufacture’ HIMSELF in mass production.
God HIMSELF is the Business Man, the Capital, and the Product.
His intention is to dispense Himself to many people in mass production.
Therefore, God requires such a divine arrangement, a divine management, a
divine dispensation in order to bring Himself into humanity.”
Praise His name! As His
kings and priests upon His throne the elect sons of God are the governmental
arrangement by which and through which God dispenses Himself into His creation.
For that reason the whole creation continues to groan and travail for the
manifestation of the sons of God. What
an opportunity to change things! What
an occasion to bless and heal and lift and transform the world!
It would be a crime against humanity, my beloved brethren,
to carelessly neglect and thus despise, as Esau despised his birthright,
the position of responsibility and opportunity to bless and restore creation
proffered to us by the illustrious King of kings and Lord of lords!
It would be a mean and despicable crime against humanity as well as God
Himself to settle for a cabin in
the corner of Gloryland!
When you understand that God is dealing and working out His plan through ages, you have understood God’s purpose aright.
Is this age and the next the only ages that remain for this purpose to be
fulfilled? By no means!
God’s purpose through His body is “that in the ages
to come He might show (put on display) the exceeding riches of His grace in
His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:7).
The message of this wonderful passage is just this: At this present time,
in this age, God is showing (putting
on display) the exceeding riches of His grace toward
us through Jesus Christ. Jesus
is God’s revelation of His grace and kindness to the Church gathered out of
the nations. That is God’s
purpose in this age. But in the ages to come WE ARE
THE DISPLAY, THE REVELATION OF GOD’S GRACE AND KINDNESS UNTO CREATION.
That which He has revealed to us in Jesus, and wrought in us through
Jesus, will be displayed through us in ages yet to come that all creation by
us may then experience His exceeding grace and kindness as we are now
experiencing it in Jesus. Hallelu-yah! What a Saviour!
There are three very definite stages that transpire in God's great plan
of the ages. In this age the Church is being gathered out of the nations.
In the next age all the living
nations shall come, and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain (kingdom)
of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His
ways, and we will walk in His paths: for the law (authority) shall go forth of
Zion (the sons of God), and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem (the bride of
Christ). And He shall judge among
many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their
swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not
lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (Micah
4:2-3). All this shall take place
when “the mountain (kingdom, government) of the house of the Lord shall be
established in the top of the mountains (strong kingdoms), and it shall be
exalted above the hills (smaller kingdoms); and people shall flow
unto it” (Micah 4:1). In the age and ages beyond that all creation shall be dealt with and
brought into harmony and relationship with God until all
things everywhere have been subdued unto Him and God becomes in glorious
reality ALL IN ALL. This in a nutshell is God’s wonderful plan of the ages.
“Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen (nations) for THINE
INHERITANCE, and the uttermost parts of the earth for THY POSSESSION,” says
the Messianic Psalm. Christ
conquered, and He is conquering, and He is to conquer.
I claim this earth for God, for He made it.
I claim this earth for God, for the earth is the Lord’s.
The sea is His, and He made it. His
hands formed the dry land. His
power pushed up every mountain, and His fingers scooped out every valley.
By His wisdom all things were established.
I claim everything that comes out of the bowels of the earth for God, for
“the earth is the Lord’s and the
fullness thereof” and “all the gold and the silver is His.”
I claim every man in El Paso, and in Miami, and in New York, and in Los
Angeles, and in Hong Kong, and in Beijing, and in Moscow, and in Baghdad and in
the whole wide world, and every man in their graves for God, for “the earth is
the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and
they that dwell therein” and “it is He that hath made us, and not we
ourselves” and “He hath made all things for His pleasure.”
I am not willing to wickedly cede even one thing or one person to the
devil, as do some, for the Christ came to reconcile all
things and He is the Saviour of all
I proclaim to you, as the minister of God, that the body of Christ is here in this world for the establishment of the Kingdom of God. Our destiny is something more than being a little group of saved people waiting to die and go to heaven. The body of Christ IS the Kingdom of God in this world and its King-Priests must reign until all things are under His feet. Because all the earth is His, God is raising up a Kingly Priesthood to reign in mighty spirit power over the earth, not to be little human dictators, or an external, political kingdom of laws and systems headquartered in Jerusalem or London or some where else, but with an outflow of life and light and love, touching God with one hand, and humanity with the other, bringing the two together, that God may indwell all men by His Spirit and live and rule in them in power and glory. The kingly nature in us is not to dominate over other men’s lives, but to deal with and break the power of self-hood and rebellion and sin and the devil that men may be reconciled to God. Kings have power and authority, priests reconcile in compassion, mercy and love. But once the reconciliation has taken place, and Christ is enthroned in men’s spirit, we deliver them up to God, even the Father, that GOD MAY BE ALL IN ALL. That is the principle of the Kingdom. We rule only to subdue men to God — THEN GOD RULES IN THEM. That is the power and glory of the Kingdom of God!
To be continued... J.
J. PRESTON EBY
If you would like to receive these studies write to:
J. Preston Eby
P.O. Box 371240
El Paso TX 79937-1240
All writings are distributed on a free-will basis.
Homepage | Elwin's Directory | Margit's Directory | Ministry Links