The Gospel of the Kingdom
By George Kirkpatrick
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It must sadden God's heart greatly when He sees what the church system is teaching. It is not even a lukewarm message. It is a "Tickle the Ears Message" to get the people to support their agenda of more and bigger buildings which leads to more debt and more bondage upon the people, higher salaries for the hirelings, and more programs for the people to support.
The church no longer teaches repentance because everything their people need to repent of is acceptable in the church. Unmarried couples who are living together sit in the church. Fornication is not dealt with. Homosexuality and lesbianism are accepted as an alternate way of life. Much of the leadership is guilty of alcoholism, adultery and drug abuse. Crooked deals are just good business. Lying has become an art, with no feeling of guilt or repentance. Lude and abusive language is heard, as well as using the Lord's name as a curse word. Many cannot wait until the service is over to go outside and smoke, so ash trays are supplied in the wash rooms. The money that is given to support God's work is used for personal wants to satisfy the wants of the flesh. The list is endless as to what the church system has become.
But all is not lost because God has a righteous people who are making a difference with the way they live their lives. God has a few who have not soiled their garments with the ways of the world. Most of these have come out of the church system, but many who still have a heart for God remain in the church system, praying for change and console their saddened hearts knowing God is still able to change a hardened heart. God's little flock still seek Him in their prayer closets and their quiet times.
The prophet wrote about the condition of God's Kingdom in His end time generation when he declared:
"Yet gleaning grapes shall be left in it, as the shaking of an olive tree, two or three berries in the top of the uppermost bough, four or five in the outmost fruitful branches thereof, saith the Lord God of Israel." Isaiah 17:6
The gleaning of the grapes comes at the end of the harvest. Only the full ripe grapes will be fit for the Master's table. The shaking of the olive tree also takes place at the end of the harvest. Jesus informed us the harvest is the end of the age, Matthew 13:39. In his letter to the Hebrews, Paul spoke of this time of shaking:
"Whose voice then shook the earth: but now He hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain." Hebrews 12:26-27
God is going to shake the earth (the flesh realm) and the heavens (the Spiritual realm). Only those things which cannot be shaken will remain. What is going to remain? There will only be two or three berries of the olive tree in the uppermost bough, and only four or five berries in the outmost fruitful bough. Only those who's Spiritual walk cannot be shaken will remain. Paul wrote to Timothy about those who cannot be shaken:
"Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are His. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity." II Timothy 2:19
So who is going to remain? First, those who have God's seal in their forehead. God has sealed those who are His. Then we are informed, "Let every one who are called by His name (Christians) depart (stand afar off) from iniquity."
The word iniquity is the Greek word ADIKIA and means "unrighteousness, injustice and violating the laws of God (His Holy Word)." The church system has become so lax with the laws of God (His Holy word), that all the people know and proclaim is "I am saved." And the only reason they know this is because they are told by their leaders, "You are saved." They believe this because they were told to repeat these words after them:
"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." Romans 10:9-10
Let's examine these Scriptures. First confession must be made with the mouth. Secondly, one must believe in their heart (mind) that God has raised Jesus from the dead. But notice also, the statement is made, "Thou shalt be saved." It does not say you are saved, but that thou shalt be saved.
The word shalt is futuristic. Shalt be saved is something that will happen later after other conditions are met such as baptism and the anointing of the Holy Spirit. After all, Paul stated:
"But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His." Romans 8:9
So if they have confessed with their mouth and do believe in their hearts until they are baptized and receive the Holy Spirit anointing, they are none of His. Peter, who was given the keys to the Kingdom, confirmed this when he stated:
"Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." Acts 2:38
If you reread Romans 10:9 & 10, there is nothing mentioned about repenting, baptism or the gift of the Holy Spirit. There are further steps every believer must complete to become one of God's children. They must acquaint themselves with the Word of God, because it is only in the Word that we may find out what God expects of us so we can be counted worthy to be called by His name. Only those who become His Word can expect to be accepted into His Kingdom. [see "Becoming The Word" by George Kirkpatrick]
When Paul wrote, "Thou shalt be saved", the word saved was the Greek word SOZO which means "safe." When confession is made with the mouth and belief comes into the heart, that person comes into a safe place in God. Then God begins to change and mold them into a useable vessel. Romans 10:10 confirms this fact:
"For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness: and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." Romans 10:10
When the heart of man changes, then His life begins to display the righteousness of God. His life changes to where he desires more and more of God. The Word is the only place we can find out about God. And with the Holy Spirit anointing, God will reveal Himself through His Word.
"With the mouth confession is made unto salvation." This confession is not made before the congregation. This confession is made in each individual's life when they begin to speak and seek after the things of God, not the things of the world.
Paul stated this confession is made unto salvation. The word unto is also futuristic. The word salvation means "deliverance, preservation and safety." Salvation is not a one time step. It is a continuing reality in man's life. Salvation continues to grow as a person goes deeper into the Word of God. God's plan of salvation can only be completed when we become like Jesus when He walked the earth. [See "Three Fold Salvation" by George Kirkpatrick]
The salvation message is all that has been on the earth since Jesus left the earth realm. Missionaries have been sent all over the earth with the salvation message to get people saved. In most cases, missionaries only taught the people their man-made church doctrines, not the Gospel of the Kingdom. Baptists begat Baptists, Methodists begat Methodists, Pentecostals begat Pentecostals, etc. But we have the words of Jesus:
"And this gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." Matthew 24:14
There is still a job to do for those who have the vision of the Gospel of the Kingdom. By Jesus' words we know the Gospel of the Kingdom will be proclaimed all over the earth before the end of the age. One may ask, "How is this to be accomplished?" Jesus gave us a clue when He confronted the Pharisees:
"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
As Jesus declared, the Kingdom of God does not come with observation. It does not come because you are looking for it. It comes within a person when their thinking changes to line up with the Word of God. This is a slow process because a person does not change the way they think over night.
This change takes place without observation because the more one is exposed to the Word of God, the more their mind (heart) changes, until their thinking lines up with the Word.
For generations the uninformed church system and well meaning preachers have taught Jesus was going to return any minute, and His people need to be ready. Yet they missed the whole point of Jesus' return. We need to ask ourselves in all sincerity, "Is Jesus coming back for a weak, uninformed, unholy and unrighteous church? Is this what He suffered and died for?" Paul understood what God expects of His people, and who are going to be acceptable in His sight. To the Ephesians Paul declared:
"That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish." Ephesians 5:26-27
God is going to sanctify His elect, those who are dedicated to and serve Him with their whole being. He will cleanse His elect with the washing of water. How will He do this? It will by and through His Word. Only the Word of God can change the heart of man. God is going to have a glorious church that he is going to present to Himself. This church will be free from everything that spots the flesh or anything that wrinkles the Spirit. This will be a holy people without a blemish.
The phrase without blemish means "to be morally straight, faultless and unblameable in the sight of God." Those who teach the soon return of Christ should first seek the people who fit God's guidelines. Again Paul relates this same message to the Colossians:
"Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:" Colossians 1:28
The word perfect is the Greek word TELEIOS and means "mature, full age, full grown, adult." God is looking for a mature church, not those who are still fighting or trying to glorify the flesh with fancy clothes, fine cars and all the opulence of this life. Jude declares this same message concerning those who have been cleansed by the washing of water by the Word:
"Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy," Jude 1:24
Again, the word faultless means "unblameable, without spot and without rebuke." Only those who meet these qualifications will stand in His glorious presence. This same message is throughout the whole New Testament. It is hard to believe the whole church system missed it. Paul wrote to the Hebrews:
"How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" Hebrews 9:14
Jesus offered Himself without spot to God. We, too, need to purge our conscience. The conscience is where we discern between good and evil. We need to purge or cleanse our conscience from dead works - - - those works in our lives that do not glorify God - - - so we may serve Him with a clear, clean conscience.
We cannot enter into His rest until our conscience has been cleansed from dead works. When Jesus addressed the multitude, He informed the people:
"Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28
Jesus offered the multitude rest because they had become weary in their labor and were burdened down with the cares of this life. He offers the same rest to us who are weary of this life.
"Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it." Hebrews 4:1
God has given us His promise that He has a rest for His people, but we are warned to fear that we do not come up short of entering into His rest. The phrase come up short means "to lag behind, to be late, to be inferior in power." The power is the Holy Spirit. If we come up short of His rest, it would mean we were late, lagged behind and were inferior in allowing the Holy Spirit to have rule and reign in our lives.
"For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it." Hebrews 4:2
Because many only hear the Word of God, but do not mix what they have heard with faith, they are lagging behind. The Word of God is not operating in every area of their lives. Paul warned the Romans:
"For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith." Romans 12:3
Everyone who calls upon the name of Christ is given a measure of faith. What we do with that measure of faith determines if we will or will not enter into His rest. Jesus gave us the parable of the mustard seed to show us what we are to do with our measure of faith:
"And He said, Whereunto shall we liken the Kingdom of God? Or with what comparison shall we compare it?" Mark 4:30
Many are confused about the Gospel of the Kingdom and what it is that we should be looking for. Jesus reveals His Gospel of the Kingdom message in the parable of the mustard seed:
"It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth." Mark 4:31
The word sown means "to plant." When the Word of God is planted in our earth and is mixed with faith, then although our measure of faith might have been the smallest of all, will grow and become a mighty herb. As Jesus related:
"But when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all the herbs, and shooteth out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it." Mark 4:32
When our measure of faith is sown in good earth, then it will mature us so we can come into the rest God has promised from the beginning of time. Paul continues:
"For we which have believed do enter into rest, as He said, As I have sworn in My wrath, if they shall enter into My rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world." Hebrews 4:3
Those whose faith is mixed with the Word become believers. These believers will enter into His rest. All the works of God were finished from the foundation of the world. Before God put Adam and Eve in the garden, God finished the work in each of us that we should become holy and without blame before Him in love.
"For He spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all His works. And in this place again, If they shall enter into My rest. Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:" Hebrews 4:4-6
When are God's elect going to enter into His rest? Just as God entered into His rest on the seventh day, so will His believers enter into their rest on the seventh day.
It has been about 6000 years since Gods creation of man. We are living in the sixth day from the beginning of God's creation. In the same light, we are also living in the second day since Jesus left His flesh realm. So we are soon to enter into the seventh day from creation, and the third day from Jesus. Praise the Lord!
The Pharisees came to Jesus and related that Herod was going to kill Him. What was Jesus' answer?
"And He said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected." Luke 13:32
The two days - - - today and tomorrow - - - represent the church age since Jesus left the earth. What was the church to do during these two days? They were to cast out devils (deliverances) and do cures (healings). This they have failed to do.
Jesus informed the Pharisees that He would be perfected on the third day. Jesus is going to be perfected in His body, the body of Christ. What does the word perfected mean? The word perfected means "to bring to an end, to complete, to accomplish His goal."
When He was on the cross, Jesus' last words were, "It is finished." Jesus did all for His creation He could do. He provided a way to overcome Adam's sin and showed His people how they could again enter into His promised rest:
"Again, He limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts. For if Jesus had given them rest, then would He not afterward have spoken of another day." Hebrews 4:7-8
God is speaking to His people in a new way, but many have hardened their hearts, saying the changes He wants to make in their lives is too hard. We need to learn the changes God desires to make in our lives is for our good so He can pour out manifold blessings upon us without measure.
Many are still depending on Jesus to give them rest. But as Jesus stated before on the cross, "It is finished." Jesus has finished the work the Father has given Him to do.
If we cannot look to Jesus for our rest, then who do we look to? We must look to the one who came on the Day of Pentecost. We must look to the Anointing, (Christ Jesus), the Risen, Glorified Christ. As Paul wrote to Timothy:
"Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began," II Timothy 1:9
Our calling did not come in some revival meeting. Our calling came from Christ Jesus before the world began. If our rest did not come from Jesus in the two days of the church age, then in what day does our rest come? Our rest will come in the third day when the body of Christ will be perfected, or made perfect in the Kingdom age.
"There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God." Hebrews 4:9
None of God's people have as yet entered into His rest. Why? It is because it is not yet the day of entering in. Man has claimed many things they have seen in God's Word. But all things will be brought to pass in the fulness of God's time.
"For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased form his own works, as God did from His." Hebrews 4:10
Those who will enter into God's rest will have ceased from their own works. Today God's people are still struggling with their own works. They are trying to get ahead, desiring the things of this life, more than the things of God. Truly their seed has fallen among the thorns, and these thorns have choked the Word of God out of their lives.
As Paul related, those who enter into His rest have ceased from their own labors as God did from His. What day did God cease from His work? He ceased from His work on the seventh day. What day will we enter into His rest? Again, it will be on the seventh day from creation, or the third day from Jesus.
The seventh day and the third day are both referred to in God's Word as "that day." When the Bible speaks of "that day", it is speaking of the day that lies directly ahead of our generation. Paul spoke of this day in his letter to the Thessalonians:
"When He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe in that day." II Thessalonians 1:10
It is in that day (the seventh day and the third day) that God is coming to be glorified in His saints. This is the day God is going to be perfected in His body. This will be the day those who have ceased from their own labors will enter into His promised rest.
The Bible is full of insight and promises for all who seek God with their whole being. Peter, who was given the keys to the Kingdom, relates some of these hidden truths:
"Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness." II Peter 3:13
Peter tells us, according to God's promise, to look for new heavens and a new earth. The heavens represent the Spiritual realm, and the earth represents the flesh realm. Our new earth will be when we receive our new bodies in the twinkling of an eye. And the new heavens will be when we have renewed our relationship with our Creator, the same relationship Adam had in the garden, before he fell into disobedience.
What are we promised for our new bodies? Praise the Lord, it will be a renewed earth wherein dwelleth righteousness.
"Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless." II Peter 3:14
Those who have the vision of God's promises, and are looking to the new day, are striving to be without spot and blameless before their God, Christ Jesus our Lord. Only these have the peace of God that passeth all understanding.
"According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love." Ephesians 1:4
This is our holy calling that Paul wrote to Timothy. If we are to enter into His rest and dwell in His eternal peace, then we must be holy and without blame.
Most do not have the concept that their calling in God came before the foundation of the world. Knowing this clears up a lot of misunderstanding as to who we are in God. Many Christians do not understand why, throughout their lives, they just did not seem to fit in their surroundings - - - yes, and even in their own families. Paul gives us insight into these differences in our lives:
"And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath He reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight:
To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:" Colossians 1:21, 22 & 27-28
Every man, before he came to Christ, was alienated in his mind from God. The word alienated means "to be shut out from fellowship." But it was, and still is, God's plan to reconcile those who were called from the foundation of the world to be holy, unblameable and unreproveable in His sight.
To these, God will make known the riches of His glory. This is a mystery to the Gentiles (the unregenerate). It is Christ (the Holy Spirit) in us that is our hope in glory, not externally as He came to the early church as Luke recorded
"And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them." Acts 2:3
The mystery that has been hidden from the Gentiles (and also from most Christians) is that it is Christ in us that is the hope of glory.
Jesus promised us a second Comforter when He related to His disciples:
"And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever;" John 14:16
Jesus was our first comforter. But Jesus promised a second Comforter.
"Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you." John 14:17
The second Comforter is the Spirit of Truth whom the world (the Gentiles) can not receive because they have no relationship with the Father (the Holy Spirit). They are alienated from Him in their mind. Jesus told His disciples they knew the second Comforter because He dwelt with them. They knew Him because of the anointing that rested upon Jesus. Then Jesus promised He shall be in you. The word shall is futuristic. Then Jesus related:
"I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you." John 14:18
Jesus promised He would come as the second Comforter to them. He did this on the Day of Pentecost when He came as cloven tongues of fire and sat upon each of them.
Paul knew of the coming day when Christ will be in us. This is when the living waters will flow from our innermost being to bring life to everything it touches. This is the time Paul spoke of to the Colossians, when He would present every man perfect in Christ Jesus - - - perfect, whole, complete, and mature.
This promise is made to all those who have ceased from their own labors and have entered into His eternal rest. Those whose lives exemplify the life of Christ as Jesus did when He walked the earth. The beloved John gives us insight into this very fact:
"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is." I John 3:2
John asked the question, "Now are we the sons of God?" Many today are claiming sonship, but as we consider the words of John who walked with Jesus, it becomes clear God's manifested sons have yet to be manifested.
John relates, "It does not yet appear what we shall be (futuristic), but we know when He appears, we shall see Him as He is." Why? We will see Him as He is because we will be like Him. If we have not become like Him, then we will not see Him when He comes to be glorified in His saints.
This is the Gospel of the Kingdom that needs to be proclaimed in all the world for a witness to all nations before the end of the age comes. Jesus revealed this to John on the Isle of Patmos:
"And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people," Revelation 14:6
This Everlasting Gospel will be proclaimed unto all who will hear on the earth - - - every nation, kindred, and in every language - - - then the end will come.
Will we be those without spot or wrinkle, holy and without blame? Will we be those who will see Him when He comes because we are like Him? Will we be those who have entered into His rest because we have ceased from our own labors? Or, will our only confession before God be, "I am saved"? Does the Holy Spirit have rule and reign in your life, or are you just following your religious order?
This Gospel of the Kingdom is going out throughout the whole earth. God's ministering angels have it in their hands.
God is about to shake His olive tree. Will you be the one who has held on in the upper most bough or in the outer most branches? Or, will you have fallen from the high place in God? Will you soar like an eagle, or scratch dirt with the chickens?
God is going to have a Kingdom people who will carry His Kingdom message to all the earth.
Vital Words to the Body of Christ
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