Kindgdom Bible Studies Kingdom of God Part 22


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


Part 22 


            “In whom we also have obtained AN INHERITANCE, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will” (Eph. 1:11). 


            Having read these words from our beloved brother Paul, three questions only concern us.  What is this inheritance?  To whom does it belong?  How do we obtain it?  In order to answer the first of these questions, we are naturally concerned whether the inheritance is worth possessing.  If we should be promised an inheritance of a million dollars, I am sure there are few of us who would not become considerably excited.  Our interest would be stirred.  Our hope would be aroused.  If there were conditions laid down which must be fulfilled before we could inherit, we would look carefully at those conditions.  We would not risk the loss of our inheritance through indifference or willful disobedience. 


            Stop to think what a million dollars could do for you if you had it!  It could do much, but there is just as much, and more, that it could not do.  The power of money to do good and to give happiness is strictly limited.  To mention just a few things that it cannot do: It cannot give you an untroubled conscience or peace of mind.  If you are sick it can buy you the best medical care, but it cannot guarantee to make or keep you well.  Does it give security?  After a fashion, yes; yet, those who have it anxiously wonder how long they can keep it, or they may blow it all in just a few months.  A thousand hands are outstretched to grab it, by fair means or foul.  The ways in which it may be lost or destroyed are too numerous to mention.  Nor can it stave off death or prolong life.  Its enjoyment is limited strictly to this present world, which is passing away, and it is the matter of only a few years.  Such is every human inheritance.  We do not despise it for its limited present value.  We would simply look at it dispassionately in its true light, in order that we might appreciate the more the words of the hymn writer,


We Christians should ever consider

What Christ hath so gloriously taught;

For He who hath made us His children

Would have us retain in our thought

How little things earthly do merit,

Lest we who the Kingdom inherit,

The heavenly prize leave unsought.


            “Giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified and made us fit to share the portion which is the inheritance of the saints in the Light.  The Father has delivered us and drawn us to Himself out of the control and the dominion of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love” (Col. 1:12-13, Amplified).  This beautiful passage sets forth the great truth that as saints God is preparing us to receive that which the Spirit identifies as “the INHERITANCE of the saints.”  What is the inheritance which is ours as children of God?  Do you really know?  Of course most Christians have always heard that the grand purpose of our salvation is that we might escape hell and make heaven our home when we die.  And most believers have simply accepted this concept without question.  But have you ever stopped to prove it for yourself?  Did you ever look into the promises of God to see whether it really does say that “heaven” is the inheritance of the saints?   

            We have surely read these inspired words of instruction: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (I Pet. 1:3-5).  Let me draw your earnest attention to seven wonderful truths revealed in these words of the apostle.  (1) We have been, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, begotten again unto a living hope.  (2) This living hope is the hope of an inheritance.  (3) This inheritance is incorruptible.  (4) This incorruptible inheritance is reserved in heaven the invisible realm of the Spirit for us.  (5) Until we fully receive our inheritance we are kept by the power of God unto the inheritance preserved so that we can appropriate it.  (6) The inheritance is salvation full and complete.  (7) This full salvation is ready for us already prepared for us and appointed to us and shall be revealed in the last time.


            Blind to the true nature of our inheritance and the plan by which God is bringing His elect into it, many of the Lord’s people make ignorant and unscriptural statements regarding it.  For instance, speaking of a departed saint who has passed from this life, they say, “He has gone to his reward.”  Where does the Bible say such a thing?  Nothing could be father from the truth!  It is not death that qualifies one to receive his inheritance, but rather, the raising up of one’s entire being INTO THE RESURRECTION LIFE OF CHRIST.  The hope is a living, quickening hope.  It is secured for us by the resurrection life of Jesus Christ.  This living hope has been given to us by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.  And “heaven” is NOT the inheritance.  The inheritance is merely “reserved” in heaven for us.  That is, it is reserved, laid up, retained, earmarked, allocated and proportioned in the realm of the Spirit for us.  It is available and accessible in the Spirit.  It is there for us.  Let us say that you have $50,000.00 and all of it is in a checking account at First National Bank.  The money is all yours but it is kept, held, reserved, retained, earmarked, allocated and proportioned for you in the bank until you write a check on it.  The check is a claim on the account and by that claim you gain what is “reserved in the bank” for you.  You don’t have to live in the bank or even go to the bank in order to spend the money.  And you don’t have to go to some far-off heaven somewhere in order to receive or live out of  your inheritance in the Kingdom of God.  Faith is our claim upon the inheritance “reserved in heaven the realm of the Spirit” for us!  It is not paid at our death, for it is Jesus who died to give it to us, but is paid upon our claim. 


            Furthermore, the inheritance  is reserved for us, ready to be revealed, that is, paid, “in the last time.”  Make no mistake about it the “last time” is not a date on the calendar!  That is where so many “end-time” teachers go wrong.  They think the last time is a date, so they are always trying to figure out the date, setting dates for the coming of the Lord, the beginning of the great tribulation, the dawn of the millennium, or the manifestation of the sons of God.  I do not doubt for one moment that our present age is rapidly drawing to a close, perhaps the new age has already dawned, but that is not the issue here.  The Kingdom of God is not an age.  The Day of the Lord is not an age.  The last time is not a date on the calendar.  The last time relates to the people of God entering into and possessing their inheritance!  The last time is the finish, the completion, the consummation of our experience in God.  It is when we have grown up into the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.  It is when we have fully put on the mind of Christ.  It is when we have gone on to perfection.  It is when we have attained unto a perfect man.  It is when we have been filled with all the fullness of God.  It is when Christ has been raised up within us in all the glory and fullness of Himself.  It is when we have spiritually developed into a mature faith, hope, and love.  It is the third day, the third feast, and the illumination, life, and authority of the Most Holy Place.  It is a time, not on the clock, but in the development of Christ in us.  It is not the end of the age that brings the manifestation of the sons of God it is the manifestation of the sons of God that brings the end of the age. Therefore let us take heart as saints of God, for growth in Christ is far more accessible to each of us than the unknown dawning of a chronological age!  The truth and fullness of the wonder of it all only begins to dawn upon our ransomed souls when the spirit of revelation shines with penetrating power upon the eyes of our understanding enabling us to see into the magnificent working of the divine and heavenly scheme.





            An heirship always implies an inheritance.  If we are made heirs of God, we become partakers in the inheritance left us at the death of the Testator.  It comes with the divine sonship, and is ours because our Lord died.  In the epistle to the Hebrews, we read of the method whereby the inheritance of the Lord was secured for us.  “How much more (than animal sacrifices) shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?  And for this cause He (Jesus) is the mediator of the new testament (covenant, will), that by means of (His) death...they which are called might receive the promise of eternal INHERITANCE” (Heb. 9:14-15). 


            Notice how the writer tells us that through His death, Christ became the mediator of the New Covenant.  And those who are called into this new covenant relationship as sons of God, are given the promise of eternal inheritance.  The writer goes on to say, “For where a testament (will) is, there must of necessity be the death of the testator (the one who made the will)” (Heb. 9:16).  Nothing is more certain than this!  A will is worth nothing until the person who  made the will has died.  This is how our eternal inheritance has come to us.  The Lord Jesus loved us and He died!  Now our inheritance has been made sure.  Thank God, that there might be no question about our inheritance, that none could rob us of it, that we might be assured of receiving it, Christ arose from the dead to become the executor of His own estate!  I have read accounts where an executor squandered an estate and the heirs were cheated out of their rightful inheritance.  This cannot possibly happen to the sons of God for Jesus Christ ever liveth to make sure the inheritance goes to the RIGHTFUL HEIRS.


            But there is a truth deeper and more wonderful than this.  As the ocean includes the seas, the bays, the straits, which, though known by separate names, are parts of its majestic and all-embracing fullness, so is there a dimension of HIS INHERITANCE that encompasses all that is ours in Christ.  In the law of the Old Testament priesthood, “the Lord spake unto Aaron, Thou shalt have no inheritance in their land, neither shalt thou have any part among them.  I AM THY PART, and THINE INHERITANCE, among the children of Israel” (Num. 18:20).  It was a very satisfactory arrangement for the pious priest.  He could not own any land  in Israel.  But he could well dispense with the oliveyards and vineyards, the cornfields and homesteads of Canaan, if he might have GOD HIMSELF as the strength of his heart, the source of his supply, and his portion forever.  And the Psalmist eagerly caught at the thought, gladly surrendering all portion in this life, if only he might be “satisfied” with God (Ps. 17:15).  “The LORD is the portion of MINE INHERITANCE and of my cup: Thou maintainest my lot.  Yea, I have a goodly heritage” (Ps. 17:5-6). 


            Ah, our inheritance is God Himself!  That is the inheritance of the kings and priests of the Kingdom of God.  Not golden harps.  Not golden streets.  Not walls of jasper or pearly gates.  Not a cabin in the corner or a mansion over the hilltop.  Not wings and a white nightgown with which to flit about over the Elysium hills of glory.  There is something deeper, more inward and rapturous the possession of God.  HEIRS OF G-O-D!   Not merely heirs of the things of God, but heirs of God Himself.  Oh, the mystery of it!  Oh, the wonder of it!  Heirs of all the communicable glories of the divine nature and power.  To know Him, to explore His being, to live on His fullness, to discover new tracts and continents in the “terra incognita” of Godhead, to see His glory, to be changed into His image, to receive His authority and power, to be filled with His wisdom and knowledge this is “the heritage of the servants of the Lord.”  Glory to God!


            Beloved, you and I have been given an inheritance in the Lord Jesus Christ.  He has left us a title deed to His very own wisdom, righteousness, nature, glory and power.  Of course, Jesus lived in absolute poverty while on this earth; He owned no land, no vast estate, no great herds of cattle, no store of gold or precious stones, no account in the bank.  But He willed to us riches greater than the diamond mines of South Africa, greater than the oil fields of Saudi Arabia, greater than the gross national product of the United States.  Jesus gave us an inheritance that makes us far richer than a Rockefeller, Bill Gates,  or any Middle Eastern oil sheik.  It is the inheritance of all the riches of His very own life and glory!  Once you understand the value of this inheritance you will count everything else in your life and in this world as mere rubbish.  You will seek after it with all your mind, strength and heart, and be a glad and willing heir to His legacy.  The most important thing we can seek God for in this life is the value of our inheritance in Christ and it’s waiting to be claimed!




            We are learning what it means to be a son of God, realizing God’s great plan and purposes involved.  One of the most important rights of sonship is that of inheritance.  Heirship depends entirely upon our relationship with God.  When we were born again, born of God, we became children of God and consequently heirs of the Almighty Father.  This is an aspect of the great and wonderful purpose of God in redemption.  Inheritance is also concerned with law and nationality one inherits in the country of his parentage and according to the laws of that land.  Jesus explained to Nicodemus that in order to enter the Kingdom of God human beings have to be born again of the Spirit.  The Kingdom of God is the realm or land of our inheritance, and that great land is entered into by birth.  It is there in the land of the Kingdom of God that we are able to see, enter, possess and inherit Christ as our All-in-all.


            Having been separated and set apart for the Father’s work in His Kingdom, we are then given our inheritance, which is the Kingdom of God.  That is the condition of the will the full inheritance is given only upon our reaching maturity.  Upon reaching spiritual maturity the Kingdom of God is our rightful inheritance.  Then the Lord says unto us, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Mat. 25:34).  When Father set forth His plans and purposes in the beginning, He determined to give His Kingdom to His sons when the time was ripe for it.  According to the Amplified Bible, we are to receive the Kingdom of God as our own!  And that is exactly what it means to “inherit” the Kingdom!  After we have learned  all the lessons of our walk in Christ, after we have endured our share of the sufferings of Christ, we are then fully qualified to receive our rightful inheritance in the Kingdom of God.  We shall then have no worldly or personal kingdoms of man.  We shall own no other kingdom but the Kingdom of God, which becomes our very own.


            How little does the wailing infant, over whose cradle hangs the photograph of his father’s vast estate, understand of the inheritance to which he has been born!  The old homestead, the far-spread lands, the immense business enterprises, the enormous investments, the accumulated wealth, the prestige of fame and prosperity and power all these things are his; but years must pass ere they can be truly realized or appreciated.  And how little do most earnest and zealous and saintly children of God conceive of that inheritance which is ours so soon as we become the children of God by faith in Jesus Christ.  As a matter of right all God’s nature and power and glory and wisdom and dominion is ours the moment we are born into His family; as a vast tract of land, filled with woods and rivers and oil wells, belongs to the heir at the moment of birth.  But, as a matter of fact, we shall never occupy all until we have grown up into the maturity of Christ.  His gifts are for His children, but His inheritance is reserved for His full-grown sons.  We are urged, therefore, by the apostle Paul, to press forward from the gift-realm into the inheritance-realm!  “Therefore it is said...He bestowed gifts on men.  His intention was the perfecting and full equipping of the saints, that they should do the work of ministering toward building up Christ’s body, that it might develop until we all really mature manhood the completeness of personality which is nothing less than the standard height of Christ’s own perfection the measure of the stature of the fullness of the Christ, and the completeness found in Him” (Eph. 4:8,12-13).  Together we can praise God that He has brought us to that day!


            Here is a scene with which we are all familiar.  The car is humming along the road.  Suddenly there’s a sputter, a fruitless pumping of the gas pedal and then a full halt.  You’re out of gas!  Hundreds of thousands of motorists have that experience each year, and I must confess that it has happened to me a few times, too.  The problem is not technological.  The basic problem is usually human error either a failure to plan ahead or heedless attention to an obviously depleted gas level.  That failure to plan ahead is common.  Although the motorist is aware of the distance to be traveled and of the gas performance of his car, he sets out without adequate fuel.  Closed gas stations or long distances of remote highway on which there are no service stations  spell trouble.  Simple preparation would have averted the dilemma, but after some inconvenience the destination will likely be reached.  The Kingdom of God is another journey that might not end up where we would like it to.  Unfortunately many Christians are content to drift aimlessly with no thought of whether they are prepared for the journey of journeys.  Often they are prepared for the wrong journey, and therefore miss the Kingdom.  They are getting ready to fly away to heaven instead of preparing to inherit the Kingdom of God!


            There are four classes of people in relation to the Kingdom of God today.  There are those who see the Kingdom.  Then there are those who enter the Kingdom.  After that there are some who press in to possess the Kingdom.  And finally there is a people that inherits the Kingdom.  It is one thing to see the Kingdom, but quite another thing to inherit the Kingdom.  To see the Kingdom is vision.  To enter the Kingdom is exploration.  To possess the Kingdom is appropriation.  And to inherit the Kingdom is to fully and permanently utilize and exercise all of its riches, abundance, position, responsibilities and powers. 


            Those who inherit the Kingdom are the ones who sit with Jesus upon His throne and rule with Him; those who only enter the Kingdom enjoy its blessings and benefits and they serve Him, not reign with Him.  They are citizens and subjects of the Kingdom, not kings and priests.  Those who enter the Kingdom will be a great multitude, as John the Revelator saw them... “After this (the sealing of the 144,000) I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.  Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple: and He that sitteth upon the throne shall dwell among them.  They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; for the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes” (Rev. 7:9-10,15-17). 


            It should not be difficult to understand that those who sit with Christ in His throne occupy an altogether different position than those who merely enter the Kingdom and serve Him before the throne.  “To him that overcometh shall 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).  “Thou hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth” (Rev. 5:10).  Those who inherit the Kingdom and reign with Christ upon His throne are a select and chosen people, especially prepared for this position, a small number in comparison with the “great multitude” serving Him before His throne.  The requirements for those who inherit the Kingdom are much higher than for the ones merely entering the Kingdom and partaking of its wondrous blessings and bounteous benefits. 


            Some who read these lines are familiar with the visions of Annie of Argentina.  In one of her visions she recounts, “While I was with Him in the wonder and glory of His invisible world, He showed me His own entering into the possession which He gives them.  He explained that there were two distinct times of tremendous importance in which there could be an entering into one’s possession.  Now, before the storm or later, after the storm.  Those who entered their possession before the storm became His elect ones, with a far superior place and development.  In them the perfect will of God was brought  forth.  Occupying a place very near to Him, they became the instruments of God in His workings.  Those who entered their possession after the storm were perfected upon a definitely inferior plane.”  I believe the “storm” represents God’s dealings in judgment.  Those who now gladly submit to all of Father’s dealings and chastisements upon His sons become qualified to occupy a place of intimacy with Him and share His glorious throne.  Those who, though His children, must be dealt with in judgment in order to bring His will into their lives, occupy a lesser place in His Kingdom, a place of serving rather than reigning.


            The Kingdom of God is something we inherit.  Jesus Christ of Nazareth has already inherited the Kingdom of His Father and now sits upon His Father’s throne.  And, like a multibillionaire Father, He has written His will, designating each one of us as potential inheritors of His vast, unlimited estates called the Kingdom of God!  Paul says that we are heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ (Rom. 8:17).  Yes, heirs not yet inheritors!  All creation is waiting with eager anticipation for the heirs to become inheritors, for all shall be delivered and blessed in the overflow of their glory and power.


            Paul Mueller has written, “Obviously, there is a difference between entering the new land and inheriting it.  As soon as Israel entered their promised land of Canaan, they were to appoint judges ‘in all thy gates’ (Deut. 16:18).  If their judges rendered righteous judgment and observed many other principles of righteousness and obedience to the law and word of the Lord, Israel would then inherit the promised land of Canaan.  This truth applies to this new land of the Kingdom of God on earth as well as to the old land of Canaan.  In entering our promised land of the Kingdom of God on earth now, we are beginning to experience a new and different set of tests and trials that qualify us to LIVE IN and INHERIT this land of promise.  Jesus explained the high calling of His disciples, which was to inherit the Kingdom of God and judge the twelve tribes of Israel.  He said to them, ‘Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations (testings).  And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; that ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.’  In speaking to His disciples as He did, Jesus fully recognized the trials and testings they had gone through with Him.  Jesus said because those disciples remained with Him all through their adversities and trials being literally put to the proof through those difficult times they would inherit the Kingdom.  This establishes a pattern for us also.  The early disciples were appointed to the Kingdom as a result of the tests and trials they endured and by being obedient to the work of the Spirit within them.  Even so do we inherit the fullness of the Kingdom of God by being tested and tried.  We are entering the Kingdom ‘through much tribulation’ (Acts 14:22).  If our testings are increasing, it is because Father is pressing us into the fullness of His Kingdom with greater haste and intensity.  Because we are proven by experience to be true, faithful and righteous, we shall eat and drink of Him at His table in His Kingdom.  We shall also sit with Him on His spiritual throne to judge the world in truth and in righteousness”   end quote.


            That the hope of honor and glory may be fastened firmly in our spiritual minds let us examine more closely this principle of inheritance.  When a titled person dies, the heirs inherit all that is his: the family crest, the property, the land, the fortune, or possibly even a great mass of debts.  What I am saying is that sons and heirs inherit everything pertaining to the title of their father.  Even in life all children inherit genetically something from their father, such as his nature, life, love, care, and daily provision.  But how much of his wealth they will each receive, a wise father will determine by their individual capacities for profiting by possessions.  He will not bequeath a mansion to a son who loves only nature and prefers to live in a shack on the creek bank, nor will he leave a million dollars to one who has no appreciation of the value of money and would squander it all in a short time.  And he most certainly will not give the family business into the hands of an irresponsible, reckless, and lazy son who has never prepared himself for assuming such responsibilities. 


            This practical principle also operates with the Lord in the realm of the Kingdom of Heaven, for Jesus has taught us that “The kingdom of heaven is as a man who was about to take a long journey, and he called his servants together and entrusted them with his property.  To one he gave five talents (probably about $5,000), to another two, to another one; to each in proportion to his own personal ability.  Then he departed and left the country.  He who received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he gained five talents more.  And likewise he who had received the two talents; he also gained two talents more.  But he who had received the one talent went and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.  Now after a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them.  And he who had received the five talents came and brought him five more, saying, Master, you entrusted to me five talents; see, here I have gained five talents more.  His master said to him, Well done, you upright, honorable, admirable and faithful servant!  You have been faithful and trustworthy over a little; I will put you in charge of much.  Enter into and share the joy the delight, the blessedness which your master enjoys.  And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, Master, you entrusted two talents to me; here I have gained two talents more.  His master said to him, Well done, you upright, honorable, admirable and faithful servant!  You have been faithful and trustworthy over a little; I will put you in charge of much.  Enter into and share the joy the delight, the blessedness which your master enjoys. 


            “He who had received one talent also came forward, saying, Master, I knew you to be a harsh and hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you had not winnowed the grain; so I was fearful, and I went and hid your talent in the ground.  Here you have what is your own.  But his master answered him, You wicked and lazy and idle servant!  Did you indeed know that I reap where I have not sowed, and gather grain where I have not winnowed?  Then you should have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I could have received what was my own with interest.  So take the talent away from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.  For to everyone who has shall more be given, and he will be furnished richly so that he will have abundance.  And throw the good-for-nothing servant into the outer darkness (a realm of loss outside the Kingdom); there shall be weeping and grinding of teeth (in sorrow at being denied the power and glory of the Kingdom)” (Mat. 25:14-30).


            Christians as a whole have very faulty ideas concerning ruling and reigning with Christ, and the structure and administration of the Kingdom in general.  They imagine that by sheer grace they will be caught up into heavenly realms of power and glory.  But the Spirit of God teaches us clearly that “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son” (Rev. 21:7).  The whole passage (Rev. 21) mentions three classes in relation to the Kingdom first, the unconverted, who have their part in the lake of fire the purging, purifying fires of purposeful, redemptive judgment; second, saved peoples with God dwelling among them, children of God who have an entrance into the Kingdom to receive of its blessings and benefits; third, heirs and sons inheriting all things.


            George Wylie once gave the following illustration which beautifully makes the point.  He said, “In entering the Kingdom you are just being there, you have a place in the Kingdom, you are a subject of the Kingdom: but to inherit it is something else.  This might help you to understand it better.  I live in Canada, and am a Canadian subject.  Many times I cross the border between here and the U.S.A.  When I cross the border I have entered the United States, but I am just a visitor there, I am not even a citizen of that country; but I have entered it when I left Canada and crossed the border.  As I travel around the U.S.A. I meet many people who are citizens of the land; they belong there, but I am a foreigner, nevertheless I have entered that country and enjoy its hospitality.  But if in some way I inherited the country, I could go to the White House and say to the President, ‘Now Mr. President, you kindly get out of here, I am taking over this nation, for I have inherited it.’  So you see there is a great difference between entering a place and inheriting it.


            “When one enters the Kingdom of God, he is there, he is a citizen, a subject of that country.  But when one inherits it, he is not just a subject of the Kingdom, he is the owner, the controller, the authority, the power, the government!  This is something greater than merely entering into the Kingdom and enjoying the blessings and rights of citizenship.  The qualifications for entering the Kingdom and those for inheriting the Kingdom are altogether different”   end quote.


            That this great honor and glory to which Christ is now bringing us through many trials, testings, and sufferings, is predicated upon our overcoming in them, cannot be disputed in the light of what He further states in chapters two and three of the book of the Revelation.  Oh, let us give earnest heed to these tremendous statements!  “And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father” (Rev. 2:26-27).  “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).  “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son” (Rev. 21:7).  It is the son who is the heir of the heavenly glories not simply any child of God you may meet on the street or in a church meeting.  Let not carnal, self-willed, immature Christians imagine for one moment that it will be given to them to reign with Christ without first having shed their carnal minds and put on the righteousness, knowledge, wisdom, obedience, and maturity of the Son of God. 


            God only commits Kingdom authority and power to those sons who have reached the spiritual stature of maturity.  The scriptures refer to this as the “adoption”.  Paul speaks of this adoption when he says, “Having predestinated us unto the ADOPTION OF SONS by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will” (Eph. 1:5).  To understand the various New Testament references to adoption, we must first have some background to show how the Oriental customs in this regard differ from our own Western concepts.  Here in the West, adoption is the taking of a child from one family and making it the member of another family.  The Greek word for adoption is HUIOTHESIA.  The first half is HUIOS, the common noun for an adult son.  The latter half is THESIA, meaning a placement or an installation.  In Israel, as in many Eastern countries, after a male “child” had come to full age and had been instructed and trained and had proven through obedience that he was able to assume the responsibility of the family name, wealth, and power, then the father held a public ceremony where some of the families and neighbors in Israel gathered together and the father publicly placed his boy as a “son”. 


            Jesus, in His relationship to His heavenly Father, passed through these two stages, as the prophet points out: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given...” (Isa. 9:6).  Consider these two statements: (1) a CHILD is BORN  (2) a SON is GIVEN.  Jesus fulfilled the first when He came into the world as a babe.  The “child” was born in Bethlehem.  But thirty years passed before the “son” was given at the Jordan river.  When Jesus was twelve years old the revelation of who He was came to Him, but even then “He went down with them (Mary and Joseph), and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them...and Jesus increased in wisdom and (spiritual) stature, and in favor with God and man” (Lk. 2:51-52).  After passing through thirty years of spiritual development under the dealings of His Father, learning His ways and complete obedience, in a public ceremony at Jordan, with multitudes of the families of Israel present with John the Baptist, God declared His Son’s SONSHIP: “And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him: and lo a voice from heaven saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am WELL PLEASED!” (Mat. 3:16-17).  From that day forward Jesus assumed the responsibility of His Father’s name, wealth, and power, and God’s SON became manifested to the world, glorifying the Father in word and in deed.   That is when the Kingdom of God came among men.


            The proclamation of adoption gave the son certain privileges not enjoyed by him before this time.  These privileges are important to all who have received the call to sonship and will teach us much about our own adoption as God’s sons if we think upon them.  First, the son at the adoption ceremony was given the right to use his father’s name.  He had the power of attorney and could buy or sell and do business in his father’s name.  Secondly, at this time the son was given his inheritance, all the wealth that the father would entrust to him.  It was at this time that the prodigal son came to his father to request of him all the portion of goods that belonged to him.  Thirdly, and of tremendous importance for our consideration, the son was promoted to equality with his father!   None of this was his by right of birth, but only as an attainment received following years of growth, development, discipline, schooling, testing, and experience.  Ah, at this present time we know in part and prophesy in part and our spiritual life and ministry is limited to that “measure” given to us as the children of God.  But the Spirit witnesses around the world, by incontrovertible witness and testimony, in dreams and visions, through the mouths of holy prophets and apostles, and by the spirit of wisdom and revelation to many thousands of saints, that the hour is wonderfully close at hand for the adoption, the placing, the manifestation of the sons of God, the full, complete, qualified, prepared, body of that firstborn Son.  What a day this is for us, and for the whole creation that groans and travails for deliverance!


            The implication of such a marvelous event as the manifestation of the sons of God is staggering to the imagination, and it is small wonder that the immature and careless Christians know nothing at all of it even as the day of manifestation draws nigh.  But the implication it holds not only for those who have received the call, but for the entire creation in the age and the ages to come, is beyond expression or even imagination.  Jesus Christ, the lonely carpenter of Nazareth, the first manifested Son, who challenged death, healed  the sick, cleansed the lepers, raised the dead, cast out devils, wrought mighty signs and wonders and miracles, and had power over the laws of nature and all things, was but one man placed as the Son of the Almighty Father in heaven; but what glory it will be when the entire family of sons is placed by adoption and stands up in the earth to do the works Jesus did and even greater works than those!


            Earlier I mentioned that an adopted son shares equality with his father.  Suppose you are driving down the street and pass a store with a sign out front that reads, BROWN AND SON HARDWARE what does this suggest to you?  Naturally, it suggests that Mr. Brown is the owner of the store and that Mr. Brown has a son who is partner with him in the business.  But it further suggests that this son is grown, that he has reached the age of maturity, experience, and responsibility where he can be taken into his father’s business as a partner as a mature business man!  You certainly would not expect, upon entering the store and asking for the son, to be presented to a ten year old boy or an infant in a playpen!  Nor have we ever seen a sign across the front of a store that read: BROWN AND CHILD HARDWARE!  This, then, is exactly the difference between a child of God and a son of God.  A child is born, but a son is developed.  Since we have been born of God we have God’s nature, the divine nature.  But we must grow up into God’s character and ability!  That is what it really means to be a manifested son of God!


            So many Christians today are satisfied with merely an entrance into the Kingdom realm of God where as children they can enjoy the many blessings and the wonderful benefits of God’s mercy, goodness and kindness.  Their eyes are blind to the higher purposes of God, and any efforts to lead them on to higher ground are rebuffed and resisted by a human reasoning that asks why one should waste time on “deep things” when they are already saved and “on their way to heaven.”  But the new birth, while it is the most astounding miracle of the ages, is, nevertheless, but the birth of a mere spiritual infant.  There are many further steps that must follow this birth if one is to come into all the glories and the full heritage which is prepared for those who follow on to know the Lord.  The life of God is a free gift of unmerited mercy and favor.  But heavenly attainments of spiritual wealth and power and glory and usefulness are given to those who grow up unto the “measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4:13).  There is great glory, wisdom, power, and responsibility awaiting those who grow up to be God’s sons.  Let us press forward unto SONSHIP!




            God’s Kingdom is a body politic.  And there are two parties: God’s righteous government, and the opposition.  The opposition has been trying for six thousand years, by any and every means, to gain control of the government.  But it has been a disheartening battle.  The Word says, “The government shall be upon HIS (Christ, Head and body) shoulders...of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever” (Isa. 9:6-7).  Because this rule can never diminish or cease, every apparent victory of the enemy, in the end, has turned out to be a defeat.  Of course, God planned it that way from the beginning for our learning and development in the Kingdom.


            Out of God’s own mouth proceeds the assertion, “I have created the waster to destroy” (Isa. 54:16).  We gather from this passage that God has created the negative realm for a specific purpose, to serve as a backdrop for the positive realm.  That purpose is stated in the opening words of the above quoted verse: “I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an INSTRUMENT for His work.”  The “smith” that “bloweth upon the fire” is also the one who heats the furnace seven times hotter!  “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing had happened unto you” (I Pet. 4:12).  Our trials and testings are associated in the Word of God with the ministry of Satan.  You never thought of Satan having a MINISTRY?  Meditate deeply upon the following passages and I do not doubt that you will see how it is that God Himself sends the adversary into our lives to accomplish that work which can only be done by adversity, trouble, temptation, processing, trials and testings.  “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be TEMPTED (tested, tried) OF THE DEVIL.  And when the Tempter came to Him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread” (Mat. 4:1-3).  “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the Devil shall cast some of you into prison, THAT YE MAY BE thou faithful...and I will give thee a crown of life” (Rev. 2:10).  “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, THAT HE MAY SIFT YOU AS WHEAT: but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren” (Lk. 22:31-32). 


            A friend has written, “God is constructing a temple, made of living stones, through which to manifest Himself throughout the ages to come.  Satan was created as a chisel and hammer to be used in the construction of this building.  The living stones that are even now being placed in this temple have been chosen, says the Lord, in the ‘furnace of affliction’ (Isa. 48:10).  God, however, is mercy; God is love; God is compassion.  He is a healer, not a destroyer.  It was, nonetheless, necessary that an oven be heated in which to purify the gold a furnace in which the wood, hay, and stubble were to be burned but God, in His nature of love and goodness, could not perform the necessary affliction.  It was for this reason that He created AN INSTRUMENT that was capable of performing this essential action in the lives of men, for in Satan God literally created  a chastening rod.  If we can realize that behind the acts of Satan is the mighty hand of God working to bring forth gold from these earthen vessels, we can rejoice, as David, in our afflictions and trials and exclaim with him, ‘It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I might learn Thy statutes’ (Ps. 119:7).  Praise God!  When we begin to see the good that comes from the assaults of Satan in our lives, we are able to appreciate all the more the greatness of our God and the depth of the wisdom of His great mind.  He is truly a God of power and might, and all things are in His hand and by His design even this adversary whom we call the Devil.”


            The human race fell to the deception of the opposition at the very beginning.  But instead of that being a victory for the adversary, it turned out to be a blessing for the human race.  For now, not only will all men be restored to what was lost by the fall, but those who are called and chosen are translated to the heavenly realm, to a position as far removed from a perfect Edenic state as the east is from the west.  The opposition even went as far as to crucify the King, the Lord of glory.  But that seeming defeat for Christ’s cause was a signal victory, for on the third day the crucified One arose from the tomb, thus breaking the sway of death and delivering all who were in bondage from its clutches.  Because He arose, so shall every son of Adam arise.  “The hour is coming, in the which A-L-L that are in the graves shall hear His voice and come forth...” (Jn. 5:28-29).  The Kingdom of the righteous One has not yet been brought forth in all its fullness and perfection over the earth.  We are passing through a period of preparation in which those who have proven themselves faithful to the rightful King and His cause, are being sealed, and now joyfully await the day when, upon the full manifestation of the Kingdom, they will be raised to great honor and power and majesty, to reign as heavenly kings over the earth, to bring life and light and love to all mankind and to all worlds and all creatures throughout the endless vastnesses of infinity.


            Faithful adherence to the principles of the government is the one and only condition laid down by which men attain to these positions of honor.  But through the ages the opposition has been trying to overthrow the dominion of the Kingdom of God and to gain the ascendancy by enlisting the supporters of the government in his own cause.  He enlists them and leads them to work against their sovereign Head by confusing them concerning the principles of the government.  Those who thus follow the adversary are rebels, traitors, unfaithful servants.  They can never come to honor.  That doesn’t mean they can’t be saved it means that they forfeit their place in the government of God.  They have betrayed a sacred trust in that which is considered least: they have been faithless in a few things.  Thus they have proven themselves unfit to be entrusted with more important matters.  I have seen brethren who received the call to sonship take the word of the Kingdom and prostitute it with the ways of religion and the methods of the flesh, for financial gain, for a name,  for a following,  to build a little kingdom around themselves, to control men’s lives, or simply because they lacked the faith and consecration to walk out the principles of the Kingdom of God.  They can never, with the faithful, be made rulers over many things.  And such is the sad state and condition of the church in general of the present day.


            The Lord has, in mercy, allowed the least faithless of the popular church systems to declare enough of the gospel to lead a few to the Saviour.  Some of these receive and teach a genuine baptism in the Holy Spirit, with gifts, and healings, and blessings and miracles.  But from here on, practically everything that is taught is nothing but defilement and shame: nothing but the traditions of the elders, and the lies and deceptions of the adversary.  Oh, that we all might now leave our delusions and press on toward perfection.  My God, lead us onward and upward to “be no more children, tossed to and fro, carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ” (Eph. 4:14-15).  Adult spiritual perfection alone will win the prize incomparable at the end of the race.  And that perfection can be attained only by leaving the popular crowd: by seeking the Lord who is our life, and by trusting Him to take us all the way in to His crucifixion, and then into all His glorious fullness of resurrection life and light and glory.  Let us die to all that defiles.  Let us awaken to righteousness and truth and reality. 


            From out of the masses of the redeemed our Father in heaven is even now calling and preparing a people to inherit the Kingdom of God, a people that has learned through the processings of this Day to let the mind of Christ dwell in them.  They live and act out of that perfect, holy, wise,  glorious mind.  From the hosts of the redeemed He is raising up a company of kings and priests to share His glorious throne and dominion.  Even now they are reigning over a few things, and soon they shall be given dominion over many things.  By the spirit of revelation these have been quickened to the knowledge that they are integral parts of Himself all the sons of God elect according to the purpose of Him from the very foundation of the world.  Oh, with what incredible faithfulness and omnipotent power our heavenly Father has with His chastening rod and His tender mercies molded the vessels of glory appointed to His Kingdom!  Ah, my brother, my sister!  Strip for the race!  Let nothing impede your progress now.  Cast off every weight and the sin which so easily besets us, looking unto Jesus, who is both the author and the finisher of our faith.


            Just as there are certain things which are essential prerequisites to inheriting the Kingdom of God, so there are certain things which are hindrances and barriers and which stop a man from inheriting it.  Certain of these barriers we must already know for they are the opposites of the things that are the qualifications for the Kingdom.  Just as the childlike, the forgiving, and the serving spirit are all necessary passports to the Kingdom, so the proud, the bitter, and the selfish spirit are hindrances and barriers to the Kingdom.  The apostle Paul, earnestly contending with the carnality of the saints in the church at Corinth, speaks to believers about such a mundane thing as suing each other at the law.  He admonishes them in the love of Christ that it is a shame for them to do this.  He is trying to persuade them that this is not something the elect of God should be doing.  They, like Jesus, should be willing to suffer loss rather than fight and contend with one another over earthly things.  How can we rule and reconcile all things in mercy and love, if we demand our rights and use the law against those who wrong us today?  That very spirit is contrary to the principles of the Kingdom!  It will keep you off the throne of righteous judgment, my friend!


            By the wisdom given to him by the Lord, Paul writes, “Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another.  Why do ye not rather take wrong?  Why do ye not suffer yourselves to be defrauded?  Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.  Know ye not that the unrighteous (believers) 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. 6:7-10). 


            The above list is not pleasant, but it needs to be published.  These things remind us that the principles of the Kingdom must be laid in our everyday lives.  It is easy to relish the deep teaching of the Kingdom, and revel in the hope of the glory that is coming, but the nature of holiness and love and perfection must become expressed in every word and deed of those who call themselves the sons of God.  We may not be subject to the grosser sins of the flesh, but there is also selfishness, anger, jealousy, idle words, faultfinding, condemning, dissension and a hundred other personality traits that defile the Kingdom.  There is a Kingdom of God to which we must give answer every day of our lives.  There is an eternal Kingdom of power and glory to be “inherited” or lost.  There is an eternal issue to all of life.  It has its terminal point in the eternal Kingdom.  There is something then at stake vitally and desperately at stake.  It is our inheritance, our place, our usefulness, our reward, our very future in the government of God!


            A passage in Galatians says essentially the same thing: “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal. 5:19-21.  Do you know any Christians who do such things? Do you practice these things yourself?  If you do, then you can be assured that you will not inherit the Kingdom of God.  You will not enter into the glory God has prepared for you.  You will be ruled “disqualified”.  Disqualified for the Kingdom!  Ah, you will be saved by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, but will forfeit your opportunity to rule and reign with Christ.  This is not judgment and condemnation I am preaching today this is the solemn truth and wisdom of God who is raising up kings and priests who shall REIGN IN RIGHTEOUSNESS!  Only the righteous can reign in righteousness! 


            In God’s Kingdom today there are great spiritual rewards.  There is joy unspeakable and full of glory, and righteousness and peace in the Holy Ghost.  But there is a Kingdom of life, of incorruption, of immortality, of universal rule and dominion, of almighty power and glory that lies just before us.  But we will never know it or taste it unless we lay aside what is keeping us from entering in.  The exhortation of the first perfect Son of God reaches us even today, “Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able” (Lk. 13:24).  This is referring to how a pack animal, in order to go through a narrow opening in the gate of a city, first had to have its baggage all unloaded.  It was only after being thus disencumbered that a beast of burden could squeeze through.  The sad reason that some who have heard the call to sonship do not enter into the Kingdom is that they are unwilling to rid themselves of all the baggage that is keeping them from the will of God.  They are hanging on to many things, fleshly or religious, being afraid to let go of them and trust God to be all to them.  Many believers have barely gotten the aroma of the rich enjoyment of Christ that is available to them today.  They stand in the Outer Court, or in the Holy Place, and never enter into the Most Holy Place, into the very presence of God, into the fullness of incorruptible life, glory and power, because they are attached to an outward, organizational, ceremonial, ritualistic, creedal, emotional, sentimental and works-oriented religious realm.  Let us lay aside the weights and the sin which so easily besets us and run the race.  If there is something that is keeping you from inheriting the Kingdom, cast it aside.  Do not be encumbered, my beloved, so that you cannot fully enter  in to inherit your promised land.  The Kingdom of God lies waiting before us.  The door is open, and all who hear the call may enter in.  Let me say boldly that no one is too weak or too feeble.  The ones who do not enter are simply unwilling.  No matter what your state or your condition, you can turn today to the heavenly Father, the Father of mercies, the Father of glory,  and He will strengthen you, nurture you, and empower you to inherit the everlasting Kingdom.  Arise, and enter in!

To be continued...                                                                                          



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