- OUR -
Will be Done
Elwin R. Roach
Some Would Not Wait
"Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven." Matthew 6:10.
Such a common verse, from the Lord's Prayer that every member of every church member knows by heart. But do they? Do they know what it means. And do they really know what they are saying? Let us see.
Throughout the scriptures the thought of the Kingdom of God has been very prominent. God is portrayed as the King of the universe, and with the exception of man, the vast majority of His creation is seen as being totally loyal to His government. One area wherein men have tossed aside their loyalty has been in Kingdom building. Whether by calculated design, unwitted carnal nature, deceived by a lying spirit, or any other motivation, they missed the mark each time they went about to set up the Kingdom of God. Of course, this is not new, and it has been going on since that infamous day in the Garden underneath the tree of human reasoning.
Throughout these foregone ages of sin and death, God has made many promises concerning the blessings of the Kingdom wherein and whereby all things lost will be restored. Many of those whose hearts have been in harmony with God have rejoiced in those promises. However, it has not been unusual for some to grow impatient and cannot wait for God's timing of unfolding His Kingdom that will be seen by all. They have, therefore, undertaken efforts of their own to build a Kingdom they know nothing about, only that of which they have read about.
All such adventures, of course, have failed, and will continue to fail. These failures, however, will in no way discourage those who have faith in the promises of God. They know that there is a season for this to come about in full fruition. It cannot be any other way. For the living seed was planted of and by Jesus Himself, and in His own growing time and way will all of the glorious promises He made in respect to His Kingdom being fulfilled. Therewith, all the assured blessings toward mankind will be known.
What a wonder! There will be no end to the increase of His government, and ultimately, the knowledge of His glory will fill the whole earth, even as the waters cover the sea. Nothing will be left out or go untouched by His glory. No one will be lacking as they are immersed in His overflowing goodness and transforming grace that at times, of course, comes as fire. Painful for the self-centered carnal man, but ultimately for his good.
God's laws, which are just, holy and good will be upheld by every creature due the indwelling Spirit of life. It was impossible for the first two, the man and the woman, to fulfill His divine law; for they were not living by the law of life (Jesus had not yet been given) but by the law of the carnal mind which could only bring death. Therewith, death came upon all of which Adam was the federal head.
The spirit of the serpent inspired the carnal minds of our original parents, tempting them in a religious way to be like God. By acting on the words of the father of lies that appeared as an angel of light, they died a thousand deaths in their frail religious fortress that they had built to hopefully shield themselves from scrutiny; namely, fig leaves that signifies this. That is, outward religious practices of rules, doctrines, dogmas, rituals, and especially submission to the cleric heads of their structured religions.
Giving themselves over to the temptation, Adam and Eve threw themselves and all living into an irreversible journey of death, thus turning the earth into a lifeless wilderness. Isaiah spoke of this when he said that they had "...Made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners." Isaiah 14:17. The depth of the inventions of man's carnal mind became unfathomable, bringing calamities upon the world one could hardly imagine. Of course, the father of lies never relaxed his hold on the religious minds of men who still say, I will be like God, I will build a kingdom, a city, a tower up to heaven. And that small serpent in the tree of men's minds has grown into a great red dragon that sweeps carnal minded religious people from the heavens to the earth.
But praise God! We have Jesus, the Last Adam, the resurrected Son of the living God. He is not like the first Adam, he who being the federal head over all living and brought that death to the same. Jesus, the Last Adam, the last federal head of all has final say and sway. He reverses and brings life to ALL that the first one brought death to.
Jesus, the Last Man is undoing and will continue to undo, what the first had imposed upon creation. He will rid the world of that sin and death. He will not fail. He will accomplish that which He was sent to do, bringing life to the same all that died. As none could escape the sentence of death in the first Adam, none can escape the sentence of life in the last Adam! Can a baby say, "I chose not to be born," and it will be so? Of course not! And neither can a person say, "I refuse to be born again and delivered from the bondage of death." His or her refusal will not make it so. When it is time for a person to be born naturally or spiritually, it will be done; for it is God who works all things after the counsel of His own will, as noted in Ephesians 1:11, and it is He "Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth." 1 Timothy 2:4.
It is NOT MAN who works all things after the counsel of his own feeble will--BUT GOD! And that includes one's birth.
What a wonderful promise that causes creation to stand on tiptoe as they wait for the manifestation of the Sons of God. It seems that Paul knew something about this. He wrote in Romans 8:19, "For the earnest expectation of the creation waits for the manifestation of the sons of God."
It has always been the purpose of Jesus to seek and save that which was lost. God's grand scheme of things has been to deliver the groaning creation from the bondage of corruption and into the glorious liberty of the sons of God (Romans 8:19-22), and that liberty is the privilege of not merely being formed of God, but of being born of God.
How wonderful are all the ways of His Heavenly purposes, beyond carnal comprehension; but the great Shepherd Himself goes after the lost sheep, every last one of them. Leaving the ninety and nine in their comfortable pastures to graze for awhile, requiring nothing of them, as He goes to lay hold of those that are lost.
Let us look back to the time to when He entered the world of death, which was at His conception and then His birth in Bethlehem. The heavenly host that was sent to be there was overjoyed by what took place. Some of them praised and glorified God. One of them even gave a message of good will and hope for the whole world by saying--"Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people." Luke 2:10. And please note, the good tidings of great joy was not to a small handful, but TO ALL PEOPLE!
What patience our Lord had then and now in seeking and saving fallen man! He has always known for what He was sent--TO BE THE SAVIOR OF THE WORLD! He has known the end from the beginning. We are sure that He has never been discouraged or felt that there could be a risk to His mission of mercy in saving that which is lost.
As we keep the pace with His purpose, we are driven by the same intense, burning desire of His Spirit when He saw the multitudes. They were "...as sheep having no shepherd," Matthew 9:36. He was moved with compassion, and "...went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people." Matthew 9:35. The only ones He ever accused were the religious Scribes and Pharisees. But to the people, He had great compassion.
Books cannot contain all that Jesus did and suffered; but we do know that before shedding his blood, He shed tears at Bethany and wept over Jerusalem. Although often faint and weary, He did not surrender His mission. And neither will you nor I. As with His calling, ours is also an election sure. We, as words proceeding from God's mouth, shall not return to Him empty handed. We will accomplish that to which we were sent; that is--to reconcile the world, the whole world unto Him! There is no barrier strong enough, no force powerful enough, no wall tall enough that can stop Jesus and us from accomplishing that which pleases our Father, not even death. We all will prosper in the thing whereto we are sent, Isaiah 55:11. Doesn't good news like this make us want to shout? Yes! Amen! Praise God!!!
Ah, but how great was the cost for that prize of victory? We get a glimpse of how much it was in the Garden of Gethsemane; but we can hardly imagine the degree of that agony. The depth of sorrow that would bring forth such strong crying, tears, and sweating drops of blood, who can know it? And can human language express the unutterable anguish that was levied upon the son of man on Mount Calvary? It is inconceivable that the very One through whom all things were made and consist, the One who always did those things that pleased His Father, is mercilessly nailed upon a cross, and made a gazing-stock of the heartless soldiers, as well as His mocking false accusers. Except for the few that were there who loved Him, they all joined in wagging their heads, laughing, and heaping shameful ridicule upon Him. The very ones who were created in Him before the foundation of the world shamed Him; but as Jesus said, "Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do." And the Father did forgive them, for we know that His Father always heard His Son.
But what a tragic loss, what a defeat, what an embarrassment to all who followed Him. They were sure that His Kingdom would not have been so short-lived. They were sure that He would have gone on to dethrone Caesar and overthrow the Roman Empire. No doubt, some of them would have had cabinet positions in His new Kingdom that He spoke of so often. Surely, He could have made good on His word.
But it was not to be. With many, all was forever gone. There was no more hope. Even so, they did not know this was part of the plan that He had to endure it all so that they and the world would be saved from sin and death. They did not know that His death had to be in order for His Kingdom within to begin and grow from there.
Let us be reminded again of the parable of the lost sheep. He went after that which was lost until He found it, "And when He found it, He laid it on His shoulders, rejoicing." Luke 15:5.
One thing that is so sweet with loving fragrance. That Jesus did not scold the one that wandered off. He did not drive it back with threats of everlasting terrors. But rather, He took it into His arms and carried it back home to where it belonged. And so it is with mankind that has strayed from the fold. The Shepherd is coming for them. He is heaven-bent on finding and saving those that are lost, which is ALL. And as in the parable, He is not coming as an unforgiving, wrathful avenger, but as an empathizing, sympathizing friend--as the Good Shepherd! Oh, the wonder of our Lord's love, compassion, and commitment!
His compassion for people was an anomaly with the Scribes and Pharisees, and they did not like it. Criticisms came from those self-righteous, cold-hearted, religious rulers; but it had no effect on Him. He continued on, just being Himself--loving, sympathetic, kind, understanding, and forgiving seventy times seven if need be.
Three of His parables, namely, the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son, speak of His holy attributes, which were clearly for the ultimate salvation of the fallen human race. Through those simple examples of unending love, we are able to understand some of the depth of divine compassion and why it is true that there is joy in heaven over the repentance of one sinner. To be delivered from the adamic nature, from sorrow, and from death gives cause for great rejoicing whether on this side of the veil or the other.
"Who is a God like unto Thee, that pardons iniquity, and passes by the transgression. … He retains not His anger for ever, because He delights in mercy. He will turn again, He will have compassion on us; He will subdue our iniquities; and Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea." Micah 7:18-19.
How compassionate and always merciful the Creator has been, and will continue being; for that is His nature, and what depth of love was manifested in sending His Son to save the sinful and lost people. We may not have regarded this before; but His love for mankind has doubtlessly caused Him to suffer no less than those who have lived in sin and death. Someone once said that "Sin is more awful to God than to us. Our senses are dulled and we suffer for only a few years, but His senses are very keen and He has suffered for six thousand years. It cost Him nothing to give blessings, but it is infinitely harder to withhold them. Sin has cost God more during these six thousand years than it will cost Him to shower blessings through all eternity."
Consider the heights of God's divinity, His fortitude, His patience, and His resolve of mind that has enabled Him to endure that which His wisdom and foreknowledge would dictate in this great drama of the interplay of good and evil. Also, the administration of wrath, of indignation, and long-suffering against sin while permitting His name to be reviled, reproached and misrepresented by every religion and devil in the world. They changed the incorruptible God of infinite love into the images of man, birds, beasts, creeping things, and above all--an eternal tormenter.
Although gravely misunderstood, God made sure that the record is clear about His anger and indignation against evil. He has likewise set the record straight in no uncertain terms that He showers people with His blessings. Paul said that if God "...spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things." Romans 8:32. Time and space today does not permit us to quote all of the testimonies given in the scriptures concerning God's purpose to bless mankind. These are wonderful, glorious, thrilling promises of blessings that are in store for His creation. In them will the triumphant sound of joy and pleasure that the Great Author of salvation will have in due time, and that due time will be in God's Kingdom time.
There are many great and precious promises that God attaches to His signature, and which is signed in Jesus' blood. Here are a few of these reassuring ones:
"...They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain." Isaiah 65:25
"...The mountain of the LORD'S house shall be established in the top of the mountains...and all nations shall flow unto it." Isaiah 2:2
"...I will make the place of my feet glorious." Isaiah 60:13
"...All flesh shall come to worship before me." Isaiah 66:23
"And many nations shall say, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord..." Micah 4:2.
"...I create new heavens and a new earth." Isaiah 65:17
"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away...Behold, I make all things new..." Revelation 21:4-5.
Untold millions have perished over the centuries since death began to reign--many amid harrowing circumstances, violence, by disease, calamities, plagues, on battlefields, and starvation. All these will be awakened to know the new heavens and a new earth, where there will be no more sorrow, suffering, no more tears or death. The knowledge of the Lord will be worldwide. Such an insurmountable joy will rise to the highest heaven when it dawns upon their minds as to why they have been called forth from death and have been given the privileges of the new Kingdom. What rejoicing when they are immersed into the wonderful blessings of God. Praise from their inmost being will rise to the highest heaven when they know they were purchased through the redemptive sacrifice of Jesus Christ. We will not be surprised to hear them say, in the words of the prophet, "Other lords … have had dominion over us: but by Thee only will we make mention of Thy name...The former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind." Isaiah 26:13; 65:17.
Some Would Not Wait
"For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry." Habakkuk 2:3. And "...if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it." Romans 8:25.
The reign of sin and death over the past six thousand years has been distressing, to say the least; but the promises of God and His Kingdom have been so thrilling. Many have anxiously looked for a new age wherein all sin and death are overcome and forever destroyed. Many who have known about these promises and believed in them, became impatient and found it difficult to wait for God's progressive timing. They tried to set the Kingdom in place, but this was according to their will and their way. They declared what sounded like rock-solid, godly truths, but they were much less than this. Their words were not truth which could build the foundation or any part of God's Kingdom. They were unsound like sand. They have had no stability. Doomed to destruction, nothing could be built upon it that would last.
Wishful thinking, at best, was that the Kingdom could be established by them due to misunderstanding the promises as well as what the Kingdom of God actually is, or how it comes about. Such error has caused some to profess that the Kingdom of God has been fully established, even when there have been no signs of it whatsoever. Such as this is not new.
Impatience and attempting to build God's Kingdom was seen even in the early church. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 4:8 that some in that congregation were apparently claiming that the Kingdom had been established by them. He said, "Now ye are full, now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without us...." Paul, of course, did not think that these to whom he was writing were actually reigning. This is made clear in the same verse by concluding his admonishment with, "...I would to God ye did reign, that we also might reign with you."
Brother J. Preston Eby wrote about this sort of thing in one of his articles:
"Nowhere in the scriptures are we instructed that we are to 'build" the Kingdom. We are told that we can 'see' the Kingdom, 'enter' the Kingdom, 'receive' the Kingdom, 'inherit' the Kingdom, and 'proclaim' the Kingdom, but never build it. What is the difference? It is basic and profound. For if we are to build the Kingdom, then it is something that we bring into life, something that we produce. It is a structure that requires our effort to raise it up. It is an institution that demands our ingenuity and work to establish. But the Kingdom IS. It is already in existence; it is a present reality, for it was prepared for us before the foundation of the world (Mat. 25:34). Men who go out and try to build the Kingdom always fail for they are trying to do something that cannot be done. Ah, yes, there is an increase of the Kingdom! But it is not the increase of effort, but of life. You can build a house, but you cannot build a tree or a fruit. Things that are built are constructed by an external power; they contain no life. But things that grow are produced by an inherent internal life and you cannot build them. The increase and manifestation of the Kingdom is not one of man's doing, but something of life. That is why the Kingdom of God is within you. It is the life of the Spirit bringing forth the image and glory of God in the lives and doings of men. Jesus speaks of those who are 'disciples' of the Kingdom, 'stewards' of the Kingdom, 'scribes' of the Kingdom, 'teachers' of the Kingdom and 'heralds' of the Kingdom. But there are no 'builders' of the Kingdom!
"Many who have seen something of the promises and glory of the Kingdom of God have found it difficult to keep their efforts in the Spirit and cooperate with God to bless men and nations with the benefits and powers of the Kingdom. The result of their misunderstanding of how the Kingdom functions has time and again manifested itself in carnal and fruitless efforts to 'establish' or 'build' a visible outward Kingdom. While individuals and small groups of saints in the early days of the Church made claims concerning the 'establishment' of the Kingdom in their day, this idea did not take on any great proportion until the time of the Emperor Constantine. Prior to that Christians were openly persecuted by the Roman emperors and were accorded no recognition by the kingdoms of this world. The gospel was despised and rejected by an unbelieving and pagan world. This means that those who espoused the name of Christ suffered with Him because of their allegiance to His cause.
"So far as the great body of professed Christians was concerned, this entire picture of persecution and ostracism on the part of worldly kingdoms was suddenly changed by Constantine, who himself professed conversion to Christianity. In the year 313 A.D., this emperor put his signature to a decree reading, in part, 'Henceforth in perfect and absolute freedom, each and every person who chooses to belong to the practice of the Christian religion shall be at liberty to do so without let or hindrance in any shape or form.' How the Christians must have read the lines with astonishment when they realized the implication of this change of attitude on the part of earthly governments! Just emerging from ten years of the bitterest persecution by Diocletian, they were now free to meet and sing and pray and read their scriptures in the open sunlight, anytime, anywhere.
"And this was but the first of other favors that were shortly to come to them. The historian records that 'Constantine ordered the state funds to be used to rebuild their churches, ruined in the previous persecution; he donated land by the acre, built new churches wherever needed in the east or the west -- magnificent, costly structures. Christian ministers were exempted from taxation and became officials representing the government. Even laymen were shown marked favor in political appointments. Gift was piled upon gift, and privilege upon privilege. Decrees were issued exhorting the public to abandon their 'ancient superstitions' and accept the 'truth'. Complete and expensive copies of the scriptures were furnished to Christians by the state, replacing those destroyed by former persecutors. Could or should they decline these marvelous favors bestowed upon them? Should they decline to avail themselves of the wonderful opportunity thus afforded to proclaim the gospel of the Son of God to the large audiences now forthcoming because of governmental favor toward the church? Should they refuse to rejoice because now multitudes suddenly saw the light?'
"The church had endured persecution -- bitter, death-dealing persecution. Now the reverse was true and they were enjoying the favors of the state. Could they endure prosperity? What was to be their attitude toward this new development in the Christian experience? How were they to view the future? The great and sudden relief experienced by the lifting of the hand of persecution evidently had the effect that Satan desired it should, because the historical record shows that the great body of professed Christians at the time concluded that the days of waiting for the Kingdom had ended! One historical writer, in telling about this, says, 'When they were relieved of their persecution, and came into honor after having been so long reckoned the filth of the world, the cry was straightway raised up that the Kingdom of God had come. The Millennium had begun. The emperor was the visible favorite of God, the predestined over-thrower of the powers of evil (by the sword, of course!).'
"Following the last session of the Council of Nicea in the year 325, Constantine made a splendid banquet, about which the historian Eusebius, a bishop and one of the guests, has left us the following account: 'The proceedings were sublime beyond description. The soldiers of the emperor's bodyguard were drawn up before the door of the palace with bared swords. The men of God, over three hundred bishops, some of them bearing in their bodies the marks of the last persecution, passed by them proudly into the interior of the palace. Some sat at the same table with the emperor. One might easily believe he beheld an image of the very Kingdom of God.'
"Following this, and amidst violent, stormy internal disputes, the nominal church multiplied, for the state was still friendly and the sons of Constantine improved on their father, for they not only favored the church system, but persecuted paganism! The professed followers of the Master quickly caught the spirit, and with even more ardent zeal than was manifested by the strong arm of the state. They, like so many others who are not willing to await God's time or God's way for the exercise of Kingdom powers, themselves took the law into their own hands. Professed Christian mobs tore down pagan temples, shattered their idols, burnt their libraries, and slaughtered their priests. There was no restraining them, so fierce was their faith and zeal for the alleged Kingdom of God.
"But the carnal mind was still 'the god of this world.' While the professed church as a whole entered into these revelries in connection with the establishment of a counterfeit kingdom of the Lord, there still remained a few true followers of the Master who did not share in this viewpoint and therefore did not enter into these unchristian activities. Concerning these the historian says, 'Some indeed during this century, were disgusted with the pride and arrogance of the clergy and aimed at spiritual simplicity and opposed the general trend; but the only fruit of their labor was that they were branded with infamy.' Evidently this little flock of the body of Christ were branded as being anti-kingdom, even as it still is true of some today. When the devil offered the kingdoms of the world to our Lord, He declined the gift, choosing the way of the cross and the life of the Spirit, while carrying out the Father's plans which must precede the day when all the kingdoms of this world should become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ. But what the Son of man refused, the nominal church, centuries later, accepted, and installed a Roman bishop at the head, who, in the name of God, received the headship of the kingdoms of this world. The great religious harlot was fully born, riding upon the beast. From thenceforth it was woe unto those who dared to be anti-kingdom.
"These abortive Kingdom efforts, however, were not limited to the large body of professed Christians who finally became amalgamated into the Roman Catholic church-state system. When the Protestant movement got under way, Satan still was active both with the small and large groups of Protestantism and almost without exception these have fallen prey to this master-stroke of delusion. The Protestants, in separating from Rome, never completely passed out of the harmful shadow of the unauthorized kingdom. Many of the Protestant systems united with the state. Even today, most professed Christians confuse the present church system with the Kingdom, and when their hopes prosper or their activity is apparently blessed, and applauded by people in high places, they forthwith believe that the Kingdom of God must be here." -- End quote.
History has shown that men have repeatedly attempted to bring about God's Kingdom on their own. Regardless of the motivation behind it, they took matters into their own hands. Some were charlatans. They knew full-well what they were doing, while others assumed they were special emissaries of God and they were doing that to which they were called. Some of their claims were beyond the pale of reasoning. One was a German Anabaptists by the name of Melchoir Hofman. He claimed that God had told him that the city of Strasburg had been chosen to be the New Jerusalem. He proclaimed loud and clear in churches and in the streets that 1532 would be the date when the Kingdom of God would be in full operation. He also maintained that any one who opposed this divine Kingdom would be swiftly destroyed. But like all who came prior to him, his word also proved to be a lie, and he paid a price for it. He spent ten years in prison for his folly.
It was during this time that others set out to do the same, but in a more forcible manner. They gathered in Muenster, Germany, drove out the mayor and bishop, and took over the city in 1534. They were also Anabaptists and were led by John of Leiden. In what is known as the Muenster Rebellion. All the adults of the city who refused to be baptized by them were forced to leave. The news of this Kingdom in Muenster spread rapidly, reaching persecuted Christians far and wide, and many came flocking to this wonderful haven.
They claimed all property, burned all books except the Bible, and called Muenster the "New Jerusalem." John of Leiden believed he would lead the elect, and from Muenster he would subdue the entire world with the sword and purify it of all evil. This would be in preparation for the Second Coming of Christ. It would then be the beginning of the so called Millennium. They went so far as to require all citizens to be naked as preparation for the Second Coming.
However, their "kingdom" was short-lived. A year later in 1535 an army besieged the city. The leader was so sure that God was on their side that he left through the city gate to face the besieging army with twenty handpicked men, and while expecting victory perished very quickly. He found that special messages of God through special prophets did not apply to him.
A new leader arose. They endured a sixteen-month siege and when the besieging army finally succeeded in entering the city, the Kingdom of God in Muenster perished in its fire and blood with all the inhabitants being slain. The Anabaptists that were not outright killed were tortured to death, their corpses were exhibited in metal baskets which can still be seen hanging from the Tower of St. Lambert's steeple. Thus, the Kingdom of God in Muenster, Germany.
Another more recent kingdom of God builder was John Alexander Dowie (5/251847 - 3/9/1907):
"John Alexander Dowie who in the dawn of this century founded both the Christian Catholic Apostolic Church and the city of Zion, Illinois as a theocracy headed by himself as 'Elijah the Restorer.' Dowie ruled the theocratic community strictly and organized the Theocratic party, a political party to compete with the Republican and Democratic parties for control of the nation. This party ran in the elections in both Chicago and Zion City as the representatives of the Kingdom of God on earth. At the time of his sudden stroke and paralysis he was in the process of establishing theocratic cities in various parts of the world and proposed to purchase the entire city of Jerusalem from the Turks and turn it into a theocratic Christian city, the seat of the theocratic kingdom, in preparation for the return of Jesus Christ.
"Dr. Dowie was but another in a long list of 'kingdom builders' who imagined that they could 'build' the Kingdom of God on earth. They missed altogether the profound and wonderful truth proclaimed by Jesus when He said, 'The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof' (Mat. 13:31-32). The Kingdom is not like a house, or an institution, or a government to be 'built'; it is like a seed that is planted and by the spontaneous process of germination and growth becomes through the power of an indwelling life the expression and reign of God in the earth. It is not the work of man by force, law, or politics, but the sovereign work of God by the power of the Holy Spirit in and through yielded men.
"For what purpose is God bringing us into sonship? Many will point to the scriptures and say we are being perfected and brought into the fullness of God so that we can rule and reign with Christ when He establishes His Kingdom on earth. I will not say that I disagree with this teaching except to point out that Christ has already established His Kingdom in the earth. The 'man' who planted the 'grain of mustard seed' which is the Kingdom in its inception was none other than our Lord Jesus Christ. But we need to be very clear as to what we have in mind when we speak of ruling and reigning with Jesus. The idea that the Kingdom will one day be established in the earth, after the pattern of the kingdoms of men, and that God's elect will assume outward positions of political and governmental power within its hierarchy is the same carnal-minded error that the people of Israel made when Jesus made His appearance among them. As a result they completely missed Him. How then shall we reign with Christ?
"The first principle that must be very clear to us is that the power of the Kingdom of God is not political power -- it is spiritual power. 'If I by the Spirit of God cast out devils, T-H-E-N THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS COME UNTO YOU' (Mat. 12:28). The Kingdom of God is that domain where God's saving, transforming power defeats all opposition, breaks down every wall, changes all that is contrary to God's nature, mind and will, and brings men into willing submission to His authority. Where the nature of God and the mind of Christ have mightily conquered, the state of things is called the Kingdom of God. Where hearts are changed, where sin and error and darkness have been defeated, where truth and righteousness advance, where the will and ways of God are raised up as reality and life in a people, where the mind of Christ rules out of union with God -- there the Kingdom of God has come and is advancing. In the Kingdom it is no longer God ruling over you by sovereignty, but the life, mind, heart, nature, power, wisdom, knowledge, and will of God entering into you, becoming your very own reality. How plain it is to see that this is NOT what happened in the days of Emperor Constantine! The Kingdom of God is the power to transform. Its citizens are a holy people. Its kings and priests are all righteous, wise, and mighty through God.
"What I have said before bears repeating -- there is no greater truth than the truth that our Kingdom is a spiritual Kingdom, our King is a spiritual King, its citizens are a spiritual people, its ministry is a spiritual ministry, its authority is a spiritual authority, its dominion is a spiritual dominion, its laws are spiritual laws, its weapons are spiritual weapons, its priesthood is a spiritual priesthood, its sovereignty is a spiritual sovereignty, its power is spiritual power, and its rulers rule only by the Spirit, praise His wonderful name! You do not 'build' this Kingdom, nor do you exercise any kind of 'political' power to further its cause. IT MUST BE DEMONSTRATED IN THE AUTHORITY AND MINISTERED BY THE POWER OF THE HOLY GHOST. That, my friend, is the power and glory of the Kingdom of God!" --End quote (J. Preston Eby).
The scriptures are very clear on this. It is by God's divine power that His Kingdom comes and is established, and not man's will or his carnal efforts. It is also clear that man's organized church system operates in the flesh, and it is by no means by those therein that the glorious Kingdom of God will be built or grow, like a seed, to full glory.
Today is a great time of trouble; the nations of the whole earth are crumbling before our eyes, perhaps in preparation for the Kingdom. But this is not a sign or a command for us to declare that the Kingdom is fully established in the earth, and it is surely not an indication that we should go about with attempts of building it. We are to await, and continue to wait, for the consummation of what God is doing in the earth and the heavens. Let us know that we are in no way to put such follies into practice as so many did in times past. We can certainly pray as Jesus told us how to do so; but not in this manner: Thy Kingdom Come - OUR - Will be Done!
The Pathfinder • PO Box 4004 • Alamogordo NM 88311