Men in Sackcloth: WHY do the scribes say that Elijah must first come before the coming of Christ?” This was the question the puzzled disciples asked the Lord (Matthew 17:10) after the scribe confused them with the prophecy of Malachi where God promised that He would send back Elijah to restore all things before the great and terrible day of the Lord. The answer Jesus gave them has a two-fold meaning. “Elijah truly shall first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, that Elijah is come already, and they knew him not. “The angel had promised (Luke 1:17) that John the Baptist would go before the Lord Jesus in the spirit and power of Elijah, to restore and make ready a people prepared for the Lord. This was fulfilled. One man, John, preceded and introduced one Man, Jesus, as the Christ, the Anointed One who had come to take away sin. But this was not the end of the matter. For Jesus, the word, was a Seed planted in death, resurrected in power, to bring forth a mighty Harvest in His own likeness (Romans 8:29). This Harvest is the glorious Body of Christ, ever growing into the likeness of the Seed, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, growing up into the Head, even Christ, from whom the whole Body is fitly joined together (Ephesians 4:13-16).
Men in Sackcloth: Just as God was manifested in Jesus Christ who came forth from the womb of the Virgin Mary. . now in the end of the Age God has a Body of people, the Temple people which are now in the womb of the true Church, the Virgin Bride or the Holy City, Jerusalem. This Body of Christ, the Overcomer, shall come forth in mighty power to manifest the fullness of Christ in the earth. They are known as the Manifested Sons of God, and this place they occupy is the High Calling of God in Christ Jesus. But before they are manifested or revealed to the world, God shall have a group known as the Elijah-Moses Ministry, a prophetic ministry sent forth with mighty power and the spirit of judgment to restore all things. And as one man, a prophet, goes before one man, the Christ, just so a group of called out saints with a prophetic ministry goes before and introduces the Manifested Sons of God, the Christ ministry. In our previous message on ‘THE TWO WITNESSES of Revelation 11,’ we found beyond the shadow of a doubt that the Scripture shows these two prophets to be the Elijah-Moses ministry of the Body of Christ. Not just two men, but the Lord Jesus in His Body which is made up of many members. Acts 3:21 tells us that Jesus shall remain in heaven and not return to earth until the times of restitution (restoration) of all things spoken by the mouth of His prophets. By looking at the 11th chapter of Revelation we can see something of what this ministry will be like.
Men in Sackcloth: In Revelation 11:3 we see that this people have an anointing power. To get an idea of what this anointing is like, we must look at the life of Jesus. At the river Jordan the Holy Ghost descended upon Him, and He “went about doing good, healing ALL who were oppressed of the devil” (Acts 10:38). No devil could withstand Him. He could see right into the hearts of men; fish and animals did his bidding, and even the elements obeyed His voice. Trees withered at His command, a storm at sea immediately stopped, and a few loaves and fishes were multiplied to feed thousands. Dreadful diseases were healed at once, skin eaten away by leprosy restored like new, crooked limbs straightened, deaf ears unstopped, blind eyes opened, and new eyes were created on the spot. This, then, was the commanding authority of the Son of God. He spoke the Word, and it was done. How could He do this? After all, He had stripped himself of divinity and laid aside His royal robes of deity when He came to earth as a Babe in Bethlehem. But at the River Jordan He had received the anointing of power and authority…. He was the Christ, which means “the Anointed” of God. Here again He was demonstrating the Pattern. For just as this Anointing came upon the Head of the Church (Jesus), it must also flow down over the entire Body of Christ (the Overcomer group), even down to the skirts of the garment (Psalms 133:2) as described in the anointing of the High Priest. The SAME Anointing. With the same power and authority. And with the same spirit of compassion and love for all men. This is the power God gave the Two Witnesses in Revelation 11, and they now enter into a ministry of judgment and restoration.
Men in Sackcloth: Men in Sackcloth: There must needs be judgment upon the earth to cleanse the earth of its corrupt and rotten sin. For the prophet Isaiah said (Isaiah 26:9): “When thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.” Who is to judge the world? I Corinthians 6:2 says: “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world?” And hear me, beloved, this judgment must begin at the house of God (I Peter 4:17), for as Revelation 11:2 tells us, the Holy City (the Woman, the Virgin Bride of Christ) must be trodden under foot for forty-two months. But why? Why must this judgment come to the Church? Because of her backslidden condition. Because as the salt of the earth she has lost her savour (Matthew 5:13), her qualities that preserve against corruption, and she is good only to be trodden under foot until she travails in birth and brings forth the Deliverer, the many-membered Body of Christ. Because like Israel in bondage in Egypt, though she cries against her bondage, she has within her a mixed multitude that have grown satisfied with the leeks and onions and fleshpots of Egypt . . . a type of the worldly system of ecclesiastical religion. And though the multitudes feed at the flesh-pots, knowing nothing else but servitude to Pharaoh and his henchmen, yet there is a remnant in her midst who cry continually to God for deliverance. And there is a Moses, raised up by a merciful God, who is in training now to be God’s Man to deliver His people.
Men in Sackcloth: In Revelation 11:6 the signs of these Witnesses include power to turn water into blood and call down plagues upon the earth, a definite reference to the ministry of Moses. Also the power to shut heaven that it rain not for three and a half years, a reference to Elijah. Notice that Moses got the people OUT OF EGYPT. And see how Elijah got Egypt OUT OF THE PEOPLE, destroying the prophets of Baal and making the people acknowledge the Lord as God. So this is the two-fold ministry of the Sons of God at this time…. to get God’s people to come out of the old harlot systems of manmade religion, and then to perfect the people and get the systems out of them. But it takes judgment to do this. Note how that Moses has to make Israel willing to leave Egypt. They said to him, “Moses, leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians, for it’s better that we serve in bondage than to die in the wilderness” (Exodus 14:12)
Men in Sackcloth: But when the ten plagues were finished, part of which Israel suffered; she was willing to leave with Moses. See how that Moses had been a part of Israel, had tried to take his place and had been rejected and finally had tied into the wilderness where after forty long years of burning out all the self life, he had met with God at the burning bush. Then back to deliver his people, and found that they were still not willing to leave. But this time he had the power of Judgment, and he made them willing to leave. And now God says in Deuteronomy 18:18. I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee (Moses), and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. “First of all this refers to our Pattern, Jesus, who fulfilled this at His first coming (Acts 3:22, 7:37). Furthermore, this is that Prophet, or prophetic ministry (the glorious Body of Christ including Jesus the Head), which precedes the full manifestations of the Sons of God. They asked John the Baptist if he was Elijah, or “that Prophet” (John 1:21), and he said no, he was not. But we know that Jesus referred to him as Elijah, for he was a type of that prophetic Elijah-Moses ministry that comes forth in the end of the age.
Men in Sackcloth: Jesus spoke through the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 61:1-3 concerning His Ministry. But what Isaiah saw was both the ministry of Jesus in His first advent, and also Jesus in the fullness of His Body, the Overcomer, bringing forth judgment upon the earth. For in verse 2 of Isaiah 61 he says His ministry is “To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn.” But in Luke 4:16-21 when Jesus read this scripture in Nazareth to introduce His ministry to them, he did a very strange thing. When he got as far as “To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord . . .”, He stopped in the middle of a sentence, closed the book and sat down and said, “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.” Why did He not finish the part about “the day of vengeance of our God”? Because it was not yet time for that. The day of vengeance, the time of Judgment must wait until the Body of Christ was perfected and ready to come forth in mighty power. For God determined that we, the saints, must judge the world. Isaiah 28:2 says that “Behold the Lord hath a mighty and strong one, which as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with the hand.” And he goes on to say that the Lord will be “for a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment (Verse 6), and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate.” And Jeremiah, seeing this Temple group, the Body of Christ, taking vengeance upon Babylon, the kingdoms of this world, says in Jeremiah 50:28, “The voice of them that flee and escape out of the land of Babylon, to declare in Zion (the church) the vengeance of the Lord our God, the vengeance of His Temple.” And speaking of this Overcomer, God says in Jeremiah 51:20, “Thou art my battle axe and weapons of war. for with thee will I break in pieces the nations (Revelations 2.26-27), and with thee will I destroy kingdoms” (Daniel 2:44-45). SO here in Revelation 11 and 12 we see this happening as the Sons of God, His great Army, goes forth conquering and rising to new heights in God. Finances, transportation, communication, or persecution are no problems to them, for nothing is impossible unto those who have received the anointing of power that now comes upon the entire Body of Christ, the first-fruits of the great Harvest. They walk continually in the will of God, speaking only the words of God, bringing forth the Judgments of God until the Church is purified and perfected and the whole earth is cleansed. Something of the realms they walk in can be seen by reading the chapter on “THE OPEN HEAVENS” Past experiences cannot be used to describe the miracles they will perform, for this is far beyond anything we have ever known, there is no comparison.
Men in Sackcloth: Suddenly, when their testimony is finished and their ministry in sackcloth (this natural body or tabernacle of flesh) has come to an end, we see them overcome by the beast from the pit. Why? This is the pattern. Just as Jesus gave himself into the hands of His enemies, so must these saints. But this is only a stepping stone to enter into glory (Luke 24:26). For if we suffer with Him we shall also be glorified together (Romans 8:17). These, like Jesus, whose lives could not be taken from them, gave up their lives voluntarily (Revelation 12:11) and by this they become full Overcomers.
Now there comes a lull in the judgment, and the whole wicked world of sinners rejoice and make merry, while the true virgin Church travails to bring forth the full Manifestation of the Sons of God. This is in the middle of the week, after forty-two months or three and a half years of tribulation. But the worst is yet to come. But let us take a look at what is happening during this lull…
Men in Sackcloth: Psalms 79:1-3 is very expressive concerning this time: “O God, the heathen (nations) are come into thine inheritance (Deuteronomy 32 :9); thy Holy Temple (Overcomer group) have they defiled they have laid Jerusalem (the Church) on heaps (Revelation 11~2J. The dead bodies of thy servants have they given to be meat unto the fowls of the heaven, the flesh of thy saints unto the beasts of the earth (to destroy, they think, the hope of the resurrection). Their blood have they shed like water round about Jerusalem; AND THERE WAS NONE TO BURY THEM”. These are momentous, terrible days such as the world has never seen before. The leaders of the nations seemingly gone mad in their defiance against God and His people.
Men in Sackcloth: Isaiah 51 has too much to quote all of it here concerning this time, but read it for yourself. In fact, turn to it right now. Notice in verse 17 that God says that We Church, Jerusalem, has been drinking the cup of God’s fury, and now she had come to the place where even the Sons who have been guiding her through these terrible days, are gone. Where are they? Verse 20 says: “Thy sons have fainted, they lie at the head of all the streets, as a wild bull in a net: they are full of the fury of the Lord, the rebuke of thy God.” But why are the Sons full of the fury of God? To follow the Pattern… see Isaiah 53, especially verses 4 and 10, where Jesus was “smitten of God, and afflicted”, “Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him”, and “He hath put Him to grief. ” This then is the suffering that must be endured to obtain the joy that is set before us, to join Him in Glory. Isaiah goes on to say that God is taking now the cup of fury out of the hand of the Church and putting it into the hands of them that afflict her, and to them that trod her under foot. So, for the next three years and a half we find the most terrible tribulation of all, yet the church is hidden in God, in a wilderness place, and does not taste of the wrath of God anymore. Though the devil tries to destroy her, since he sees he cannot reach the Sons who have now ascended into a glorified heavenly body, yet Satan is defeated again. So he makes war against the remnant of her seed, those who are martyred and obtain salvation in the midst of this great time of trouble. But Satan is now cast out of his exalted heavenly position, the place he stole from Adam, and the Sons of God have now ascended to their original inheritance and far beyond. For Haggai 2:9 tells us that “the glory of this latter house shall be greater then of the former.” And those who now dwell in this heavenly place (though their bodies still walk the face of the earth) can rejoice because the heavens are now cleansed. But woe unto them that still dwell in these earthly tabernacles during this last three and a half years (Revelation 12:12), for Satan is full of fury and great wrath, knowing his time is short. The world has never seen the vile, awful depths that sinful man will go until the devil and all his hordes of demons become incarnate in mankind during this period.
Men in Sackcloth: But glory to God, all this time God has a people who are walking the face of the earth in victory and power, and kingdoms and strongholds fall before them. . God shows His mighty power and His wisdom through His Church (Ephesians 3:10). And just as Satan becomes incarnated and manifested through flesh, so also Christ is manifested in His fulness in human flesh again, this time in a great Army of saints, His Overcomers. God help those dear people who are still expecting to fly away and miss all this, for there shall come a rude awakening. Those who have prepared an Ark shall enter in and rise above the floods of Tribulation and trouble. And when the flood is over, they shall come forth to inherit the earth, now cleansed from its wickedness and sin (Psalms 37). For as it was in the days of Noah, the wicked shall be taken away, and Noah steps forth from the ark to a clean world that he has to share with no one. Just think, dear ones, of a world where there is no sickness, no pain, no death, no sin, no disappointments, no thorns or thistles to hinder the fruit from coming forth in abundance. You say that can only happen in Heaven? Did not Jesus pray “on earth as it is in Heaven?” Yes, God will have victory right here on this earth, and right now He is preparing a people to enter into the great battle of the Ages. They are not playing religious games in the market-places, not making merchandise of the souls of men, but they are travailing in birth to bring forth this glorious Body of Christ. Even now God has revealed His purpose in perfecting the saints through Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers. Let them rave! Let them imagine vain things! They shall not hinder His plan from coming to completion. “Let Pharaoh’s Army roar! Moses, my servant, shall drown them, saith God, in the same element that delivers my people out of bondage. For I shall take the weak and the foolish things of the earth and bring to nought the strong and the wise: For no flesh shall glory in my Presence, saith the Lord, but ye that do overcome shall honor Him that delivered you, and ye shall praise His Name forever, even forever and ever.”
Men in Sackcloth: Be very humble, dear ones, and submissive to the Spirit of God. These are key words in this day. Humble and submissive. Bind them upon your heart; let them be even as your right hand and your left. For the strong and the proud and the stubborn shall soon fall in this battle. But those that are lower than the dust of the earth shall survive and shall rise to heights unknown. Yes, you shall judge the world, saints . . . but you will do it in humility and with a broken heart full of love and compassion. And in so doing, you will show forth the glory of God. Be not afraid to face the awful future in this tabernacle of clay, this natural body. For He shall clothe you with Himself, and (Phillipians 3:21) shall change our vile (natural) body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body (body of Glory). Pray for one another.
Men in Sackcloth by Bill Britton
Men in Sackcloth
Men in Sackcloth1
TREASURES OF TRUTH, VOLUME 2
THY KINGDOM COME
BY: GEORGE R. HAWTIN
THE KINGDOM OF GOD WITHIN
“And when He was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come. He answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: neither shall they say Lo here! or Lo there! For behold the kingdom of God is within you.” Luke 17:20, 21
The end of all things as we have known them is at hand. The unsound and worthless feet of the image of Babylon, part of iron and part of miry clay, are even now crumbling beneath the awesome weight of the legs of iron, the belly and thighs of brass, the breast of silver and the haughty head of gold. (Dan. 2:31-45) The image of Babylon is complete. This art of human device now stands before the deceived but admiring eyes of men, a thing of infinite beauty, an image to be trusted, having stood the ravages of millenniums of time. But they do not seem to know that its feet are dross, mingled, weak and corrupt, for they are formed of iron and clay which cannot cling together, and, should a stone but fall upon them, collapse they must and with them the haughty image of the systems of this world.
I need not tell you that Daniel, a prophet dearly loved of God, saw the total collapse of the confused systems and governments of this world when in spirit he saw a stone, cut out without hands, smite the image on its useless feet of iron and clay, shattering them in pieces. “Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind (the Spirit) carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth” Dan. 2:35
The stone that smote the image, utterly destroying it with one blow upon its deficient feet, must not be regarded as another of earth’s corrupt governments. This stone is not of flint or granite. This is a stone, chosen of God and precious. This is the stone, which the builders rejected, but God has made it the head stone of the corner. (Psa. 118:22) This precious stone is also a living stone, a person who is none other than the Son of God, Jesus Christ the King. It was of Him that Peter wrote, saying, “To ‘horn coming, as unto a living stone disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, ye also, as lively (living) stones, re built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Zion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on Him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe He is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also icy were appointed,” (1 Peter 2:4-8) The inspiration of the Almighty leaves us in no doubt as to what and who this precious one is that smote the image of Babylon on its feet and then went on to build a kingdom that filled the whole earth. God has declared that “in the days of these kings (represented by the image) shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall ever be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.” Dan. 2:44
There are many sacred realms in scripture where I often fear I tread, not because I doubt their truth or fear to believe the wonders which their truths portray, but I fear those impious men ho would with rough-shod feet and unbowed head stomp in to gaze with unsanctified eyes at the burning bush of God’s sacred revelation, or who, like Uzzah, stretch forth an unsanctified hand to steady and adjust that which is wholly of the Lord, “There is a path which no fowl knoweth, and which the vulture’s eye hath not seen: the lion’s whelps have not trodden it, nor the fierce lion passed by it.” Job 28:7,8 It was because of such as these that Jesus always spoke in parables that He might safely hide the deep things of God from the carnal heads of the wise id prudent men and reveal them unto babes who walked in the love and fear of the Lord. I find little difficulty in persuading men and women to believe in sonship. They pounce on the truth like vultures and peddle the message like the hucksters of Petticoat Lane, but I find very, very few men who have the spirit of sonship, the spirit that with bowed head and contrite heart breathes in love and yieldedness, “Abba, Father!” He who has the spirit of sonship has no will of his own; neither has he any plans of his own, nor any ambitions of his own. He has no joy or humility of his own, nor gifts, nor sacrifices, nor righteousness, but his soul is bound in a bundle of life with the Lord his God, and the souls of his enemies, them shall he sling out as out of the middle of a sling. 1 Sam. 25:29. His one love and all-consuming passion is bound up in the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will.
I have written these solemn facts with purpose and fear lest the ambitious and unsanctified Christian should seize upon the truth we now discuss as just so much more ammunition for his gun or wind for his bag, for some preach Christ of envy and strife and some of good will, while others preach Christ of contention, not sincerely. (See Phil. 1:15,16)
The stone, which the builders rejected, is Christ. He is the head stone or the cap stone. The builders of the systems of this world, whether of government or of religion, have rejected Him as their head. Through all the ages the defiant shout of the multitude has been, “We will not have this man to reign over us.” He is despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, and we hid as it were our faces from Him. My heart’s desire and prayer to God for those who read is that the Holy Spirit would now open our eyes to clearly see the full force of the truth set forth in this inspired statement of Peter: “To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, ye also, as lively (living) stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2:4,5 May God now open the eyes of our understanding to see that the precious living stone of whom the Spirit speaks is not one stone, but many individual living stones, united by the Spirit of God to become one stone. We, being many, are one body in Christ, and everyone members one of another. With all reverence and godly fear I tell you that that one stone, formed of many living stones, is the fullness of God’s Christ. The spiritual house which God is building of many living stones is nothing less than the body of Christ, livery stone in this building, this house not made with hands, is a living stone. Every living stone is an elect and chosen son of God. Every elect and chosen Son of God is a member of His spiritual body. This is the house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens, 2 Cor. 5:1. This is the Father’s house of many mansions which Jesus called “My Father’s house”. John 14:1,2 It is in this spiritual house (1 Peter 2:5), this holy temple, this spiritual body, that God is preparing a place for us even as Jesus said: “In My Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:2,3
While we entertain the idea that the Father’s house is heaven and the many mansions are beautiful palaces in which we will live when we get to heaven, we miss a whole realm of truth as well as being guilty of very childish understanding. The truth that God would have us know is this: He at infinite cost is building a house for Himself, an eternal mansion in the heavens from which He will govern the whole universe in glory and righteousness. The stones of that mansion are living stones. The living stones are elect and precious saints of God. With reverence and godly fear I proclaim the ineffable truth that these living stones are the enchristed, the people Paul speaks of as being “in Christ”. They are members of His body (1 Cor. 12:12), of His flesh, and of His bones (Eph. 5:30). In one Spirit, even the Holy Spirit, they are all baptized into one body (I Cor. 12:13), and that me body is Christ’s body (verse 12), the spiritual house (1 Peter 1:5), the temple of the Lord (2 Cor. 6:16), an house not made with hands (2 Cor. 5:1), and My Father’s house (John 14:2).
Oh, the goodness and the greatness of the purpose of God! How infinite His understanding! How wise His ways! How almighty His acts! How infinitely patient His longsuffering! Who among men can fathom or describe the purpose of the Lord? Who can ever add to His wisdom or detract from His power? God in wisdom has created the heavens and the earth. From the lass of the earth He took a portion of its dust to form a man, and from the mass of mankind and all the stones thereof He elected and chose the living stones who would form His living temple, His house not made with hands. See with what infinite power the Almighty presses His searching and edifying question upon us, for thus the Lord demands: “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” 1 Cor. 3:16, 17
Read these inspired and holy statements with all diligence and prayer. Halt now in your reading, if you will, and with bowed head and contrite heart ask the Spirit of God to fill your spirit with the reality of the infinite work He is doing. Through suffering, fiery trial and tribulation, with infinite care He is chipping and cutting, fashioning and polishing that living stone which you are that as a finished, mature, and adopted son you may be placed by Him in the temple of the Lord, the house not made with hands, the Father’s own house and eternal dwelling place. Faithfully does He rebuke us, saying, “If any man defile the temple of the Lord, him shall God destroy.” In the end of this age the proclamation will be heralded from sea to sea and to the four winds of heaven, “All who are with Him are called and chosen and faithful.” Rev. 17:14 It is the combination of these three – called, chosen, and faithful – that will decide our place in His temple. None but these can reign. When I consider the universe, the work of God’s hands, the sun, the moon, and the stars with all their infinite and timeless majesty, I fain would fall before God in wonder and adoration; yet all the myriad stars, the suns and planets are but lifeless dust. But when I consider God’s holy temple, formed of the living stones which we are, each precious stone chosen of God, each one a son of God, each one a stone of fire, each one a temple in itself where God sits enthroned, every stone filled with the life that God is, the wisdom which God is, the understanding which God is, the omnipotence which God is, then there is no strength left in me, nor scarcely room for praise nor any word at all, for my spirit is struck dumb by the majesty of such infinite purpose.
It is not my intention here to write concerning the temple of the Lord. Perhaps at a later date we can explore more fully the infinite greatness of God and the wonder of the mansion He is building, but we will close the thought with this one question posed to us by the wisdom of God. “What agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living rod; as God hath said, I will dwell in them and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” 2 Cor.6:16. This magnificent statement of truth is followed by definite and infinitely important instruction which millions of Christians now reject. “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” Verses 17, 18. What, my brother, and what, my sister, does this demand mean to you? Can you not see that those saints who are to be members of His true body, His true temple, His true church, must of necessity separate themselves from the unclean harlots of this resent evil age? However violent may be our reaction to the Spirit’s constant call to come out from among them, I tell you in sincerity and truth that you will never be able to understand, much less partake of, the depths of the things I have written until you deliver yourself from the blinding tradition of the harlot system. In these dreadful days, days such as have never been known since the violent and corrupt days before the flood, can you not see that the shadows of night are falling all about us and tat Babylon, both spiritual and political, is tottering on its feet “clay? Leave now the temple of Belshazzar where the vessels of ie Lord are defiled with the corruption of the flesh. Leave it, I say, for in this dispensational night that is now upon us Babylon shall fall and all who are therein shall partake of her plagues, eave it now and flee as from Sodom. Flee not to some other tie town as Lot did, but flee to the mountain of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, even as the angel at first instructed him.
THE EVER EXPANDING KINGDOM
From time to time in these writings we have pointed out the significance of the truth Peter taught when he said that no prophecy of the scripture was of any private interpretation. 2 Peter 2:20. All scripture must be understood in conjunction with the whole mass of scripture. Furthermore we can safely say that every statement in God’s word has a primary meaning which lies right on the surface, like the words of a parable, plain enough for any man with eyes to see. Let us, however, be sure of this: It is not the surface meaning, which is of greatest importance, but the golden nugget of truth, which lies in the mine beneath the surface. And if you will dig still further, you will always find a third and greater enlargement of the truth you found lying in its simplest form on the surface. When asked by His disciples why He taught in parables, Jesus clearly indicated this divine principle. He answered them, “Because it is given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.” Matt. 13:11 Any man can understand the surface meaning of the parable of the sower and the seed, but only the spiritual mind sees the underlying spiritual truth. The truth which lies buried as a treasure beneath the surface dust is the meaning the Lord would have us see and, until we thus perceive, all our spiritual understanding lies dreadfully confined and straitened, leaving us to grope among the surface stones for priceless gems to enrich the inner man.
A simple example of the above proposition is found in the statement, “Six days shall thou labor and do all thy work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shall not do any work.” Exod. 20:9,10 Surely any natural mind can understand this simple statement. On the surface of this commandment we have seven twenty-four hour days. In the first six of them we may work all we wish, but on the seventh day we must not do any servile work at all. The majority of men see no further than this primary statement of truth, and many, therefore, spend their lives proclaiming the command, arguing about it, quarrelling about it, proving it, and in general making their lives miserable about it. But if, upon accepting the primary truth, we begin to dig beneath the surface, we will hear the Spirit whisper, “A day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousands years as one day.” 2 Peter 3:8. Then our eyes are opened to see that six thousand years of travail and labor are destined upon the earth to be followed by a seventh one thousand year day which is God’s day of blissful rest. The Sabbath of God’s rest is the kingdom age when all labor will be joy. Our peace will be the Prince of Peace. Our rest will be that Sabbath which He is. He who has entered into His rest also has eased from his own works as God did from His. Heb. 4:10. Just .s surely as Christ is our light and our peace and our Passover, so also is Christ our Sabbath. Is not this the plain and forceful caching of Paul in his letter to the Colossians? “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days: which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.” Col. 2:16,17 All the things contained in the law, good and wonderful as they /ere, are only shadows of things to come. A shadow falling upon he ground tells us that there is a body nearby, and, if you will lift your eyes away from the dusky shadow on the surface of the round, you will see the body that made the shadow. You will behold the reality rather than the reflection. Therefore Paul says, The body is of Christ.” New moons and Sabbaths are but shadows, lying darkly upon the surface of the ground, but look a little farther and you will see the reality – Christ our Passover in whom we are saved; Christ our Sabbath in whom we rest. Having LOW seen how the twenty-four hour day extends itself into a thousand years, we need only to dig a little deeper to discover a even thousand year day and a forty-nine thousand year week Lev. 25:8-24) during which time, according to God’s infinite purpose, all things are gathered into Himself (Eph. 1:10; Col.2:19, 20), and the entire universe enters into Christ’s rest. That is he meaning of the jubilee. What better name could God have given it?
When Jesus Christ our Lord commenced His ministry, His first message was, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” If you will follow His miracles, His sermons, and the signs and wonders of His three years of ministry, you will find in them an exact pattern of all that the kingdom of God will be. How simple it would be to fill this entire book with the spiritual significance of the marriage at Cana of Galilee where in His first miracle our Lord turned the water into wine. John 2:1-10. The ix huge water pots represent the six past dispensations that precede the kingdom of God – innocence, conscience, human government, promise, law, and grace. All through these ages past the wonderful truth they contained has been as water. People have despised the sanctity of innocence, the blessedness of conscience, the glory of human government, the assurance of promise, the holiness, justice and goodness of the law (Rom. 7:13,14), and the wonders of grace. They have reckoned them all as a thing to be done away, but the hour is at hand when all the water pots will be refilled with the water of truth they were intended to establish in the earth, and all the excellence of the truth of those dispensations will be completely restored. Their truth, hitherto lacking in Spirit and rendered helpless by the unregenerate nature of man, will be transformed from the deadness of water to the vibrant life of old wine, for God’s Spirit will make them alive and vital and, being thus made alive, they will become the knowledge of the Lord that will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea in that blessed Sabbath day of the kingdom of God. His truth shall endure to all generations. The beauty of innocence made perfect through experience and suffering; conscience fully enlightened and indwelt by the Spirit of Christ; human government, not by carnal men but God-men, even God’s sons. “He that overcometh shall sit with Me in My throne.” Promise, not afar off nor seen distantly by faith, not a mystical shadow, but the reality of walking by faith changed to walking by sight; and the law, which is the inherent nature of God, not done away, but enthroned in every transformed heart because He who made the law, yea, is the law, is enthroned in every heart. The law was never done away as people suppose. It was only removed from one place to another – removed from tables of stone to be written in the hearts of the sons of God. The law is God’s nature, and all who have the nature of God find themselves living in obedience to the law of God, even though they may never have seen it in writing. The law is fulfilled in Christ, and Christ fulfills it in the hearts of His people. And what shall we say of grace – that unmerited favor of God? Shall we find it missing in the kingdom of Christ? Will it be absent in the fullness of times or in the ages of the ages, which are to follow, or in the period of the second death? No! No! A thousand times no!
Those dear people who teach and preach that the day of grace will soon be ended know nothing at all of grace, nor do they understand that God Himself is grace. He is the God of all grace. You may as well say that God can die as to say that grace will end. I am sure you have read that God “hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus; that in the ages to come He might shew the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” Eph. 2:6,7
Oh, what a wonderful gospel will fill the world in that blessed age of the kingdom of God! No more as in the past will dispensational truth be as weak as water, but it will be water lade wine, even the strong wine of the kingdom, intoxicating very heart and mind in a glory more vivid and powerful than Pentecost. All men at the beginning of a feast set forth the best wine and, when men have well drunk, then that which is worse; but God set forth water first and has reserved the best wine until now. Truly, Lord, Thou doest great things past finding out; yea, and wonders without number!
If you will read a little further, you will see that Jesus, having made the water wine, began to cleanse the temple of rod. John 2:13-25. I need scarcely remind you that you are the temple of God, members in particular of Christ’s own body, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. This was the temple to which He referred when He said, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.” John 2:19 On the third twenty-four hour day after His crucifixion His own body was used incorruptible and in like manner in the third one thousand year day after His own resurrection He will raise up His spiritual body to incorruption. Follow the miracles with which He adorned the gospel of the kingdom and you will find Him opening the blind eyes, because in the kingdom all eyes will e opened, both physical and spiritual, and blindness will depart forever. Then He touched the lepers, delivering them from their uncleanness, for leprosy is symbolic of sin. By His matchless skill He delivered men from madness and insanity, for all who inherit lat kingdom must be filled with the perfect mind of Christ. We are living in an age of gross insanity. Wherever we look men are walking in contradiction to the revealed will of God with the consequence that God has abandoned them to the lusts of their hearts. The leaders of mighty nations rush madly to prop up a system, which is crumbling all about them, trying desperately to make things work without God, a task which is completely hopeless from beginning to end. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
Oh, what a day of unspeakable glory when He in His living temple shall reign! Then “the wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God. Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; He will come and save you. 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 shall sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes. And an highway shall there be, and a way, and it shall be called, the way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there: And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” Isa. 35
There was a day when the Pharisees came to Jesus, demanding to know when the kingdom of God should come. Luke 17:20. The answer, which He gave indicated none of the wonderful blessedness spoken of above or written by Isaiah and other prophets who proclaimed the kingdom of God. Indeed, at first thought would seem that Jesus was making the kingdom of God to be very small and insignificant by His saying, “The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” Luke 17:20,21
The words of our Lord in this passage demonstrate vividly the truth we have been dealing with heretofore. First there appears that primary meaning. The kingdom of God is within you. Within you is the seed bed of that kingdom which will fill the universe. You will not dig much deeper before you make the wonderful discovery that the same kingdom which had its beginning in you has begun to burst its shell and spring forth as a tender plant — first the blade, then the ear, afterward the full 3rn in the ear – until the power and glory of the King who signs within you begins to spread His influence far beyond into all the earth and all things are gathered into the kingdom of God and nothing is left outside of it. “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In His days Judah shall be saved and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is His name whereby He shall be called, The Lord our Righteousness.” Jer. 23:5,6 As the tiny mustard seed is planted in the warm earth, thence to spring forth and grow exceedingly until it becomes the largest of the herbs, the fowl of the air lodging in its branches, so the seed of the kingdom, which is Christ the King, is planted in the earth which you are. There His reign begins. There the tender plant is nourished, and from that lowly place it grows to fill the whole earth until all people find safety in its branches. As we have pointed out before, we now remind you that the kingdom of God, having filled the earth in the dispensations to come, will from thence extend eternally outward to reconstitute, rehabilitate, reconcile, and replenish the entire universe, enfolding within its mighty branches the vast limitless firmament of nebulae, luminaries, and galaxies until the multiplied myriads of lie ransomed and reconciled shall in chorus fill the vastness of tie universe with these words: “Praise ye the Lord. Praise ye the Lord from the heavens: praise Him in the heights. Praise ye Him, all His angels: praise ye Him, all His hosts. Praise ye Him, sun and moon: praise Him, all ye stars of light. Praise Him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens. Let them praise the name of the Lord: for He commanded, and they were created, he hath also established them forever and ever: He hath made a decree, which shall not pass. Praise the Lord from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps: Fire, and hail; snow, and vapors; stormy wind fulfilling His word: Mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars: Beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl: Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth: Both young men, and maidens; old men, and children: Let them praise the name of the Lord: for His name alone is excellent; His glory is above the earth and heaven. He also exalteth the horn of His people, the praise of all His saints; even the children of Israel, a people near unto Him. Praise ye the Lord.” Psa. 148
THE KINGDOM WITHIN
It is completely impossible to over-emphasize the importance of this foundational and fundamental truth: The kingdom of God is within you. It is here, Oh child of God, that the magnificence of the all encompassing, all-enduring, everlasting kingdom of God has its beginning. God Almighty, full of wisdom, longsuffering, and faithfulness, is preparing a people in the lowly estates of this present evil world who will reign with Christ in His throne, first from sea to sea and then from universe to universe. Make no mistake about it, my friend and brother! These present hours of preparation in the lowest parts of the earth are fraught with infinite importance and eternal significance. It is here and now that preparations are to be made. The enchristed who are to reign in glory with Him are being prepared. It is a faithful saying and full of truth that all who are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful, Rev. 17:14. Think not in your heart that you may pass your life here, carefree and dilatory concerning the purpose of God, suddenly to find yourself sitting with Christ governing the universe, because such a thing will not be. Well did Paul say, “If we suffer with Him, we will reign with Him; but if we deny Him, He will deny us.” If my understanding of this passage is correct, it simply means that, if we deny Him in our identification with Him in His suffering, rejection and death to self, He will deny us the right to reign with Him. It was not enough that the loving mother of James and John should ask this favor for her boys: “Grant that these my two sons may sit, one on Thy right hand and one on Thy left, in Thy kingdom.” Jesus gave the answer to all such presumption when He answered, “To sit on My right hand, and on My left, is not Mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of My Father.”
The kingdom of God begins within you on that day when Jesus Christ is first invited to enter your heart. In the day you repent of your sin, particularly the sin of unbelief, even that very hour Jesus Christ, the Savior of all men, becomes your personal Savior, bringing into your heart then and there the redemption purchased for all men through the blood of His cross. The work of salvation is wholly of God. Even the faith that brings it into your heart is wholly of God. For this reason the scripture has said, “By grace are ye saved through faith, and that (faith) not of yourselves. It is the gift of God.” Eph. 2:8
Though the work of salvation is wholly and entirely of the Lord, we can never absolve ourselves from personal responsibility and faithfulness to God. While redemption is wholly of the Lord and “we are God’s workmanship”, yet it is required in stewards that a man be found faithful. 1 Cor. 4:2. To what extent the reign of Jesus Christ and the glory of His kingdom will increase and prosper within us will depend upon the kind of loving co-operation and submission He finds in our hearts. Our personal relationship with Jesus Christ, our King, means absolutely everything, both now as He reigns within us and in the ages to come when He grants us a place in His throne, The reason John was that disciple whom Jesus loved was because Jesus was the Christ whom John loved more than all else in heaven or earth. The more we love Christ the more abundantly He requites our love. The more we listen for His voice the more readily He will speak to our hearts. The more our searching eyes seek the beauty of His face the more He will reveal His face to us. The more patiently we await His leading the more diligently He will lead us. The more implicitly we trust Him the greater will be His confidence in us. The greater delight we display in carrying out His will the more His soul will rejoice in opening our understanding to the sacred mysteries of God. “I love them that love Me,” saith the Lord, “and they that seek Me early shall find Me.” Love is an attitude of the heart. There is no way of explaining love that will enable men to grasp it with the natural mind. Love is of God. Yea, love is God and God is love. Love has nothing whatever to do with the sentimental, meaningless bosh we hear all about us. It is abundantly true that God loves those who love Him. He loves all men, even those who hate Him, but how much more is His love made manifest toward those who hourly requite His love and breathe out, often silently, the adorations and contemplations of their souls even as Mary did, who filled the house with the odor of her ointment, though it seems she spoke not a word.
“He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me: and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him.” John 14:21 Do you see the divine secret hidden here? “He that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father.” Does that not tell us that God requites our love? Does it not clearly show that all who love Him, cherishing His commandment, His will, and His eternal purpose, become the special objects of His admiration and His loving kindness? If I ask you why it was that Daniel was a man dearly loved of God, will you not with one consent give me one answer? Will you not tell me that Daniel was dearly beloved of God because he dearly loved God? There is no other answer that can be given. Could it be different with you or with me who dearly love God? Shall our fervent love go unrequited and unreturned? No, indeed no! But it will be returned in that abundance which only God Himself can pour forth.
Furthermore, in this same passage our Lord and Christ has clearly shown that our love for Him is the source of all revelation and spiritual understanding. “He that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him.” Verse 21 To love Christ is the secret of all revelation and spiritual understanding. The Lord is not interested in the letters that are indicative of our much learning. He is not sufficed by tradition nor delighted by head knowledge; but to all who love Him He reveals Himself that they may love Him yet the more, and, beholding Him, may be changed into the image of Him who has manifested Himself to them. So beautiful was this truth n the ears of Judas, the brother of James, that he was moved to make the useful inquiry, “How is that Thou wilt manifest fhyself unto us, and not unto the world?” To this Jesus in answer aid unto him, “If a man love Me, he will keep My words; and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him. He that loveth Me not keepeth not My sayings: and the word which ye hear is not Mine, but the Father’s which sent Me.” John 14:22-24 Love is the secret key that opens the storehouse of revelation and spiritual understanding. Love enlightens the eyes and gives understanding to the heart. Love ends the heavy veil that hangs before each holy place revealing the glories of God and His kingdom. Love opens the locked treasure chest where lie the priceless jewels of all eternal things.
Two men looked through prison bars:
One saw mud and the other saw stars.
Thus it ever is with us all. The man who has no burning love for God, though he be a professing Christian of many years, sees nothing but the bondage of corruption, while he who loves God sees in every chastening rod and every wearisome affliction the excellent power of the Lord working in him a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.
In the work that I am doing I receive many hundreds of letters. Some who write them are very sad and distressed because they seem to be doing nothing for God. People love the excitement of ever doing things, and the more they do the more they imagine they are pleasing God. This line of thinking is a great mistake. It is one of tradition’s most stubborn lies. God has not said that as many as are up and doing, they are the sons of God, but He has said, “As many as are led by the Spirit of God, hey are the sons of God.” I know you have read this verse: Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.” You know, I am sure, that it was the Spirit who led Moses to the backside of the desert to seemingly waste his life, tending sheep for forty years. You know, too, that it was the leading of the Spirit that placed Paul through shipwreck on the Island of Miletus that the heathen might receive the glorious gospel of Christ. Was it not the Spirit of Christ who locked Paul in a prison cell and led John to Patmos through exile and banishment? Of course it was! Happy is that saintly man who sees God’s hand in everything, leading him in the way he should go! When we are led by God’s Spirit and our lives are yielded to Him, we must expect many of these strange and often cruel experiences. But, if we love Him enough to lay our head in worship upon His breast and say, “Thy way is in the storm, and Thy paths through the great waters,” then we are holding the right relationship to Him and we are receiving the molding that will prepare a vessel fit for the Master’s use.
As the protoplasm contains within its minute cells the very essence of that life which is to be, so the kingdom of God within us, infinitesimal in its smallness, contains within itself every essence of that vast universal kingdom to come. We must rightly conclude, therefore, that all things spoken of the kingdom of God within us will later be carried out in greater fullness still when at last that kingdom embraces the universe. Conversely, then, it must also be true that all things spoken of the vast universal kingdom of God equally apply to the kingdom of God, which as a tender plant has taken root within us. In this connection I would like to make special reference to one mighty edict of the Lord, spoken of by Paul concerning the kingdom of God. “As in Adam all die,” he said, “even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterwards they that are Christ’s at His coming. Then cometh the end, when He shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign, till He hath put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death (including the second death, of course). For He hath put all things under His feet. But when He saith all things are put under Him, it is manifest that He is excepted, which did put all things under Him. And when all things are subdued unto Him, then all the Son (which includes the whole sonship company) also Himself be subject unto Him (the Father) that put all things under Him, that God may be all and in all.” 1 Cor. 15:22-28
It is inconceivable to imagine any scripture or any inspired saying that could possibly enlarge on such all-embracing words these. Meditate at length on their fullness and, as your spirit asps the boundless realms of their significance, you will comprehend as never before how great are the things God has prepared for Himself and for those who love Him. Nowhere will there remain any sin nor will there be one sinner, for He must reign till all enemies are under His feet, yea, until every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father, whether they be things in heaven or earth or under the earth, and every creature in heaven and in earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea will be heard lying, “Blessing and honor and glory to Him that sitteth upon tie throne and unto the Lamb forever and ever.” Rev. 5:13
I have solemn and important words for every man who has his hope within him and who today rejoices in the knowledge that Christ, the King who shall reign in triumph on David’s throne in ages to come, has already taken the reins of the kingdom of God within him. How blessed and wonderful is the force of such an almost incredible truth as this! But it is in the knowledge of this ineffable fact that our responsibility as sons of God finds its deepest significance, as I will endeavor now to show.
We who were once dead in Adam have been already made alive in Christ. He who is alive forevermore has become my life and now He who sits upon the throne of my life must reign until He has put all enemies under His feet. I do not ask you to struggle with those arch-enemies of yours – the world, the flesh, and the devil – but I do beseech you to yield the kingdom which you are to Jesus Christ, the King, that He may destroy these enemies from within you and reign on the throne of the kingdom of God within you until He has put all enemies under His feet. Your greatest enemy is not the devil; it is your own flesh. If men did not love their flesh so much, the devil would have no power at all in their lives. You will find men and women who claim to hate the devil and all he stands for, but no man ever yet hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it. Yet it is the flesh that lusts against the Spirit of Christ! The flesh unceasingly wars against the Spirit of the King and His kingdom that is within us. Just as the forces of evil and wickedness in the world in hate and envy proclaim, “We will not have this man to rule over us,” even so the flesh, desperately striving to revive the corrupt nature of Adam within us, would push Christ from His throne and reign in His stead. It is never our striving against the evils of the flesh and the world and the devil that counts for anything at all; the Christ within us would make short shift of them, but we have the wretched habit of failing to yield these evils to the King. Yea, we protect and excuse them until our willfulness calls forth the rod of iron. We cannot overcome our enemies ourselves. Christ alone can put them under His feet. Our responsibility is to yield ourselves to God that He may reign. It is the civil wars that rage in the kingdom within that hinder the work of God, closing fast our eyes to understanding and shutting up the gates of revelation, experience, and growth in Him.
Times almost without number the Spirit has warned that danger and death await those who remain in the organizations of Babylon, but people go heedlessly on as though no voice had spoken, their eyes darkened by church tradition and their spirits taken captive by the outward beauty of the deceiving harlot. People harshly rebuke me for daring to expose her drunkenness and sins and for warning them to flee from the awful destruction that awaits her and all who dwell in her, until I seem as one who mocks, but they have forgotten that in the end of this age angels themselves will pass through the heavens, crying, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” Rev. 14:8 And another voice came from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partaker of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.” Rev. 18:4,5 I have no hesitation in saying this: If you desire to have Christ the King establish His throne and reign within you, then your first and foremost step will be to divorce yourself from the harlot system. The Spirit has said, “Shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.” 1 Cor. 6:15 And yet this is the position of all who remain in the church systems.
To the lowly apostle, Peter, our Lord Jesus Christ gave a special ministry. Once He bade him, “Feed My lambs,” and twice He spoke, saying, “Feed My sheep.” John 21:16,17 Wonderful are the instructions of Paul. Practical beyond measure are the words of James. Infinite in love and communion are the epistles of John; but Peter above all others is a feeder of the sheep, a feeder of the soul, of the spirit, and of the spiritual mind. Who more than he could prepare our hearts for this reigning King that all our enemies within and without should be subdued into Christ? Yes, even that last enemy, which is death, is not beyond the power of Him who said, “Behold, I am alive forever more, and hold the keys of death and hell.” Hear now the instruction of this wise feeder of the sheep as he tells us the way by which we may have an abundant entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
“Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue; whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises; that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure; for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 2 Pet. 1:2-11
The subject we are now considering, the kingdom of God within us, is of such dimension and vital importance in these closing hours of time that one scarcely knows how best to present its significance that God’s people may be inspired to leave the weak and beggarly things of tradition and religion and to lay hold on the precious promise that is set before us. You will do yourself a great injustice if you read this message carelessly. It should be read and re-read. Its scripture references should be referred to separately. Time should be taken in meditation and prayer for guidance and understanding. There should be a death to self, that impudent, ego-centric devil that would and does usurp the very throne of Christ’s kingdom within. There should be a forsaking of the traditions of the elders, for they are often a stupefying drug that deadens the senses and blinds the eyes to all spiritual understanding. Traditions and doctrines that are contrary to the gracious nature of God will certainly cut us off from the revelation of God’s eternal purpose. These are days when the flesh is rampant on every hand. Compare Rom. 1:21-32 with 2 Tim. 3:1-8 and decide for yourself if this is not a true comparison with our day. Everything now is for the flesh – wine, women, song, drugs, sex, luxury, ease, and pleasure. Even the religions and forms of godliness are designed for the lovers of flesh. Everything everywhere for the five physical senses! Bad and corrupt as all this is, it is extremely awful to know that God’s people have permitted themselves to become a ready part of the abominable way of this present evil world. “The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance; broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate …” Isa. 24:5,6
I know my words will greatly shock many who read them, but in truth I tell you that the vast host of professing Christians have become just like the people who inhabited Samaria after the ten tribes of Israel were carried captive to Assyria. Of them it is written, “They feared the Lord, and served their own gods, after the manner of the nations whom they carried away from thence.” 2 Kings 17:33 Preachers today are for the most part professionals who run their “churches” as a business, measuring their success by visible gain. Instead of feeders of the sheep they are fleecers. They are the false shepherds and the false prophets of whom Jesus said there would be many. Thus saith the Lord, “Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden My portion underfoot, they have made My pleasant portion a desolate wilderness. They have made it desolate, and being desolate it mourneth unto Me; the whole land is made desolate, because no man layeth it to heart.” Jer. 12:10,11
I do not believe you will be able to understand this truth of the kingdom of God within you unless you are willing to take time for fasting and prayer. Fasting lays the flesh low. It gives ascendancy to the Spirit. The spirit of man is the same essence as the Spirit of the Lord, for it was God who made man a spiritual being and gave a spirit to him. Eccles. 12:7. It is necessary, therefore, that we avail ourselves of the methods which the Lord has put at our disposal to better enable us to enter into new and holy places and to ascend to new realms of experience and understanding in Him. Fasting, though hateful to the flesh, is simple enough for those who have a mind to do it. What reason can we offer to God for failure to apprehend spiritual blessing just because the flesh, that enemy of the Spirit, loathes to fast? After a fast has been entered into and accomplished, the faithful begin to find new and refreshing understanding in the spiritual realm. Paul taught that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, and I am not speaking amiss when I tell you that fasting from food brings about a deliverance from the body that permits the spirit to enter into its own realm, which is the realm of God. Though this is difficult to understand, it is none the less real. Set aside a week for fasting and waiting upon God. Quit eating food altogether. Drink all the water you wish, but eat nothing. During the first four or five days you may imagine you are ready to die, but it is your flesh and maybe your friends who tell you that. You could live on for many weeks just as Jesus, Moses, Elijah and many others have done. After a few days of fasting your physical strength will begin to return. Body poisons, accumulated through years, are cleansed away, and you will be surprised at how much work you can do and how well you feel. Fasting is excellent for the body and a sure cure for many physical ailments. Spend as much time as possible reading the word of God and in meditation and waiting on the Lord that He may reveal His mind to you. Forget about praying for the things you have always wanted, such as gifts, healings, blessing and power. Seek rather to find out what God wants. Enter into communion, personal relationship and unity with Christ until through association with Him you become a living representation of His mind and will. Be careful to maintain all that was gained in fasting and not to lose out by rushing back to much eating and drinking and living after the flesh. Our attitude should be as the attitude of Christ: “I have meat to eat that ye know not of.” Man shall not and must not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
We have already pointed out that all the mighty acts accomplished during the life of Jesus Christ were intended to be a typical display of the glory of the kingdom He will establish in the earth when He begins His reign. But be perfectly assured of this remarkable fact: Jesus Christ has been in the process of preparing the kingdom for almost two thousand years. His first message was, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” It was at hand when He spoke. The display of the glory of that age began with His ministry by which He demonstrated the power and glory and peace of His coming universal reign. After preaching the kingdom and displaying part of the excellent majesty of it, He then began to prepare through many fiery trials the elect people who will reign with Him in the inconceivable glory of that blessed age. The kingdom of God began to be established in individual, faithful, believing hearts. Christ enters the throne room of the believing heart. He takes the throne and begins to rule and govern and lead the believer till in him Christ is all, and all is Christ. This is the kingdom of God in you. In some Christians His kingdom is unable to gain a foothold and become established because the ground is not made fit for the seed. It is thorny, or stony, or full of weeds, or unreceptive as the uncultivated roadside, where, finding no root, it brings forth nothing, but is carried off by the birds of the air. See Mark 4:1-20. But in others, certainly not many, the seed of the kingdom brings forth fruit, some thirty, some sixty, some a hundredfold. Thus it has been through the centuries as God has prepared His kingdom in men. Let it be fully understood that all through the past nineteen hundred years or so the kingdom of God has been among us, not yet visible, not yet with observation (Luke 17:20), but within the elect and en-Christed ones. The King is ready. The sons are now prepared. Many are waiting in the dust of the earth because God has promised us that they without us will not be made perfect. (Heb. 11:39, 40) Very soon the en-Christed, whether asleep in graves or waiting here, will rise. They will join Christ in the air, which means the Spirit. They will stand in an entirely new realm, but not a strange realm, for we have already partaken somewhat of its glory. Like Paul who, though here on earth in body, was nevertheless caught up into the realm of the third heaven, so these en-Christed ones will stand where He stands forever with the Lord, that the kingdom reign may begin and spread its blessed government abroad in all the earth. Thus shall “Thy kingdom come and Thy will be done in earth as it is done in heaven.”
These spiritual realms are being entered here and now by some whether we know it or not. But Satan, knowing that his time is short, has great wrath and has come down to destroy this manchild as soon as he is born, for he is to rule all nations with a rod of iron. The tactics Satan uses are not what saints expect. He is destroying them with sleepiness, carelessness, much catering to the flesh, and with human zeal to accomplish things for God. Christians dread prayer and fasting but love crowds, excitement, and forms of godliness with imaginary power. These are the weapons Satan uses while God’s people sit looking for war or death or persecution to destroy them.
According to the gospel of John the second great work in our Lord’s ministry was the cleansing of the temple. (John 2:13-17) We have written pages now to show that you are the temple of God. There will never again be another temple made by hands that God will recognize. Even the mighty temple which Ezekiel described (Ezek. Chapters 41-48) must be understood to be the spiritual temple. Ezekiel’s temple can no more be physical than can the New Jerusalem which John saw descending from heaven as a bride adorned for her husband. (Rev. 21:2) The New Jerusalem, which is the bride of Christ (Rev. 21:9,10), is here portrayed as a magnificent city of surpassing splendor. I stand weak and trembling with awe before its magnificent radiance. I have no ability to unfold the significance of the beauty of its precious stones; but I know of a certainty that they are living stones, chosen of God and precious. I do not understand the blessedness of the twelve gates; but I know the gates are never closed by day, and there is no night at all. (Rev. 21:5) If Christ is the door by which men enter, surely the bride is the gate through which nations shall come. I do not understand the wall great and high that surrounded this city; but I know it was a living thing. What did the king of Israel mean in that highly spiritual writing we call the Song of Solomon when he said, “We have a little sister, and she hath no breasts: what shall we do for our sister in the day when she shall be spoken for? If she be a wall, we will build upon her a palace of silver (redemption): and if she be a door (gate), we will enclose her with boards of cedar (incorrupt-ion). / am a wall, and my breasts like towers; then was I in His eyes as one that found favor.” (S. of S. 8:8-10) This strange but beautiful meditation is spoken of the bride of Christ, the New Jerusalem, that holy city/w// of living stones, full of gates, with breasts like towers full of the milk of truth to nourish the nations who are yet to be saved and bring their glory and honor into it. (Verse 26)
The bride of Christ is the New Jerusalem. The bridegroom is the temple of the Lord, the sons of God, elect and chosen throughout the ages. Jesus Christ Himself is the head Son of this vast family of brothers. Adam was first formed, then Eve. The bridegroom is first formed, then the bride. The bridegroom company, God’s living temple will be ready, prepared, finished, and complete by the end of this age of grace. The bride company, the New Jerusalem, will be ready, prepared, finished, and complete at the end of the millennial kingdom. It was at the end of the millennial kingdom that John was carried away in the Spirit to behold the New Jerusalem descending from God out of heaven. With the marriage of Christ, the temple of God, to that mysterious, unspeakably wonderful New Jerusalem bride the mystery of God is complete; the seven days of this dispensational week are over; the eighth day, the day of new beginnings, has come; Eden has been restored, and the life of the ages has begun.
During the all important hours before our Lord Jesus Christ departed this world, He filled the moments with fervent reminders of things of greatest importance to us, vividly marking the rugged path which we who take the road to sonship and the kingdom of God must follow. What man, leaving on a long journey, does not call his loved ones to him and refresh their minds with his final and most important instructions? The things of greatest importance are the things he emphasizes the most often with solemn repetition. “The kingdom of heaven is as a man traveling into a far country, who called his own servants and delivered unto them his goods.” Matt. 25:14 Thus the last days of our Lord’s earthly ministry were filled with reminders and instructions to those blessed ones whose hope it is to inherit the kingdom of God. With infinite care He explained what our relationship to the Father must be. He warned us of the severe tribulation and loneliness of the way. He made it very clear that our understanding of the purpose of God would be commensurate with our love for Him. “If a man love Me, My Father will love him, and We will come unto him and make Our abode with him.” It is not the learned and educated, nor the wise and prudent, who comprehend the deep things of God or who taste the glories of the kingdom, but “blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” It is not the “food, fun, and fellowship” crowd that enters in, but “blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.” The mountain peaks of joy that will brighten our morning are reached through the valleys of weeping that endure through our night. There is a blessing sent from God in every burden of sorrow. It is not the proud and violent, the high and mighty, nor the rich and affluent who inherit the earth, but “blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” Woolman said, “Selfish men may possess the earth; it is only the meek who inherit it from the heavenly Father.” It is those who hunger and thirst for righteousness who will be filled with the righteousness which Christ Himself is. Never repay your enemies in their own coin nor entertain the crude notion that one injustice deserves another. Remember rather that it is the merciful who will obtain mercy and the blessing of the Lord. The pure in heart will see God; therefore, if your eye be single (pure), your whole body will be full of light. But, if your eye be evil (mixed with self and selfishness) and your motives impure, then your body is full of darkness. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Christian people, I have observed, are carelessly prone to regard the awesome proclamations of Almighty God as nice little meaningless day dreams. It is comforting to believe in heaven because it’s nice to think the dead are there and we might have to go there someday, too. It is convenient to believe in God. Who knows? We just may happen to need Him. And isn’t it nice to know the kingdom will come someday and we won’t have to work or war anymore? They remind me of the millionaire socialite who, speaking in the stuffy accents of her sophistication, remarked, “In our set it is chic to be born again.” Oh, fools and slow of heart to believe! These mighty edicts, these divine fiats, are not for the stuffy, the sophisticated, the dilatory, the worldly minded, nor the careless but for those who hunger and thirst for the righteousness of God till all else fades into insignificance and for those who desire the words of His mouth more than their necessary food.
The dispensation of the kingdom of God is very, very near, even at the door. The hour to which we have come is all important. Let not your lamp be depleted of its oil lest you hear the Savior say, “Could ye not watch with Me one hour?” The kingdom of God is the purpose and focal point of all previous dispensations. Jesus said that the kingdom was prepared from the foundation of the world. (Matt. 25:34) All previous dispensations with all the beauty and power of their truth are combined in the glory of the kingdom of God. Awaken, then, and sleep not lest its morning come upon you unaware! The signs of the end of this age abound on every hand. Every sign that heralds the end of this age is at the same moment the swift and glorious harbinger of the kingdom of God in the earth.
Jesus spoke of a day when Jerusalem would be encompassed with armies. (Luke 21:20) She is completely surrounded now. He said men’s hearts would fail for fear. (Luke 21-25) Heart failure is one of the most merciless killers of the day. Fearful sights are everywhere as nature itself reacts with violence against man’s morbid abuse. Perilous times have come to an extent inconceivable even ten years ago. The violence and evil of Noah’s day with all its intermingling and mixing of things God made to be pure and separate are upon us, together with all the filth of Sodom. False prophets, false churches, and false christs abound as part and parcel of the Babylon system.
While all this confusion is consuming the world and the vast majority of professing Christians are falling in line with it, and while Babylon has become the habitation of devils and the hold of every unclean and hateful bird, the kingdom of God is coming to the fullness in the hearts of God’s elect, “You are a building which has been reared on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, the corner stone being Christ Jesus Himself, in union with whom the whole fabric, truly bonded together, is rising to form a holy sanctuary in the Lord; in whom you also are built up together to become a fixed abode for God through the Spirit.” Eph. 2:20-22 (Weymouth) The kingdom within you will soon be complete. The kingdom of God without and in the earth is now at hand. Everywhere you look the kingdoms of this world are falling to pieces. The feet of iron and clay are smitten. Soon we shall hear the triumphant cry, “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign unto the ages of the ages.” Amen.
The Kingdom of God Within by George R Hawtin
The Kingdom of God Within
The Kingdom of God Within0
Our Father Which art in heaven,
Hallowed be Thy name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done in earth, as it
Is done in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil:
For Thine is the Kingdom and the Power
And the Glory, for ever.
TREASURES OF TRUTH, VOLUME 2
THY KINGDOM COME
BY: GEORGE R. HAWTIN
THE GLORY AND POWER OF THE KINGDOM
“For Thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”— Math. 6:13
The prayer, which for centuries has been known as the Lord’s prayer is a pattern prayer. Jesus introduced it to His people with these significant words: “But thou when thou prayest enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be ye not therefore like unto them; for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of before ye ask Him. After this manner therefore pray ye:”
For centuries men have practiced their vain repetitions before the Lord, thinking they would be heard for their much speaking, hoping that by often repeating their requests God would at last i tike heed to their supplication and grant them the answer they desired, all the time forgetting that our heavenly Father knows what things we have need of before we ask. It is not our intention here to give an exposition on the subject of prayer, but let it be forever known that faith can never operate until first you are sure of the will of God. Therefore our quest should never be an effort to coax God to do a thousand things we think should be done, but rather to wait before Him until He fills our being with the prayer that is born of His own will. Once the heart has become one with the will of God, there need be no striving to exercise faith, for the will of God about any matter is the supreme element of faith. Study the lives of the great heroes of faith as Abraham, Moses, Elijah, and a host of others and you will find that the secret of their mighty works lay in one thing and in one thing alone. They did what God told them to do. Therefore all the faith they needed was to obey His will.
You may be shocked at first by the following statement, but consider it well and you will find it true: Any man on earth could do the works of Moses or Elijah providing God Almighty commanded him to do them, or any man could do the works of Noah, Abraham, or Samson providing God ordained they should be done. The secret of faith is the will of God, not some exploding gift of power within you that can demand from God anything imaginable and see it accomplished. Certainly faith can remove a mountain, but Father must first say that He wants the mountain moved. Outside of the will of God there is no such thing as a commanding faith,
The first request made in this prayer was “Thy kingdom come.” The second was “Thy will he done.” The coming of the kingdom of God to the earth was without doubt the uppermost thought in the mind of Jesus Christ. That was the thought of thoughts and the prayer of prayers. The entire life of Jesus Christ on the earth was a parable of the coming kingdom. Every man He healed, every leper He cleansed, every sin He forgave, every blind eye He opened, every deaf ear He unstopped every word of wisdom He spoke, every act of kindness He performed was a display of the glory that should be revealed when He, the King of kings and Lord of lords, reigns in the glory of His Father on the throne of David in Jerusalem.
His entire life on earth from birth to resurrection was a testimony to the glory and wonder of the kingdom age to come when He will reign as King and prosper, and of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end Where could place be found for sin, sickness, war, hale, poverty, greed, anarchy, violence, disobedience, lust, and a thousand other curses when He reigns who during His life on earth abolished these things from the lives of all who misled Him’.’
The prayer, Thy kingdom come, has gripped the heart of all creation. There is a secret longing in the innermost being of all mankind that the kingdom of God shall come and God’s will shall be done in earth even as it is done in heaven. For almost two thousand years this prayer has been both upon the lips and in the hearts of countless millions of people. Some have prayed it with the revelation and understanding given them by Almighty God, who has already taken His throne within them, for it is in the heart of the believer that the kingdom of God first appears.
That is why Jesus told us, “The kingdom of God is within you.” As a seed sprouts in the ground, so the kingdom of God begins within His faithful sons and daughters. Thence it will spring forth, first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the car, until its fertile fruit fills the whole earth.
Not all have prayed with understanding, yet because of the universal hope of the kingdom in God’s creation, all have prayed. The wonderful words, “Thy kingdom come,” have been mumbled in the litanies of the unthinking, they have been recited at the death beds of men who knew not God, and they have been intoned by condemned men as they stood on the scaffold waiting to be dropped to their death. Men hiding in fox-holes, knowing no other prayer, have prayed, “Thy kingdom come,” and in the heat of battle amid the blood and fire and vapor of smoke both the living and the dying have sighed out their longing to God, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth even as it is done in heaven.” The mind of man, struck dumb and insensible through the fall, still responds to the longing born of God within him that eventually the glory of the kingdom age will dawn upon the earth when God’s will shall be done from sea to sea, and the dread rule of the carnal mind will be no more. When the British armies under General Allenby marched into the city of Jerusalem in 1917, their massed bands played as they marched,
Jesus shall reign where’er the sun
Doth his successive journeys run;
His kingdom reach from shore to shore
Till moons shall wax and wane no more.
Without doubt the hope of the kingdom is in every heart and .somehow by divine power God has placed these three words. Thy kingdom come, in the hearts of all creation. And is it any wonder that man should long for that glad hour to come, for the beasts likewise, together with the trees, the winds, and the waters, without understanding groan in travail for the day of sonship and the kingdom. It was Paul the apostle who said, “The earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God, for the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of Him who hath subjected the same in hope. Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” Rom. 8: 18-21
Man does not understand the longing that is within him and we may be sure that all the inanimate creation is also blind and in the dark. We have become like babies who sometimes cry for reasons they know not, refusing to be comforted. Our souls often deplore the awesome conditions that are in the world – the rebellion, anarchy, delinquency, self-assertion, and war – yet if we could look deeper than the surface, we would understand that all these things actually spring from man’s hatred and rebellion against the bondage he is in. In his darkness and bondage he imagines that could he but throw off his restraints he would be happy, that could he have all he wants, he would be content, but he does not know that his discontent lies far deeper than his outward life. While he thus seeks liberty from without, he does not know that the inner man is seeking for freedom from the bondage of corruption and all the wretchedness into which the carnal mind has brought him. Man is longing for freedom from the slavish thraldom he is in, but, not knowing God, he seeks freedom by rebellion only to find that his new, found freedom is even a greater and more hateful bondage than the one from which he escaped. But those to whom Christ the King has revealed Himself know that true freedom is found only when Christ is crowned King. When He comes into the life, the snares of the fowler are broken, the tears of sorrow turn to pearls of praise, and sins of years are washed away by His blood.
THE CERTAINTY OF THE KINGDOM
We need no greater evidence of the certainty of the coming kingdom of God on earth than the fact that Jesus taught us to pray for its coming. The prayer prayed by Christ, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth even as it is done in heaven,” should in itself be indisputable proof that God intends to set up a literal kingdom in which His will shall be done in the entire earth even as it is done in the entire heaven. The evidence, as we shall abundantly see, does not stop with this prayer, but rather the prayer “Thy kingdom come” was the earnest request of Christ that the eternal purpose of God for such a kingdom would soon be accomplished.
The hope of a kingdom in which God’s sons would reign existed long before Eden and was first manifested to us in the words, “Let Us make man in Our image and after Our likeness and let Us give him dominion.” The Kingdom of God was the theme of the prophets as we shall presently see. When the birth of Jesus was announced to Mary, these words were spoken by the mighty Gabriel, who came from the very presence of God: “Behold, thou shall conceive in thy womb and bring fourth a Son and shall call His name Jesus. He shall be great and shall he called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David, and He shall reign over (he house of Jacob; and of His kingdom there shall be no end.” Luke 1:31-33 What greater proof do we need at the birth of a king than the word of God as to what His future shall be? No better identification can be given than this: “The Lord shall give unto Him the throne of His father David.” Therefore let God be true though every man should be a liar. The earth is yet to see the literal and glorious reign of Christ in a kingdom that shall have no end.
When Jesus prayed, “Thy kingdom come,” He was certainly looking beyond this age when good and bad are everywhere together and light is mixed with darkness. He was looking to the age of the kingdom of His Father when the will of God should be done in the earth, and the earth should be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. When the angels of God gather out of the kingdom of heaven all things that offend (Matt. 13:41), that at last will be the true beginning of the kingdom of God or the kingdom of the Father on earth.
David was anointed to be king of Israel while Saul was still on the throne. David is typical of Christ while Saul is typical of the carnal systems that have ruled the world in Christ’s stead for thousands of years. David, though anointed king of Israel, never once put forth his hand to wrest the kingdom from Saul, but waited patiently until God’s hour came in which he would be set upon the throne. Even so it is now and has been for centuries past. Christ (the anointed) has made no effort by force or by power of arms to take the kingdom for which He is anointed, but like David is waiting until the Father shall give Him the kingdom and the government of the whole earth. Though David would not lift a finger to take the kingdom from Saul, yet all through his rejection he reigned as king in the hearts of all who loved him and followed him even though Saul was still on the throne of Israel. David had his mighty men. There were those with him who were ready to lay down their lives for him. He ever delivered those who were oppressed and gathered unto himself all who were discontent with the reign of Saul. His followers were a motley crowd indeed, for it is said, “And every one that was in distress and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented gathered themselves unto him, and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men.” 1 Sam. 22:2 They were indeed an unlikely group, but they were mighty and they were faithful to him. They were the ones who followed him in his distress and in his humiliation and they were the ones who entered with him into the glory of his kingdom and of his reign. So also it is today. The flesh and the carnal mind are usurping the throne of Jesus Christ while the anointed Christ, like David, is rejected by His enemies. Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man hath nowhere to lay His head. But in His rejection and His humiliation He has His faithful followers to whom He says, “Ye that have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the
throne of His glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” Matt. 19:28
The days of David’s rejection came to an end, and the days of the rejection of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, are also near their end. Soon Saul will be dead and David (Christ) will be king.
The kingdom of heaven is an age of mixtures, an age when it is difficult to know who is who, a day when sheep and goats flock together, when wheat and tares grow in the same fields, when the leaven is working in the meal, when good fish and bad are in the kingdom of heaven net. But at the end of the age God will send forth His angels to gather the wicked from among the just. He will set the sheep on the right hand and the goats on the left. He will gather up the good fish and cast the bad away. He will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend and whatsoever loveth and maketh a lie, and then His kingdom will have come and His will shall be done in earth even as it is done in heaven.
The kingdom for which Christ prayed was the Father’s kingdom. “Thy kingdom come,” He said. “Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.” He was not praying for the kingdom of heaven to come, but for the kingdom of God to come when He should reign in the kingdom of His Father. That is why it is said, “The Son of man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend and them which do iniquity, and shall cast them into a furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.” Matt. 13:41-43 The kingdom of God is the kingdom of the Father. “But I say unto you I will not henceforth drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in the kingdom of my Father.” Matt. 26:29 Jesus Christ with all the sons of God will reign in the kingdom of the Father even as Joseph reigned under Pharaoh, having complete authority in all things. “And He must reign till He hath put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For He hath put all things under His feet. But when He saith all things are put under Him, He is excepted, which did put all things under Him. And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him that put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.” Cor. 15:25-28
When we realize that there is so much similarity between the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God, it is not difficult to understand why the terms are sometimes used interchangeably.
THE GLORY OF THE KINGDOM
Whenever it pleases God to reveal a truth, it will immediately be found that the whole Bible springs into life regarding that revelation until every page of Holy Scripture breathes forth the fragrance of its message. You discover that wherever you look within its inspired pages golden threads appear, weaving themselves into a pattern of truth until the finished product shines forth with a magnificent beauty and fullness that only God Himself can devise.
Both New Testament and Old Testament writers are forever forging links in the golden chain of kingdom truth until we are left to marvel at so great a restitution and so wonderful a regeneration. These significant words of Peter fill the soul with wonder: “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And He shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you; Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets from the beginning of the world.” Is it then any wonder that the Bible literally breathes the message of the kingdom of God and the restoration of all things that fell under the curse even from the beginning of the world?
The Bible itself does not contain all the things that could be written on this subject. How much less are we able in such limited space to unfold more than a mere outline of the majesty of that kingdom which is even now at hand. We must therefore confine ourselves to small portions from one or two books that we might better understand the whole.
Isaiah is certainly a prophet of the kingdom of God. His prophetic ear seemed always tuned in to the glory of the coming age. His prophetic eye overlooked the scenes of his own day. Spanning the centuries, he saw a Savior who was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, and chastised for our peace. Then, leaping far beyond the sorrow of the cross, he saw every valley exalted, every mountain made low, every crooked place made straight, and every rough place smooth. Isa. 40:4. He saw a king who would not fail nor be discouraged till He had set judgment in the earth, and the isles would wait for His law. Isa. 42:4.
THE KING AND THE KINGDOM
It is the king that determines the kingdom. If the king is righteous, so also is the kingdom. If the king is iniquitous, the kingdom will be filled with evil. “Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” The nations of the earth have been plagued for thousands of years by strife, inequity, and every imaginable evil because there has been an unceasing reign of the carnal mind in every kingdom from the beginning of time. Throughout all the history of Israel the testimony was “like people, like priest.” If the king was righteous, the people were righteous. If the king was evil, so also were the people.
The kingdom of God will be all glorious because the King is nil glorious. All that He is will fall in blessing upon His kingdom as the dew of Hermon falls in blessing upon the mountains in Zion, for there the Lord commandeth the blessing, even life forevermore.
The life, which Jesus lived on earth, was the greatest parable ever known. It was a parable of the kingdom of God. He fully demonstrated by His divine life and power all the blessings that were to follow in His kingdom. The evil things, which we have learned to live with and accept as part of our very existence, He conquered, putting them beneath His feet. He delivered those who believe from every sickness known to man! The word of His mouth makes the lame man to leap as an hart. Hear Him as He commands deaf ears to be unstopped and blind eyes to see. Listen as His wisdom puts all His enemies to silence, causing them to say, “Never man spake like this man!” Stand in awe beside the tomb of the dead while He who is the resurrection and the life calls, “Lazarus, come forth!” Weep with the forgiven woman to whom He said, “Neither do I condemn thee. Go and sin no more.” Feast as He feeds the hungry multitude with enough and to spare. Rejoice as He preaches, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Stand in awe as He stills the raging storm even as He stilled the fevered brow. Weep with His friends as He died. Rejoice that He liveth again soon to return on the clouds of glory to reign, no more in humility and rejection in tiny Palestine, but in power and wonderful glory over all the earth.
Praise the Lord from the earth, ye dragons and all deeps.
Fire and hail, snow and vapors’ stormv wind* fulfilling
His word: Mountains and all hills- fruitful trees and all
Cedars; beasts and all cattle; creeping things and flying fowl:
Kings of the earth and all people; princes, and all judges of
The earth. Both young men and maidens; old men and
Children: Let them praise the name of the Lord, for His
Name alone is excellent.
His glory is above the earth and the heaven.
It is almost possible to hear the thrill of Isaiah’s voice as it comes ringing o’er the centuries; “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David and upon 11 is kingdom, to order it and to establish it with judgment and justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform thin.” Isa. 9:6,7. I stand in awe before these mighty words. They are too much for my feeble words to describe. Think of it! A King reigning whose very name is Wonderful, whose very title is Counselor, who has a name written The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince Peace! We who are accustomed to seeing the increase of strife, anarchy, war and evil are asked to behold the increase of His government and peace which shall flow like a river over all the earth until every sword is a plow share and every spear a pruning hook. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. Thus upon the throne of David and from Jerusalem (the city of peace) shall the throne of the Lord be established with judgment and justice from henceforth for the kingdom age. The zeal of ‘the Lord of hosts will perform this. Isa. 9:7
THE SON AND THE SONS
The apostle Paul taught that, “the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.” Rom. 8:19. Sonship is the hope of the entire creation. In sonship we are to include that first glorious Son, Jesus Christ, who is the firstborn of God’s creation of sons, but with Him we are to include also that vast family of sons who are to follow after Him to finally come into His glorious image. Jesus Christ is the firstborn of many brethren, many sons who through His grace were to come into that same image. When John saw the fullness of Christ in his blessed vision on Patmos, he fell as one dead before Him, for he saw Him in completeness, His voice as the sound of many waters, for all the sons of God were complete in Him.
Though the apostles taught the truths of sonship, we must not think that the doctrine began with them, for it did not. Isaiah, David, and many others wrote of sonship. Isaiah in his prophecy opened a revelation which Jesus later completed when He said, “I am the vine, ye are the branches.” John. 15:5 In Isaiah 11:1 we have these wonderful words: “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of His roots.” Jesse was the father of David (Matt. 1:6) from whom according to the flesh Christ came. Rom. 1:3, Matt. 1:1. Jesus Christ was the rod out of the stem of Jesse and the sons of God are the branch that grew out of His root. For this reason Jesus declared, “I am the vine, ye are the branches.” His inspired words without doubt explain the true meaning of the prophecy. Speaking again of the kingdom day in chapter 4:2, Isaiah says, “In that day shall the branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious …” Jesus Christ was the corn of wheat which fell into the ground and died. The sons of God are the full corn in the ear. He was the seed; they are the fruit in His image. Let us not miss this great truth, for it shows us as nothing else can what the place of the sons of God will be in the kingdom of the Father. Indeed, it manifests the true meaning and purpose of sonship. The manifestation of the sons of God will be during the kingdom age. Then the works that Christ did they will do also and far greater works than these. Their ministry will be to restore the whole creation to the glory of Eden during the entire thousand years of the millennial kingdom.
Let us not be deceived by crafty men who now profess to be manifested sons of God. If they were such, they would have no need to proclaim it, for their undeniable glory and power would stand open before all the world, none being able to dispute nor gainsay it. For the most part these men are as unlike Jesus as it is possible to be. When the sons of God are manifested, all the world will feel the power and authority of their ministry, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
When John saw the 144,000 stand with the Lamb on Mount Zion (Rev. 14), he was actually beholding the complete body of sons gathered out of the church age and prepared for the government of the kingdom, for the law will go forth from Zion and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
To understand the character and glory of the millennial reign, which is identical with the kingdom of God, we will need far more than ordinary understanding. God grant that His revelation may be given us to see beyond the misty shadows of doubt and fear that belong to this age of carnal men that we may behold the day which the Lord has made, even His Sabbath of rest.
Men who are accustomed to fighting every curse in this age would not know what to do if they were to suddenly find themselves in Eden where no curse is. All our lives we have struggled against the curse of thorns and weeds. In the sweat of our faces we have fought with drought and heat; we have wrestled with floods and endless pests. Frost and hail have snatched away the hope of our labors; fire has devoured the dreams of a lifetime. During the days we have been scorched with heat; in the night we have been bitten with frost. Sickness, disease, war, fear, and death have dogged our pilgrim pathway from the cradle to the grave. Our days have been full of trouble and sorrow as the sparks fly upward. To understand, therefore, the character and glory of the kingdom reign we must know that the nations who then will inhabit the earth will be free from all these blighting curses, for the ministry of the sons of Cod, the branch of the Lord, will have removed them all. Then shall be brought to pass the saying of Jesus, “The works that I do shall ye do also, and greater works than these shall ye do because I go to the Father.”
Let us now notice that upon this branch of the Lord, which is the sons of God, will rest the sevenfold Spirit of God. And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him; the spirit of wisdom, the spirit of understanding, the spirit of counsel, the spirit of might, the spirit of knowledge, and the spirit of reverence or the fear of the Lord. Isa. 11:2. This is the Spirit and anointing which will rest upon the sons of God who will reign with Christ to govern the earth in the kingdom of the Father. The sevenfold Spirit that is named in detail here is the same as that which John in the Revelation calls the seven spirits, which are before His throne. Rev. 1:4, 3:1, 4:4, 5:6. (Please read these references. Their teaching is most enlightening.) Need we remind ourselves that the throne is the seat of government? Therefore these seven glorious spirits appear before the throne.
The very thought of an age governed by the sons of God who are full of the sevenfold Spirit of God leaves us almost breathless. Words become totally inadequate and human expression collapses completely. Our innermost beings must begin to respond to the revelation and the inspiration of the almighty God; otherwise we will be as dumb as beasts in our understanding. Compare the governments of our day with all their graft and greed, their political maneuvering, their heartless intrigue, their oppression and inequality, with the government of the sons of God upon whom shall rest the Spirit of the Lord, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and reverence for the Lord. If our hearts can comprehend the vast gulf that lies between these two systems, then we will see that all who enter into that blessed realm of the kingdom of God will have awakened to a new age where old things have truly passed away and, behold, all things are become new. Is it any wonder that Paul, thrilling to the inspiration of the Spirit, cried, “I reckon that the sufferings of this age are not worthy to be compared to the glory that shall be revealed in us, for the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.” Rom. 8:18,19
Now notice the kind of judgment the earth will share in that age. “And He shall make Him (the branch, or the body of sons) of quick (living) understanding in the fear of the Lord, and He shall not judge after the sight of His eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of the ears. But with righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and He shall smite the earth with the rod (authority) of His mouth and with the breath of His lips shall He slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins and faithfulness the girdle of His reins.” (Isa. 11:4,5) The judges of the earth for centuries past have judged by the sight of the eyes and the hearing of the ears. But we have yet to learn that what the natural eye sees and the natural ear hears are outward and undependable. Man can see only the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart. I know of only one judge who cast outward evidence aside and judged righteously by the Spirit. That judge was, of course, Jesus Christ, the first glorious Son who was the pattern for all God’s sons. When the woman taken in the very act of adultery was brought before Him, He judged neither by what He heard nor by what He saw. Casting aside the outward and visible, He judged by what His spirit knew within. Therefore He was able to release her without condemnation and send her away to sin no more. (John 8:1-11) His gracious act on this important occasion proved and confirmed His own inimitable teaching, for He had taught that we should “judge not according to the outward appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” John 7:24 The Holy Spirit centuries earlier, speaking by the lips of Isaiah, had said, “With righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth.” This without doubt is to be the character of the reign of Christ in the kingdom of the Father. Upon Him with all the sons of God will rest the sevenfold Spirit of God that “righteousness might be the girdle of His loins and faithfulness the girdle of His reins.” Isa. 11.5
THE RESTORATION OF ALL THINGS
The dispensation of the kingdom of God is to be a dispensation of restoration. The things lost through the fall are to be restored from the least to the greatest. Certainly there is a further vast unspeakable gathering of all things into Christ in the dispensation of the fullness of times (Eph. 1:9,10), which dispensation follows the dispensation of the kingdom of God. But, during the kingdom of God, when Christ reigns on the earth with His sons from Zion and Jerusalem, there will be a restoration beyond man’s ability to comprehend. We must believe the word of God as we read it and seek the Holy Spirit to give us understanding of the unspeakable glory of that coming age.
When Peter spoke of the restitution of all things (Act 3:21), he was without doubt speaking of the kingdom day. He said that the heavens must receive Jesus until the times of restitution of all things. The blighting traditions of the church have stolen the truth of this scripture from the hearts of believing men, teaching them that God would not restore all things, but I am sure that He who gathered up the fragments of bread and fish that nothing be lost cannot consent to the loss of the greatest purposes of His creation. Nor will He who left the ninety and nine sheep in the fold to seek the one that was lost be content to have one sheep in the fold while ninety and nine are lost. Such thoughts are inconsistent with the very nature of God and contrary to all He is and does. Let us then follow the prophet Isaiah and move with him in inspiration as he paints the picture of restoration on the canvas of our faith.
RESTORATION OF LIGHT AND UNDERSTANDING
Since the day that Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, man has lacked spiritual understanding. His heart has been blinded because he has walked almost entirely by the dictates of the carnal mind. The chief interest of a carnal mind is the preservation of his flesh, which is naught but the physical body of flesh. A heavy darkening veil has clouded his spiritual mind. He has groped about in darkness neither knowing nor understanding spiritual things. Like Nebuchadnezzar he has become as a beast because he was given the mind of a beast. But all this dimness will be removed when the sons of God reign in the kingdom of the Father, which is even now at our doors.
In the ninth chapter of Isaiah the prophet overwhelms our minds with these truths. After describing the darkness of the earth (Isa. 8:21,22) which has prevailed in all ages, he throws open the gates of light to illumine the kingdom day. “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them the light hath shined.” 9:2. For centuries humanity has been as prisoners gathered in a dark pit, but after many days we will be visited. So great will be the light that the moon will be confounded and the nun ashamed when the Lord of hosts shall reign in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem and before His ancients gloriously. Isa. 24:22,23
The dark covering that has been cast over the hearts and minds of the people for ages and dispensations will be completely destroyed when the sons of God reign in the kingdom of the Father from Jerusalem and from Mount Zion. For thus saith the Lord by the mouth of Isaiah, “And He will destroy the covering cast over all the people, and the veil that is spread over all nations, and it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him and He will save us: This is our God; we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.” Isa. 25:7-9
Few people have believed in ages past because there has been a veil over their understanding. Even to this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their hearts; nevertheless when it (the heart) shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away. (2 Cor. 3:15) God has a definite purpose in allowing a veil to cloud all human understanding. Contrary to the tradition of the church it is not God’s intention to bring all the world into the fold in this age. His intention is to choose out a people for his name, who in a coming glorious age would be used to bring light to all men. This is the plan laid down by the inspired word of the apostle James when he said, “God at first did visit the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name. And lo (his agree the words of the prophets; as it is written. After this (after He has taken out the people) I will return and huild again the tabernacle of David which is fallen down, and will build again the ruins thereof, and will set it up: That the residue of men might seek after the Lord and all the Gentiles upon whom My name is called, saith the Lord who doeth all these things. Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world.” Acts 15:14-18
It is after Christ’s return to set up the kingdom that the residue of men are to be saved. To look for a world-wide ingathering during the church age is unscriptural and ridiculous. The world-wide revival will be during the kingdom age under the government of the sons of God. For then shall the earth be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. Some years ago it was revealed to me that the evangelization of the nations during the kingdom age would be accomplished in exactly the opposite way to the method used in this age. In the church age the commission has been, “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel.” In the kingdom age entire nations will come to Jerusalem and to Zion to seek and find the Lord. What could be more certain than the words spoken by Micah the prophet when he said, “But in the last days it shall come to pass that the mountain (Zion) of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow into it and many nations shall come and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord (Zion), and to the house of the God of Jacob (Jerusalem) and He will teach us of His ways and we will walk in His paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” Micah 4:1,2
During this age of grace the Lord has sought the people, but in the age of the kingdom He will pour upon them die spirit of grace and supplication and the millions of earth will come as nations, seeking the Lord in Jerusalem and in Zion. What an indescribable wonder! But once the Lord removes the covering cast over the minds of all people, then all men will see in a clear light and will come by the millions to seek His face. To this also agree the words of the other prophets. Isaiah has said with great clearness, “Behold, thou shall call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations which knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the Lord thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for He hath glorified thee.” Isa. 55:5,6 Here we have the wonderful promise of whole nations running to seek the Lord, because God has glorified His sons.
“Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall rise upon thee and His glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light and kings to the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thine eyes round about and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee; thy sons shall come from far and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. Then shall thou see and flow together and thine heart shall fear and be enlarged: because the abundance of the sea (the people) shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.” Isa. 60:1-5 “Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light and the days of thy mourning shall be ended. Thy people shall be all righteous, they shall inherit the land forever, the branch of My planting, the work of My hands that I have glorified.” Isa. 60:20,21 Please read Isaiah, chapter 60.
It is completely hopeless here to even try to quote all the scriptures that refer to the universal conversion of the seeking nations during the dispensation of the kingdom of God; therefore, with these scriptures we will pass on: “Look unto Me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: For I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by Myself, the word is gone out of My mouth in righteousness and shall not return, that onto Me every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall swear.” Isa. 45:22,23 Thus saith the Lord of hosts. It shall yet come to pass that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities: And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the Lord and to seek the Lord of hosts: I will go also. Yea, many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the Lord. Thus saith the Lord of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass that ten men shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: For we have heard that God is with you.” Zech. 8:20-23 Thus shall the covering cast upon the minds jf the people since Eden be destroyed by the sons of God, and ill nations will see the light and seek the Lord.
THE END OF OPPRESSION
What a dreadful sermon could be preached on the theme of oppression! But the subject is too well known by most people to speak of it here. From time immemorial the history of the world has been one of the oppressor and the oppressed. The poor have been robbed because they were poor. The hireling has been cheated of his pittance while rich men have grown fat by his loss. The widow’s house has been devoured while the rich man’s riches have cankered and rusted. The wages of the hireling that reaped the field have been kept back by fraud that the rich might heap treasure for the last day. The innocent have been condemned and killed while the guilty have gone free. The strong have made slaves of the weak and have taken by force the little he had. But the end of all oppression will immediately come when the law of the Lord goes forth from the 144,000 sons who stand upon Mount Zion, for the righteousness and justice of Christ will fill the entire earth. “For the extortioner is at an end, and the spoiler ceaseth; the oppressors are consumed out of the land. And in mercy shall the throne be established: and He shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging and seeking judgment and hasting righteousness.” Isa. 16:4-5 “With righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and He shall smite the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips shall He slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins and faithfulness the girdle of His reigns.” Isa. 11:4,5 Thus shall all oppression end.
The kingdom age will see the final end of all sickness and physical disability. A pitiful cry is rising today from all mankind, saying, “I am sick!” Every part of the human body is subject to disease. No member of the physical body has escaped. In spite of all the remarkable accomplishments of medical science we may safely say that the human race becomes weaker as the years go by. Practically every doctor and dentist has a long waiting list. Hospitals are filled to overflowing all the time. One out of every twelve persons requires mental treatment during his life, and cancer and heart disease have reached epidemic proportions. The whole creation groans in pain and the cry of the sufferer never ceases. Is it any wonder that the suffering creation sighs in a sort of universal travail, longing for the manifestation of the sons of God when at last they will be delivered from the awful bondage of corruption into the glorious freedom of the sons of God.
Jesus Christ, who will reign in the kingdom of His Father, demonstrated while upon earth that His power over every human ailment .was complete. Even the maimed (people who had lost limbs) were healed by His matchless power and went away rejoicing. Demons who had filled men’s minds with wild insanity were cast out. Lepers were cleansed with a word and dead men raised to life again. “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” “I am the resurrection and the life,” He said, “Whosoever believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live, and whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die.” The healings and miracles of Jesus were performed, not to try to rid the earth of sickness nor even to prove His power as the son of God, but rather to demonstrate the power, the authority, and the character of that King whom God has fore-ordained to reign over all the earth in the coming age. If He did these mighty things in His rejection and humiliation, what will He do in His glory? Or if these things be done in the green tree, what will be done in the dry?
The prophecies which concern the kingdom of God leave no stone unturned to fully assure us that there will be a full and complete deliverance from all the diseases and sicknesses which have brought such a night of suffering and death upon the whole earth. The deliverance of the entire creation from this bondage will be one of the greater works of which Jesus spoke. When Zion is the city of our solemnities and Jerusalem a quiet habitation, the inhabitant shall not say, “I am sick.” (Isa. 33:20,24) What a change that will be! “Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened, and the ears of the deaf be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing; and the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with songs of everlasting joy upon their heads: They shall obtain joy and gladness and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” Isa. 35:5,6,10 In that glorious day man shall be satisfied with long life (Psa. 91:16), and they will see the salvation of the Lord, for He gives His followers aionian life and they shall never perish.
RESTORATION OF THE EARTH
Like all other things the good earth has suffered the result of the curse ever since the fall. The very ground itself has been cursed for man’s sake. The productiveness and life-giving power it once possessed has vanished from it with the coming of the curse, for God said to Adam, “Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife and hast eaten of the tree of which I commanded of thee saying, Thou shall not eat of it, cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shall thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns and thistles shall it bring forth unto thee; and thou shall eat the herb of the field; in the sweat of thy face shall thou eat bread, till thou return lo the ground.” Gen. 3:17-19
Never has man been able lo remove the curse from the earth. He does not know how much the earth is capable of bringing forth, nor does he understand the creative ministry that Adam enjoyed when he was given the joy of dressing the garden. Of the earth man knows only toil and sweat that he might eat the herb of the field to keep life within him until he returns lo the dust. But to His glorious sons God has given the ministry of removing the curse from the earth. This, too, will be restored, for it is written, “Every valley shall be exalted, every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight and the rough places plain: And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it.” Isa. 40:4,5 The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom like the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: … The parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes.” Isa. 35:1,2,7 “Ye shall go out with joy and be led forth with peace: the mountains and hills will break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.” Isa. 35:12,13 “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that the ‘lawman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him hat soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all he hills shall melt. And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities and inhabit hem; and they shall plant vineyards and drink the wine thereof; hey shall also make gardens and eat the fruit of them, and I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God.” Amos 9:13-15. Thus shall the kingdom restore the earth to an Eden of glory.
RESTORATION OF THE ANIMAL KINGDOM
Not least of all that fell beneath the weight of the curse was he animal kingdom. Their once bright minds were forced downward by the fall of man lest they should be wiser than their alien lord. Throughout the dispensations they have groaned under a fearful travail which even man has not known. They lave unwillingly been made man’s enemy. They have been sacrificed on the altar for his sin. They have been butchered for his meat. They have been hunted for his pleasure, and made laves for his industry. But the days of their bondage and thraldom are almost over, for the sons of God will restore them o their original glory. Then shall “the wolf dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the falling together; and a little child shall lead hem. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like an ox. And the suckling child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand in the cockatrice’s den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” Isa. 11:6-9
Most men have a love for animals, and I cannot resist saying that I think I shall weep with joy when I see a mighty lion lying in peace with the calf and the falling. How I shall rejoice to pal his lawny head and see him restored lo the peace of Eden! Then shall our glad hearts repeat, “Greater works than these shall ye do, because I go to My Father.”
Then the bear shall be gentle,
And the wolf shall be lame;
And the lion shall lie down with the lamb.
Then the beast from the wild
Shall be led by the child,
And I shall be changed from the creature that I am.
RESTORATION OF UNIVERSAL PEACE
The reign of King Solomon with its universal peace is symbolic of the millennial reign of Christ From the beginning of time war and strife have been so universal that mankind has accepted them as necessary evils and an important part of international relations. All nations have their ministers of war and all have their armies, either small or large. War is the method of the carnal mind. Carnage and the carnal mind go hand in hand. Though nothing is ever truly settled by war, yet the carnal mind never learns that lesson. Should this age go on forever, there would still be armies and bloody battles in the earth. War exists not only on the level of nations, but it exists in the hearts of the people. Il is waged between members of families, between husbands and wives, between rival gangs, and even in sports. The world of religion gives no relief from this spirit of rivalry, for the bitterest of all struggles have been the religious ones, for they never end, neither are they ever forgiven.
All wars in history come from the carnal mind. The carnal mind is the mind that is interested only in the carni, which is the flesh. The carnal mind is the physical mind and not the spiritual mind. The carnal mind is concerned only with the things of the body – what it tastes, feels, hears, sees, and smells. For the sake if these five senses the whole physical world exists, and for their ratification all war and strife is waged. But the kingdom of God will not be governed by the carnal mind but by the mind of Christ, which is the Father’s mind. That glorious mind of wisdom, knowledge, and understanding will be possessed in fullest measure by every reigning Son of God that peace might reign supreme among all nations and all families of the earth. It will change the nature of carnivorous beasts. Then the wolf and he lamb shall lie down together and nothing shall hurt nor destroy in all God’s holy mountain, for the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. (Jas. 3:17) This is the wisdom that comes from above and this is the wisdom of the mind of Christ. The wisdom from beneath is earthly, sensual, devilish (Jas. 3:14-16), and the result of it has been war and continual confusion throughout all ages. But the wisdom from hove, which is pure and peaceable, gentle and easily entreated, will bring a reign of peace, purity, and gentleness.
With wisdom there is always authority. There is no true authority apart from wisdom. It could not possibly be. Therefore he wisdom God has given to His sons possesses the authority to remove all greed and the resulting strife from the face of the earth, for “He shall judge among the nations and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up word against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” Isa. 2:4 “But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it. For all people will walk every one n the name of his God, and we will walk in the name of the Lord our God for ever and ever.” Micah 4:4,5
During that glorious reign there will be no lawlessness, reed, graft, or rebellion permitted, for the “spoiler ceaseth, and he oppressors are consumed from the land. And in mercy shall he throne be established: and He shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness,” Isa. 16:4,5. “In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, holiness unto the Lord… Every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the Lord of hosts. – And in that day there shall be no more Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts.” Zech. 14:20,21
THE INCREASE OF THE KINGDOM
The kingdom of God will not spread over the entire earth in a moment of time. Never in any dispensation has God undertaken to fulfill His purposes in an instant. There will be increase and a steady growth of the kingdom that will gradually fill all the earth until no man will say, “Know the Lord, for all will know Him from the least to the greatest.” Isaiah certainly gives a wonderful understanding of the increase of the kingdom when he says, “Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom to order and establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever (the age). The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” Isa. 9:7
When Daniel saw the vision of the destruction of the Babylon of the world systems, he saw a stone (Christ) cut from the mountain (Zion) which smote the image of the world systems on the feet. The whole image collapsed, and the stone became a great mountain that filled the whole earth. (Dan. 2:34,35)
I am convinced that we are at the end of this age. The dispensation of the kingdom of heaven, which we have known as the church age, or the dispensation of grace is at an end. It has been an age of good and evil, right and wrong, wheat and tares, sheep and goats, light and darkness, mingled together so that scarcely anyone knew which was which. Jesus Christ, like David, though anointed to reign, has seen Saul seated on His throne while He in His rejection has reigned only in the hearts of His true followers. But those who have truly followed Him in this age of uncertainties, division, and carnality will be the ones who sit with Him in His throne in the kingdom of God. (Matt. 19:28)
Two thousand years ago John the Baptist came proclaiming, ”Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” His message was true and that age came with great power. From its fields of wheat and tares the Lord has gathered the seed of the kingdom of God. The message today is not “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is it hand,” but, “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand!” It is scarcely necessary to repeat the signs which Jesus declared would precede the end of this age, but certainly they have been fulfilled and are being fulfilled on an ever, increasing scale. We read in the seventeenth chapter of Luke that the disciples asked Jesus when the kingdom of God should come. Verse 20. In the following verses of the chapter He outlined many signs. “The Son of man must be rejected of this generation,” He said, and so it has been. As it was in the days of Noah, so should it be in the lays of the Son of man. Certainly the days of Noah are with us. the kingdom of God is at hand.
Great preparations are being made in the spiritual world for he coming age. The image of great Babylon is rising to its fullest height. The sons of God are being secretly prepared and anointed to reign. Very soon the little stone cut from the mountain without hands will strike the image on the feet, and he kingdoms of this world will have become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall resign for ever and ever.
The Glory and Power of the Kingdom by George R Hawtin
The Glory and Power of the Kingdom
The Glory and Power of the Kingdom
If I had but one year to Live; This message by one of the Christian and Missionary Alliance’s best-known writers was first published in 1938. The references to war clouds and to date-setters among the students of prophecy belong especially to that era. Yet the message is as timeless as A. W. Tozer himself. Dr. Tozer never achieved the “ripe old age” he mentions in his closing sentence; he died at sixty-six in the midst of an active ministry as pastor, conference speaker, and Alliance Witness editor.
Moses prayed, “Teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”
Now, suppose that the first half of that prayer were to have literal fulfillment for me, and I were to learn positively that I had but one year to live – the number of my days were to be 365, no more, and at the end of that time my earthly life were to reach a sure and sudden termination in the shocking finality which is death. What could I do to bring the answer to the rest of that prayer? If I applied my heart, what would “wisdom” dictate that I should do with the precious days that remained to me?
The first thing that strikes me is that I should have to arrive at some plan of action in conformity with known facts. However much I might ignore them while the hope of long life lay before me, with that hope shrunk to a brief year, these facts would take on tremendous proportions. I mean the great cardinal facts of Bible doctrine. It is a significant thought that with death stalking me I should have no interest whatever in any controverted subjects; neither would the profundities of theology influence me, nor the abstruse refinements of Christian metaphysics.
When someone asked Mark Twain what he did with those passages in the Bible that he could not understand, he replied with grim humor: “The passages in Scripture which trouble me most are those which I do understand.” And I am sure that I should not be bothered by any of the minor differences that separate the brethren: Calvinism, church polity, the great pyramid, or the identity of the beast and the false prophet. I should only feel a real pity for those garrulous saints who, unmindful of the swift passing of the years, debate theological trivialities to their own confusion.
But just what would be the part of wisdom for one with but a few numbered years to go? Well, here is the way it would affect me.
If I were a sinner, I would stop hoping vaguely that somehow things would come out all right, and I would get down to realities. I would take no rest until I had absolute assurance on certain vital matters. I would want to know that my sins were forgiven, that I had passed from death unto life, and that Jesus Christ was my personal Savior. And in order to arrive at this assurance, I would put away diffidence, come boldly to Him, throw myself at His feet and refuse to go away.
I would not stand on ceremony nor allow myself to be hindered by the niceties of conventional religion. With my soul at stake, I could not afford to pray with one eye on the proprieties. So I would seek to take the kingdom by violence, and if any well-intentioned person, shocked by my boldness, should try to stop me, I would remember blind Bartimaeus and “[cry] the more a great deal, [Jesus,] thou Son of David, have mercy on me.” (Mark 10:48)
And then if some panicky dispensationalist ran up in a dither to remind me that I had my dispensations crossed, I would push him aside none too gently and press for mercy till I got the answer: “Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole.”
Then I would give that last remaining year to God. All the wreckage and loss of the years behind me would spur me on to make the one before me a God-blessed success.
And I would give my ransomed life to Him also. One life, one year, with God above me and the needy world around me – no one can prophesy the blessed outcome. It is remarkable how much glory God sometimes packs into a life at its decline even when that life has not been useful for so very long. Samson rose to such heights of faith just before his death that he was able to accomplish more in one last act of sacrifice than he had done during his whole previous life. Such is the grace of God!
As a Christian, the shock of numbered days would not be so great, for we have been taught to expect the return of Christ at almost any hour, yet the very familiarity of the teaching and the repeated cry of “Lo, He is in the desert! Behold, He is in the secret chamber!” at every turn of events in Europe or Palestine have dulled the hearts of many till the sense of imminence is not keenly felt. The doctrine of the Second Coming is still faithfully preached, but the note of expectancy is often missing.
Anyway, there are some things I should want to get done. Some things that dog the steps of God’s people, things for which we are occasionally languidly sorry, I should want to repent of once and for all, and make that repentance stick.
One thing is unbelief. The fact that I see it in others as well as in myself is no excuse for me. Unbelief is so common that we do not recognize it. In sickness we look almost everywhere first before trying God. In adversity we wilt too easily. In danger we scheme and contrive as if God did not exist. I should not want my only year to be hindered by such business. So I would try to live close to God, to read the Bible much, to cultivate trust, and to be bold in my faith.
Another blight I should seek to escape is worldliness… if not worldly conduct, then worldly moods. The old Christians had a word that covered a true believer’s mental outlook. They called it “otherworldliness.” This kind of old-fashioned godliness is not very popular now.
We are supposed to keep abreast of the times, and we are advised to “read the newspapers as well as the Bible so as to watch the fulfillment of prophecy.” This sounds very pious, but it is a philosophy that has bred a generation of worldly pre-millenarians who are little more than news commentators with a mildly religious bent.
Separation unto God is not achieved when we desert the dance floor and the motion picture house. True separation is a constant possession of the devotional mood. If I had but one year to live, I would seek to enjoy that mood every day.
Then I would also want to check on the use of my money. All that came into my possession should be prayed over and used with religious care. Money has such great power for good that I would try to make the most of every penny for the kingdom of God. I am quite sure that I could get along with less if I wanted to do so, and that I could find plenty of places to use what I had saved for the promotion of the gospel program and the relieving of human distress.
A frequent checkup on my speech might be helpful to me also. Remembering how many times I had been hindered by soiled speech on the part of otherwise good people, I would resolve that not one spotted word should ever pass my lips. It is easy to get careless here – even ministers and missionaries are not exempt – so I would make a covenant with my tongue and trust God to help me keep it.
And since evil words flow from evil thoughts, I would try to deal with the problem at its source. A human heart can be a cesspool where breeds every sort of slimy thing: envy, malice, lust, suspicion, and a hundred other kinds of larvae waiting to develop into full-grown deeds.
Paul’s exhortation to the Philippians would help me here: “Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
And then there is gossip. Popular opinion has made gossip a female weakness, but no honest man will deny that it is all but universally prevalent among men. Many innocent people have had their ministry ruined by noxious chatter. With no real intention to do harm, someone yields to the temptation to talk, and the injury is done, sometimes irreparably.
If I had but a short time to live, I could not afford to spend any part of it indulging in curious speculations about the lives of others. Wesley defined evil speaking as any unnecessary repetition of uncomplimentary remarks about anyone. Every Christian should have a little graveyard where he buries rumors which might affect the lives of any of God’s children. These rumors, greatly distended and full of life, come in boldly as if they had a right to do it, and begin their unholy work of destroying reputations. They should be knocked soundly on the head, buried six feet under in an unmarked grave, and forgotten.
The Sacrifice of Praise
Then I think I would want to get caught up on my thanksgiving. I would repent of ingratitude and remember the multitude of blessings I have to be grateful for. I would be thankful to God, and I would not forget to be thankful to people. I may have been mistreated a few times, to be sure, but for the most part people have treated me with a kindness and consideration far exceeding any merit of mine. There are so many people, living and dead, to whom I owe such a great moral debt that one year would not be long enough to thank God for them.
And with all her faults, I would not forget to be grateful for my country. I am thankful for freedom – political freedom and the rare freedom of conscience that makes it possible for me to worship God as I see the light without interference.
There is no place to stop when God’s mercies are the topic. I would spend my days being glad, and God would accept the offering.
Now all this would seem to me to be the good and right thing to do for one who had but a year to live. But since we do not know whether we have a year before us, or a day or ten days, and since what would be right for the last year would be right for the whole life – even if its years were many – then the conclusion is plain.
I know not what others may want to do, but I want to get down to business and live as if this year were my last. Then if God should spare me to a ripe old age, I can go without regrets.
If I had but one year to Live
If I had but one year to Live; By AW Tozer
If I had but one year to Live1
Sign of the Son of Man: The material contained in this book, GOD’S GREAT FAMILY OF SONS, has been in preparation over a period of some twenty years. As we read the word of God, our minds begin to grasp what great importance our Lord has placed upon His intention to bring forth a vast family of sons of God. Paul, writing to the Romans, made this very significant statement: “Whom He did foreknow He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first born among many brethren.”
Sign of the Son of Man: Great importance is added to this incredible statement by reading the translation of Weymouth, which, if possible, gives an even more forceful understanding of Paul’s inspired statement. Those whom He has foreknown He has also predestined to share the likeness of His Son, that He might be the eldest in a vast family of brothers; and those whom He has predestined He has also called; and those whom He has called He has also acquitted; and those whom He has acquitted He has also glorified.”
Rom. 8:29, 30. (Weymouth).
As we read the pages of this book, we will see the purpose of God unfolding – a pre determined plan by which He will govern the universe in the aeons to come.