the things concerning the kingdom of God..."
KINGDOM OF GOD
YOU BECOME AS A LITTLE CHILD
The eighteenth chapter of Matthew begins with these words, “At the same
time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who
is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
And Jesus called a little child
unto Him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, Verily I say unto you,
except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into
the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever
therefore shall humble himself as this little
child, the same is greatest in the
kingdom of heaven. And whoso
shall receive one such little child in my name, receiveth me.
But whoso shall offend one of these little ones...it were better for him
that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the
depth of the sea. Woe unto the
world because of offenses! for it must needs be that offenses come; but woe to that
man by whom the offense cometh! Wherefore
if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it
is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two
hands or two feet to be cast into eonian fire.
And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is
better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to
be cast into hell fire. Take heed
that ye despise not one of these little
ones; for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the
face of my Father which is in heaven. For
the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.
How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone
astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and
seeketh that which is gone astray? And
if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that
sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.
Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of
these little ones should perish”
The subject of this wonderful passage of scripture is WHO IS THE GREATEST
IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN? There are
two characters in the divine drama. You
find these two all the way through this teaching of Jesus.
The two characters are directly involved in the answer to the question,
“Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?”
Of these characters one is a child.
The other is a man. The
child is the greatest in the Kingdom. The
man is so offensive that he ought to be drowned in the sea.
These are the two characters — the child, and the man.
The issue between these two is who is the greatest in the Kingdom of
There is no need to inquire who would aspire
to being the greatest in the Kingdom. The
very thought brings to mind the mother of the disciples,
James and John. It was she who came to Jesus with her sons, and kneeling,
worshipped Him and asked a favor of Him. Jesus
asked her, “What do you wish?” She
answered Him, “Give orders that these two sons of mine may sit, one at your
right hand and one at your left hand, in your Kingdom.”
Ah — what an audacious,
ambitious and enterprising mother she was!
Out of her fearless mother’s heart of love she was moved to seek the
very highest positions in Christ’s Kingdom for her two beloved sons.
Jesus did not flatly deny her the request.
He did not tell her that her sons could never be the greatest in His
Kingdom. Jesus simply replied, “You do not realize what you are
asking. Are you able to drink the
cup that I am about to drink and to be baptized with the baptism with which I am
baptized? You will drink my cup,
but seats at my right hand and my left are not mine to give, but they are for
those for whom they have been ordained and
prepared by my Father” (Mat. 20:22-23).
Perhaps you think as I have thought, that there was a bit of selfishness,
perhaps even a liberal dose of ego, a spirit of “power grabbing,” and the
desire for recognition and advantage on the part of this mother. But is the desire to be greatest in the Kingdom a wrong
desire? Is it unethical or
unspiritual? Is it a selfish, vain,
conceited, power-mad, un-Christlike, reprehensible desire to be the greatest in
the Kingdom? Not by any means!
If your desire to be great in God’s Kingdom is a grasping after
greatness for greatness’ sake —
to make a name, to acquire a following, to dominate
men’s lives, to control events, to issue orders and call the shots — then
you can forget it. You will never
be great in the Kingdom. Recently a
sister shared with us about a man in a certain church who used to get up and say
he’d be so glad when the sons were manifested, because then that neighbor of
his would find out he was dead wrong about the boundary line between their two
properties! If such childish
carnality lies at the root of one’s desire for greatness in the Kingdom,
matters not how persistently that one pursues it, it will escape him. It will be denied. God
will never commit His almighty power into the hands of
petty, self-serving bullies.
On the other hand, the blessed Holy Spirit gives us the qualifications
for greatness in the Kingdom. He
tells us what the spirit of greatness is. He
reveals the nature and character of greatness.
He delineates the marks of greatness within a man. He also assures us that there exists such a position of
greatness in the Kingdom, and it is available to any who will pay the price.
The Lord Jesus refers on a number of occasions to those who are least
in the Kingdom. “Whosoever
therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so,
he shall be called the least in the
kingdom of heaven” (Mat. 5:19). He
also speaks of those who are greatest
in the Kingdom. “Whosoever
therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Mat. 18:4).
There is that potential within each of us of winding up down the road
somewhere in either of these two categories — the
least in the Kingdom, or the greatest
in the Kingdom.
Not a few saints are like the man who told my father one time, “I just
want to make it to heaven. If I can
just make it inside the gate, I shall be satisfied.”
My father, a Pentecostal minister, responded, “I hate to disappoint
you, my brother; but that space just
inside the gate was taken up a long time ago!”
Some people look forward to a “cabin in the corner of glory-land”
while others will be satisfied with nothing less than a “mansion over the
hill-top.” But there is a hope
far greater than these, cherished within the hearts of a people who know the
Lord in deeper measures. There is a
place in the Kingdom, in the government of God, in the authority and dominion of
the Christ, where the sons of God shall be empowered to be a blessing to every
people and nation, yea, to all the vast creation of God forevermore.
Abraham Lincoln tells a marvelous story about a blacksmith who took a long, round bar and stuck it in the coals until it
was red hot. Then he put it on the
anvil where he hammered it flat to make a sword.
When he was finished, he was most unhappy with it.
So he put it back in the red hot coals and decided to broaden the flat
part out a bit and make a garden tool. He
tried that, but it didn’t please his fancy either.
He put the bar back into the coals.
He rounded it a bit again and then shaped it into a horse-shoe.
This effort also failed miserably. As
a last resort, he put the bar into the coals one last time.
As he removed it from the hot fire, he wondered if there was anything
else he could make from it. Deciding
that there was nothing, he merely stuck it into a barrel of water.
As it sizzled, he said, “Well, at least I made a fizzle out of it.”
God doesn’t want to make a fizzle out of you, my beloved!
His purpose is just this: “But you are a chosen generation, a royal
priesthood, an holy nation, a special people, that you should set forth and
display the virtues and excellencies of the wisdom and power of Him who has
called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (I Pet. 2:9).
These words are meant for you.
You are God’s special people! You
are a chosen generation! You are
kings and priests, a royal priesthood! You
hold in your life the power to shape the world and human history, to bring in a
new order that shall alter the course of all creation!
Do not settle for the fizzle — pursue the vision God has birthed within your spirit!
God is raising up a kingdom of priests, a kingly priesthood, to bless all
the families and nations of the earth. This
is one of the promises given in the long ago to that mighty man of faith,
Abraham. How great were the
promises made to Abraham! There
were seven great and exceedingly wonderful promises given to him, enumerated in
chapter twelve of Genesis. The
first was, “I will make of thee a great nation.”
The second was, “I will bless thee.”
The third, “I will make thy name great.”
The word name carries with it the idea of honor, authority, and the
character of the individual. God
was saying to Abraham that He would make his honor to be great; his authority
was to be great and even his character great.
I will make thy name to be great. The
fourth promise was, “Thou shalt be a blessing.”
The fifth, “And I will bless them that bless thee.”
The sixth, “I will curse him that curseth thee.”
Then the seventh was, “In thee shall ALL THE FAMILIES OF THE EARTH BE
BLESSED.” Not the families of Israel, nor the families of the Church,
but ALL FAMILIES OF THE EARTH. In
these precious promises God caused Abraham to understand that he was the
beginning of something that was to be world
wide and all-inclusive, not some
insignificant local affair.
God promised Abraham that He would bless him.
And when Melchizedek came out of the celestial realm that day, HE BLESSED
ABRAHAM. Then the Lord said,
“Thou shalt BE a blessing...in thee shall ALL families of the earth BE
BLESSED.” Hear it!
Abraham was blessed...to BE A
BLESSING! With reverence and
godly respect I now tell you that you, dear reader of these lines, are included
in these wonderful promises. “Now
to Abraham and his seed were the promises made.
He saith not, And to seeds as to many; but
as of one, and to thy seed, WHICH IS
CHRIST” (Gal. 3:16). God made
this promise, even this covenant, with two people only — with Abraham, and
with the seed of Abraham, who was also God’s Son, Jesus the Christ.
With Abraham and his singular seed — WHICH
IS CHRIST. God not only made this
covenant with a man, Abraham, but He made it with HIS OWN SON.
God had a witness in earth and a witness in heaven that He had made a
covenant that through Abraham and His Son every family and nation would be
blessed, and it was confirmed with an oath so that it could never fail.
Oh, the wonder of it!
“And if ye be Christ’s, THEN ARE YE ABRAHAM’S SEED AND HEIRS
ACCORDING TO THE PROMISE” (Gal. 3:29). Never
have words more pregnant with promise been uttered.
Today, now, we are heirs according to that marvelous promise God gave to
Abraham and the Christ. We are
heirs of every one of those seven covenants that God made with Abraham.
We can take them all individually and apply them to ourselves and to the
whole body of the Christ. They are
both individual and corporate. To
Abraham God promised a seed which would come to bless the whole earth, a seed
through whom each and every person ever to see the light of day would be
delivered and blessed. We see that
seed begin to form in the preparation of a nation chosen and separated unto
Himself. Long centuries afterward
we behold Jesus of Nazareth, anointed with the Holy Ghost and with power,
walking the length and breadth of that favored nation showing forth among its
people the wondrous glory of His Father. God’s
infallible word declares Him to be the direct seed of Abraham according to the
flesh, but the Son of God with power. Truly
He was the promised seed, the seed of Abraham and the anointed Son of God,
“thy seed which is Christ.”
To the apostle Paul it was given to reveal how we, the elect redeemed of
this age, are MEMBERS IN PARTICULAR OF CHRIST, so that we are the Christ body as Jesus is the Christ
Head. The Head and body
together form one Christ, the temple of God
and the habitation of the Most High, 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).
It is through this many-membered Christ that the promises to Abraham and
his seed shall be gloriously fulfilled in their totality.
All families and all nations of the whole earth shall
“Even as Abraham believed God...know ye therefore that they which are
of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.
And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the nations through
faith, PREACHED BEFORE THE GOSPEL UNTO ABRAHAM, saying, IN THEE SHALL ALL
NATIONS BE BLESSED” (Gal. 3:6-8). In
this passage we see that God one day did
some preaching. The almighty God
with infinite care and wisdom laid the plans for the magnificent work He would
do through Abraham and his seed. Then
He told Abraham to attend a preaching service He was going to hold.
Abraham was the congregation. It
makes no difference where the service was to be held. God
was the preacher and it would have been very wonderful to have been in the
service. As God began to preach, He
brought forth the Gospel or the GOOD NEWS and it was this: ALL NATIONS were to
be blessed in Abraham!
It is the infallible proclamation of the omnipotent God — all
the families and all the nations of the earth are to be blessed.
Certainly they have all been kissed by God’s wonderful sunshine and
have drunk in the refreshing rain from heaven, but that is not what God is
speaking of. He is pointing to a
great manifestation and outpouring of God’s grace and glory that still has not
occurred — a time when God will speak to all, reveal Himself to all,
redeem all, transform all and bless all. Not
individuals, not the Church, but the NATIONS!
A great and mighty move of God shall yet come in the earth that few men
have even dreamed of, when the younger sons of God, the Christ
body, having fully grown up into the measure of the stature of the fullness
of the Christ, shall be manifested in all the fullness of the nature, wisdom,
power and glory of God. In that day
the whole creation shall be lifted from the bondage and night of corruption into
the glorious freedom of the children of God (Rom. 8:18-23).
What an exceeding great potential and responsibility is laid upon us in
the promises to Abraham which we share!
A millennium after God blessed Abraham to make him a blessing, the word
of the Lord came to the remnant of Abraham’s seed, proclaiming, “And it
shall come to pass, that as ye were a curse among the heathen...so will I save
you, and YE SHALL BE A BLESSING: fear not, but let your hands be strong”
(Zech. 8:13). Hear the heart of God
in this statement: “Ye shall be a blessing.”
How important punctuation is! Should
someone put a question mark behind this statement it would read, “Ye shall be
a blessing?” And looking at
ourselves, none of us are very important people in this world, we’re just
common, ordinary, mostly uneducated people; laborers, plumbers, farmers,
electricians, mill workers, office workers, store keepers, barbers, housewives,
mechanics, etc. The great ones of this world would look askance at us
and incredulously query, “YE shall be a blessing?”
But we know from the Lord God Almighty who made us, called us, revealed
Himself to us, and has been actively training and preparing us through great and
terrible dealings, that we shall be a
blessing, indeed. So we put an
exclamation mark at the end of the sentence, not a question mark.
“YE SHALL BE A BLESSING!”
I am sure that all of the Lord’s elect, who follow on to know the Lord,
cherish the precious promise that we are apprehended of God to be a part of that
promised seed that shall bless all the families and nations of the earth.
As we daily view the desperate needs about us, of family and friends, of
the sinful, sorrowful, needy, sick and dying, oh! how we WANT to be a blessing!
To be a blessing — what a promise that is!
What hope is contained therein! But
you don’t just walk up to someone on the street and announce, “I’m your
Blesser.” First, we must BECOME.
You shall BE... To “be”
bespeaks a state of being. God is
teaching us, preparing us, training us to truly BE blessers.
We can only bless when we have BECOME THE BLESSING.
The Order of Melchizedek is an ORDER OF BLESSERS.
In this divine Order there are no curses, no negation to be uttered, no
vindictiveness, no judgment, but there is a ministry of blessing.
This is far more than a doctrine to be received, a formula of words to be
repeated, or a claim to be made; this is an expression of unconditional love and
unrestrained compassion that flows from our spirit toward others until all the
families and nations of the earth have been touched and healed and quickened by
His all-conquering love.
I must mention the principle of the Melchizedekian Priesthood and the
seed of Abraham in respect to blessing. We
know that Melchizedek blessed Abraham.
God had said to Abraham, “I will bless thee...and thou shalt be a
blessing...in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.”
First Abraham was blessed, and then he could become a blessing.
Blessed to BE A BLESSING! Oh,
may the Spirit of God somehow burn this truth indelibly into our hearts.
But there is also the realm where men bless in order to be blessed,
giving in order to receive, giving and receiving again according to how they
have given. “Give, and it shall be
given unto you.” “Blessed
are the merciful, for they shall obtain
mercy.” “Not rendering evil
for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are
thereunto called, that ye should INHERIT A BLESSING.”
This is all true, and most “faith” and “word” people dwell there.
But when the Holy Spirit begins to reveal that higher Order of Melchizedek
within your spirit, a vast transforming change begins to take place in your
understanding. Gone forever is the
desire to give in order to receive, to be merciful so that in some future time
you might receive mercy, or to bless with a view to being blessed.
Henceforth we begin to see things as God sees them, and from this high
and holy vista our purified desire becomes only to BE BLESSED that we may BE A
BLESSING. It is not giving to receive, but receiving
In the Order of Melchizedek ALL
THINGS ARE REVERSED. Truly
there is a changing, a reversing of all principles and laws in the new
order which is being birthed in the sons of God.
Our old ideas, teachings, conceptions,
and desires are being upset and overthrown, and our old theology and
methodology acquired in the religious systems of Mystery Babylon are fast flying
out the window. The Spirit of the
Lord quickens the yielded minds of those who wait before Him in this hour, the
elect is being led in new and strange paths of the divine order of the Most
High. So fear not, beloved child of
God, to let go of the teachings and practices of yesteryear, for those were but
the swaddling clothes of your BECOMING in God.
God’s apprehended ones are now moving into a dimension where there is
higher understanding, higher laws, and higher reality.
It must ever be kept in mind that every dimension functions by laws of
its own, and so it is with the Melchizedekian Order.
The first order of this sacred realm is BLESSING.
A divine work of transformation is now taking place within our minds.
God is not dealing in this hour with outward manifestation, but He is
probing deep into our being, to change the attitudes, thoughts, and desires of
mind and heart. Thank God He is
stripping away the masquerades and facades, purging and purifying, that we might
be conformed to His image, changed into His mind, a partaker of His nature.
We are challenged with our own development unto spiritual maturity, and
therefore we have received a commandment to bless — not that we might
receive anything in return — for we cannot truly bless another until it proceeds
unselfishly and unmixed out of a pure heart — a genuine
desire that they be blessed. Oh,
for that purity of spirit, that complete deliverance from the “seed faith”
mentality being peddled by the money-hungry preachers of this evil day that
continually urges the people to give
in order to get and to bless with the motive of being
blessed a hundred fold in return. May
the blazing heat of God’s holy fire so transform our minds and hearts until
every action can be thoroughly WITHOUT GUILE, no ulterior motive for whatever
this might return to us for our own gain.
I do not hesitate to tell you that giving to receive again, planting with
a vision to reaping a harvest, is a true principle in God, and it will work for
you on that level, but it is not the
law of the Order of Melchizedek. It
is the law of a lower plane. Increase
is the law of the realm of limitation, of want, of need, the in-part reaching
forth to acquire more. But the
priesthood of Melchizedek pertains to the realm of the unlimited, of His
fullness, after the power of an endless or unbounded life.
The priests of this order minister not from a sense of THEIR NEED, but
out of the realization of HIS FULLNESS. This
transformation of mind and attitude must take place in every son of God.
These sons shall not do the will of their heavenly Father in the childish
hope that He will reward them for it; but such lift up their voices in one accord with
that blessed firstborn Son, saying, “Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it
is written of me, I DELIGHT TO DO THY
WILL, O my God: yea, Thy law is written in my heart” (Ps. 40:7-8).
Ah, my brother, my sister, is it your heart’s desire to be a blessing? God is
creating within us the insatiable desire to be a blessing, not only to our
precious brethren, our children, our family, our friends, our neighbors, our
city, state and country — but to be a blessing to the
whole earth and to all creation. I
want that. Oh, how I desire it!
Now here is God’s promise: “Now, therefore, if ye will obey my voice
indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above
all people: FOR ALL THE EARTH IS MINE: and ye shall be unto me A KINGDOM OF
PRIESTS, and an holy nation” (Ex.
19:5-6). I have often characterized this verse of scripture as the
GREAT DIVINE SANDWICH. A sandwich
is two slices of bread between which is placed meat, fish, cheese, or the like.
Three items are necessary to make a sandwich, the two outer items —
pieces of bread — in between another, and different, item.
Such is the structure of the scripture passage just quoted.
There are two statements of like nature surrounding and enclosing another
and different kind of statement. Notice
the two outer statements: (1) ye shall be a PECULIAR TREASURE unto me above all people
(2) ye shall be unto me a
KINGDOM OF PRIESTS, and an holy nation. Then,
“sandwiched” in between these two wonderful promises is this remarkable
word: FOR ALL THE EARTH IS MINE.
In the light of this scripture I would like to reaffirm something which
the world at large, and many Christians, seem to have forgotten: THIS IS GOD’S
WORLD! “Every beast of the forest
is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.
I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field
are mine. If I were hungry, I would
not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof” (Ps. 50:10-12).
Moses said, “Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the
Lord’s thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is” (Deut. 10:14).
God said to Job, “Whatsoever is under the whole heaven is mine” (Job
41:11). And David said, “The
earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell
therein” (Ps. 24:1). I will be
the first to admit, howeve, that this world doesn’t look much like something
that is owned by the great and good God! I
look out over the world today and see demons stalking through the lands, with
literally billions of people held in the prison houses of the dense darkness of
false religions, worshipping idols, and devils, and the gods of superstition,
tradition and fear. I look out over
the world today and I see the spirit of strife and hatred and war, thousands
dying daily at the hands of terrorists, and in bloody revolutions on earth’s
battlefields. I look out over the
world today and I see nearly two billion people still enslaved under the iron
heel of godless, atheistic communism. It
doesn’t look much like God’s world, but IT IS!
I look out over the third-world nations today and I see poverty and
squalor and ignorance on an incomprehensible scale, millions of people starving
to death, pitiful little children with protruding eyes and stomachs bloated from
malnutrition, without hope in the world. I
look out over the industrialized nations of the West today and I see untold
millions of people bowing before the gods of humanism, secularism, and
worshipping before the shrines of the gods of pleasure, sex, perversion, and
debauchery. Fornication, adultery,
and homosexuality are all a big joke, just something to laugh about on the sit
coms, and glorified by Hollywood and the media. One thousand Americans are infected with venereal disease —
not every year, not every month, not every week, not every day —
every hour! Ah, it doesn’t look
much like a world that belongs to God, but IT DOES!
I look out upon our land today and I see millions of our children spaced
out on drugs, angry at the world, hostile to parents and all authority, and
out-of-joint with society. I see
that evil teachings, incredible in their filth and degradation, have crept into
our public schools on every hand, while God, prayer, and the Bible have been
thrown out and openly ridiculed. I
see a giant crime wave sweeping across our cities, rape is out of control,
murder is commonplace, and no one is safe on our streets anymore.
It doesn’t look much like a world that is the property of God, does it?
But IT IS!
This present evil world is hideously marred by SIN.
Let us make this thing more personal.
Go with me to yonder hospital, and listen for just a moment to the cries
and moans of the sick and suffering. See
the red eyes wet with tears, and think of the bleeding hearts behind those tears
as they carry that loved one away. Go
with me to yonder prison, and see the young lives blighted and shriveled with
sin, caged up like wild animals. Follow me now to yonder asylum, and listen to the
unintelligible jargon of those poor, pitiable souls with their distorted reason
and deranged minds, and the very walls seem to whisper the word — Hell!
I can’t really imagine how much a million is.
A dollar a day since the birth of Christ would total only three-fourths
of a million dollars. I can’t
imagine the suffering of a million people, let alone a billion or six and a half
billion. Yet, that’s the reality
of today’s world. Famine, storms,
illness, fear, oppression, exploitation, poverty, hopelessness, sin and
death, all that is the daily lot of billions of people.
Doesn’t look like a world that is owned by God, does it?
But IT IS!
I believe that God passionately loves the world.
It is my deep conviction, born of communion with my heavenly Father, that
God now loves all lost men. There
are lost men in jails and prisons and insane asylums. They are in saloons and brothels and in death and in judgment
and in hell, and God loves them all. He
still remembers them and remembers His Son on the tree, suffering and dying on
their behalf. And in the redeemed
body of this resurrected and glorified Son He now prepares with infinite wisdom
and care a Royal Priesthood after the Order of Melchizedek, a SON COMPANY, a
KING COMPANY, a PRIEST COMPANY, to restore mankind into the image of God again.
“Because all the earth is mine,
ye shall be unto me a KINGDOM OF PRIESTS!”
Ah, that is the “divine sandwich” — One
piece of bread is the promise, “Ye shall be unto me a special people.”
The second slice of bread is the promise, “Ye shall be unto me a royal
priesthood.” And the meat in
between is the reason and purpose for the special people and the royal
priesthood — BECAUSE
ALL THE EARTH IS MINE!
The earth, the world, and all they that dwell therein belong to God first
because He made them, and second because He redeemed them.
Romans 8:20 Paul, moved by inspiration, states that the whole creation groans
for this “priesthood.” I took
the liberty of putting “priesthood” in there, but that’s exactly what
he’s talking about. The whole
creation groans for the manifestation of
the sons of God for “the creation itself also
shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption, into the glorious liberty of
the children of God” (Rom. 8:21). I
see it. I see something stirring in
the atmosphere. I see a people
being taught of God, purged, purified, processed, perfected, overcoming, taking
on the mind of Christ, transformed again into the image of God, taking their
rightful places — sons and kings and priests unto their God!
This people has received a vision of what they are destined to be in God,
of what they are being prepared to
do for creation. The message of the
hope of sonship and the kingdom is going forth in power in this hour and
circling the globe as multiplied thousands of the Lord’s elect people are
heeding the call. God is removing
from the hearts of these the foolish desire to “fly away” to some far-off
heaven somewhere, as He unfolds within their ransomed spirits the beautiful
PURPOSE He has in His firstfruit company. The reality of a full and complete redemption in spirit,
soul, and body, to be revealed in the sons of God, is so very near that we can
see, hear, smell, taste and touch its powers.
Because all the earth is His, God is raising up a Royal Priesthood to
reign in mighty spirit power and authority over the earth, not to be little
human dictators, 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 men by His Spirit and live and rule in them in power and glory.
The kingly nature in us is not to dominate other men’s lives, but to
deal with them in judgment and mercy to break the power of selfhood, rebellion,
sin and the devil, that men may be reconciled to God.
Kings have power and authority over every enemy, priests reconcile in
mercy and love. But once the
reconciliation has been effected, and the Christ is enthroned, we shall deliver
men up to God, even the Father, that GOD MAY BE ALL IN ALL.
That is the law of the Kingdom. We
rule only to subdue men unto God — then GOD
RULES IN THEM. That is the power
and glory of the Kingdom of God! Oh,
beloved, come, let us now open our hearts wide to Him.
Come, and as we reverently consider this glorious ministry and its
life-flow to all the families of the earth, let us yield ourselves unto God that
He may work His wondrous work in our lives, that we become in nature and power
His ROYAL PRIESTHOOD in the earth! The
manifestation of the sons of God is nothing less than the full manifestation of
God’s fully developed and empowered body of king-priests after the Order of
Melchizedek. Those apprehended unto
this ministry are indeed A PEOPLE
FOR A PURPOSE.
If you desire to be a blessing
in the ultimate of what that means, then you desire to be GREAT IN GOD’S
KINGDOM! It is really very simple
and powerful. The greater you are
in the Kingdom, the greater your potential to be
a blessing. You see, the
President of the United States has a greater capacity to do good for people than
does the local sheriff or the checker at Wal Mart.
The higher you rise in this world into positions of ability,
accomplishment, prestige, influence, finance and power, the greater your
capacity to do good. If your heart
is right, if your motive is pure, it is not wrong to desire to be the greatest
in the Kingdom, for with that position comes the authority to bless.
If I am least in the Kingdom I will not be nearly as effective on behalf
of creation as the greatest in the Kingdom.
To whomsoever much is given, much is required, and to whomsoever little
is given, little is required, saith the Lord.
The one who receives little of the Lord in the Kingdom can bless but
little. When one’s desire for
greatness is rooted in the true purpose and the divine nature of greatness, then
greatness is a legitimate aspiration. It
will not be denied. The spirit that
produces greatness is the spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ who, though He was
rich, became poor, that we through His poverty might be made rich.
Now let us return to the two characters in our story.
One of them is a child, who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.
The other is a man, referred to as “that man,” and that man is so
offensive that he should be drowned in the sea.
Now here is the mystery of the parable.
Both of those characters are in you
and in me. The man —
is so offensive and despicable that he ought to be drowned — you
look at that man every morning in the mirror.
He is the natural man, the soulish
man who understands not the things of the spirit.
He is the outward man who is
perishing and the carnal-minded man
who is enmity against God. This
natural, soulish, carnal-minded, outward man is hostile to the spirit and
offensive to the little child of the Kingdom.
This man is self-centered. The
characteristics of his nature are self-indulgence, self-appreciation, self-love,
self-motivation, self-defense, and self preservation.
On the other hand, you need not look in the mirror to meet the little
child who is the greatest in the Kingdom. This
child cannot be seen with the natural eye.
You must look deeper, into the very deepest part of your being; past the
body, and on inward past the soul, into the very spirit itself — there
you will find the child of the Kingdom, the inner son, the seed of life, Christ
in you. The little child is the spiritual
man having the mind of Christ and
bearing the image of God.
The issue is just this: WHO
IS THE GREATEST IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN? That’s
a loaded question, but when you ask Jesus you are going to get the right answer.
“And Jesus called a little child unto Him, and set him in the midst of
them, and said, Verily I say unto you, except ye be converted, and become as
little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same
is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” The
word converted means changed. Unless we are
changed, Jesus says, and become like little children; unless we step out of the
ego of the soulish man, and step into the humility of the Christ who humbled
Himself and was made of no reputation, taking upon Him the form of a servant,
and becoming obedient even unto death, we will have no place in the government
of God. If we want to have a part
in God’s ruling government to bless the nations, we must humble ourselves and
become like this little child. And
if we do, not only will we be a member in God’s government, but we can be the
very GREATEST in that government. What
a proposition that is!
That is just the opposite of man’s ways.
How many people today would vote for a child to be President of the
United States? We don’t want a
child in the White House! We want a
person of stature, a graduate of Yale or Harvard, a lawyer, business tycoon, or
politician with experience, knowledge and skill. But Jesus says, “I’m forming a government.
This government will be an international and universal government over
all things. The blessings of this
government will be life more abundant, with love, joy, peace, and righteousness
upon all men everywhere. And the
required prerequisite, the one and only qualification for participation in this
government is to be changed and become
as a little child. There is no position open to any who fail to meet this
criterion. The implications of such
a revolutionary concept is staggering to the imagination, and it is no small
wonder that the carnal mind is totally void of the capacity to understand a
principle so transcendental and sublime. But
the implication it holds for those who meet its demands is beyond comprehension
or even imagination. One thing must
be very clear. Jesus did not say,
He said, “Be child-like.” There is
a whole world of difference between child-ish
“Except you become like a little child.”
what does it mean to be childish?
Children can be self-centered, selfish, and ungrateful; sometimes they
throw temper tantrums, demanding their way; they may even bite and scratch when
they’re angry; they don’t always think before they act; their bellies often
control their behavior. Further, their eyes are often bigger than their stomachs;
sometimes they take more than their share, and other times they take what
doesn’t belong to them. They can
be disobedient, and with a face that could win an Academy Award, they can deny
doing all of the above! Such
behavior is childish. And how
remarkably each of these characteristics reflects the behavior of nearly all of
the governments of this world! In
II Timothy, Paul describes childish people: selfish, irrational, immoral,
manipulative, impulsive, crude, and cruel. Worst of all, they are without faith in God.
Obviously Jesus would never say we should become childish.
Such people have depraved minds and will be promptly rejected by God for
any position of rulership in His Kingdom, for they cannot be His sons.
Some terms that equate with childishness are immaturity, lack of
experience, knowledge and understanding. “Foolishness
is bound in the heart of a child,” the wise man said.
On the other hand, what are the characteristics of child-likeness?
Doubtless many of Jesus’ listeners wondered how a person that was grown
could become like a little child again, how one could throw away his knowledge,
his experience, his habits, his ideals, his
established accomplishments and become like a little child, and start out
afresh to acquire a new store of ideals, principles and values.
Many doubtless felt it was well nigh impossible, and many did not wish to
try, for they did not wish to give up their pet desires and ways and their proud
positions. To become like a little
child was to become humble, as one who knew nothing and possessed nothing.
Pride and self-seeking and every soulish attribute were to be put away.
To become like a little child meant a revolution in the life and thought
of the individual. Yet it was an
absolute essential for rulership in the Kingdom of Heaven!
Child-likeness speaks of innocence, lowliness of mind, humility,
unconditional love, trust and dependence; a child freely forgives, is unbigoted,
teachable, inquisitive, impressionable, and pliable.
Children are active wide-eyed explorers of ever-expanding horizons. They
express simple, uncluttered feelings, thoughts, opinions, ideas and truths.
The attitude of the little one who is greatest in the Kingdom is an
attitude that sees all men through the eyes of God which are the eyes of love.
The little one sees Christ in every man, is ever ready to believe the
best about every person, and rejoices not at an evil report, but discerns the
purpose of the Father in every thing.
This reminds me of the testimony I read once of a preacher in England
many years ago. He wrote: The
simplicity of childhood in regard to the things of God often shames us now.
There rises to my mind as I speak one sweet little incident of a
fortnight ago which did me great good. It
was during a time when I was passing through a not very serious controversy, but
which had found its way into the papers, and
into the home of a certain clergyman of the Church of England.
The father and mother were speaking of this incident over the
breakfast-table. Their only child,
a little girl, was present; she had never seen me, she had only heard my name
from her father and mother, who are my friends.
Presently in her childish treble, she asked whether Mr. Campbell was in
trouble. They said, “Yes.” “What is it?” “Oh,
they are saying he is a bad man.” “Is
he a bad man?” she asked. Her
father very stoutly and courageously answered that he was not; whereupon the
little girl slipped down from the table and went away.
They did not seek her or follow her.
Presently she returned, and climbing back into her chair at the
breakfast-table, said, “It is alright.”
“What is alright, my dear?” “About
Mr. Campbell. I have told God about
it. So that’s settled.”
I think I can presume far enough on the tender-heartedness of fathers and
mothers to say that when the letter of the parents of that child reached me,
telling me of the incident, somehow I did feel as if it were alright.
What, then, are the qualities of the child-like spirit? First of all, there is the humility
of the child. It was really
that which was uppermost in Jesus’ thought when He told the disciples that
they must become as little children. “Whosoever
therefore shall humble himself as this
little child...” These disciples
looked on Jesus’ Kingdom as a kingdom of this world and they were always
concerned about who was going to have the biggest jobs and the highest places in
it. A little child is not
interested in position and prestige and rank.
He is not interested in
getting the seat of honor at a feast or the first place at some important
political function. He would not be
in the least worried if he did not get a seat on the platform at a public
meeting. He just does not think of
such things at all because he does not think of himself.
It is only people who have a high idea of their own importance who speak
and act like that, vying for place and position.
A little child, even a child celebrity, does not think himself important.
Humility is always the sign of a
really great man.
A second trait of childhood is guilelessness.
The little child has not learned the slippery arts of a deceptive life.
He has not become an expert in the craft of contriving schemes of
ambition and advantage, and then throwing over them the aura of innocent
simplicity. A child does not try to
lead a double life, or appear as that which he isn’t.
It is not to children, but to adults, that the apostle writes: “Putting
off all wickedness, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envying and all evil
speakings, as newborn babes desire the sincere milk of the word that ye may grow
thereby” (I Pet. 2:1-2). A third
trait of childhood is teachableness.
How readily and implicitly a little child believes everything its parents
or its teachers say! It waits not to doubt or debate, but unhesitatingly accepts
every statement as truth. It will
try anything it is told with all the fervor and diligence it can muster.
A fourth quality of the child-like spirit is unconditional
love. The little child makes no
bigoted calculations about the profit of living on terms of friendship with
anyone. It does not reason itself
into a state of friendship, and say, “I ought to love: therefore I will
love.” Race, color, creed or
station matter not to a child in choosing friends.
Children often love and adore even abusive parents.
They love the unlovely. The
child loves naturally, spontaneously, because it cannot help loving.
Love is the characteristic impulse, trait and condition of childhood.
And therefore childhood is the very best symbol as well as the absolute
term of that heavenly Kingdom whose very scepter is Love. Happy the son of the Kingdom who loves the Lord his God with
all his heart, and all men and all creation with an uninhibited, unqualified
love: for this is the nature and the law of the Kingdom of God.
A fifth trait of childhood is trust.
Luke, in relating this incident of Jesus with the little child (Lk.
18:15-17), goes a little deeper by including infants! To that we should give some serious thought.
Have you ever heard of babies biting their nails, worrying whether it
will have a crib to sleep in? Have
you ever heard one child say to another, “I wonder where our next meal is
going to come from?” What about a
little boy afraid that there won’t be any fireman’s jobs left?
Or a little girl fretting that she won’t qualify for a student loan in
fifteen years? Small children do
not worry about the future. They
live for today, for today is always their
day. They live by faith —
in their parents. Mom and Dad will
provide what is needed for today. They
don’t wonder whether their parents will make enough money to keep up with the
Joneses. Clothes, food,
cleanliness, safety, and shelter are important, but no child lives for these
things. Sons of God live for their
Father — not
for things. Trusting little
children are pliable.
Sons of God come only to do the will of their Father.
Whoever has a DETERMINED MIND OF HIS OWN cannot partake in the government
of God. This suggests that we need
to have our minds renewed, so that it does not function out of the knowledge
systems of this world. It also
implies that living in the Kingdom does not allow us any personal rights, but
just as a little child is totally subject
to its parents, so we are totally subject to our heavenly Father.
Suppose we were caught in a fire and could not get downstairs; suppose we
were standing at a window; suppose it was quite dark and we could not see the
ground. If a voice said to us,
“Come on! Jump!” and we recognized that voice as our father’s voice, would
we hesitate because we could not see? Ah,
we would know our father would not let us down.
That is not the way the son with a child-like spirit ought to feel about his heavenly Father — that
is how the son with a child-like spirit does
feel about his Father! The son of
the Kingdom with a child-like spirit is in every situation and
circumstance certain that God will guide him and direct him and order
life for him according to His great plan and purpose.
I do not doubt for one moment that trust
is the first and greatest of all the conditions of entry into, and participation
in, the government of God!
When these child-like qualities are inworked into our lives we become
sons of God who with child-like innocence are lowly of mind, easy to be
entreated; humble before God and man; unconditionally merciful, loving, and
caring to all men; trusting explicitly the heavenly Father for all things and in
all things; totally dependent upon the Father, knowing that of ourselves we can
do nothing; forgiving one another and all men their trespasses, no matter how
grievous, not imputing their trespasses unto them; unbigoted, unprejudiced,
tolerant, and respectful toward every man of every race, color and background;
spiritually inquisitive, not blinded or bound by static creeds, doctrines of
men, or traditions of the elders; teachable, impressionable, obedient, and
pliable in the dealing hands of God. My!
A farmer watched a bird building her nest in a heap of branches pruned
from the apple tree beside the farmhouse. All
day long the bird toiled; in the evening the farmer destroyed the work she had
done — scattering the tiny twigs about and trampling them beneath his feet.
The next day the bird, undaunted, began her building once again.
Again at evening time her work was destroyed.
Judged by the feeble standards of the bird, ignorant of all beyond the
cycle of her instincts, the man was cruel and not to be called good.
The third day she began her nest once more, but this time in the rose
bush beside the kitchen door. In
the evening the farmer smiled upon the bird and her work remained.
Day after day she continued her cyclic round; the nest was completed; the
eggs were laid and warmed beneath her bosom.
But long before the time for hatching, the pile of branches from which
she had been driven had been removed and burned.
Had the farseeing farmer allowed the bird to have her way, all her nest,
her little ones, and her hopes for the season would have been destroyed.
She did not see beyond one summer; the farmer saw the end from the
beginning. So our omniscient Father
knows the end from the beginning, and the son who has submitted himself to the
Father has received a new set of senses by which he learns to trust God in all
things, even those which he cannot understand.
Jesus said to His disciples, “What I do thou knowest not now; but thou
shalt know hereafter” (Jn. 13:7). The
son with the child-like spirit has learned this lesson well and goes on in
confident trust in Him who worketh all things after the council of His own will
without question, concern or disquiet.
The Lord Jesus teaches us that if want to be great in the Kingdom, if our
heart's desire is to be able to bless multitudes of people in significant ways
and deliver groaning creation, these child-like qualities must be in us and
abound. They must be the law of our
life. When we are humble, growing,
inquisitive, yielded, pliable, trusting, searching, and learning as we walk with
God we become that little child who
is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. By
these principles established as the nature of our being we are empowered to
assume a role in the rule of God to be made salvation unto the ends of the
earth. When we are able to fully trust
God for all that we need; when we really commit
our way and all that touches and enters our experience into His loving hands;
when we follow on to know Him in all
His glorious fullness, as a child grows up knowing and learning everything from
his parents: there is a release into our life of the inexhaustible riches of His
grace and glory — the depth of His understanding, the vastness of His wisdom and knowledge,
the purity of His nature, the omniscience of His mind, the justice of His ways,
the unlimitedness of His love, the unmeasurableness of His grace, the
absoluteness of His authority, the omnipotence of His power, the fullness of His
Spirit, the endlessness of His mercy, the bountifulness of His goodness, the
incorruptibleness of His life and the unsurpassed splendor of His majesty.
As these powers are released into our life, we in turn become a channel
for them to flow out to humanity. Such
high and mighty purpose is certainly beyond the comprehension of the natural man
and the carnal mind. The truth and
wonder of it all solemnly teaches us how it is that in the glorious and
wonderful wisdom of the heavenly scheme it
is not in becoming childish, but by
becoming child-like, that a person is
able to attain unto greatness in the Kingdom of God.
In closing this thought I am moved to share these poignant words from
brother Paul Mueller: “What a practical lesson for us!
When we entered the kingdom by being begotten of the Spirit, we came as a
little child. We came into the
kingdom knowing little, with no background of experiences in the Spirit.
As transgressors, we came into the kingdom just as we were, bringing
nothing with us that might have hindered our entrance into His kingdom.
Now the kingdom of God is coming into the earth in a greater way.
And we must come into its greater glory as a little child.
When we come as a child, we turn from the ways of the past.
We leave past truths and doctrines behind.
What was truth yesterday, during the church age, is either fulfilled, or
is raised to a higher level, to be fulfilled by the Spirit in a greater way.
Having come to the greater glory of the kingdom of God, as it is revealed
in this new Day, we must come AS a little child.
In spiritual reality we are starting over.
As more mature sons of God we know the great truth that we grow
spiritually by denying self. We
grow spiritually by learning. And
we can only learn by becoming AS little
children. We have not yet
attained unto all that God has for us, for we have much more to learn and
experience of God and His kingdom. The
apostle Paul was unquestionably one of the great spiritual leaders of his time.
Yet, near the end of his life, he said, ‘Brethren, I count not myself
to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are
behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward
the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus’ (Phil.
3:13-14). Those who really see this
new Day and the greater glory of the kingdom of God are truly ‘forgetting
those things which are behind, and reaching
forth unto those things which are before.’
They are pressing toward ‘the mark for the prize of the high calling of
God in Christ Jesus.’ Keep
pressing on, saints of God! The
prize of the high calling of God in Christ is not far away!
“When the kingdom of God even more fully comes to the earth, the
anointed word of the Lord declares, ‘The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall
lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
And the suckling child shall play on the hole of the asp (an adder or
poisonous viper), and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’
(a similar poisonous viper) den’ (Isa. 11:6-8).
What a wonderful change shall take place as the reign of Christ
transforms every living creature. And
‘a little child,’ which is the
comparatively small manchild company or the elect remnant, shall lead them into
the fullness of the kingdom of God. Then,
the peace and harmony of the kingdom of God shall prevail among all creatures
everywhere. And every word declared by our Father shall be completely and
“May the Lord help us all understand the vital importance and
significance of our present walk with God.
As we walk this kingdom pathway, being led of the Spirit to make the
transition from the old age to the new, we are thereby marking out a clear path
to the kingdom of God for the rest of the creation to follow.
We are indeed that ‘little child’
that is leading the whole creation into the greater fullness of the kingdom of
God. Our ‘greater works’
ministry is a sure work of the Spirit. It
is unseen by the carnal-minded, but it is leading the creation to a glory that
shall ultimately be fulfilled in due time. The ‘little child,’
or this corporate, Christ-man, shall bring righteousness, peace and justice to
the mountain of the Lord, which shall then flow down to the whole creation,
making it all new by the sovereign power of our mighty King of kings and Lord of
lords” — end
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