the things concerning the kingdom of God..."
KINGDOM OF GOD
FOR THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND
The Greek word translated in the King James Version of the Bible as
“repentance,” in its plainest and most literal meaning signifies A CHANGE OF
MIND. Yet that in itself can miss
the mark. A better rendering would
be TO TAKE ANOTHER MIND. Thus
repentance means “to change the mind” — and with a new kind
of mind. The command of our
Lord, “Repent! for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” would have been more
literally translated, “Take a new mind! for the Kingdom of Heaven is at
hand.” If you even try to
understand the things of the Kingdom of God without having a new mind you will
be thoroughly confused and confounded. It
means that as we approach the Kingdom every man who from his birth, or from his
entrance into society, or from his beginnings in religion, remains unchanged in
the thoughts, ideas, opinions, perceptions and conceptions he has about God,
himself, and the nature of all things, is
shut up from the realm of the Kingdom of Heaven. It indicates the receiving into our hearts of a whole new
concept, instead of a mere mental change of viewpoint in regard to God and
spiritual realities. It is not the
changing of our carnal mind about something, not an intellectual shift in our
thinking. An EXCHANGE has to take
place. We are a NEW CREATION in the
image and likeness of God. So we
are to put away everything that comes from the natural mind. The mind of Christ is not obtained through acquired knowledge
or formal training. It comes by the
transforming work of the Spirit.
I ask you now to be prepared for some deep spiritual thinking.
It is certain that the natural mind cannot understand the things of the Spirit of God.
How, then, will we ever come to the knowledge of all truth except we
learn to think in the Spirit. May
the Holy Spirit of truth quicken each of our spiritual minds as we consider this
thought of the repentance of Jesus.
When Jesus came to redeem us, He came to redeem us not only from sin, but
to redeem us from the law which gave
us the knowledge of sin and which is itself the very strength and power of sin
(Rom. 3:20; 7:7; I Cor. 15:56; Gal. 4:4-5).
Paul tells us that when Jesus came into the world He came subject to the
law. “But when the fullness of
time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them
that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons” (Gal.
4:4-5). We have to realize that for
thirty years Jesus lived on this earth without ever manifesting His sonship to
God. He was sent into the world as
the Son of God, but He did not manifest His sonship until after He was baptized
by John the Baptist in the Jordan river. He
was “made of a woman” — born of a woman,
speaking of His true humanity.
The Father sent the Son in the likeness of sinful flesh by giving Him a
human body. The Word was made flesh
and dwelt among us. In this
likeness of sinful flesh He looked like everybody else.
He didn’t look like a superman — six feet tall with a rugged,
handsome face, piercing blue eyes, flaxen hair, bronze complexion, bulging
muscles, and a Mr. American physique. He
looked so much like any other Jew that He never stood out in a crowd.
No one in Nazareth thought He would amount to anything beyond the norm,
and when men sought for Him, He had to be pointed out to them.
Nothing credible is written of Him, from the time when He was twelve
years old, until the day He came to John to be baptized.
He operated within the limitations of the flesh.
He didn’t use any special powers or, except on one brief occasion,
display any unusual wisdom. He worked, ate, slept, and bathed like every man.
He hungered, grew weary, knew weakness, and experienced doubts,
frustrations, perplexities, pain and sorrow, for “He was a man of sorrows and
acquainted with grief.”
Notice further that when Jesus came He was “made under the law” —
therefore was in subjection under the law.
God sent forth His Son from His throne on high, from the estate of His
heavenly glory, to be made under the law with all its restrictions,
requirements, and demands. He was
not merely born under the law as a
Jew, but “made” by His Father’s appointment, and His own will, subject to
the law to keep it all, ceremonial and moral; to perfectly fulfill it for all
who were under it. Although He was
the Lord of the law and its divine Author, He took His place under the law, that
He might accomplish an important purpose for those who were under it.
He made Himself subject to it that He might become one of them, and
secure their release. And, praise
God, He established a perfect record in that He kept the law fully.
We know very little of His life while He was under the law.
Only one incident when He was twelve years old is recorded. When Jesus walked under the law He was circumcised; He
sacrificed; He observed the Sabbath; He kept the feast days; He attended
synagogue; and in all His dealings He kept every tenet and precept of the law.
This enlightening passage which I have been unfolding (Gal. 4:4-5)
contains yet a further truth. The
definite article is not present in the Greek.
It does not say, “the law,”
as we have it in the King James Version, but
simply “law”. “In the
fullness of time, God sent forth His Son...made under
law...to redeem them that were under
law,” is how the Greek text reads. Thus,
Paul is not speaking exclusively of the Mosaic law given to Israel at Sinai, but
is drawing attention to law in general, the whole realm of law as enforced upon
men by every kind of government and power.
It would certainly include the
law of Moses, since that is the specific law-system Jesus was subjected to, but
would quickly extend the application to all those who were subjected to any
system of ordinances and regulations.
Jesus was sent into the bondage of
legalism and required to wear that legalistic
yoke in order that He might shatter it to pieces with His full and free
redemption! I am absolutely certain
that includes all the religious folk today who are held captive under the
legalistic demands of church systems with their myriad man-made commandments of
“do’s and don’ts” laid upon people in order to make them pleasing to
God. Matters not whether it is an
Old Testament law about not muzzling the ox that treadeth out the corn, sowing
mixed seed in one’s field, stoning an adulteress, washing
hands before eating, kosher food laws, holy day laws, or more modern-day
prohibitions against women wearing make-up and jewelry, dress codes, meats and
drinks, amusements, coverings, or a thousand other laws, old and new, that the
religious Pharisees impose upon the Lord’s people. They are, one and all, LAW — and blessed be His
name, Jesus was “made under law to redeem
them that are under law, that we might receive the adoption of sons” — to be delivered
out from under all law, and be brought under the rule of the Spirit; for “as
many as are led by the Spirit of God,
THEY ARE THE SONS OF GOD” (Rom. 8:14). The
Greek word for “redeem” is an especially beautiful term. The concept is of one going into the slave market and
purchasing the slave and then taking him out of the market, setting him free.
Redeemed from the law! Redeemed
to be no longer a slave, serving under rules, regulations and commandments that
govern the flesh, to receive placement as sons who fulfill the nature of the
Father by the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus.
Glory to God!
At a definite time appointed by God, a man of strange habits and
appearance began to preach in a remote desert part of
Judea, near the river Jordan. “Repent!
for the kingdom of heaven is at hand,” he thundered.
This man was of the priestly tribe, and had been consecrated to God from
his infancy by the vow of the Nazarite. He
was not clothed in soft raiment, but in a coarse tunic of camel’s hair; he had
no craving for sumptuous food, but was content with the simplest fare of dried
locusts and honey from the rock; he was no reed shaken by the wind, but a
gnarled oak that the wind could neither bend nor break.
He was literally the Voice of one crying in the wilderness, “Prepare ye
the way of the Lord. Make straight in the desert a highway for our God!”
He professed to be raised up by the Spirit of God to announce the
immediate appearance of the Messiah. Like
the prophets of old he had a message directly from God for the people of Israel.
His message consisted of the announcement that God was about to act.
God would again visit His people. The
Kingdom of God was at hand, and the King was already in their midst!
Later, Jesus made a startling declaration about this prophet, John the
Baptist. “Among them that are
born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist,
notwithstanding, he that is least in the
Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he” (Mat. 11:11).
Many wonderful men had lived before John the Baptist. Abraham, Moses, David, Elijah, Daniel, and many other
powerful men of God had been born and had done exploits in the name of the Lord.
But Jesus said that no one who had been born up to that time was greater
than John the Baptist. In saying this, He was putting John the Baptist in a very
high position. Jesus was saying
that John was the greatest man that ever lived — the greatest of Adam! In
our generation we have seen some of the worst
of Adam, men like Hitler, Stalin, Ted Bundy and Jeff Dahmer.
John, according to Jesus, was the very best of Adam, but still just Adam.
Then Jesus said something even more astonishing.
He said that even the least of us who are in this heavenly Kingdom is
greater than John the Baptist! What
an exalted position He has reserved for the members of His body, the citizens of
His Kingdom! This means that even
the least of the called out, the apprehended, the elect, the enChristed —
a child, a day laborer, a janitor, educated or uneducated, rich or poor, when
born from above, birthed into the spiritual world of God, transformed in nature,
renewed in mind, regenerated in heart, and invested with the power of the Spirit
of the Son — we occupy a superior position among God’s people than
John the Baptist and all the great heroes of faith and power that went before.
Mark’s Gospel says, “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the
Son of God. Even as it is written
in Isaiah the prophet, Behold, I send my messenger before Thy face, who shall
prepare Thy way; the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make ye ready the
way of the Lord...John came and preached...”
Therefore, the scriptures themselves declare that “the beginning of the
gospel” was not the preaching of Jesus Christ, but was the preaching of John
the Baptist. There is no question
about that. That is the beginning
of the good news of the Kingdom. The
gospel began when John came announcing the approach of both the King and the
Kingdom. When John announced that
the Kingdom of God was at hand, He called on the people to repent
and believe the good news. By
repentance the people would be delivered of the past with all its dead religious
forms and ceremonies, laws and regulations, and would be free to embrace the new
gospel of the Kingdom of God as taught by Jesus.
John brought a baptism unto repentance — unto the taking of
a new mind, a new attitude, a new understanding of things. The record states, “Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all
Judea, and all the region round about Jordan, and were baptized of him in
Jordan, confessing their sins. But
when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said
unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to
come? I indeed baptize you with
water unto repentance: but He that
cometh after me is mightier than I...He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost,
and with fire” (Mat. 3:5-7,11).
What a day of days it must have been for John the Baptist when He saw
Jesus coming into the multitude gathered by the Jordan.
He came into the midst, not as a spectator, but pushed His way through
the crowd and presented Himself at the very water to be baptized by John.
John was stunned, incredulous, and protested strenuously, having in mind
to prevent Him, saying, “It is I who have need to be baptized by you, and do
you come to me?” But Jesus
replied to him, “Permit it just now, for this is the fitting way for (both of)
us to fulfill all righteousness”
(Mat. 3:14-15). The burning
question in John’s mind is the same unresolved question in many a believer’s
mind today, and there are mostly unenlightened and erroneous
answers supplied by the teachers and preachers in the church systems.
The question is just this. If
Jesus, because He was the Son of God come in human flesh, was able to walk
perfectly without sin, and did so, why then did He publicly submit to John’s
baptism unto repentance?
If He was holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and obedient
in all things to His heavenly Father, what
did Jesus need to repent of? Why
would the Son of God, heaven’s Lamb without blemish, and the King of the new
Kingdom, subject Himself to be baptized by a mere prophet under the passing
order of the law? Why would He make
an open demonstration of repenting? The shallow and tradition-bound answer most commonly given is
that Jesus was baptized AS AN EXAMPLE TO US THAT WE ALSO SHOULD BE BAPTIZED IN
The true answer is found in His response to John the Baptist. “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is becoming us to fulfill
all righteousness.” That has
nothing whatsoever to do with serving as an example to believers today that we
should be baptized in water. That
is not what Jesus said at all. To
say that is to create a fable, a myth, and religious folklore.
The key word is “fulfill”. Jesus
used this word again in Matthew 5:17. “Think
not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to
destroy, but to fulfill.” Many people think that “fulfill” means to “keep,”
that Jesus was saying that He came not to destroy the law, or the prophets, but
to keep the law and to give us the
power to keep the law. But that is
not what it means at all! That is a
flagrant misrepresentation of the words of the Lord.
The Greek word for “fulfill” is PLEROO meaning “to make replete”
by accomplishing, consummating, and bringing a thing to its ultimate purpose and
intent. By “fulfillment” truth
rises from one glory to a greater glory, each glory ascending above the one
preceding it. Let me illustrate. When Jesus “fulfilled” the law of the sin-offering, did
He “keep” the law or did He end it
by raising it up to a higher level of reality?
In order to fulfill the law of the sacrificial lamb Jesus didn’t go out
and select the most blameless lamb available and bring it to the priest to be
slain. Nor did He do so as an
example to us that we should bring a lamb to the priest to be offered up. No — a thousand times no!
He didn’t fulfill the law of the lamb by keeping the law in the ordinary way; He fulfilled the law by HIMSELF BECOMING THE LAMB OF GOD that takes
away the sin of the world. He
became within Himself the very substance and reality to which the old shadow
only faintly pointed. He became the
lamb on a higher level, abolished the old observance, and forever delivered us
from the necessity of doing the thing by the “letter”.
That is what it means to “fulfill.”
Jesus didn’t come to destroy the law, He didn’t come to say that the
sin-offering was a mistake. He came
to reveal the eternal spiritual reality to which the symbol pointed, to bring it
to its ultimate purpose and true
intent. He raised every jot and
every tittle of the law up to a new and heavenly glory, the glory of an inward
life merely symbolized by the outward type and shadow.
Oh, how we marvel at the ever progressing purpose and ever increasing
manifestation of the ways of the Lord!
With the above truth gaining access and radiating in our hearts, let us
investigate further the divine significance of our Lord’s words when He
explained to John concerning His baptism unto repentance, “Thus it is becoming
us to fulfill all righteousness.”
There are two kinds of righteousness revealed in the scriptures, both of
which were ordained by God. Paul by
the wisdom given him has set forth the truth in these words, “Therefore by the
deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight: for by the law
is the knowledge of sin. But now
the righteousness of God without
the law is manifested, being witnessed (foreshadowed) by the law and the
prophets; even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto
all and upon all them that believe...therefore we conclude that man is justified
by faith without the deeds of the law.
What shall we say then? That
the nations, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to
righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.
But Israel, which followed after the law
of righteousness, hath not attained unto the law of righteousness.
Wherefore? Because they
sought it by the works of the law.
For they being ignorant of God’s
righteousness, and going about to establish their
own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness
of God. For Christ IS THE END
OF THE LAW FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS to every one that believeth” (Rom. 3:20-22,28;
Let us discard the silly doctrines of men and the ignorant traditions
inherited from the dark ages. There
are only two kinds of righteousness that God has declared unto men — the
righteousness of the law, attained by
an outward keeping of the law, and the righteousness of Christ, which is by faith. The
righteousness of the law pointed forward to Christ who brought us true
righteousness by the Spirit. Christ
is thus the end of the law to all who believe.
To have the mentality of keeping law is to deny Christ.
His righteousness is the true
righteousness, and to keep the outward letter of the old law is treason
against the Kingdom of God. The
only man ever to attain to the righteousness of the law was our Lord Jesus
Christ. He submitted Himself to the law, and kept it perfectly, but
only that He might redeem and buy out of the slave market them that were under
the law, that we might receive placement as the sons of God.
Legalists are always striving to keep laws, rules, regulations, codes,
traditions, commandments and outward observances.
Sons, on the other hand, are made partakers of the nature of their
Father. That is just the difference!
The son doesn’t commit adultery, but neither does he stone the one who
does! It is a higher and totally
different kind of righteousness that is only revealed by the Spirit in our
hearts. It is not bound by any
outward code, but is lived out by the dealings and leadership of the Holy Spirit
within. It has nothing in common
with the Mosaic law or any man-made set of requirements. God doesn’t even always require the same things of
everyone, just as parents do not always require the same standards for each of
their children. The Father knows
every heart and deals according to His own purpose to reveal His grace, power
and holiness within each vessel. We
cannot demand of others that they live by the standard raised up by the will of
God in our life. The moment we do,
we have departed from the spirit of sonship and are now justified by law!
Having beheld these wonders in the spirit, can we not now understand the
words of Jesus to John the Baptist. “Thus
it becomes us to fulfill all righteousness.”
It had nothing to do with water baptism or Jesus being an example
to New Testament saints that they should be baptized in water.
Let us come out from the childish and foolish pratings of the teachers of
Babylon that we may receive the wisdom of God and become His sons and His
daughters. The natural mind will
never understand it, but the Holy Spirit, who knows all things and reveals the
secrets of God to the spiritual mind, will unfold it to you, if you have a
longing to understand.
Jesus did not come to earth in the form of a baby already fully aware of
who He was. He didn’t wave at the
shepherds from His manger-cradle and coo, “Hi, fellows, I was expecting
you!” Jesus had to discover His
identity, and I may be mistaken, but it is my opinion that He received the
understanding of who He was progressively.
In seeking the Father, loving the Father, being taught of the Father, and
obeying the Father Jesus became conscious of the Father within as being His very
own and only parent. When He became
fully Father-conscious, He became fully aware of His sonship.
He discovered who He was! Because
Jesus came to do the Father’s will, His ear was opened to hear the Father’s
voice within. God awakened Him morning by morning (from one dawning of
understanding to a greater dawning of understanding), until He was fully
awakened from His identity as an exceptional Jew under the law, to find Himself
to be the creature of another realm. As
He beheld the face of His Father He did not try to hold on to His natural
identity, but was willing to give it up for the realization of His true identity
— His sonship to God. Jesus
awoke fully to the knowledge of who He was.
He no longer knew Himself as Jesus of Nazareth, as the son of Joseph and
Mary, but as the Word of God made flesh. Jesus
came to know Himself as He was known by the Father.
Jesus no longer looked in the mirror of the law that gave only a dim and
blurred reflection of reality, but He saw face to face. Jesus knew that nobody else really knew who He was.
He set Himself to be about His Father’s business. And it was this understanding, fully developed and matured in
Jesus, that brought Him to the Jordan that blessed day two thousand years ago!
There was only one sane and sensible reason in the world for Jesus to
come to John that day and submit Himself to the baptism of repentance — He was repenting!
If He was not Himself repenting, He had no business standing there before
the multitudes of Israel being baptized unto repentance.
And He said that by His repentance John and He were fulfilling
all righteousness — that is, accomplishing righteousness, consummating
righteousness, bringing righteousness to its true intent, ultimate reality, and
full spiritual power by raising
righteousness from one degree of glory to a greater level of glory.
Jesus came to the baptism of John because He sought to fulfill all
righteousness. Only HE could do
that. The question is, How could He
do it. He did it by repudiating the
righteousness of the law (although He had kept it perfectly) and revealing unto
men the righteousness of God through sonship.
Jesus repented of the law, took a new mind about the law, embraced a
higher reality concerning the law, in order to reveal a new realm of life and
the nature of the Father in the sons of the Kingdom. Jesus experienced a change of government in His life when He
came to John to be baptized! As
soon as John had baptized Him, He came up out of the water, and while He was
praying, behold, the heavens were opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him
in the form of a dove. And lo, a
voice out from heaven said, “This is my Son, my Beloved, in whom I delight!”
Let’s look at the spiritual significance of this experience.
A change was taking place. Jesus’
baptism by John marked the point of crossing over from a life lived under the
law to a life that revealed the glory of the Father.
Jesus as the perfect man had kept all the law, but by the law He had no
power to be the Son of God. Under
the law system of the Old Testament the idea of sonship to God was veiled.
It is not altogether strange that men could not know God as their Father
until the Son of God appeared. The
words of our Lord are true in their strictest sense, “No man cometh unto the
Father, but by me.” He revealed
the Father, led Him forth to view where He could be seen. He could say in all truth, “He that hath seen me, hath seen
Only the Son could bring men into relationship with the Father.
Only the firstborn Son could pioneer the path of sonship.
Though Jesus was made of a woman, and made under the law, He could never
redeem us from the bondage of the law to the liberty and glory of sonship until
He Himself once and forever and for all REPUDIATED THE LAW and stepped forth to
live only and wholly by the Father. He
had to abandon the righteousness of the law in order to reveal the righteousness
of God by the Spirit. Jesus repented of the law. Other
men came to John’s baptism repenting of sin. But Jesus had done
no sin, therefore He could not repent of sin.
But He was baptized unto
repentance. Jesus repented!
The only thing He could repent of was the Old Covenant Father had
subjected Him to. It was a
hindrance to His sonship, for it was an inferior order that was ready to pass
away. Jesus was baptized unto that
repentance and came out of the water in the power of the Spirit of His Father.
He buried the law and was invested upon by the glory of the Father.
He came forth in public recognition by His Father.
He was recognized as THE SON OF GOD for the first time when His heavenly
Father recognized a Son who no longer was under the tutelage of the schoolmaster
of the law. He had turned from
being ruled by the law to being ruled by the Spirit of Life!
He turned from the natural to the spiritual!
He turned from the human to the divine!
He turned from the earthly to the heavenly!
He received the Holy Spirit and from that time on He was led by the
Spirit. His life changed
dramatically! He did all these
things to show us the way to the Father
and the Kingdom — as the Pattern Son for us.
From that blessed moment forward Jesus began to preach and testify to
spiritual and heavenly things. Luke
tells us, “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and power: who
went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God
was with Him” (Acts 10:38). Jesus
received the witness of His sonship from the Father, and the power of the Holy
Spirit, and from that moment His ministry of manifested
sonship began. He was no longer
a law-keeping Jew — He was the Son of God with power!
No more was He a subject of the kingdom of Israel — He was a Son of the Kingdom of Heaven!
More than once during His sonship ministry Jesus stated that He never
acted on His own. “Truly, truly,
I say to you, the Son can do nothing of His own accord, but only what He sees
the Father doing; for whatever He does, that the Son does likewise...I can do
nothing on my own authority...I seek not my own will but the will of Him who
sent me...I always do what is pleasing to Him...I have not spoken on my own
authority; the Father who sent me has Himself given me commandment what to
say...what I say, therefore, I say as the Father has bidden me...the words that
I say to you I do not speak on my own authority; but the Father who dwells in me
does His works.”
I think that it is wonderfully significant that the first miracle Jesus
performed, which launched His sonship ministry, was that of turning water into
wine. It was indeed, the
“beginning of miracles.” Consider
carefully the fact that the water was
turned into wine.
What else could have taken place because of His presence at the wedding,
once the power of the Kingdom was released within Him after coming out from
under the shackles of the law? The
firstborn Son of God was now changed — raised from the
old covenant into the new, from the letter into the spirit, from the form into
the essence, from the type into the reality, from the shadow into the substance,
from limitation into omnipotence, from the temporal into the eternal, from the
natural into the spiritual, from the outward into the inward, from the human
into the divine. All things would
now be quickened when He drew near. The
law disappeared and the power and glory of the Kingdom were found instead,
filling the vessels of human purification to the brim.
The good wine of the Kingdom had been kept until now!
That’s when His troubles began. No
longer did Jesus observe the law, but only the word of His Father.
No longer did His conduct conform to the customs of Israel, but He lived
His life by the principles of the Kingdom of God.
He healed on the Sabbath day. He
silenced and put to shame the self-righteous who would stone the adulteress
according to the commandment of Moses. He
associated with harlots and publicans and sat at meat with sinners at their
feasts, where undoubtedly they ate meats not prescribed by the law, because the
Spirit led Him there to seek and to save. His
disciples plucked corn on the Sabbath in violation of the Sabbath commandments,
and He justified them by appealing outside the law.
He refused to identify with any of the various Jewish “denominations”
and sought the favor of no man or group. He
taught not as the scribes and Pharisees who emphasized and embellished every
precept of the law, but as one having authority of His own. “It was said by them of old time, but I say unto you...” and He flatly contradicted Moses.
He did miracles beyond the comprehension of any of the religious leaders.
The elders, chief priests, scribes, Sadducees and Pharisees were His
greatest opponents! Many of these
were zealous for the law. The
Pharisees opposed Him above all others, even to the extent of accusing Him of
casting out devils by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.
They acted as if they were the only ones who knew God or truth.
Oh, how they loved the law! But
when Jesus taught the Kingdom of God and did the marvelous works of God, they
had it in their hearts to kill Him. They
tried to push Him off of a cliff, they took up stones to stone Him, and
continually plotted how they could get rid of Him.
Now we understand that when Jesus went to the Jordan river, His
repentance consisted of turning away from the law and following after the
Spirit. All who enter the Kingdom
must repent, just as Jesus and the people of Israel were called upon to repent.
When God asks us to repent in order to enter the Kingdom, He is not
primarily talking about getting rid of all our weaknesses and sins of the flesh.
That is important too, but the essential issues of the Kingdom are much
higher and greater than that. After
the sin issue has been settled by grace, forgiveness, and cleansing, what a
world of religious things must be
repented of and turned from in order to walk in the ways of the Kingdom!
Even if we are cleansed from all our sins we cannot walk as sons of God
in the Kingdom until we have abandoned every
other order that has ruled in our lives.
Cleansing from sin enables one to inherit eternal life, but there are
many other requirements to qualify for rulership and dominion in the Kingdom of
God. I know many precious saints
who have been thoroughly converted and cleansed from sin, but I could not trust
them with even a Sunday School class because they are not qualified for such
responsibility. Many people think
that all believers are going to sit on thrones and rule and reign with Christ in
His Kingdom, but that is another of the childish fables of religious Babylon.
To rule and reign with Christ requires wisdom, understanding, character,
experience, testing and stringent qualifications for handling awesome,
omnipotent power. Any Christian who
could not handle a Sunday School class, the oversight of a church, the
governorship of a state or the presidency of a nation is hardly qualified to
rule the nations with a rod of iron! To
learn to know the voice of the Father, to walk in the wisdom of God, to
understand the ways of the Kingdom of Heaven, and to qualify for power and
dominion requires not only deep experience with God, but thorough repentance as
Just as Jesus repented of a thing so divine and marvelous as the law of
Moses, so must we repent of our bondage to religious systems, baptisms,
doctrines, church laws, and much, much more.
If any of these are our master, we must remember that no man can serve
two masters. Will we believe Christ
or will we believe human institutions and traditions?
All these things have served a purpose for a season, just as the law did
for Jesus, but now we have received another teacher, the Spirit of Christ
within. The Spirit of Christ is the
Spirit of wisdom and knowledge and understanding and the strength and power to
do all the will of the Father. From
the Father’s only begotten Son there
comes forth a vast family of sons.
Today our God is not the Father of an only begotten Son, but the Father
of many brethren, all of whom are born
into His family by the Holy Spirit and all of whom shall be manifested in the
full glory of sonship. When you
realize that you have been placed into the family of God’s very own sons, it
will move you to repent of any other allegiance or attachment other than the
mind of Christ, the will of the Father, and the ways of the Kingdom.
I do not hesitate to tell you that in order to become the manifested sons of God we will
have to repent of the old-order church systems we have lived in and functioned
by. The former things are passing
away and a new day is dawning for all who have received the call to sonship.
The call to sonship is not the call to eternal life and heaven, it is the
call to THE THRONE OF THE UNIVERSE.
Repentance is the key that unlocks the riches of Christ and the treasures
of the Kingdom of Heaven! If you
have a broken and contrite spirit, and are repenting of the old order of the
past, you may be sure that Christ will reveal Himself to you in the fullness of
the Light that He is in due time. God
is again calling for the repentance of all who are called to the Kingdom.
As it was in John’s day and in Jesus’ ministry, so is it in this
significant hour. The old order is
passing away. The religion we have
called Christianity is passing away. The
man-made systems that are falsely called
“the church,” with all their fleshly programs, carnal methods, man-made
organizational structures, human promotions and efforts, false doctrines,
soulish worship, man-centered and flesh-oriented gospel is passing away.
Babylon is fallen, is fallen. God
is doing a new thing and leading a people in new and strange paths of His
choosing. And repentance is God’s
way of bringing us into the new.
We are progressing in God and in His Kingdom.
The Christ within is growing and expanding in ever-increasing glory.
His light is arising within our hearts to dispel all the darkness in us.
We are beholding new things in the Spirit and by the Spirit.
The Lord is bringing us to repentance from realm to realm, to a changed
mind, which allows us to embrace these new realities in the Spirit.
The Lord is changing our thinking and understanding, renewing us in the
spirit of our mind, and transforming our mind that we may enter all the way into
the life and glory and power of His Kingdom.
REPENT, FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS AT HAND is the message now being heard
from Zion’s holy hill. This
message of truth and life is a proclamation of a new and greater manifestation
of the rule and government of God in the earth.
“Of the increase of His
government and peace there shall be no end,”
the inspired prophet assures us. That
increase of the Kingdom is from purpose to purpose, from dealing to dealing,
from one stage of growth, development and manifestation to another, and from one
age to another. I declare to you
today by the word of the Lord that we are now standing at the end of an age, and
the Lord is introducing A GREATER MANIFESTATION OF HIS KINGDOM by calling us to
repentance. The old “church
order” is fastly drawing to a close, and the day for the manifestation of the
sons of God is rapidly approaching. The
next step in the unfolding of God’s Kingdom plan for the world is now dawning.
We have progressed from the age when God has been meticulously forming
His body of sons by establishing His rule in their minds and hearts, to the age
when that body shall begin to fulfill the great and grand purpose
for which God has prepared them. We
have come to the time when the Kingdom shall accelerate into a further and
greater manifestation of the rule and dominion of the Kingdom over all nations
and all mankind, answering the cry of the groaning creation to be delivered from
the bondage of corruption. This
transition requires repentance, first on
our part, and afterwards on the part of all the rulers and inhabitants of
the nations. The maturing sons of
God may now boldly declare, as Jesus did in His generation, “The time is
fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the good
The gospel message proclaimed in the days of the firstborn Son of God,
the twelve apostles, and Paul, was the good news of the first stage of the Kingdom development in the earth — the
formation of the church, the body of Christ, which is the Kingdom in
our hearts phase. Now the next
phase is wonderfully nigh at hand, which is the greater phase or period of the
outpouring of the Kingdom life, deliverance and rule through the younger
brothers of Jesus, the manifested sons of God.
It is important for everyone who reads these lines to see that the time is fulfilled. The
fullness of time, relative to the past age and the new age, has
come! The hour has dawned for the revelation and manifestation of
the next stage of God’s
ever-increasing and ever-expanding triumph and dominion of the Kingdom of God
over all the earth.
By repenting we let go of the old order of the church-systems of the past
age, and become pliable in the hands of the Father, so that we will be able to
make the transition into the greater glory of the new order of manifested
sonship. That is why the Lord is
calling us to repentance. We may
not be guilty of sin, but we must
become fluid in the hands of the Father in order for His new and glorious
purposes to be fulfilled in and through us.
We must change all our
thinking and our religious practices, believe the present truth word of God, and
walk in the light being revealed. We
may not be harboring any secret or hidden sins, but we need to repent of
yesterday’s obsolete order, yesterday’s ways of doing things, yesterday’s
“in part” knowledge and glory, of carnal church works, of our own self-will,
of the former ways and ideas and promotions of man, to embrace the dealings of
this new day as the Spirit reveals them.
The Lord is inaugurating a new age, and is setting forth a new order with
new understanding, new methods, new power and new requirements for this new day
of greater light and glory. As
wonderful as the workings of the Spirit were in the past, they are not good
enough for the new order of manifested sonship.
Even though we have made some progress, we must have something more from
God to be able to rule the nations and deliver creation from the bondage of
corruption. And we can only receive
this change by repentance.
How shall we know that the old order is passed away? What sign shall be given that the old order is ended and a
new has dawned? The truth is, no
sign shall be given except the word of God within ourselves. In the days of John the Baptist and Jesus no outward sign was
given to show a change in ages. There
was no blinding light, no burning mountain cast into the sea, no comet streaking
across the heavens, no mighty earthquake, no shaking of kingdoms or collapse of
empires, no world war, no world-wide economic collapse, no pouring out of
apocalyptic judgments upon the earth. When
Jesus departed from Galilee and came into the wilderness of Judea to be baptized
by John and begin His sonship ministry, it was by the ministry of a prophet of
the Lord, wearing strange apparel and crying for repentance, and by the ministry
of a Son of God that the old age passed away and a new began.
The world knew nothing about it! Rome
received no notification of it! There
were no news headlines heralding it! Only
John and Jesus knew the significance of what they did and the impact it would
eventually have, and they knew it, not by any outward sign, but by the
revelation of God within them.
Thus Jesus said, “For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John” (Mat. 11:13). God
spoke to an age through the law and the prophets who gave the word of God to
Israel until John the Baptist came on the scene preaching repentance and the
Kingdom. This means that the
prophets and the law revealed God’s will for that age and were in effect until
John began his ministry. The Lord
ended the previous age by removing His blessing and authority from the previous
order, and then spoke a new order into existence purely by His word.
And by a similar unrecognized word of authority, Father shall conclude
this age of the formation of His body of sons and inaugurate the new age of the manifestation
of the sons of God on earth. When
the Lord changed the order two thousand years ago, did He send a mighty
cataclysmic upheaval and judgment to eliminate all the Old Covenant laws,
rituals, sacrifices, feast days, synagogues, and religious forms?
Did He move to completely wipe them out and abolish it all from the face
of the earth? No — not at all!
The old Jewish order remains in the earth today as an abiding and
unimpeachable testimony to the blindness of unanointed, uninspired, unspiritual
When Father changes the order in this day, replacing the church order of
apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers with kings and priests
after the Order of Melchizedek, will He then eliminate and obliterate off the
face of the earth the Baptist order, the Methodist order, the Lutheran order,
the Episcopalian order, the Presbyterian order, the Mennonite order, the
Pentecostal order, the Charismatic order, the Catholic order, and all the other
religious, organizational, denominational, and ministerial orders of the church
systems of today? Not by any means!
He will simply remove what is left of His anointing from that order.
But many will not discern that the anointing has lifted from that old
realm. It will be just as John the
Revelator prophesied of Mystery Babylon, “And the voice of harpers and
musicians (spiritual praise and worship), and of pipers (prophets), and
trumpeters (announcers of new things in God), shall
be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman (spiritual ministry), of
whatsoever craft he be, shall be found
any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone (grinding flour for bread —
the word of God) shall be heard no
more at all in thee; and the light of a candle (the little light left in
Babylon) shall shine no more at all in
thee; and the voice of the Bridegroom (Christ the Head) and of the Bride (of
Christ) shall be heard no more at all in
thee...” (Rev. 18:22-23). They
will continue on with their fellowships, activities, programs, ceremonies,
rituals, crusades, and religious works, for they will be as yet unawakened to
the new phase of the Kingdom this day brings.
AND THEY WILL BE THE GREATEST OPPOSERS OF THE SONS OF GOD!
For a season, until the time appointed of the Father, all will continue
to function without Father’s authority or the precious anointing of His
Spirit, until at last the glory of God penetrates through the walls of ignorance
and unbelief to bring deliverance to the captives of Babylon.
Thank God! There is a
remnant, a chosen company, a firstfruit, a people with a purpose, called to be
the sons of God, who have now been
awakened to this new day and enter into its holy purposes by the Spirit of God.
These have already received the call of the Spirit to repent, because a
new and greater manifestation of the Kingdom of God is at hand.
This call has come from the SPIRIT HIMSELF, confirmed by many thousands
of saints in all parts of the earth, in practically every nation under heaven. It is not a matter of the interpretation of scripture, to
prove from holy writ that this is the time
for the next stage of the Kingdom to come.
It is a matter of hearing from
God. Those who reject this
vision reject the voice of the Lord from the heavens.
Now God has called us to repent of the old — to
repent of all our religious backgrounds, to repent of our doctrines, creeds, and
beliefs; to repent of our denominationalism and our non-denominational
denominationalism; to repent of our carnal religious methods, our dead works,
and all the baggage we have brought with us into this Kingdom walk, from the
systems of man. Just as Jesus
repented of the law in order to be placed as a Son to fulfill His sonship
ministry, so we must repent of our religious heritage and every vestige of that
order that is now passing away. Only
as we repent, becoming invested with a new
mind, a new vision and a new reality, can we enter into this new and higher
and more glorious dimension of the Kingdom of God revealed through sons.
If we are receiving the mind of Christ, we are then able to see the
mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven and understand the coming of the next phase
of the Kingdom. Many do not understand that there is a progression of the
Kingdom from realm to realm and from age to age.
Some hold to the erroneous notion that the church and the “church
age” constitute the Kingdom and that
there is nothing more beyond this except heaven at last. Others believe that the Kingdom has not yet come and are waiting
for its arrival and the so-called “kingdom age”.
Both ideas are wrong. The
wonderful reality is that Jesus brought the Kingdom two thousand years ago! But the Kingdom, Jesus said, is like a man who sows seed in
his field and it springs forth out of the earth, first the blade, then the
stalk, and finally the full corn in the ear.
Just as the seed passes through various stages of development to
eventually arrive at harvest conditions, so does the Kingdom grow and develop
through various stages and manifestations until ultimately God is all-in-all.
The Kingdom develops in this way both within each of
us individually, and in its subjection and dominion of the world and all
There shall be no end to the
increase of the Kingdom as it grows and develops first in the earth that we
are, secondly in its dominion over all
the peoples and nations of the earth as the kingdoms of this world
become the kingdoms of our Lord and His Christ, and finally unto the
farthest extremities of all the unbounded heavens (Isa. 9:7; Heb. 2:8).
This age is not the last age by any means, nor shall the next age bring
the final consummation; for it is in the ages
to come that God shall clearly demonstrate and fully put on display through
us the immeasurable, unlimited and surpassing riches of His grace and
goodness of heart toward all His creation (Eph. 2:7).
Neither is the coming age the “kingdom age” as so many say.
Every age since Jesus is, and shall be, the Kingdom age!
There is no singular “kingdom age”.
The Kingdom began with Jesus. He
proclaimed the Kingdom and brought the Kingdom.
The Kingdom is now revealed in the lives of those who are walking in the
Spirit and are filled with the righteousness, peace and joy which are the
Kingdom. ALL ages are now Kingdom
Ages. The age now dawning is the
age of the beginning of the manifestation of the sons of God — merely the next
step in God’s great ages-lasting Kingdom program.
Here is God’s program. In
the age now ending God has been meticulously forming His body of sons, the
manchild birthed out of the woman church. In
the furnace of affliction and by the power of His indwelling life the nature and
ways of the Father have been inworked in a vast family of sons. In the new age now upon us God shall, through these sons,
deal with and subdue unto Himself all the living
nations of earth. That is the
next step in His Kingdom agenda. There
are vast numbers of ages of Kingdom increase beyond that. God must yet deal with the billions of men who have lived and
died upon earth throughout all past generations and ages.
Earth, however, is only the launching-pad of God’s Kingdom plans and
purposes. His program extends unto
and through all the billions of galaxies with their billions of trillions of
stars and suns and planets and moons — all
the works of His hands. All these
things were made by Him, and for Him, and for His pleasure and purpose, to
reveal His glory and to be gathered into His Christ. In that blessed
dispensation of the fullness of times all things in the heavens, and all things
in the earth, are to be gathered together into one in God’s Christ.
And God’s MAN shall subdue and rule it all!
“What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that
thou visiteth him? Thou madest him
for a little while lower than the angels; thou crownest him with glory and
honour, and didst set him over the works
of thy hands. Thou hast put ALL
THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET. For
in that He put ALL in subjection under Him, He left nothing
that is not put under him.
But now we see not yet all things put under him” (Heb. 2:6-8).
This passage is a quotation from the eighth Psalm where the Psalmist
identifies the heavens, the stars, the sun, and the moon
as the “all things” that are to be put under God’s man.
Each new stage of the Kingdom will require repentance on the part of
those who are called to participate in its glory, power and purpose.
Without repentance we will never know the mysterious ways of the Kingdom
of God. But when we repent and turn
away from the old church systems and their time-honored traditions, we then
become as little children to receive the Kingdom and walk in its Light.
When we repent, the Spirit then reveals to us the increase of the Kingdom
of God within ourselves. When we
repent and humble ourselves, we become prepared by our Father for the new order
of the Kingdom. We then “see”
the new Kingdom plans and purposes, and are strengthened to enter into its new
principles to become pioneers of its new order and administration. Repentance and childlike faith prepare us to enter into the
new and higher realm of Kingdom manifestation.
As Jesus had His day of baptism by John, and the early disciples had
their day of Pentecost, so shall we have our DAY OF TABERNACLES when the full
blazing glory of manifested sonship shall erupt upon a humble and prepared
people, and startle an unconcerned, unsuspecting and unbelieving world.
Everything of the old order is passing away.
Therefore, we repent of it, and embrace the new thing God is speaking and
doing among His elect. When we have
fully repented to receive the mind of Christ, we shall then make the transition
into the transformation, glory and power of this NEW DAY.
There is no sin so damning as the sin of hearing the word of the Kingdom,
being close to what God is doing, and then fail to repent and thus reject it.
Jesus knew the hearts of the chief priests, scribes, and elders of
Israel. He saw that they were set
in their ways and their minds were closed against further revelation of truth.
They were in no attitude to repent
of Moses in order to receive the Son
of God who offered them the Kingdom. They
were so hardened and calloused in their minds and spirits that they were foreign
to the higher order of the Kingdom that stood in their midst. Having spiritually discerned their stubborn and unrepentant
attitude, Jesus said to them, “Verily I say unto you, That the publicans
and the harlots go into the kingdom of
God before you. For John came
unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans
and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented
not afterward, that ye might believe him” (Mat. 21:31-32).
What an astonishing word for Jesus to deliver to those lettered doctors
of the law and chief priests who had studied the scriptures and were esteemed
leaders of the religion of the past! Just
as those religious leaders could not discern the day of their visitation and
refused to relinquish the old in order to apprehend the new, so are there
multitudes today who will fail to make the transition by repentance, and will
reject the new thing God is about to do in the earth.
Only by repentance do we receive the mind of Christ.
The one distinguishing mark of a son of God who is chosen as a ruler in
the Kingdom in this day when the sons shall be given power over the nations, is
repentance. All others will be set
in their ways, too calloused in their hearts, too attached to their cherished
traditions, and too indifferent to the voice of the Spirit to lay hold upon the
If the events surrounding the manifestation of the first Son of God are
repeated in this hour of the unveiling of the younger sons of God, then
undoubtedly the word of the Lord to the religious leaders in the church systems
in our day is just this: “Verily I say unto you, that the loan sharks and the hookers
go into the kingdom of God before you.”
I do know firsthand that there is a vast company of so-called religious
mis-fits, church order rejects and castaways, spiritual nobodies, and precious
people who have been beaten, wounded and broken by man’s carnal interpretation
of the word of God and his harsh application of the law of God, who have
repented and do repent and are following on to know the Lord.
These have suffered with Him, and they shall reign with Him.
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