Kindgdom Bible Studies Kingdom of God Part 30


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



Part 30 



            The Kingdom of God is the divine dominion of Christ’s sovereignty.  Accordingly, the Kingdom of God has its commandments.  But these commandments are not imposed laws nor enactments of ordinances; these commandments are the enunciation of principles.  The principles of the Kingdom of God are scattered throughout the New Testament.  But there is one discourse of them so profound, comprehensive, explicit and divinely imperial, that it may be called the Manifesto or the Constitution of the Kingdom.  It is the Sermon on the Mount.  In the days when our blessed Lord, the King of the Kingdom, clothed in humanity, walked as a man among us, He established a school of learning in order that His many brethren might be instructed in the way of the Kingdom of God and fulfill their roles as ambassadors of that Kingdom and rulers in that Kingdom.  We shall now give heed to the curriculum that He set, and which He carried through in His own ministry; and which He caused to be recorded for all future generations of the sons of God.


            The principles of the Kingdom are not the way to enter the Kingdom, but reveal to us the lifestyle of the Kingdom.  Our King is not asking us to live any differently than the way He lives Himself.  The more we yield ourselves to the Spirit to live the Kingdom lifestyle, the more Christ-like we become.  The Sermon on the Mount is not a teaching for those who expect the end of the world someday, and a Kingdom to follow, but for those who have experienced the end of the world within themselves and the coming of the Kingdom of God here and now.  The basic outline of the principles of the Kingdom is as follows:


                                                  1.  The Principle of Kingdom Attitudes (Mat. 5:1-2).

                                                  2.  The Principle of Rewards (Mat. 5:13-16).

                                                  3.  The Principle of Outward Righteousness (Mat. 5:17-26).

                                                  4.  The Principle of Inward Purity (Mat. 5:27-32).

                                                  5.  The Principle of Integrity (Mat. 5:33-37).

                                                  6.  The Principle of Non-Resistance (Mat. 5:38-42.

                                                  7.  The Principle of Divine Love (Mat. 5:43-48).

                                                  8.  The Principle of Almsgiving (Mat. 6:1-4).

                                                  9.  The Principle of Prayer (Mat. 5:5-15).

                                                10.  The Principle of Fasting (Mat. 6:16-18).

                                                11.  The Principle of Kingdom Priorities (Mat. 6:19-23).

                                                12.  The Principle of Faith (Mat. 6:24-34).

                                                13.  The Principle of Mercy and Judgment (Mat. 7:1-6).

                                                14.  The Principle of Persistence (Mat. 7:7-11).

                                                15.  The Principle of Discernment (Mat. 7:15-23).

                                                16.  The Principle of Hearing and Doing the Father’s Will

                                                           (Mat. 7:21-27).


            To walk in the Kingdom of God we must have an eye that is single to His glory.  We cannot lead a double life.  “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways,” wrote the apostle James.  The word “minded” in this passage is the Greek word PSUCHE which is often rendered “soul.”  “A double-souled man is unstable in all his ways,” it might just as well be translated.  Is it possible to have two souls?  There is no doubt about it!  The soul is composed of four primary functions: mind, will, emotion and desire.  These are the four parts of the soul.  The natural man consciously has only one soul.  But the regenerated man consciously has two souls.  This is a great mystery, but let us see how this is.  The natural man knows only one mind the mind of the flesh, the carnal mind, his own human mind.  The natural man knows only one will the will of the flesh.  The natural man experiences only one set of emotions the emotions of the flesh.  And the natural man has only one desire the desire of the flesh. 


            Paul makes this very plain.  “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: among whom also we all had our lifestyle in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others” (Eph. 2:2-3).  Again, “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, sensual appetites, unholy desires, and covetousness, which is idolatry: for which things the wrath of God cometh upon the children of disobedience: in the which ye also once walked, when ye lived in them” (Col. 3:5-7).  Paul doesn’t tell us that all these things have passed away, that they no longer exist in us, that they are dead or were crucified two thousand years ago on the cross.  The command is, “Mortify  kill, put to death, execute, slay, assassinate,  liquidate, do away with, wipe out, put an end to, waste, finish off the evil desire, the animal impulse, the earthly disposition lurking in your members!”


            May I here point out that within the Lord Jesus Himself, in the days of His flesh, dwelt two souls.  We know that within Him were two wills, for on that dreadful night in the agony of Gethsemane, He said it Himself.  “And He went a little farther, and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt” (Mat. 26:39).  Have we ever considered that GOD has a soul?  Many scripture passages speak of the soul of God, as we find in Isaiah 42:1, “Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth.”  Delight is an emotion, and emotion is a function of the soul.  It should not be difficult to understand that God, though He is spirit, has a soul.  Does God have a mind?  Mind is soul.  Does God have a will?  Will is soul.  Does God have emotions?  Emotion is soul.  Does God have desires?  Desire is soul.  God thinks, plans, and purposes.  God determines and predestinates.  God feels, laughs, is vexed, angry; God hates, loves, is pleased, displeased, satisfied, dissatisfied.  Ah, yes!  God has a soul. 


            When a man is born of the Spirit he inherits from his heavenly Father the soul of the Spirit.  The soul of the Spirit is simply the mind of the Spirit, the will of the Spirit, the emotions of the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit.  With the mind of the Spirit we think the thoughts of God, thoughts of peace, thoughts of righteousness, thoughts of wisdom, knowledge and understanding.  The mind of the Spirit is the vehicle of revelation.  By the will of the Spirit we are motivated to act as sons of God, to fulfill all of Father’s purpose in us.  The emotions of the Spirit are  love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.  By the desires of the Spirit we are drawn to spiritual and heavenly realities and seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.


            I doubt that any child of God would deny that there is also within him another soul the soul of the flesh.  The soul of the flesh is simply our own natural mind, our own human will, our fleshly emotions and carnal desires.  If we say we have not this soul of the flesh we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.  E. Stanley Jones has given the following  illustrations.  The Chinese have a character for “peace” which depicts a house roof and one woman under it.  The character for “strife” or “contention” is the same house roof with two women under it!  A mother said to her little girl as she was all flustered and flurried with indecision: “Now, hurry up, Mary, and make up your mind.”  To which the little girl replied with a sigh, “It’s easy for you to make up your mind, mother, for you’ve got only one mind to make up, but I’ve got lots of minds to make up!”  There is age long wisdom gathered up in those stories.  Where there is unity of purpose and action there is peace and power, but where there is inner division in loyalty and purpose there is strife and contention and consequent weakness and breakdown.


            The double-souled man that is unstable in all of his ways is the man who constantly vacillates back and forth between God’s will and his own, between the emotions of the Spirit and those of his flesh.  Back and forth, back and forth, seeking God’s will today and his own tomorrow.  He can never make up his mind, can never maintain constancy in his experience, is like a wave driven by the wind, and never becomes established in the will and ways and life of the Spirit.  That is the two-souled man.  The spiritual man, in all things,  says with the firstborn Son of God, “Not my will, but Thine be done!”  The spiritual man denies not the movie house, not the liquor store, not the dance hall he denies HIMSELF!  His own flesh-soul is brought under subjection to the spirit-soul.  Our heavenly Father never functions out of any soul except that of the Spirit, for He is Spirit.  God’s soul is a spirit soul.  Man’s soul is a flesh soul.  Therefore there is omniscient wisdom beneath His determination to subdue  our soul unto His.


            The following quotation from George Hawtin will plainly illustrate what our true position should be.  “There is coming a day when the sons of God will subdue all things and bring everything into subjection unto the Father.  Christ must reign until all enemies are under His feet (I Cor. 15:24-25).  Let us therefore face this solemn fact that all who reign with Him must first of all be subject to Him and be ruled by Him.  Those who will be used of God to subdue all things must first of all be subdued.  Those who are to subdue the enemies of Christ must first of all have all the enemies of Christ subdued within themselves.  Never let this truth depart from you either day or night, for, if God should give men power to subdue who have not themselves been subdued, they would not be one whit superior to all those tyrannical dictators of the past, who in their lust for power trod their enemies under their bloody feet, rejoicing only in their bombastic  and dictatorial spirit and the groveling servitude of the people.


            “Before God can launch us into the breadth and sweetness of His service and entrust us with great things for Himself, we must be perfectly subdued in every part of our nature to His will and the disposition of His mind.  We must be subdued in our hearts, in our minds, in our words, in our tempers, in our manners: subdued through and through so thoroughly that we will be flexible to all His purposes and plans.  We must be subdued that harshness, severity, criticism, sluggishness, laziness, impetuosity, and all wanting our way, even in spiritual things, must be subdued out of us.  Conversion will not finish this work and perhaps not in one case out of a thousand will a second work of grace produce this complete condition of teachable subjugation to God’s will.  Being able to preach strong sermons on sanctification will not do it, or having charge of camp meetings, or conventions, or Bible schools, or the writing of books and editing of papers on Christian holiness will not prove adequate for this.


            “We must be subdued, not merely in our opinion, not merely think ourselves subdued, not only in the esteem of our friends and fellow-workers, but subdued so perfectly that the all-seeing eye of God can look us through and the omniscient One knows that we are subdued.  God must conquer the man that He can trust with His great thoughts and plans   end quote.


            It is here that we meet the powerful principles of the Kingdom of God in the Sermon on the Mount.  No more penetrating words were ever spoken concerning the spiritual life than the statement of Jesus that “a house divided against itself cannot stand.”  And that is a discerning portrait of  religion and religionists.  Jesus saw that men were trying to live in contradictory directions, upon contradictory principles, with divided loyalties.  So He pronounced a doom upon all this living by the simple statement, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”  The man who is double-souled is trying to do an impossible thing, something that is against the nature of things and therefore impossible.  The double-souled man is unstable in all his ways and his life and works can only end in collapse.


            When Jesus uttered those words about the house divided against itself, He was speaking to Pharisees.  They themselves were what He meant by the futility of living a life in two different directions.  They were not consciously bad men just hypocritically divided men.  They were trying to please God while they pleased themselves.  They were trying to fulfill the law of God by being self-righteous.  They drew around themselves a set of religious scruples which fit into their outward form of what religion was, and rejected things that were closer to the heart of God.  ‘Ye tithe mint and anise and cumin and pass over justice and the love of God.”  These men were so zealous for the law that even if in their patio or on the roof top they raised a very small patch of spices for their personal use in cooking, they tithed it!  They were legalists to the penny.  But mercy, goodness, helping the needy, forgiveness, love, and compassion would mean they would have to share and consider the feelings and circumstances of others, and that they felt no responsibility to do.  On the side of the law they served God, but on the side of mercy, forgiving, loving, lifting and blessing creation they served themselves.  They were divided in their religion, majoring in minors, and minoring in majors.  They were double-souled, and their religious house  doomed to collapse.


            When Jesus enumerated the principles of the Kingdom of God He set forth in the sweetest of terms the power and glory of an undivided life.  That is the power and glory of the life of sonship!  The expression and actions of the life of sonship reveal the heart and nature of the Father and our own reality as His sons.  After teaching about loving our enemies and doing good to those who despitefully use us and many other noble qualities of the spirit He ended with, “Be ye therefore PERFECT, even as your Father which is in heaven IS PERFECT” (Mat. 5:48).  To be “perfect” means in the Greek to be “complete” undivided!  The reason many Christians do not live as sons of God is because of one thing and one only: inward division.  Someone has pointed out how Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, struck out at this inward division in the following phrases:


            1.  Don’t try to give your alms with the divided motive of pleasing God and getting credit from men (Mat. 6:1).


            2.  Don’t pray to God and at the same time try to impress men with your sanctity (Mat. 6:5).


            3.  Don’t fast before God and at the same time try to build up a reputation for self-abnegation and spirituality (Mat. 6:16).


            4.  Don’t try to make the best of both worlds  by attempting to lay up treasure in two directions (Mat. 6:19).


            5.  Don’t try to be divided in your loyalty by attempting to serve two masters God and mammon (Mat. 6:24).


            6.  Don’t be anxious in two directions today and tomorrow concentrate on today (Mat. 6:34).


            7.  Don’t try to judge in two directions yourself and others  concentrate on yourself (Mat. 7:1-5).


            8.  Don’t try to bring forth good fruit out of an evil heart (Mat. 7:15-18).


            9.  Don’t try to give lip service saying, “Lord, Lord,” without doing the will of God (Mat. 7:21).


            If you try to live with a dual motive, Jesus says, then there will be one sure result you will be like a man building his house on sand, and when the pressures of life come, when the winds blow and the floods come, there will be a great crash!  In these examples Jesus was not preaching what men call “morality.”  He was expounding how life in the Kingdom of Heaven works, how the life of sonship functions.  If you try to live a divided life of flesh and spirit you are living against yourself and against the Kingdom, and that won’t work.  You can live that way and appear religious, you can live that way and prosper in many churches, you can live that way and the church systems will promote you to the office of Sunday School Superintendent, Member of the Board, Head of a Committee, Deacon or Pastor; you can live that way and become famous and perhaps have your own Christian Television Show but you cannot live like that as a son of God.  Every son of God is one-souled, living only by the spirit.


            When I speak of Kingdom laws I do not mean external rules and regulations.  True, Jesus enunciates these principles of the Kingdom as an instruction, as a teaching, but He does not demand legalistic obedience in the way Old Testament laws were obeyed.  That is merely external righteousness.  And that is why Jesus didn’t say, as Moses said, “Thou shalt and thou shalt not.”  He said, rather,  Blessed are they that...”  Someone may say, “I find it almost impossible to love that person, but I am going to love them because Jesus says I must.”  That is not the Kingdom!  That is not sonship!  That is just plain law, and the person who attempts it is still divided within himself and his attempt will fail.  You cannot love people by any human effort.  The principles of the Kingdom can only be lived out by a new nature, not outward conformity.  If you have to bite your tongue and count to ten, you are still divided and living under law.  And I am not preaching condemnation to you, precious friend of mine;  I am merely  pointing out how the life of sonship is.

            The law of the Kingdom is the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus.  Jesus is not instructing us as to what commandments we are to obey, but about what nature we must receive.  “If ye know that He is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of Him.  Whosoever is born of God does not practice sin; for God’s seed abideth in him: and he cannot practice sin because he is born of God.  In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil...” (I Jn. 2:29; 3:9-10).  Nature is inherited.  Moses was the giver of laws; Christ is the giver of life!  Those who fulfill the law of the Kingdom are not servants, slavishly obeying, but sons, born of His life, possessed of His heart.  The righteousness of the Kingdom can be lived only by the man who has experienced the powers of the Kingdom of Heaven within himself.  You cannot have the apples without the apple tree.  You cannot grow the tulips of the Kingdom of God  unless you get the bulbs from heaven.  The demands of the outward law proved how utterly impotent man was; now the demands of the inward law prove HOW INFINITELY ABLE GOD IS!  Today the demands of the Kingdom serve to demonstrate the infinite ability of God in His sons by the Spirit.  He has Himself become our life that He may meet all the demands His Kingdom makes upon us.  God’s life has been given us, not merely for our eternal enjoyment and benefit, but for the sake of His Kingdom.  As He sits upon the throne of our lives and asserts His authority in us His Kingdom is raised up in us and functions through us.  This is the power and glory of the Kingdom of God!




            We come now to the first principle of the Kingdom of God.  “Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mat. 5:3).  It seems strange to say that the poor in spirit inherit the Kingdom of Heaven; rather it would seem that the rich in spirit should inherit the Kingdom!  There is a great depth here that can only be plumbed by the wisdom of God.  The things of the spirit are always contrary to the logic of the carnal mind.  Only when we are willing to reject our minds and our wisdom does God draw nigh to us and give us light, true light.  “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (I Cor. 2:14).


            To be poor in spirit does not mean to be lacking in spirit, but indicates an attitude of heart.  The Greek word used for poor is PTOCHOS.  It is one of two words for “poor” in the Greek language.  While the other word, PENES, is used to describe one who has fewer possessions, and has to work hard for a living, the word PTOCHOS describes the man who has absolutely nothing at all.  It means a pauper or a beggar.  It has connections with the root word PROSSEIN which means to couch or cower.  It describes the poverty of one who has been beaten to his knees.  To be “poor in spirit” is to become like Jesus, who “made Himself of no reputation” (Phil. 2:7).  For, “though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor (ptochos), that ye through His poverty might be rich” (II Cor. 8:9).  Deeper yet, this term “poor in spirit” in the original speaks of bankruptcy.  I like to translate our Lord’s words this way, “Blessed are the bankrupt they who have come to the end of themselves for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.  Blessed are those who have nothing within themselves, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.”  God is looking for a people that will be emptied out, that out of their weakness they may find His strength.  That is a principle of the Kingdom it is how the Kingdom of Heaven works!


            Ah, we cannot come to be taught of God feeling within ourselves that we are understanding, we are power, we are creators, we are kings and rulers, or that we have anything that commends itself to God.  We must be poor in spirit, poor in attitude unclothed of self.  The word “spirit” is used many times to describe an attitude of heart or a state of mind.  If we say of someone, “He has a good spirit,” we don’t mean that he has an holy angel or a well-mannered ghost living inside of him.  We mean that he has a good attitude, disposition, temperament, personality, demeanor, and expression.  The beatitudes are just that attitudes of being.  They are the BE-ATTITUDES, the very attitudes the sons of God must become.  Jesus said in effect, “The attitude of a poor person is the same attitude that will help you to inherit the Kingdom of God.”  But He does not mean by this that we are to be spiritually destitute!  We must realize that we are the “branch” dependent upon the Root and the Vine just as the firstborn Son testified of Himself, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, the Son can do nothing of himself, but what He seeth the Father do: for what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.  I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me” (Jn. 5:19,30).  It follows then that the poor in spirit are actually the rich in spirit!

            Poor in spirit means “renounced in spirit.”  Yielding up everything of self selfishness, self-assertiveness, self-interest that we may gain Christ.  Right on the threshold of the Kingdom of God we encounter an act of renunciation from the deepest depths of our being.  One Greek scholar has said that poor in spirit comes closer in the Greek to mean “teachable in spirit.”  Ah, what a word that is!  To be happy and blessed in the Kingdom we must be renounced in spirit, teachable in spirit, pliable in spirit, and receptive in spirit.  Receptive to all that God is, to all that God does,  to all the strange and wonderful ways that He leads, and to all that He speaks by His Spirit.  We must be pliable in the Father’s hands at all times and in all situations.  We must have an ear to hear.  We must know and think and be nothing of ourselves.  We don’t bring anything to the Kingdom but the Kingdom is ours!  All the resources of the Kingdom are at the disposal of the poor in spirit.  The Kingdom of God is within us, and it also reaches to the lowest hell and beyond the farthest star.  All the powers of the Kingdom are centered in those who are the sons of God.


            The saintly George MacDonald has beautifully expressed  the truth in these inspiring words: “The poor, the beggars in spirit, the humble men of heart, the unambitious, the unselfish; those who never despise men, and never seek their praises; the lowly, who see nothing to admire in themselves, therefore cannot seek to be admired of others; the men who give themselves away these are the freemen of the Kingdom, these are the citizens of the New Jerusalem.  The men who are aware of their own essential poverty; not the men who are poor in friends, poor in influence, poor in acquirements, poor in money, but those who are poor in spirit, who feel themselves poor creatures; who know nothing to be pleased with themselves for, and desire nothing to make them feel well of themselves; who know that they need much to make their life worth living; these humble ones are the poor whom the Lord calls blessed.  The gate of the Kingdom begins to open to such a man.


            “Whatever such a man has attained to, he straightway forgets; it is part of him and behind him.  His business is with what he has not, with the things that lie above and before him.  The man who is proud of anything he thinks he has reached, has not reached it.  He is but proud of himself, and imagining a cause for his pride.  If he had reached, he would already have begun to forget.  He who delights in contemplating whereunto he has attained, is not merely sliding back; he is already in the dirt of self-satisfaction.  The gate of the Kingdom is closed, and he is outside.  The man who does not house self has room to be his real self God’s eternal idea of him.  He lives eternally; in virtue of the creative power in him, he is.  How should there be in him one thought of ruling or commanding or surpassing!  He can imagine no bliss, no good in being greater than someone else.  He would lift every man to the embrace of the Father.  Blessed are the poor in spirit, for they are of the same spirit as God, and of nature the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs”   end quote.


            The following quotation by Paul Grubb further illuminates this wonderful Kingdom principle of poor in spirit.  “When Jesus said, ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit,’ in essence He was saying, Blessed are they, who in spirit reckon that they possess nothing.  Blessed are those who in their spirit are conscious of the fact that they do not possess one thing.  It all belongs to the Father.  If the automobile has their name on the title, it does not belong to them.  If the house has their name on the deed, it does not belong to them.  If the million dollars in the bank is deposited in their name, it does not belong to them.  It belongs to the Father.  If humility is demonstrated through their lives, it does not belong to them.  It belongs to the Father.  If righteousness is manifested in them, it does not belong to them.  It belongs to the Father.  If goodness is exerting its influence through their lives, it does not belong to them.  It belongs to the Father.  If power flows through them to the needs about them, it does not belong to them.  It belongs to the Father.  Anything valuable that they possess either spiritually or materially is not their own.  They are conscious that a man does not really possess any righteousness.  Any he thinks he possesses is self-righteousness.  He does not possess any humility or goodness.  He does not possess any power, for ‘all power is of God.’


            “Until we come to know we are poor in spirit, we are not in the Kingdom.  Anyone who thinks he has righteousness is far from the Kingdom.  He who thinks he has humility, goodness or power is far from the Kingdom.  Jesus never boasted of humility, goodness, righteousness or power.  But you never saw Him with anything less!  Jesus declared that even the words which He spoke and the deeds that He did were not of Himself.  The very words that He spoke belonged to the Father; they were the Father’s words.  The works that He did were not His own works, they were the works of the Father.  What He heard from His Father He spoke, and what He saw of His Father He did.  As sons of God we must be brought to the place where we know the words are not ours, the works are not ours, the results are not ours, the humility is not ours, the gifts are not ours, the calling is not ours, the ministry is not ours,  the automobile is not ours, the house is not ours, the family is not ours, the children are not ours, the parents are not ours.  Everything belongs to Him.  ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven’”   end quote.


            Brother Bob Torango adds this testimony from a recent article: “Don’t be anxious!  Look not on the outward evidence of the vessel.  You are only a container, a bottle in which the Lord of glory abides.  The container is only as holy as what it contains.  It is not the container that this Day depends upon, but what is contained within it.  This Kingdom has nothing to do with you, with your righteousness, with your power, with your ability, with your holiness; but it is totally reliant and dependent upon the Righteous, Holy One who embodies us.  It is not up to us to perform these things, it is His plan, His ministry, His salvation, His conciliation; it is Him and only Him that this Day is about.  You are His vehicle through which He will express Himself, but the ultimate work of change, the melting of the elements, the burning of the heavens and earth, the passing away of the old and the rising up of the new, all  of this cannot and will not be done by mortal man but we do contain the Lord of lords, and the Logos of His will is in us to will and to do of His good pleasure!  Our only challenge is to expect, believe, yield, disappear, get out of the way, lose our self, avail our self, and ultimately just to hang on when the ride begins!”




            Jesus gave the second principle of the Kingdom in these words: “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted” (Mat. 5:4).  Let all who read these lines understand Jesus is not merely putting a premium on mourning.  He is saying that the man who can mourn and is able to know sorrow is to be thought of as a blessed man because he shall find comfort in his sympathy for his brethren. 


            Nowhere is this principle seen with greater clarity than in God’s Royal Priesthood company being selected and trained in God’s school of sonship dominion to restore all creation back to God.  Of these King-Priests it is written, “Thou...hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign  on the earth” (Rev. 5:9-10).  This passage is one of rare beauty.  It is like a precious diamond, the effulgence of whose radiance dazzles the mind.  It must be engraved deeply upon the heart of every son of God.  There is so much depth to that text that I am afraid we often do not perceive it.  It is like a beautiful star-studded sky on a bright clear night and one cannot even begin to grasp the vast depth that lies above us.  So it is with these marvelous words: “Thou hast made us TO BE KINGS AND PRIESTS!”  Can you say that?  As we plumb its depths a little more I hope that you will ask yourself the question more carefully, “Am I being made a priest unto God?  Is the process of transformation into the kingly and priestly nature practically taking place in my life?”


            The wonderful book of Hebrews is literally packed full of mysteries, types, shadows, and allegories, all pointing to the ministry of the sons of God  who are God’s Royal Priesthood.  These are only unfolded by the Holy Spirit as we are able to bear it.  Hebrews chapter five sets forth the qualifications that the typical High Priest under the law, and therefore Christ Jesus, the anti-typical High Priest of the new order of the Kingdom, must possess.  All the members of the Royal Priesthood, the Kings and Priests of the Kingdom who are, with Him, “partakers of the heavenly calling,” must also have the same qualifications, for they are the body of the High Priest. 


            “For every High Priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that He may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins: who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way, for that he himself is compassed with infirmity” (Heb. 5:1-2).  Here we have defined the intrinsic nature of the priestly office.  First, he must be “taken from among men,” that is, he must partake of both the nature and the circumstances of those on whose behalf he acts.  Second, he acts not as a private individual, but as a public official: “is ordained for men.”  Third, he came not empty-handed before God, but furnished with “gifts and sacrifices for sins.”  Then, he himself must not be exempt from infirmity, so that he might the more readily succor the distressed and distraught. 


            All this is important for it points to Jesus’ qualifications to be our great High Priest.  A High Priest must know and experientially understand the problems and limitations of those he represents.  “Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity.”  On three different occasions Matthew tells us that our Lord was “moved with compassion” on the multitudes.  Frankly, when you read the Gospels you read of Jesus doing miracles, healings, signs and wonders; but Jesus never went around looking for a miracle to perform.  HE WENT ABOUT DOING THE FATHER’S WILL.  The Father brought Him to a place where His heart could be moved with compassion.  It was not a gift of compassion that came to Him by the Holy Spirit; it was the  compassion wrought out in His life by His many sorrows, sufferings, and testings.  He had suffered loss, He had suffered pain, He had suffered reproach.  Coming to a town He sees a funeral procession and as a Son, having suffered the loss of Joseph and friends and family members, and shared in the sorrow of His mother at the loss, thereby developing the nature of a Priest, He is filled with compassion when He sees the widow and her dead son.  There was no Social Security in those days, and the boy was the only person to look after the widow, so He stops the procession, raises the boy, hands him over to the mother, and goes about the Father’s business.  I find that the basis of the sonship ministry of Jesus was not power IT WAS COMPASSION!


            When He saw the multitude He was moved with compassion.  They were hungry, and He had known gnawing hunger, so He said, “Let us feed them.”  When He met the leper He was moved with compassion, for He had experienced pain and shame, and He laid His hands upon him and healed him.  He could have spoken a word to heal him, but that man needed the touch of somebody’s hand on him, he had been separated from people so long, he needed more than to be healed from his leprosy, he needed the sense of the hand of God upon him.  When Jesus looked upon the careworn faces of the toiling, tax-ridden multitudes taxed by cruel priests; taxed by Herod; taxed by Pilate; taxed by their own sins and sorrows; wearily burdened, wounded at heart, and heavy laden He was not looking for a chance to show off His power He was moved with compassion.


            “Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; FOR THAT HE HIMSELF ALSO IS COMPASSED ABOUT WITH INFIRMITY.”  The condition which develops compassion in us, is that we ourselves get compassed surrounded, hedged in by the problems, the difficulties, the needs that are going to be represented in the people to whom we minister.  So many of us are intolerant in certain areas of our lives because we have not gone through the pressure, we have not been compassed by that particular infirmity, weakness, sorrow or need.  Priesthood demands suffering, trial, testing, tribulation,  and pressure.  Sonship demands relationship with God.  He sends the Spirit of the Son into our hearts and we cry, “Abba, Father!”  Now God intends that all of us who have been called should be sons of God, and that all of us should be a Kingdom of Priests, a Royal Priesthood unto God.  But you may be a son and still not be a priest!


            John the Revelator said, “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them...they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years” (Rev. 20:4-6).  Here you see that it is not the sons who are reigning it is the PRIESTS!  What about the sons?  “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son” (Rev. 21:7).  The sons inherit, for they are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ (Rom. 8:17).  Who, then, is destined to reign?  THE SONS WHO ARE PRIESTS!  Christ was a Son before He was a Priest.  He was not a Priest during His years in the flesh, although He was qualifying to be one, but He was a Son.  Christ in His ministry from the heavens today is not merely the Son of God.  As a Son He is “heir of all things;” but to become the great High Priest and provide the priestly ministry on our behalf the Son had, as a Son, to go through the experience that was necessary to perfect Him for the understanding heart of the Priesthood.  “We have not an High Priest which cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities; BUT WAS IN ALL POINTS TEMPTED LIKE AS WE ARE, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15).  “Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered; and being made perfect, He became...AN HIGH PRIEST AFTER THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK” (Heb. 5:8-10).  “Every High Priest...must be compassed with infirmity.”


            Ah, Jesus could have been a son without being so totally compassed with infirmity, BUT HE COULD NEVER HAVE BEEN A PRIEST WITHOUT IT.  He might have been perfect in character, noble in motive, and desirous to help us; but, if He had never tasted death, how could He allay our fears as we tread the verge of Jordan?  If He had never been tempted, how could He succor those who are tempted?  If He had never known pain, how could He have compassion on the sick and sorrowing multitudes then and now?  If He had never wept, how could He dry our tears?  If He had never suffered, hungered, wearied on the hill of difficulty, or threaded His way through the quagmires of grief, how could He be a merciful and faithful High Priest, having compassion on the ignorant and wayward?  But, thank God!  Our High Priest is a perfect one!  He is perfectly adapted to His task.  If we would sit with Him upon that blessed throne of mercy we must not shrink from the problems and troubles and perplexities of this life, for this is the stuff Priests are made of!


            There have been those precious folk who have said to me, “Brother Eby, I don’t understand.  Since I came into this Kingdom message things have gotten worse all hell has broken loose.”  That is just what you need IF YOU WOULD BE A PRIEST!  Have you not known some beautiful saints to whom you naturally betake yourself in time of trial and sorrow?  They always seem to speak the right word, to give the very counsel you are longing for; you do not realize, however, the cost they had to pay ere they became so skillful in binding up gaping wounds and drying tears.  But if you were to investigate their past you would find that they have suffered more than most.  They have watched the slow untwisting of some silver cord on which the lamp of life hung.  They have seen the golden bowl of joy dashed at their feet, and its contents spilt.  They have stood by ebbing tides, and drooping flowers, and darkened skies; but all this has been necessary to make them comforters and healers, the priests of men.


            The only persons on earth who really understand our sorrow are the persons who have traveled the same valley of despair.  Only those who have been bereaved know what bereavement really is.  They alone can shed the sympathizing tear and intercede in power with God, for they alone truly understand.  Others may kindly and with feeling offer their condolence, but they can do little more than that, for they have not experienced the pain and loneliness of our loss.  The reason our blessed Lord is touched with the feeling of our infirmities is that He knoweth our frame.  He remembereth that we are dust.  He knows this not by  revelation or by divine omniscience, but He Himself was a “man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.”  He knew what it was to be despised, afflicted, and rejected of men.  He knows what it is to be misunderstood,  to be dragged from prison and judgment with no man to declare His generation.  He knows what it is to be tested in all points as we are tested, and the sympathizing tears flow from His eyes as He extends His nail-pierced hand to lift us from the shades of our gloomy night to the ineffable light of the plain on which He dwells.


            If you are going to be a manifested son you must first get bound because God wants His sons to be Priests, kingly Priests who show forth both authority and redemption.  You must not only have the authority of Kingship, but also the compassion of Priesthood.  Let me say now, I DO NOT RECOMMEND PRIESTHOOD I RECOMMEND SONSHIP!  When you are a son you have an inheritance, great wealth, blessings from the Father’s hands, and freedom.  As a son you have power to do things, but the moment you become a Priest, they put you in chains: compassed, surrounded, hedged in, pressed on every side by infirmity.  Infirmity is weakness.  I pray that as God deals with His sons in these days that we will not despise our limitations, our infirmities, and our sufferings, but look unto Jesus who has pioneered the way of Royal Priesthood before us.


            Christ was tempted as a Son, but after that there came a temptation in testings that had nothing to do with Him, but were preparing Him for the perfection of the Priesthood.  As sons of God, with full inheritance, we should be blessed beyond measure, we should have no problems, by rights we should be in perfect health, have good jobs, money in the bank, and everything coming to us.  And we can demand our rights!  Vast numbers of Christians today choose to walk only in their Kingdom privileges of blessing, health and prosperity.  And they do not know it, but they SHALL NOT REIGN WITH CHRIST.  It is the priests that reign!  “And they shall be priests of God...and they shall reign.”  To the Priests God says, “No, I am going to limit you here, put you through pressure there, subject you to suffering, hedge you in and compass you about with infirmity, not because you have no rights, but that it will work a compassion, an understanding, a mercy, a grace, work something in you so that out of you will flow a river of love, forgiveness, tenderness, redemption and then a flow of power, enabling and ability.


            Now can we understand the depth of the principle of the Kingdom that teaches, “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted” and they shall be comforters!


            There is, however, a further dimension to the mourning of the sons of God!  In the true and eloquent words of another, “When Jesus says, Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted, He is not talking about someone who is hired to mourn.  Of course, in Jesus’ day, the Eastern custom at funerals was to have just such as that. With cruel, yet merciful swiftness, the hour arrives for interment.  The lamentation, that was passionate before, became tumultuously defiant.  Relatives lost all self control, and refusing to let the pall- bearers discharge their sad office, had to be forcibly removed.  A procession was then formed and on the way to the cemetery the wailing was increased by those who joined in to show their respect to the family.  After the family and neighbors became weary with wailing, they hired professionals to continue it.  This highly hysterical type of mourning continued for days!


            “The foregoing is just a description of the Oriental custom for mourning.  That certainly was not what Jesus had reference to in the beatitude.  As we look to another scripture or two, we will be able to determine what Jesus had in mind when He said, Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.  John 16:4-6, ‘But I have said these things to you that when the hour comes you may remember that I told you of them.  I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you.  But now I am going to Him who sent me.  Yet none of you ask me, Where are you going?  But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts.  Nevertheless I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away.  For if I go not away, the Comforter will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.”  And then in verse 20, “Truly, truly I say to you, you will weep and lament (mourn), but the world will rejoice.  You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy.”  And then in verse 22, “So you will have sorrow now, but I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice and no one will take your joy from you.”


            “The mourning Jesus is referring to is a mourning over the absence of the presence of God, or of Christ.  That is the godly mourning that Jesus had in mind.  And that is the mourning that is representative of the sons of God.  The only time that Jesus mourned was when He mourned for the absence of the presence of God.  Twice we find Him weeping.  He wept at Lazarus’ tomb.  It was because of the absence of the presence of God.  “When Jesus saw her weeping and the Jews who came with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and troubled; and He said, Where have you laid Him?  They said to Him, Lord, come and see.  Jesus wept.  So the Jews said, See how He loved him!  But some of them said, Could not He that opened the eyes of the blind have kept this man from dying?  Then Jesus deeply moved came again to the tomb” (Jn. 11:33-38). 


            “His deep mourning here is for the absence of God.  Lazarus had died.  In the first place, that signifies the absence of God.  Life is of God and God is life.  Death is the absence of the presence of God.  Where God is, there is life.  Death is the opposite to it.  The mourning here is because there is death and not life.  Jesus was not  mourning because He thought that Lazarus would not come back to life.  He knew exactly what He was going to do.  In part, Jesus was mourning because there was the presence of death and the absence of the presence of God.  But the absence of faith in God grieved Him also.  The unbelief was expressed by the mourning scene and the expression of the sisters.  The unbelief was undoubtedly the influence of their past teaching.  Although the doubt was the expression of the emotional disturbance and grief in the hearts of these women, it displayed the absence of God’s assurance and faith.  God’s presence is faith.  God’s presence is life.  The mourning of Jesus was for the absence of God in this situation.  He mourned because they did not believe.  Satan had beclouded their minds to cause them to believe a lie rather than the truth.  After all that He had said to them, they still could not believe.  Although Martha said, ‘I know that my brother shall rise in the resurrection at the last day,’ they still did not believe.  Jesus said, ‘I am the resurrection and the life.  If a man believes, though he were dead, yet shall he live;  and if you live and believe, you shall never die.’  Jesus did not see that kind of faith there!  So He mourned because of the absence of the presence of God.


            “On one other occasion Jesus mourned when He beheld Jerusalem and contemplated her rejection of the King and her rejection of God’s Kingdom.  He witnessed her rebellion against God and against His Kingdom program.  The whole nation of Israel was represented by Jerusalem.  When He used the word Jerusalem, He was not just speaking of a city that is made up of buildings and streets.  He was speaking of the Jewish nation.  ‘Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killing the prophets, stoning those who are sent to you.  How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!  Behold, your house is forsaken and desolate.  For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’  Here Jesus was mourning over Jerusalem because the Jewish nation was rejecting the King and the Kingdom.  That is the true reason for the mourning of the sons of God today.  Their mourning is because God is absent from the lives and activities of the people of the world.  God is being rejected from all of their ways.  The King and the Kingdom are not being accepted in this hour, when God is offering the King and the Kingdom to the church and they are rejecting it.  Certainly the mourning is in the hearts of God’s sons.


            “That is one of the ways in which the sons of God enter into the fellowship of Christ’s suffering.  It first begins in our own lives and then it goes out to the others.  Our first revelation is how little of the King is embraced in our own lives.  There comes a mourning in our spirit, when we recognize how little of the Kingdom of God is operating and being demonstrated in our lives.  We are beginning then to suffer with Christ.  We begin to understand how Jesus felt when God, who deserved to be worshipped and obeyed as King in the earth, who deserved to be Ruler in men’s lives, was rejected.  Jesus sorely grieved as He witnessed how God was rejected and dethroned when men would not have His Kingdom enter  their lives.  Jesus’ mourning was for the fact that God was displaced.  It is when we begin to realize that there is so little of Christ in us, and so little of God’s Kingdom manifested through our lives that we enter into the mourning of the true sons of the Kingdom. 

            “Jesus’ promise in the beatitude is that this mourning will not be permanent.  This mourning of the sons is going to climax with a comfort when Christ fully rules in our lives and finally rules in all the earth.  The Kingdom of God is going to fill these lives.  If we have a godly mourning because God is not occupying many areas of our lives and those of other men, Christ will come and expel the self-life and all things that are contrary, and ascend to His throne, to His rightful place in the hearts of men.  When He comes to His rightful place in your life and mine, that mourning turns to joy.  Then, as we view the world, our mourning becomes like that of Jesus for the world.  We are conscious that God ought to be in His rightful place in all things, everywhere.  Satan ought not to be ruling in lives by bonds of sin, sickness and sorrow.  God deserves to be there!  There should be perfect minds and bodies revealing the power and life of God.  There ought to be life instead of death.  Instead of going down in death with cancer, man ought to be victorious in life.  But sin and death rule in men’s lives, therefore we are grieved in spirit.  As we sorrow for that condition, we allow the Christ to reach men.  God, who is Life, begins to spring forth.  Comfort, joy, and life in God come out of that death-realm for which we had mourned.   

            “Our mourning is because there is sin in the world.  There is sickness.  There is sorrow.  Christ is not ruling in the lives and affairs of men.  But we live in assurance that the day is coming when all of the kingdoms of this world will give way to the Kingdom of our God and His Christ!  Then all of the mourning of the sons will be comforted and shall be turned to joy.  This mourning is the kind of mourning experienced by the firstborn Son of God.  It is mourning because God has been displaced and is denied His rightful place.  Likewise, all the sons of the Kingdom mourn because of it.  I am sure that Christ is mourning today in the lives of the sons of God because many multitudes of people, including the religious ones, are rejecting His Kingship and His Kingdom in their lives.  The common people heard Jesus gladly.  They welcomed the gospel of the Kingdom and the King.  They had lived in distress and hardship long enough.  They wanted to see God!  They welcomed a Kingdom in which there was peace and joy and plenty, righteousness and health and perfection.   

            “The present world condition distresses our spirits.  It gives us a mourning within.  But Jesus promised that this mourning is going to be changed.  We shall be comforted because we are going to see in fullness what we now see in part.  What we are seeing on a small scale in a local manner, we are going to see on a mighty scale, in a world-wide visitation.  We are going to see this glorious Christ come to His rightful place.  We are going to see the Kingdom come in its power and come in its glory.  Then shall we rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory!”   Paul Grubb.

            To be continued...                                                                                          



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