KINGDOM BIBLE STUDIES
"Teaching the things concerning the kingdom of God..."
THE KINGDOM OF GOD
THE INCREASE OF THE KINGDOM
From the dawn of history right down to the present time men have dreamed of a golden age when peace and prosperity, health and happiness should be blessed realities among all peoples of every kindred and tongue and people and nation on earth. Poets, philosophers and prophets have sung and spoken of harmony and brotherhood when all strife and discord should cease and the earth should be reborn. Plato wrote of an ideal republic, and the Lord Chancellor of England in the reign of king Henry the Eighth described a glorious Utopia one day to be established among all nations throughout the world. The ancient Hebrew prophets prophesied of a time when the nations would beat their swords into plowshares, men would live so long that one who died at an hundred years of age would be a mere child, and the whole earth would be full of the glory of the Lord. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of others, politicians, military generals, ministers, and visionaries of all kinds have predicted the arrival of the Golden Age, the Utopia to come. Were all these men suffering from delusions or merely indulging in wishful thinking? Shall these things be, or is it in vain that men look forward to the coming of a nobler, truer, happier, more blessed and righteous order in the world? If such a vision is to be relegated to the realm of fiction and fantasy, or if such realities exist only in the realm of the spirit or in some bright glory-world above, then it is useless for us to pray, "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, AS IN HEAVEN SO IN EARTH."
Oftentimes when a motel or restaurant is poorly managed and thereby develops a bad reputation, its business falls off and the owner is forced to sell or vacate. The first thing the new manager does is to put up a huge sign conspicuously located, reading, UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT. This is what will happen to this planet soon! Truly things are in a bad, distressful and deplorable condition. The manager, old Adam with his carnal mind, human reasoning, and sinful nature, has been wicked and deceitful, selfish and immoral, causing strife, heartaches, wars, deaths, tragedies, pains, troubles and sorrows everywhere. Thank God his lease is about up! The first man Adam's days are numbered, and the second man, who is the last Adam, is about to take over this earth, and will become its new manager, if you please, as is indicated in the following verses: "I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give unto thee the nations for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel" (Ps. 2:7-9). This is the destiny of all the sons of God!
God is not one bit interested in whisking us off this planet and hiding us from the devil in some far-off heaven somewhere. But He is vitally concerned with making us overcomers, the sons of God in the midst of the land, to inherit all nations and rule them with a rod of iron. "He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son." It is not God's purpose to burn up the earth and destroy the nations of men that He has created to inhabit the earth, exiling billions of men and women into eternal damnation in the abyss of hell. Oh, no! It is His purpose to heal the nations! "And the leaves of the tree (of life) are for the healing of the nations" (Rev. 22:2). "And the nations of them that are saved shall walk in the light of it (the City of God)" (Rev. 21:24). God is going to destroy the sin and rebellion in the world, but He is going to bring healing to the nations. The Sun of righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings for all men and for all the nations!
Only with great difficulty can we even imagine what the world will be like under the ministry and rule of the manifested sons of God. It's wonderful to look at what's in that new world, but it's almost as great to think of what's not there. Satan and all his cronies will be missing (Rev. 20:1-3). The Kingdom of Heaven on earth will have no crack houses or rehabilitation centers, no police stations or courthouses or prisons, no locks or alarms. "They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain (kingdom): for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea" (Isa. 11:9). In the new world there will be no guns, no missile factories, no abortion clinics, no sirens wailing, no ambulances, no hospitals, no cancer clinics, no morgues or funeral parlors. "There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away" (Rev. 21:3-4). The shroud of Turin is an ancient burial cloth that shows the wounds and facial features of a crucified man. Certain analysts think it has undergone a kind of radiation. Some Christians believe it is the shroud in which Jesus was buried, and that gets them excited. But I'm not so excited about any shroud Jesus may have preserved. I'm excited about the shroud Jesus destroys. "On this mountain He shall destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; He will swallow up death forever. The sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from off all faces" (Isa. 25:7-8).
At the present time men are, on account of sin, made to be afraid of one another. This is really the meaning of all the policemen, the detectives, the FBI, the CIA, security guards and neighborhood watch programs. All these exist in order to protect us from violence, injury and violation at the hands of our fellow-men. This is the meaning, too, of all the carefully and strongly constructed locks, bars, and security systems in our houses and businesses, to protect us from thieves and rapists and murderers and others who would molest us. This is the meaning of the millions of soldiers who are trained in the art of warfare, as well as the great navies patrolling the seas, the air force flying the skies and the satellites scanning the globe. They exist for the purpose of affording protection from hostile invaders or terrorists bent on coming to take away our freedoms and power and position on the earth. This is the meaning of the large burglar-proof safes made to be so specially strong and secure that men cannot steal away our treasures and wealth.
I am reminded of something I read some time ago. Standing before a masterpiece in a national museum, a tourist says in a snide tone, "I don't see anything in that!" Then another tourist, looking at the same work of art, replies thoughtfully, "Don't you wish you could?" As we witness our nation and society deteriorating year after year, and as we read and see reports that confirm our worst fears, ordinary citizens tend to sigh in despair and say, "I see no reason for hope." And as they despair, we hear the still small voice of the Spirit asking, "Don't you wish you could?" Thank God for the hope of creation! According to the apostle Paul's teaching in the eighth chapter of Romans the hope of all creation is the manifestation of the sons of God. Together we can praise God that this present evil order is shortly to come to an end. The world, which for ages has been marred by sin and ruled in unrighteousness, is to experience the rule of heaven. "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." That is the prayer of sons! That will make this earth of ours like heaven, because heaven's conditions will prevail and God's will shall be done here -- everywhere and in all things. Isn't that simple, now? Isn't that much more reasonable than going into this theological blackout and thinking that this world is sort of a diving-board from which men jump into either eternal torment, or up into the clouds somewhere? Doesn't the gospel of the Kingdom of God fill your soul with the realism of God's great plan and give you a redemptive vision? Ah, it will give you an incentive to fulfill the will of God here and now upon the earth!
The first great work of the new age is the manifestation of the sons of God. "And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron" (Rev. 2:26-27). The spectacle will be absolutely unique and glorious, as the Saviour of the world, the King of kings and Lord of lords, comes to be revealed in the fullness of His love, righteousness, power and glory in the splendor of myriads of glorified sons of God! The sons of God will hold in their unerring hands the reins of government over all the earth! The mighty Christ within us knows all languages. He certainly understands and knows all hearts with all their hopes, dreams, desires, and ambitions, whether good or bad. He is the fountainhead of all wisdom and grace and power, and foreknows all things from the beginning. Morning stars shall again sing together, and all the sons of God shall shout for joy, when Jesus comes to be revealed in His saints and to be admired in all them that believe in that day.
The disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ were greatly perplexed when Jesus died. But then He arose the conquering Christ! The fact of the Christ's resurrection is historic. The man who disputes it disputes the best established fact in history. He was seen by those who despaired of His existence. He ate with them. He drank with them. He walked with them in a bloodless body. He talked to the despondent and broken-hearted apostles, the eleven, for nearly forty days. It was impossible to be deceived. He spoke, and was heard and seen on one occasion by five hundred, most of whom were living at the time that Paul made the declaration that they knew Christ and had seen Him after His resurrection. He proved His resurrection by telling them that if they would go to Jerusalem and enter into an upper room, and wait for the promise of the Father, the Holy Spirit's power would come. The promised outpouring took place. Christ went up and the Holy Ghost came down. They saw Him go and they saw Him come. It shook the place where they were sitting. The divine earthquake shook Jerusalem. It shook Israel. It shook the Roman empire until it fell, to rise no more. It shook the world. The Spirit's power came. The Christ returned in mighty Spirit-power. He ascended up far above all heavens that He might return as the Spirit to fill all things (Eph. 4:10). He who is the Truth came again as the Spirit of Truth. He came as an indwelling Life. Men who were weak became strong. Men who were wicked murderers and devils were transformed into men of virtue and power with God. Men who were illogical became great and mighty reasoners. Men who were feeble stood up, and in their spiritual majesty tower today above all the men of their time. All history substantiates the claim. Every philosopher and potentate of their time had to recognize them so that Peter, Paul, James, John, and many of their successors, became the mightiest Powers even in a heathen Empire.
The day had dawned, the shadows were fleeing away, darkness dispelled. We would but deceive ourselves were we to conclude that the conflict of the ages between Christ and Satan, between truth and error, between light and darkness, between righteousness and unrighteousness, between life and death has ended. The second thousand years are drawing to a close since Jesus came, died, conquered death, and poured out His life-giving Spirit and, blessed be His name, He pursues His mission still and reigns in majesty over His Kingdom by entering into these temples of clay, and filling our spirits, and souls, and bodies with His own eternal presence and power, making us one with Him, members of His very own body, of His flesh, of His bone, of His blood. He has gathered millions into His gospel net of salvation that out from their midst He may birth a vast company of sons who have put on the mind of Christ, been conformed into His image, with the Law of His Life inscribed upon the tables of their hearts, that they may then be filled with the fullness of His Spirit. And the hour is wonderfully nigh at hand when there shall be a further transformation, even the bodies of His elect sons shall be changed in likeness unto His body of glory as this corruptible puts on incorruption, and this mortal puts on immortality, so that we, who were destined from the beginning to be the revelation of HIMSELF to creation, may complete His mighty work for the redemption of humanity.
And now, a new Day has dawned! Thank God, a few of His chosen ones have arisen to behold the dawn and to drink in the intoxicating freshness of the morn. A new age has arrived. "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men (humanity, mankind), and He shall dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their (mankind's) eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I MAKE ALL THINGS NEW" (Rev. 21:3-4). Blessed promises of a mighty deliverance, which by the Spirit we even now begin to see fulfilled. The time has come for the nations to hear the voice of the Son of God and live! There shall be a glorious victory as the devil that has deceived all nations is bound with the great chain of the word of God through His sons. The un-deceiving of the nations means a new mentality, new understanding, new thought processes, the unveiling of the truth about all things in the minds of the vast multitudes of earth. The light of divine truth and reality will at last shine into the speculations of science, the theories of education, the practice of commerce, the world of politics, the dogmas of religion, and all things will be MADE NEW! What anticipation this evokes in our hearts! "And it shall come to pass, that...all nations...shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles" (Zech. 14:16). This scripture reveals that it is by the ministry of those who have partaken of, and entered experientially into, the FEAST OF TABERNACLES, that the nations shall be brought into living relationship with the Lord! Ah, those walking only in the feast of Passover (Fundamentalists and Evangelicals) or the feast of Pentecost (Pentecostals and Charismatics) can never get this job done! Only those who press on into the fullness of God will have the power to rule the nations! "And the nations...shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it...and there shall be no more curse" (Rev. 21:24; 22:3).
The ministry and rule of sonship is ready to be poured out upon the nations of this world. What a perfect luxury of blessing shall come upon all mankind! The ministry of Christ revealed in the four Gospels, shall be intensified by tens of thousands of manifest sons of God in the midst of the earth! "The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose...they shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert" (Isa. 35:1,2,5,6). When the mighty work of salvation, restoration, and transformation is complete there will be none of those painful and debilitating diseases which now plague mankind. There will be no cancers wasting away the frame, no multiple sclerosis, multiple dystrophy, or Parkinson's disease destroying the nervous system. Because streams of healing and deliverance shall flow out to earth's needy, helpless and hopeless, there shall be no need of medicine, and drug stores will disappear. We shall need no doctors and the great clinics and hospitals of our cities and towns will have no patients who need treatment, surgeries, or nursing. From every mental hospital the inmates will stream forth shouting for joy at finding that God's Christ has touched their minds with His omnipotent hand of love and power. From every prison in the world will leap forth prisoners of each sex and every age to testify to the saving, delivering, transforming work of God in their lives, breaking completely and forever the shackles of sin and satan, turning thieves, murderers and rapists into men of mildness, righteousness and compassion. The power of sin and death being broken, the undertaker will look in vain for corpses and will find it the hardest thing in the world to keep his business open.
NOW HEAR THE WORD OF THE LORD! When God's spiritual work of mind, will, heart, nature and character is finished in each of His sons, the sign that the hour for the manifestation of the sons of God has arrived will be given throughout the whole earth. On a day much like today, those who have been fully awakened within and transformed into His likeness in spirit and soul, will step into another dimension. Suddenly, instantaneously and simultaneously every sickness and disease in each and every body of all the sons of God will be totally and permanently healed. This will be the most astounding mass-miracle of the ages! A shuddering will run through their bodies. In an instant these sons will burst into the resplendence of the shimmering glory of God brighter than the noonday sun. Incorruptible life will surge forth from within quickening their mortal bodies with vibrant, self-perpetuating life. Their minds will at the same time be expanded with divine wisdom and understanding. All things will become open and known. The secrets of the universe will become as clear as the letters of the alphabet. Creative power will flow from their mouths and their hands. The secrets of men's hearts will be revealed and they will know all that is within man; but they will not be permitted to speak these things, only mercy, grace and omnipotent love will flow forth to mankind! But the very first sign that the hour of manifestation has arrived will be the sudden, instantaneous, and simultaneous healing of every sickness and disease in the body of every son! You can watch for that sign that the day of full manifestation is here! Some will not receive this word, but it does not matter. The sign will be fulfilled, and glorious shall be the Day unto those who are appointed to it!
The lovely Christ who two millenniums ago spoke to the winds and waves and with a word hushed the sea's mad raging, will through the authority of the many sons He has brought to glory control the climates of the world, giving freedom from howling tempests, raging hurricanes, devastating tornadoes, destructive floods, and desolating droughts. By the increase of His Kingdom and peace ferocity in man and beast and nature will cease and "the sucking child will play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice den," unharmed. The natural mind can barely comprehend what the world will be like when there is no hatred, strife, bigotry, broken homes, domestic violence, child or spouse abuse, alcohol or drug abuse, no war nor crime, no soldiers nor policemen, no doctors nor hospitals, no beggars nor homeless people, nor hungry people, nor children with bloated stomachs, no suicides, no election frauds nor stealing and buying votes, no wicked scams, no pornography nor prostitution, no adultery nor fornication. All people of all nations will speak of God's Christ as THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS, for everyone will be righteous! The nations will be spiritually clean. Righteousness will fill the Kingdom. The knowledge of the glory of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. The laws of God will be in the hearts of the people. The Spirit will be poured out on all flesh, and the joy and peace which God intended for man to enjoy will be restored to him. The Kingdom of God shall triumph over all and there shall be no more curse.
During the age now ending the dealing of God has been with His Church, and not with the nations. The nations have been affected, of course, but only in an overflow of blessing from the work and righteousness of God in His people. The Kingdom in its present state does not rule over the nations of the earth, but the nations, for the most part, have a rule over the Church. The nations have persecuted the Church, and still do. The nations have placed limitations upon the Church. In most countries the church systems are even chartered by the government! The apostle Paul admonished the saints to be obedient to kings and rulers, and to submit to every ordinance of man for conscience' sake. Christ now rules in the hearts and lives of His chosen ones in the midst of His enemies. But the day is coming when He will rule through His Kingdom Sons over His enemies. While world governments exist under the supervision of God for the good of mankind, those governments are not by any stretch of the imagination a reflection of the Kingdom of God! The spiritual forces that influence them are often the malignant spirits from realms of darkness, and most of their activities are manifestations of the carnal mind, works of the flesh. No government on earth today is truly Christian. No, not one! Human progress without God has always been progress in evil, not good. His upward progress, progress in return to God, has not been discernible at all through the centuries. God turned the world over to man to govern. But man ruined the world through sin, wrecked his happiness, and sold his life for death. There can be no such thing as upward progress apart from God! With every invention of man evil only multiplies. With all the medical knowledge and great hospitals man's wisdom has built, there are more sick people today than ever. In the past century of man's "enlightened civilization" more people have died in treacherous, bloody wars than in all the wars from the beginning of time put together. Man has tried to rule the earth, and failed. He is failing now. The vast experience of six thousand years is now nearly complete. With pollution pouring into our atmosphere, soil, rivers, lakes, and oceans; with atomic bombs stockpiled by more and more nations, and terrorists stalking the earth with fanatical zeal, the case is most manifestly going against man.
At this crisis we now stand. We are on the verge of momentous events. We are at the close of a long series of experiments made by Adam the banished. And we find the world more wicked and more lawless than at the first. Peace does not reign among the nations. Misrule has not departed. Righteousness is not ruling the world, nor our own nation. Holiness does not beautify the homes of men. Man has found no cure for the deceitfulness and desperate wickedness of the human heart. Sin and sorrow rage on, and he is powerless. The curse still rests on the earth and poisons the air. Man cannot check it. The thorn and thistle, the prickly memorials of the first sin, still shoot up. And the thorns and thistles in the garden of men's lives are thicker and taller than ever. Disease still scourges the body. Man cannot drive it out. Death still smites down its daily myriads. Men cannot disarm or check it. The grave still receives the loved, and preys upon the young and the beautiful.
These are the fruits of the first Adam's doings, and this is the powerlessness of his children to remove so much as one in ten thousand evils! It has been manifestly demonstrated that man can ruin, but not restore, the world. His attempts at restoration have resulted only in greater evils. Every invention of science has ultimately proven detrimental to the earth and to the lives of mankind. His antibiotics produce super-viruses more deadly than before. His automobiles and airplanes spew pollutants into the atmosphere. His chemicals spread sickness, deformity and death throughout the planet. His television and movies destroy the moral conscience of both children and adults. His food additives and prescription drugs kill hundreds of thousands, yea, millions annually. His guns and bombs and sophisticated implements of war have killed millions, and are still killing today in every corner of the globe. But this progress in evil has a limit. God has set bounds which He will not allow it to pass! He will not allow this earth to become altogether a hell. Even now He makes the wrath of man to praise Him, and the remainder thereof He restrains. We are now nearing the boundaries of man's evil. The second man, the last Adam, has been formed in the earth as a many-membered body, and is now at hand and with Him the kingdom and the glory. This Man is ready to assume the dominion that was given to man in that long ago beginning. He will bring the cure. He will knit the broken world. He will subdue and subject it, beginning with the hearts of men. He will break man's rebellion with a word of power and life -- a rod of iron. He will redeem, reconcile, and restore mankind to the fellowship of God. He will teach men the ways of righteousness and bind their hearts to the will of the Father. He will rebuke disease and sorrow. He will bind death. He will rifle the grave. He will deliver creation. And on His righteous peaceful throne He will rule until God is all in all.
The sons of God are now waiting in the wings. That is the essence of their action. They patiently watch as the men of this dying age are moving helter-skelter. These sons know in their enlightened minds that all the feverish activities of the world's rulers is but the last frantic stages of a mad rush to save the world of mankind from destruction by the formation of a "new world order" already in view, a true City of Man, built by man's ingenuity for man -- this, finally, is the avowed goal they forecast for themselves, shimmering on the mountains of the future. But God's holy sons are waiting -- growing in the knowledge, wisdom, nature, and power of their heavenly Father -- but not for that City of Man that man is building, the modern-day Tower of Babel, for that city will not be built, at least not as men have configured it. The Kingdom of God will come upon the nations after all the efforts of Transnationalists and Internationalists, of the Trilateralists and Illuminatists, of liberals and humanists, of globalists and ecumentalists have come to utter shipwreck upon the shoals of the treachery, deceit, greed, bigotry, wretchedness and wickedness of the human heart.
The day is coming, Oh glorious Day! when God's nature and glory and power and rule will no longer be found only in God's elect, no longer in a tiny minority of people in every city, state, province and nation, but in all people of all the nations. There will not any more be one people redeemed, but all people redeemed; not one land glowing with the glory of God, but all lands radiating His life; not one nation owning Christ as King, but all nations become the Kingdom of God through the wonder-working achievements of the sons of God. That great day is coming, the world will do the will of God, for Christ is not only the redeemer of His called and chosen people, but He is the SAVIOUR OF T-H-E W-O-R-L-D. For Him the banners of all people shall wave in the breeze; to Him shall the kings and presidents and prime ministers and rulers bow themselves, and unto Him shall the gladdened hearts of the children of men uplift their songs of triumph.
He who came to redeem the world will not fail! To deny that the world and the nations of earth will be gathered into the Kingdom of God is to wickedly deny Christ His victory. The Kingdom of God is for the world, and the world is for the Kingdom of God. Make no mistake about it: Christ our Lord shall be King of all kings and Lord of all lords! Onward, ever onward, rolls the glorious song of redemption, and to the sons of God who yearn to see the glory of the Lord cover the earth as the waters cover the sea, I say: The world, and the whole of it, for God and His sons! No less will satisfy the Father. No less will satisfy His sons!
Someone has eloquently written: "What a scene of unimaginable grandeur that will be, when at last all nations are gathered to His feet! That will include the people from all the European States, from Iceland in the far north to Greece in the south, and from Portugal in the west to Russia in the east. There will the people from Algeria, Morocco, and the Atlas Mountains of the Sahara; from the great lakes of Central Africa, from the banks of the Niger, the Calabar, the Congo, and the Zambesi rivers; and from the upland of South Africa. There will be gathered to Christ the people from Israel, Jordan, and Arabia; India will contribute her millions; and even from closed lands like Nepal, Sikkim, and Tibet, Christ will gather His inheritance. From the Islands of Indonesia they will come -- Java, Sumatra, Bali, Celebes, Lombok, Soembawa, Borneo, and the rest -- and they will be gathered to the feet of the Redeemer. From the teeming millions of Central Asia, from China, Japan, Korea, and Mongolia, there will be an immense homegoing to the Saviour. From the myriad islands of the Pacific, the peoples of Polynesia and Melanesia will be gathered to the Lord who redeemed them. From Australia and New Zealand there will be multitudes who will join in the glad song of praise. Every republic of Central and South America, and the West Indies -- Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and the Lesser Antilles, they will come. From the far-off forests and lakes of Canada and the plains of the United States and the mountains of Mexico there will be a similar homegoing. This gathering to Christ will be overwhelmingly splendid!" -- Author unknown.
This is how the Christ will be revealed in His saints in this hour: Christ is coming in power and in great glory! He is coming to judge the earth with righteousness! I am not talking about military power or political power. I am not talking about power in the way men know power -- NO! The power of the Kingdom is spiritual power. It is power greater than Pentecostal power, for Pentecostal power is but the earnest of the Spirit. Christ is coming in the power of sonship, the power of the Man of Galilee multiplied and intensified in a many-membered body tens of thousands of times. The mighty works of Jesus of Nazareth were but a sample, a swatch, a preview, a foretaste of the glory of God's Christ, Head and body. The Christ Himself prophesied of this greater glory of sonship to come when He said, "The works that I do shall ye do also, and greater works than these shall ye do..." And again, "He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. To him that overcometh will I give power over the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father" (Rev. 21:7; 2:26-27). He says that He intends to come to this little planet (in His elect) and finally put down the rebellion that has broken out -- He will break the nations with a rod of iron and smash them to shivers like the vessels of a potter. Maybe you don't like that. Well, you take it up with Him. He said it, and He is going to do it just that way.
Suppose Jesus came back to this earth tomorrow like He came two thousand years ago, the man of Galilee, the carpenter of Nazareth, the gentle Jesus. Suppose He were here. Suppose He went to the Communist Party Headquarters in Beijing, China and knocked on the door. Whoever keeps the store over there would come and say, "Yes?" He would say, "I'm Jesus. I'm here to take over." Do you think they would say, "My, we have been expecting you!" No, they'd put Him before a firing squad in the morning. My friend, how do you think He could take over if He came to China today? He would have to break them with a rod of iron! Now suppose He goes to France, England, and Germany. There are no strong men in these nations anymore, but some ambitious men rule those countries. They don't want Him. Their constitutions make no provision for the transfer of power to God's Christ. Suppose He came to the United States of America. He could never be King because we have no king, and He could not be President unless He ran in the primaries of the Democratic or Republican parties. And if He wanted to put prayer and truth and righteousness in the schools, in the courts, and in the halls of government they would brand Him an unconstitutional right-wing fringe fanatic and He would never make it past the first primary in New Hampshire.
Suppose He went over to Rome. I was there some years ago and walked the halls of the Vatican, stood under the dome of Saint Peter's, and paused in the revered quietness of the Sistine Chapel. Suppose our Lord would go and knock on the door of the Vatican. The man with the long white garment would come to the door, and the Lord Jesus would say, "I'm here to take over." What do you think he would say? I think he would say, "Now look, you've come a little too soon. I'm preparing a mass, and my pope-mobile is being readied for a historic trip to Asia, and we have two thousand years of tradition and orthodoxy and organization to back up what we are doing. I don't need you." I don't think he would want Him. Now maybe you think the nations' reactions would be different. Perhaps you are saying, "Oh, they would take Him." Then why don't they take Him? They do not because they won't have Him! Suppose He went to the World Council of Churches today, and He said to Protestantism, "I'm here to take over." Would they receive Him? They would not! Suppose He went to Hollywood and New York and announced to the heads of the movie industry and the news media, "I'm here to take over." They would hate Him, they would reject Him, they would ridicule Him, they would mock Him, they would make jokes about Him on the Tonight Show and on the David Letterman Show, laugh Him to scorn, sue Him, call the SWAT team and have Him hauled away!
When Christ comes in His sons He is coming with power and great glory, with wonder-working power, paralyzing, mood-altering, will-subduing, rebellion-breaking, mind-changing, heart-transforming, mighty regenerating power! Let me quote it again: "And he that overcometh...to him will I give POWER OVER THE NATIONS: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; AS THE VESSELS OF A POTTER SHALL THEY BE BROKEN TO SHIVERS..." When all the sons of God are manifest vengeance against evil and all the institutions of the carnal minds of men will be the first order of business. Only the sons of God can rend the shroud of darkness and death that hangs over the whole earth. These magnificent beings will possess the power of God to chase the darkness away. After they have broken the power of sin and satan, the sons will begin a heavenly restoration. As kings and priests of the incorruptible Order of Melchizedek they will with divine authority correct every physical and spiritual disorder. This wonderful company will shimmer with celestial glory, and the life of light will emanate from them to illuminate and quicken all men. These sons of God are the living government of God, the essence of His heart and throne. They are the chosen and proven, the called and tested, the nobodies who walked closely with God and are elevated to the heights of His Kingdom. All the firstborn sons of God will step into magnificent permanence and find themselves clothed with the glory of universal power.
These sons will arise in the midst of the earth out of every hamlet and cove, from the deserts and rain forests, from the valleys and the mountains, from every town and city, from every province and state and every nation on earth and will be gathered together by the power of the Holy Ghost to form the governing council of the new world order of the Kingdom of God. Jesus will stand in His rightful place at the helm of this invincible body. Every son of God will be the brother of Jesus Christ, birthed in the image of their Father. These are fantastic beings, focused, strong, powerful, mighty, formidable, overwhelming, supreme, conquering warriors who love creation and rule the created realms with all the power of God. As an invading army of celestial kings they shall advance to subdue the earth. In tumult and conflict, in reconciliation and restoration, their truth and light will cover the land.
No device of men -- money, worldly wisdom, political clout, military genius -- shall deter this unstoppable army of the body of Christ. They will crush the ignorance of carnality, and abolish the power of darkness in the hearts of men. The glorified sons of God will fear not to slay, for they are also the resurrection and the life. Their actions are wisdom, their weapons are truth, and their motives are love. They will dispense the knowledge of the holy as a clear stream, to bring forth judgment unto victory. All the peoples of the nations will become their possession (Ps. 2:8). Then shall the teeming millions of earth know peace in a new and unspeakable tranquillity, for righteousness shall be established in every heart and in every institution. All creation shall rest as the nations beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. This is the plan of God for all the nations of this earth, and its implementation is the legacy, ministry, and destiny of Jesus the Christ.
THE WORK OF GOD IN THE NATIONS
The scriptures reveal many wonderful promises and much enlightening revelation concerning the rule of God over the nations. THESE PROPHECIES HAVE NEVER YET BEEN FULFILLED. By no stretch of the imagination can any development or condition during the Church age be construed as fulfilling these beautiful prophecies. The glorious Kingdom of God will break in pieces and subdue all other kingdoms, kings, rulers, lordships, religions and gods and replace them with one glorious Kingdom of God in this earth.
Nothing is more evident in the Word of God than the fact that God has a great and wonderful plan which He is working out among the nations of earth. Many saints recognize that God has a predestined purpose in the life of each of His people, an appointed end for Israel, an eternal purpose for the Church, and a foreordained plan for the overcoming sons of God. But we fail in our understanding of God's wonderful plan of the ages until we understand the great truth that the Lord has a determined plan and purpose for ALL THE NATIONS AND GOVERNMENTS OF MEN UPON THE EARTH.
From the very dawn of human history God has had the formation, development and destiny of NATIONS in mind and purpose. God has always been actively dealing with nations. I am indebted to Dr. Harry Rimmer for the following information. The present nations of earth had their origins in the early days following the Great Flood. In Genesis chapter ten is found a most remarkable and comprehensive list of the descendants of Noah who became the heads of the families and tribes which subsequently developed into nations. Even higher critics have often admitted that the tenth chapter of Genesis is a remarkably accurate historical document. There is no comparable catalog of ancient nations available from any other source. It is unparalleled in its antiquity and comprehensiveness. You would do well to read the entire chapter. Here is the one link between the historic nations of antiquity and the prehistoric time of Noah and the antediluvians. The grandsons and great-grandsons of Noah are listed, each of whom is identified with the city or country established by his descendants. It has been possible in many cases to identify the names in Genesis ten with nations and peoples known to antiquity, especially as revealed by archaeology.
An interesting verse is found in Genesis 10:25. "And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg; FOR IN HIS DAYS WAS THE EARTH DIVIDED; and his brother's name was Joktan." Peleg -- or rather, the event associated with his name -- is of special interest at this point. "In his days was the earth divided." Evidently this was a memorable event, and Eber named his son in commemoration of it. The name Peleg means "division." Almost nothing else is said about Peleg apart from mention of his family line and how long he lived. The fact that the earth was divided in his days seems the only possible item of distinction that can knowingly be attributed to Peleg himself. The important thing concerns the meaning of this indicated "division of the earth." It is obvious that this division was the division of the peoples that took place at the Tower of Babel, rather than some cataclysmic splitting of the continents. We have such statements as this: "From these were the isles (coasts) of the Gentiles (nations) DIVIDED IN THEIR LANDS; everyone after his tongue, after their families, in their NATIONS," and again, "These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations, in their NATIONS: and by these were THE NATIONS DIVIDED in the earth after the flood" (Gen. 10:5,32).
The descendants of Noah migrated over the whole face of the earth, forming tribe after tribe, city after city, and nation after nation. Let all men know that it is the Almighty God who is the designer and architect of all the nations of the world! The time periods and localities in which nations flourish have all been pre-arranged by the will of Him who "worketh all things after the counsel of His own will" (Eph. 1:11). The truth of this cannot be made any plainer than it is by Moses in Deuteronomy 32:8: "When the Most High divided the nations their inheritance, when He separated the sons of Adam, HE SET the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel." Paul refers to this verse in Acts 17:26-27: "And (God) hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on the face of the earth, and hath determined the times appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; that they should seek the Lord." This reveals that it was God who, from the beginning, set the national boundaries of ALL NATIONS. These boundaries were established in relation to Israel and with a view to their being able to seek after the Lord. While these things have not fully played themselves out, yet it is remarkable that the ancient land of Canaan was originally reserved by the wisdom and goodness of the Lord for the possession of His special people, Israel, and the display of the most stupendous signs and wonders. The theater was small, but wonderfully suited for the convenient observation of the whole human race -- at the junction of the two continents of Asia and Africa, and almost in sight of Europe. From this spot as from a common center the reports of God's wonderful works, of His mighty power and awesome glory, of the glad tidings of salvation through the ministry, death, and resurrection of His firstborn Son, of the wonder-filled outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost as the footstep followers of Jesus were set ablaze by the life and power of their glorified Lord, might be rapidly and easily wafted to every part of the globe. Yes, God set the bounds of habitation for all nations and planted Israel at the crossroads, to the end that all nations might seek after the Lord! What a plan!
Can we not see by this that out of Israel came Christ; out of Christ has come the Church, which is His bride (Eph. 5:23-32); and out of the Church is birthed the Manchild, the holy sons of God who are destined to rule all nations with a rod of iron (Rev. 12:5) and bring deliverance to the whole creation that it might be fulfilled which was promised to father Abraham: "And in thy seed shall ALL THE FAMILIES OF THE EARTH BE BLESSED" (Gen. 22:18). ALL NATIONS -- shall be blessed! From the very beginning God not only designed the nations of men that dwell upon the earth, He also planned and purposed to BLESS THEM -- each and every one of them! Not only Israel, not only the Church, but the nations themselves must come under the gracious hand of God in blessing and quickening. Oh, the wonder of it!
One of the prophets of ancient Israel sang of this hope in the spirit of prophecy: "God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause His face to shine upon us; that Thy way may be known upon earth, Thy saving health among ALL NATIONS. Let the people praise Thee, O God; let ALL the people praise Thee! O let THE NATIONS be glad and sing for joy: for Thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth...yea, ALL KINGS shall fall down before Him: ALL NATIONS SHALL SERVE HIM" (Ps. 67:1-4; 72:11). The day is surely coming when all nations shall be joined to the Lord and fulfill their obligations to Him as their Maker and Saviour. "Arise, O God, judge the earth: for Thou shalt INHERIT ALL NATIONS. ALL NATIONS whom Thou hast made shall come and worship before Thee, O Lord; and shall glorify Thy name. For Thou art great and doest wondrous things" (Ps. 82:8; 86:9-10).
Many precious "fragments" reveal God's ultimate purpose for mankind, when "ALL the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord, and ALL KINDREDS OF THE NATIONS shall worship before Thee, for the kingdom is the Lord's, and HE is the governor among the nations" (Ps. 22:27-28). In the beautiful second Psalm the Father says to His Son: "Ask of me, and I WILL GIVE THEE THE NATIONS for Thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for Thy possession" (Ps. 2:8). Surely the will and plan of God is revealed in this most gracious request, and surely this was the purpose for which Jesus came and was sent. "The Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of THE WORLD" (I Jn. 4:14). With this divine plan in view, well may the Lord's people triumphantly sing, "O let THE NATIONS be glad and sing for joy, for Thou shalt judge the people righteously, and GOVERN THE NATIONS UPON EARTH...and ALL the ends of the earth shall fear Him" (Ps. 67:4-7). "ALL NATIONS SHALL CALL HIM BLESSED...and blessed be His glorious name forever, and let THE WHOLE EARTH be filled with His glory. Amen and Amen" (Ps. 72:17-19).
If you are truly destined to stand among the company of the sons of God you assuredly share the thrill of the heavenly vibration in these inspired words: "But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain (government) of the house of the Lord (the priesthood of God) shall be established in the tops of the mountains (strong kingdoms, super- powers), and it shall be exalted above the hills (smaller kingdoms, third-world nations); and people shall flow unto it. And MANY NATIONS shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain (government) of the Lord, and to the house (priesthood) of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us His ways, and we (the nations) will walk in His paths: for the law (authority) of the Lord shall go forth of Zion (the sons of God), and the (living) word of God from Jerusalem (the bride of Christ). And He shall JUDGE among the people, and rebuke STRONG NATIONS afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore" (Mic. 4:1-3). Blessed beyond my puny ability to articulate shall be that day when it shall come to pass that "He shall sprinkle (cleanse, sanctify) MANY NATIONS; the kings shall shut their mouths at Him: for that which had not been told them they shall see; and that which they had not heard they shall consider" (Isa. 52:15).
The same ecstatic exclamation of joy and gladness at the prospects of God's salvation poured out upon the nations is commanded by the prophet in these words, "Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord. And MANY NATIONS SHALL BE JOINED TO THE LORD in that day, and shall be my people" (Zech. 2:10-11).
The national message of the Bible is one of the most neglected themes of the church systems. It is possible erroneously to limit God and His program of redemption to a narrow personal and individualistic interpretation. In the light of such a profound array of scriptures as those we have just considered (and there are many, many more!), I am at a complete loss to understand how anyone who knows God at all could fail to grasp the living hope that a radiant age of splendor, in which Christ and His glorious body shall rule and reign and subdue all enemies and all nations and all things unto God, is coming. A careful study of the scriptures reveals an outline of the progressive expansion of God's Priesthood Ministry in the earth. Its headings are:
1. In Genesis we have the Priesthood for the Individual.
2. In Exodus and Job we have the Priesthood for the Household.
3. In Exodus and Leviticus the Priesthood for the Nation.
4. In Hebrews the Priesthood for the Church.
5. In Revelation the Priesthood for the Nations.
6. In Colossians 1, Romans 8, & Hebrews 2 we have the
Priesthood for the Universe -- all of creation.
The first four of the above orders are now fulfilled and we are standing at the very beginning of the fifth -- a Priesthood for the nations! Has this wonderful reconciliation of the nations been accomplished? History shouts aloud that it has not -- not yet! God has called Israel, built His Church, and brought His sons to birth, but He has not yet saved all the nations. The kingdoms of this world have not yet been broken to pieces and consumed into the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of the Kingdom under the whole heaven has not yet been given to the saints of the Most High. All dominions do not yet serve and obey Him. All nations have not been subdued unto Him nor do all nations come before Him to serve and worship Him. China does not! Tibet does not! Iraq does not! Iran does not! Egypt does not! The European nations as a whole do not! In fact, only the Church worships and serves Him -- not any nations! But fear not, dear ones, for a people is prepared to take the Kingdom and possess the Kingdom and reign until the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our God and of His Christ!
On the rocky slopes of the isle called Patmos the beloved John beheld in spirit the wonder-filled scene of God's throne with its Kingly or Royal Priesthood. He beheld, and lo, "the four beasts (kingship) and the four and twenty elders (priesthood) fell down before the Lamb, having everyone of them harps...and they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book , and to open the seals thereof: for Thou wast slain, and 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. 5:8-10).
We have come to a period of the world, and to a condition, for which there are no precedents. There are no instructions left for guidance in the details of the restoration of all things, beginning with the deliverance of the nations and their entrance into the Kingdom of God. The Holy Spirit has given no exact direction concerning the manner in which the priesthood for the nations is to minister or its work to be effected. We have, in the Word of God, abundant instructions for the "in part" realm of Church age ministry. It is not difficult to learn how to function in the body of Christ as an apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, teacher, deacon, bishop, elder, or to move in the gifts of the Spirit. But I defy any theologian to find anything that will give direct help, even in the words of Jesus Himself, concerning how to reign as King-Priests over the nations! He left that for the Holy Spirit to teach to the elect company of overcomers who should be the heirs of the Kingdom of God. We have come to that hour. Ah, we can only learn these sacred and secret things by being TAUGHT OF HIM! "I have yet many things to say unto you, but you cannot bear them now. Howbeit, when He, the Spirit of Truth is come, He will guide you into all truth...and He will SHOW YOU THINGS TO COME" (Jn. 16:12-13).
We think we have seen some wonderful moves of God, and we have, but we haven't even scratched the surface, we haven't seen anything yet that faintly resembles the glorious things God will do in the days that lie before us. With all its multiplied missionary programs and evangelistic efforts the Church has not yet even started on world evangelism. God is laying a groundwork and teaching. processing, qualifying, equipping, and empowering His people for the coming invasion of all the world. He must do something unprecedented for us first, so that we will be ready. We don't have all that we need for this great work, but God is quickening us for it. He is stripping away our dependence upon money, methods, and materials, drawing us to move out of that and into HIS REALM. The realm of God is the realm of Spirit. It is the realm of Being. God is teaching us the ways of His Spirit.
The word came to Phillip the evangelist in Samaria to go down into the desert to meet the Ethiopian eunuch. Phillip didn't say, "Lord, I haven't got a helicopter, how can I go down there? Give me time to mail out a newsletter to my partners in faith and raise the money for the trip. How am I going to find one man in all that vast desert, and anyway, Lord, I've got a big revival going here in Samaria." Phillip did not speak like that at all, but he obeyed the Lord and went immediately. God TRANSPORTED HIM BY THE SPIRIT into the desert and pointed out the chariot and said, "Go and join yourself to that chariot." Phillip had to run and outrun the horses to get into the chariot. And when God was through with him, the Spirit took him up and he was "found" at a place called Azotus.
Can we believe that when God wants any of His sons in any place, HE will put them there? God, omnipotent in power, need pay no attention to iron or bamboo curtains. He need not take into consideration national borders or immigration or passport offices. He is in no way restricted by man-made laws and regulations. We are talking about the miracle working power of God and a level of resurrection life to be manifested in the ministry of the sons of God after the Order of Melchizedek! We have really known little of the Melchizedek Order, but God is teaching! We have not experienced the fullness of this, but God is working! We have yet to see a pure, unadulterated move of the Spirit with everyone in total subjection to the mind and will of God, but we are going to. It is coming in this hour. Some are already beginning to walk in these realms with baby steps. Giant leaps lie before us!
We have not yet witnessed the magnitude of ministry that shall be revealed through the King-Priests of the Melchizedekian Order. At times God has raised up mighty men and, as it were, pulled apart but a little the veil, giving a glimpse of the force of a ministry filled with the fullness of His power, the harbinger of greater things to come. Such a man was Charles Finney, an attorney, who upon being apprehended of the Lord left his vocation, waited upon, and then followed the Lord. When he entered into a town often all the taverns and houses of prostitution and other hell-holes would close, not because of some law, nor out of respect for religious gatherings, but because there was no longer any need for them, there weren't any customers, the whole town had turned to God! One man wrote of Finney, "No one has ever approached the gigantic stature of the mighty Charles Finney, who alone, without an evangelistic society, without a radio or television program, without a computer, without 10,000 partners to appeal to or a business manager WON TWO AND A HALF MILLION SOULS TO CHRIST. A hundred like Finney WOULD WIN THE ENTIRE AMERICAN NATION." And do I have some good news for you! God is going to turn 144,000 incorruptible sons of God, with a thousand times more power than Charles Finney, loose on this sin-cursed world!
To be continued...
J. PRESTON EBY
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J. Preston Eby
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El Paso TX 79937-1240
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