Kingdom Gospel Salvation (2-2014)

In the Bible you will find that Jesus preached the gospel of the kingdom of God and you may wonder, what was that all about; but you only have to look at the first chapter of Mark to see that this is truly what He did.

Mark 1:14 KJV
1:14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 1:15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

This is Jesus, Himself preaching the gospel and the first and only gospel that was preached in the New Testament was indeed the gospel of the Kingdom. The true hope and expectation of the believers in Christ is the future appearance of God’s kingdom. Jesus spent His entire ministry, not preaching that people should expect Heaven, but rather the promised Kingdom. Today it is more chic to preach Heaven than it is to preach the Kingdom. But the apostles preached the Kingdom of God throughout the book of Acts, to the very last chapter and to the very last verse. They did not once preach Heaven; they were never ordered by Jesus to preach Heaven, so why would they? Therefore if we preach the gospel, we also will not preach Heaven, but rather, the Kingdom of God.

People who heard the gospel and believed it, wanted to know how to enter into this kingdom. Jesus showed us how to enter when He spoke of these things to a member of the Sanhedrin, named Nicodemus in John chapter 3.

Here is Jesus telling us, not what is necessary to enter Heaven, but rather, what is necessary to enter the Kingdom.

John 3 KJV
1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
3:2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
3:4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

You might ask me, well, aren’t the Kingdom and Heaven one and the same thing? Truth be told, we cannot say that they are the same if we go by the Bible. At the time of Jesus, the people of God did not have Heaven listed as a hope or an expectation. You cannot compare Heaven and the Kingdom, because the Bible does not indicate that they are similar. This might confuse a lot of people, but only because of how most of us have been indoctrinated. Heaven and the Kingdom are different. One important difference between Heaven and the Kingdom is, the Kingdom was preached and Heaven was not preached.

The Bible tells us that there is one hope of our calling, Ephesians chapter 4, verse 4, and not that the Jews are to look forward to the Kingdom and the Gentiles are to look forward to Heaven. Later on in this article, I will present you with a number of scriptures pertaining to the promise of the Kingdom and I challenge anyone and everyone to give one scripture where Heaven is preached. I invite anyone, who comes to realize how true this is, to spend some real quality time before God in prayer. I even ask for calls to corporate prayer.

Seeing this to be true, where do we go from here?
The Kingdom is the true hope and promise; in order to enter God’s kingdom it is necessary for a person to be born of water and of the Spirit. Although there is a lot of confusion over how to be saved, we must not disbelieve the words of Jesus; but rather, our faith must be in the words of Jesus.

Let us pause and be prayerful about this also, so that we may be delivered from the doctrinal argruments that have risen against this.

Now that you see what Jesus said, trust that His knowledge is far superior to the knowledge of all the trusted theologians and ministers, or even all other men who have ever walked the earth. Let us accept His words and stand on them. He tells us that one must be born of water and of the Spirit.

It is necessary for us to know what it means to be born of water and of the Spirit? The Bible does not leave this to guessing. You will know from scriptures, that being baptized in the name of Jesus Christ (that is being submerged under water in His name) is being born of water. This is for the remission of our sins as the Scriptures do indeed tell us in Acts.

Acts 2:38 KJV
2:38 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.

This should come after hearing and believing the true gospel message and repenting by placing ourselves in our rightful place, under the authority and rule of our Lord. And who is Lord? Acts: 2:36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Jesus Christ is Lord. But I do not think I had to tell most of you that.

The people hearing this, realized they needed to do something; 2:37 Now when they heard [this], they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men [and] brethren, what shall we do? They were not seeking a do-nothing easy-believism salvation.

The word, lord means, ruler. God has sent Jesus to be our Ruler and King (the title, Christ, refers to the fact that he is King). He shall rule over all in the future. To be accepted by Him in the future, we must find our place under His ruler-ship now; that is what repentance is.

When we have done this, we must be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of our sins (that is why He died in our place; it is so that those baptized in His name will benefit through His death, which was a death in our place to cover our sins. This is how we escape our punishment for the sins we have done): According to Acts 2:38, this is for the remission of our sins. Your sins will be washed away, even the very guilt burden of those sins. This is what it means to be born of water.

Repentance Further Clarified
When you repent, you cease to do evil and learn to do good. Take a look at Isaiah chapter 1 Modern KJV:

1:16 “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil,
1:17 Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow.

You submit to Christ and do this; God will look on you and examine your heart and see if you have truly come into submission to His Son with an attitude of obedience and reverence.

God gives His Holy Spirit to people who will obey Him, Acts 5:32. After we have received His Spirit, we can be led by His Spirit in the path that pleases Him.

Romans 8:13 and 14
8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

The good works in the lives of God’s people come from Him; this is grace. Grace is actually more than most people have come to believe and have been taught.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

When you reject the good works you are rejecting the grace. Although our salvation is not of works, the same God Who gives salvation in Christ also gives the good works with the salvation. He did not mean for us to try to separate the two.

God judges whether or not to give a person the gift of the Holy Spirit. When your heart is right, then He will do it. You will know it and the believers around you will know it because God has given us a sign to go by. You will speak in another tongue or language under the influence and guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 10:45 and 46
10:45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. [Holy Ghost is Holy Spirit.]
10:46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God.

This will be the sign by which you will know that you have been born of the Spirit:

Acts 2:4
2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. [Holy Ghost is Old English for Holy Spirit.]

When we are born of water and of the Spirit, we are not born mature. Let us accept and appreciate the fact that God still has more for us.

There are cases where God rewards believers without seeing or before seeing them demonstrate works of obedience. This is nothing to be baffled about. It’s all in the nature of faith. Faith that brings about obedience is what God rewards. And true faith does this. He sees true faith and recognizes it before the person has had opportunity or occasion to respond with an outward action of obedience. When the faith in God’s word is genuine, it will by its very nature, bring about obedience to God. So, if what God sees, is that type of faith then He knows that it is good as gold. He trusts it because He knows what it will do. He knows if a person’s faith is genuine, even if the person does not know. If He’s got people with genuine faith, He knows that He can get obedience out of thosew people. The faith is real before the obedience happens. He doesn’t have to wait to see if that person will obey Him. Seeing this faith in them, He can do as He pleases and give them what they desire of Him. It would seem to us that people are receiving the Holy Spirit up front. If these are people who will obey Him, God clearly sees this.

He can also grant things to people He knows will not obey Him. Do not be slack because you know God is good. You will lose out in the end, because Christ will reward men according to their works.

Those who receive the Holy Spirit speaking in tongues must continue and learn obedience. Let us be aware that even if we speak in tongues, that this is just the beginning. Having received the Holy Spirit of God, we must follow on and learn to be led by His Spirit. Do not let your initial speaking in tongues be a start that does not go anywhere.

People receive the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues before they show obedience. This does not mean that they have received irreversible salvation. In the end we will be judged according to our works. Let those of us who have received the Holy Spirit, fight the good fight of faith so that we may lay hold on eternal life. Let those who have not yet received the Holy Spirit know the importance of serving Christ. As you seek Him, call on His name in prayer. Get some quality time and meditate on Him and on His goodness.

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More About The Kingdom

When Jesus was on Earth, He preached that God’s kingdom was at hand. But the message of the Kingdom was not a new message; it had been spoken of by the prophets for ages, even from the early times of the Old Testament writings. This was an on-going promise expressing God’s good intentions for the future of His people.

The prophets spoke many things about the future kingdom. Here in the book of Daniel is a very clear promise.

Daniel 7:13 & 14
7:13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, [one] like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
7:14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion [is] an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom [that] which shall not be destroyed.

And look at this promise in Isaiah:

Isaiah 9:6&7 .
9:6 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, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
9:7 Of the increase of [his] government and peace [there shall be] no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

Also: Psalm 2
2:1 Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
2:2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, [saying], [God’s Anointed is Messiah, referred to in English as Christ.]
2:3 Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. [This means that the world was rejecting God’s Rule that He was extending to Earth through Christ. This is why they killed the Son].
2:4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.
2:5 Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.
2:6 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.
2:7 I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou [art] my Son; this day have I begotten thee.
2:8 Ask of me, and I shall give [thee] the heathen [for] thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for] thy possession.
[The Heathen are the Gentiles or the non-Hebrew nations.]
2:9 Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.
2:10 Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth.
2:11 Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
2:12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish [from] the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed [are] all they that put their trust in him.

And: Daniel 7:27
7:27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom [is] an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.

When Jesus Christ was born on Earth, this was the beginning of God’s kingdom on Earth in-as-much-as Jesus Christ, the Son of God is the King.

The kingdom of God came in its next phase in Acts chapter two. This is when the believers in Jesus Christ were born of water Acts 2:38 and of the Spirit Acts 2:4. Remember John 3:5, where Jesus said that one must be born of water and of the Spirit to enter God’s kingdom John 3:5; God fulfilled these conditions in His people.

The next phase of the kingdom of God will come about at the return of Christ. Then the Kingdom will be globally manifest.

II Timothy 4:1
4:1 I charge [thee] therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

There are many promises of the kingdom in the Old Testament. These promises related to the future. They will all be fulfilled in the time of the New Testament.

Jesus was born to be King.
Luke 1:30
1:30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
1:31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
1:32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
1:33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

This was also shown in Isaiah 9:6 and 7.
9:6 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, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
9:7 Of the increase of [his] government and peace [there shall be] no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

Jesus made promises concerning the kingdom as He preached and taught the people:

Luke 6:20
6:20 And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed [be ye] poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.

Luke 12:31
12:31 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Luke 13:28 and 29
13:28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye
shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets,
in the kingdom of God, and you [yourselves] thrust out.
13:29 And they shall come from the east, and [from] the west,
and from the north, and [from] the south, and shall sit down in
the kingdom of God.

Luke 16:16
16:16 The law and the prophets [were] until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.

Luke 22:29
22:29 And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me;

John 3:5.
3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

Acts 1:1-3
1:1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,
1:2 Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:
1:3 To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:

Luke 12:32
12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Read Revelation chapter eleven, paying close attention to verse fifteen.

The kingdom of God is the future hope of His people.

To Serve Him

To Serve Him

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service. Romans 12:1 KJV

We Are All Called to Spiritual Service (He extends his will through us).The will of the Father is extended through the Son/Messiah. The will of Messiah is extended through His church (Called-Out Assembly). Ultimately, the will of the Father is extended in all of His Assembly over all of the Earth through Christ.

Let us deliberately start seeking to submit to the will of the Son the Christ today. And how do we do this? Well, first you learn to do what He commands you in His written word. Then you learn to be led by His Spirit. Initially, you submit to His Spirit at the initial infilling of the Holy Spirit (Please see Kingdom Gospel Salvation). Then you pay attention to the prompting of the Holy Spirit and respond obediently to His promptings. Worship service is a good place to begin to learn this, although you can learn this anywhere. During worship service, the Spirit of God comes upon us. If we would yield and submit, He would take us farther.

We have a problem in our churches that keeps this from happening. This problem mainly stems from our types of liturgies which we have inherited from the outside churches. This is a liturgy of control that turns the worshippers into an audience. The pulpit becomes a stage. The laity becomes spectators. Then there are rules and norms as to how this audience is allowed to behave. In fact, the actions of this audience are, for the most part, dictated from the pulpit, either directly or through those deputized by the pulpit to direct the audience. The outside churches, from whom we inherited these habits, do not have a need for the Spirit of God to influence and guide their laity in worship; they already have well-honed programs. They add excitement to their programs with choreographed activities or presentations. A church of atheists could do equally as well. They look good! And if you are in the flesh, you are none the wiser. You want to go back; you want to be a part of it; you want to be entertained again. Techniques, techniques are what they use to fill up the churches. Techniques can be used to build mega-churches. Pastors learn from the builders of mega-churches. They buy books from them and learn from their ways from those books. But there is a Book that they are not learning from when it comes to the New Testament way of worshipping; as it is written: John 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 4:24 God [is] a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship [him] in spirit and in truth.

We know that music in our worship gatherings is a good thing; it is one of the elements mentioned in I Corinthians 14:26, but we have let it become a crutch in the absence of the other things mentioned in this verse. The gospel music industry provides a lot of filler for worship services. Filler is needed only because the move of Christ is absent. This void is made by us. We also have worship music icons, whose music we use to fill out our worship services. This becomes a crutch that we depend on instead of letting Christ come in and be the Head in our services. Some of this music is misleading—shaping our view of God. Take for instance how black gospel music commonly portrays Him as a santa claus God and a lawyer in a court room and a doctor in a sick room, “Call Him up and tell Him what you want”. Thus they fail to portray Him as Lord, the One we are all required to submit ourselves to. How many would be offended if someone was to suggest they find out what He wants. It’s like, obedience is not necessary, “just believe”. If you want something, just believe. Pay attention to your experience; God is not a santa claus God. I know, I know, if you keep believing and don’t doubt, “you are gonna get what you are asking for”. What if He does give you what you are asking for? Is that going to convince you that you do not have to obey Him? What if He doesn’t give you what you ask for? He is not a santa claus God! Are you going to give Him what He requires of you?

He is the one to be served. Let us endeavor to serve Him. “Well done, [thou] good and faithful servant”. Does that ring a bell? Let us appreciate His lordship and magnify it by deliberately serving Him—by deliberately submitting to Him. Let us present our bodies a holy, acceptable, living sacrifice. Such a sacrifice can be of use to Him as opposed to a slain sacrifice as in the Old Testament form of worship. Christ moves in us, He acts through us. A live sacrifice is able to respond.

Let His Grace Flow through Us

Looking carefully at Romans 12, we see that God’s grace flows through His people. We see Paul being able to minister to the people according to the grace that was given to him. We see him admonishing the members of the Assembly to minister to one another according to the graced that was given to each one of them.

Romans12:3 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.

Rom 12:3 Revised Standard Version: For by the grace given to me I bid every one among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith which God has assigned him.

Rom 12:6-8 Revised Standard Version: Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; 12:7 if service, in our serving; he who teaches, in his teaching; 12:8 he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who contributes, in liberality; he who gives aid, with zeal; he who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

Please notice that this is one of the most important ways that grace is supposed to work in the church (more rather, the Called-Out Assembly). These things are needed in the Assembly and must to be done according to the grace that has been given to us. This is important, therefore I stress unto you, they must be done.

God’s grace helps us: Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

God’s grace produces good works in us: Ephesians 2:8-10. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

It is also true, that by His grace, He gives the gifts revealed in I Corinthians chapters12 through 14. If you will pay attention to Romans 12, you can see that God enables us by His grace (that is to say that by His grace He makes it possible for us to do certain things); by His grace He enabled Paul to admonish the people and to encourage them in the right direction: verse 3: For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you…

Also, going back to Romans 12, we can see that the people of God were able to serve one another by God’s grace: Rom 12:6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; Rom 12:7 if service…

Let us look now at I Corinthians 12 starting at verse 7. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 12: 8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 12:9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 12:10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another [divers] kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: 12:11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

These gifts are all through His grace and what do they do? They teach us; they help us; they enable us. They are given to each for the profit of all. Thank God for His gifts, which He has given to us by His grace.

I Peter 5:5 …………………… for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Therefore, what might evidently be happening in so many cases where churches are lacking these signs of grace? For one thing they feel sufficient with how they are able to carry-on relying on their own abilities. They have programs that work like well-oiled machines and they polish their programs. They look good in the eyes of their neighbors. Their laity boasts of their programs. Visitors like their programs. Chest thumping is hard to resist; so humility must be feigned. And they are good at feigning.

Although always boasting of, “saved by grace”, these churches have lost the meaning of grace. (Is it politically incorrect to tell the truth about things)? These churches need grace but grace is given to the humble. They want prophecy; they get fake prophecy; I know this by my burnt experiences. I can see other people, even masses of people, getting set up to be burned by those who are deceived, themselves, or by people charismatically equipped to skillfully deceive.

We all need to humble ourselves and receive what God desires to give to His people. The alcoholic has to first admit that he is an alcoholic before he will seek help. We need help—grace to help in times of need. These gifts are given by God by His grace. Popular churches have spurned them, saying that they were only for the early church. Men, who insist on professing that, should get a day job and stop exploiting the assemblies of the people of God.

We need to profit from the gifts He has ordained that each one of should have for the profit of all. We are a body. Every single member is to receive gifts from God to work on behalf of the body. And being in the body, we are to benefit from what each member supplies.

I Corithians12:31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet show I unto you a more excellent way.

We are supposed to be earnestly desiring something; we are not to consider ourselves as having even almost arrived, but rather, we are to go to God and aspire for things beyond our natural abilities. God has more and more that He desires to give us. This is characteristic of grace. He wants to give things to us through one another; therefore, out of love for our brethren, we are to go to God to receive these things; are not these things that He gives us “for the profit of all”? See I Corinthians 12:7 World English Bible. In order for Him to strengthen and build up the whole body through each of us, we must be vessels through whom He works.

This is aimed at holiness assemblies—assemblies of people endeavoring to present themselves acceptable to God. The people must dare go to God desiring these things. He is telling you to covet or desire the “best” gifts. He wants you to be earnest about it. He wants you to want them; He wants you to go after them. These things are more important than the things we commonly desire to fill our church services with. They are a clear New Testament injunction; Paul charges us to go after these things in I Cor. 12:31.

A living sacrifice is live, able to respond to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Not as much can be said about a dead sacrifice. Will you come alive in the things of the Spirit? Will you let Christ move through you? What is the understanding? When it comes to spiritual service, is it proper that only through a designated individual are these things supposed to happen, while everybody else serves as an audience? Is Christ in you; can He move in you? The body is not one member. I Cor. 12:14 For the body is not one member, but many.

Are you free to pursue things outside of your present practices and the present ways of doing things? I know some pastors try to get the congregations to go after these things, to break from the dead norm and seek to do things in a more biblical way, to learn to respond to Christ inside of them. They have an understanding that these things are needed in the midst of God’s people. If you are not in the presence of such understanding, do you always have to be headed by an elder in order to do anything in response to God? I dare ask, do your elders know to obey these scriptures, themselves? Do they know to teach you to do the same? If they do, I would urge you to bring this matter up to them, that there will be assemblies around the country and around the world that come to understandings in these matters and learn and experience actual spiritual service. I am calling to and admonishing men everywhere to let spiritual service be the norm.

There are a lot of things I can say about church reality but I won’t get into them now. I could write a book about such things, but right now, that would distract from the vital subject we are dealing with. Maybe some of you out there can write books about those things, but let us at this time, rather focus on the positive—this positive direction we are trying to go in. The Bible is not just for reading, it is for doing the things we read about in its pages. Find your freedom in Christ to do these things. Band together and do this. Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

I have tried to point out, that in the modern style of church gatherings, people are not given opportunity to freely present themselves to be used by Christ in spiritual service; the programming of things, the choreographing and orchestrating of things, do not leave space for Christ to do His will though the individual members of an assembly during the times of institutionally condoned gatherings. Excuse me for the term I am about to use here: Man-nipulation does not leave people free to properly serve Christ. You can, and actually do, make your church services dry and starchy through man-nipulation. To those of you who think church should be quiet and starchy, you have accomplished your “vision”. Fake hyper-energetic pep rally style worship services do the same thing—moving, but not moving by the Spirit. Many ministries fill their churches’ worship services with things that make them loud but leave them dead—loud but dead. The things they do, the way they worship, fills the time and space of the worship gathering. Christ does not break in on their services if they would rather enjoy what they are used to doing; He is a self-respecting gentleman; He will not take the hand of a woman who would rather keep looking the other way with her eyes and heart full of other things, even worship practices that miss the mark. The churches have their eyes on something else when He wishes to take them by the hand. These are things that they think are benign, but that are standing in the way between them and Christ.

Is the laity forbidden to seek to gather together in His name outside of designated venues? Would you be scared numb over the very idea of seeking to express such freedom? If authority was on one side and Christ was on the other side, which way would you go? Acts 5:29 Then Peter and the [other] apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. Man does not have the authority to preempt the commands of Christ. Gather together and earnestly seek these gifts that God desires to give His church through Christ, Who in turn, gives them through us. Gather together in holiness, seeking to be acceptable to Him.

I Corinthians 14:1 Follow after charity, and desire spiritual [gifts], but rather that ye may prophesy.

So if you do dare to gather together, along with your elders, will you dare begin to diligently labor to learn to come together seeking what we see in this scripture?

I Corinthians 14:26 How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.

If the elders do not agree as for as allowing people to assemble and seek to obey I Corinthians 12:31 and 14:1, will your zeal be quashed, or will you step out on God’s word anyway? Be sure to continue in holiness, always seeking to be acceptable to God, presenting your bodies—living sacrifices.

It happened in Topeka Kansas in 1906; it was not an elder who first dared; it was a girl who asked her Bible school teacher to pray and lay hands on her so that she might receive the Holy Spirit as in the Bible days. We have all benefitted from this girl’s daring. We do not likely know her name; but we all know Charles Parham’s name. Elders do not always take the lead; and if they will not, somebody else must; we all must.

Will every one of you go after such things as are mentioned in the passages we have seen? Or will these things only be relegated to the veteran front-and-forward people. The Bible says, “every one of you”. Must we adjust the scriptures so as to have them NOT say, “every one of you”?

A clearer English version says, “each one of you”. It does not say, “select ones of you”. It does not say, “exclusive ones among you”.

Whereas it says, that He divides these gifts among us severally as He wills, He also attempts to let us know that we are all members of one body with each bodily member having a designated function as in the functions we see given in these chapters. We are a body and a natural body does not consist of a few dominant members with the rest of the members latently passive and serving mainly as on-lookers.

I Corinthians 14:26 World English Bible

What is it then, brothers? When you come together, each one of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has another language, has an interpretation. Let all things be done to build each other up.

These are things God has for each one of us. Out of love for our brothers and sisters, we are to desire these things from Him so that we can build one another up through gifts He gives us by His grace.

Where will our conformity be—with the Scriptures or with our habitual ways of doing things. Which has more weight with your faith—the Scriptures or your way of doing things? The Scriptures say you should earnestly desire these things. Your habitual ways say you should just glance over such scripture passages, or maybe just let it be part of a Sunday School discussion and a day later, out of sight, out of mind.

I admonish the assemblies; make room in the times you come together and focus on seeking God for the things He wants to give to you all. Do not let us just keep seeking our own old ways of doing things.

Romans 12:1 World English Bible:

Therefore I urge you, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service.

This is not a worldly church. He does not want us (the individuals among us) to limit ourselves to natural abilities, but to all be used in spiritual service. John1:16 And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. Please come to understand what grace actual is; that attribute of God, out of which through His own kindness, He gives us the things that pertain to our salvation and completeness.

May the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ bless every one of you, whoever receives this in good faith. Amen.

How Does the Bible Define Heaven?

How does the Bible define, heaven?
FOCUS ON PREACHING THE KINGDOM. Let us honestly and clearly PREACH THE KINGDOM OF GOD. The preaching of Heaven has shut out our ability to perceive God’s actual promise: II Peter 1:11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The promise of the Kingdom is consistent throughout the Bible.

Can you HONESTY tell me something biblical about what Heaven is like? Please pray about this question and wait before God before trying to answer. You can easily find biblical information about the Kingdom. The preaching of Heaven was not handed down to us by the apostles.

I believe that there are no Biblical examples of anyone preaching Heaven. As they preached to the crowds they did not preach Heaven, but rather, the Kingdom of God. When they write about Heaven, they are not preaching or proclaiming it, and the heaven they write about is not the Heaven preached in the churches. The apostles preached the Kingdom of God throughout the Book of Acts to the very last chapter and to the very last verse. Not once did they preach Heaven.

In my recent experience in telling people that neither the apostles nor Jesus preached, Heaven, it has seemed to me that some do not realize what I mean when I say, “preach”. They seem to think that mentioning the word, heaven is the same as preaching, Heaven. To preach means, to proclaim; it means to announce. Also, as the apostles preached, they declared, which means, to make clear. Therefore I still say that, in the Bible, neither Jesus, nor His apostles preach, Heaven; they do not proclaim it.

I believe that the preaching of the Kingdom of God is the preaching of the gospel. This is indeed how Jesus preached the gospel:

MARK 1:14 and 15
Now after that John was put in prison Jesus came into Galilee preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God 1:15 And saying “The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye and believe the gospel”.

According to the Bible, those words in Mark 1:15, are the gospel. During His earthly ministry Jesus preached the gospel in many cities by preaching the Kingdom of God.

We believe that when the child, Jesus was born, that He was also the Christ (more accurately, the Messiah). The meaning of His name should be taken to heart; His name, Jesus, means that He is the Savior. His name, Christ, means that He is King.

The word, heaven does not mean the same thing to everybody. To most people, it does not mean the same thing that it means in the Bible. We actually mostly define heaven in an unbiblical way.

The Heaven That God Never Mentioned
How do you define Heaven? Take time to write your definition.

Human opinions about Heaven
I have shown in parenthesis whether or not these are correct.

from Wordnet
• Eden: any place of complete bliss and delight and peace (erroneous)
• the abode of God and the angels (this is one biblical definition)

the Wikipedia wiktionary.
1. The sky (correct)
2. (Theology) The paradise of the afterlife in certain religions. (This would include paganism and later on, Gentile Christianity)
“Mommy’s gone to heaven to be with God.”

From the Theological Dictionary
Heaven: The abode of God and the blest Spirits; the dwelling place or state of existence of the righteous souls after their life on earth. (This skirts the promise of the Kingdom of God and gets them to Heaven before the resurrection. In the gospel there is no preaching of a “dwelling place or state of existence of souls”.)

The above definitions reflect the general mindset about Heaven, and they are not all soundly biblical. We must purge ourselves of what is not sound so that our faith can be in God’s words only.

The Heaven/s Mentioned by God
God gives us the most basic definition of heaven in the beginning of the Bible.
Genesis 1:6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
1:7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which [were] under the firmament from the waters which [were] above the firmament: and it was so.
1:8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

The firmament was heaven. It divided the waters from the waters. A SPATIAL EXPANSE IS THE DEFINITION OF THE WORD, HEAVEN. Genesis 1:6-8 Young’s Literal Translation And God saith, ’Let an expanse be in the midst of the waters, and let it be separating between waters and waters.’ 7 And God maketh the expanse, and it separateth between the waters which [are] under the expanse, and the waters which are above the expanse: and it was so. 8 And God calleth to the expanse ‘Heavens;’ and there is an evening, and there is a morning—day second.

It is not this dream city that everybody is talking about. See the article entitled, A City Called Heaven.
In Genesis chapter one it is also important that we gather the distinctions between heaven and earth and seas because in popular mindset, people get heaven and land confused, fused and interfused.

Let us look at the basic substances of heaven, and of land, and of seas.
Heaven is the space that separated the waters; therefore it is easily understood when we refer to the atmosphere as heaven. The birds fly in this heaven:
Genesis 1:20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl [that] may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

Neither is it difficult to understand when we refer to the space above the atmosphere as heaven.
Genesis 1:14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
Genesis 15:5 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.
Genesis 22:17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which [is] upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;

Thus, by Bible definition the air space surrounding the earth is heaven, and the space above the atmosphere is heaven. God is spirit. He is everywhere-present; He occupies all of the space in the universe. He is not localized in some confined space as in man’s imagination.
I Kings 8:27 But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?

There is also the third heaven:
II Corinthians 12
2:1 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. 12:3 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) 12:4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
God does not give us details concerning the third heaven. Moreover, we should not take license upon ourselves and make up our own details. Neither does He tell us that this is a “dwelling place or state of existence souls” of men. Neither does He tell us that this is a city.

Land/Earth and Seas:
Genesis 1:9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry [land] appear: and it was so. 1:10 And God called the dry [land] Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that [it was] good.

Look at the nature of dry land. It is solid matter. On the other hand seas are water. Seas are liquid matter. And heavens are space (whether aerial which is gaseous matter, or celestial. The celestial is the great void beyond the atmosphere. This void contains heavenly bodies). These things have been plainly shown us by the above scriptures.
In our songs and in our conversations and in preaching, heaven is erroneously spoken of as a land. This goes contrary to Bible and lines up more with pagan assumptions. Air can be heaven; space can be heaven but land cannot be heaven. Heaven is not some mystical land.

There are innumerable solid bodies that our God has placed in the heavens, but the bodies are not the heavens; but rather, they are located in the heavens. The moon is a heavenly body. So are asteroids and planets and stars. The universe is immense beyond measure. God is everywhere present and the whole universe cannot contain Him. Do not try to localize God in some designated space or place. We are localized creatures. God is everywhere-present.

More Bible about heaven/s

God speaking to Israel says:
Nehemiah 1:9 But [if] ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, [yet] will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there.

Continue reading:

Amos 9:2 Though they dig into hell, thence shall mine hand take them; though they climb up to heaven, thence will I bring them down:

Psalms 115:16 The heaven, [even] the heavens, [are] the LORD’s: but the earth hath he given to the children of men.

Acts 2:34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,

John 3:13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, [even] the Son of man which is in heaven.

You might ask, “Well what about Elijah and Enoch?” That is one of God’s secrets and the theologians have not figured it out; so do not depend on them to teach you. When the time comes, we will know clearly.

The Father speaks to the Son concerning the earth:
Psalm 2:8 Ask of me, and I shall give [thee] the heathen [for] thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth [for] thy possession.

I give the setting of this scripture below for clarity:

Psalms 2:1 Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
2:2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, [saying],

2:3 Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.

2:4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.

2:5 Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.

2:6 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.

2:7 I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou [art] my Son; this day have I begotten thee.

2:8 Ask of me, and I shall give [thee] the heathen [for] thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth [for] thy possession.

Let it be known that the Son is a man; on earth He consistently referred to Himself as the Son of man. To this man is given the Earth—the uttermost parts of the Earth. So let us look again at Psalms 115:16:
The heaven, [even] the heavens, [are] the LORD’s: but the earth hath he given to the children of men.

And this promise was made to Him in Daniel:
Daniel 7:13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, [one] like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.

7:14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion [is] an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom [that] which shall not be destroyed.

This Son of man has been given Lordship
As Lord He rules over all; as Christ He is King.
Acts 2:36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

Hebrews 2:5 For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak.

2:6 But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him?

2:7 Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands:

2:8 Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing [that is] not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.

2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

Psalms 45 is quoted in Hebrews 1:8 But unto the Son [he saith], Thy throne, O God, [is] for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness [is] the sceptre of thy kingdom.

1:9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, [even] thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

This is what the gospel is about.

A City Called Heaven

A City Called, “Heaven”

Warning! Pray and hold on to your seat.

City called Heaven? I cannot say that there is no city called, Heaven, but I have to admit that there is no city that the Bible calls, Heaven. There is a city that the Bible calls, New Jerusalem. Going outside of scripture, people call it, “Heaven”.  Put your tradition aside and don’t change the city’s name; let it be what God names it, New Jerusalem. How did you figure out that it was named, Heaven? Think about where you are coming from.  It is not heresy to call the city by her actual name.

Be honest before we go any farther. Heaven is heaven and New Jerusalem is New Jerusalem; let us not call them both the same thing.

I posted some of this on Facebook and someone, evidently not getting what I had written, posted this reference to a verse in response: “Abraham looked for a city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. ~Hebrews 11:10. I never said that there was no city; I had posted that people are going outside of the Bible and changing the name of that city. They give the city a name that God did not give it. They call it, Heaven. I admonished them to always call the city by her actual name. Still there was a debate, but not with the same person. Someone thought that Jesus was preaching Heaven when He preached the kingdom of the heavens. (See the post entitled, The Reign of the Heavens). Someone seemed to think that to mention the word, heaven, is to preach, Heaven. I was informed that Jesus referred to the word, heaven, more than 40 times as being an actual place. How did they go so far off from what I had posted? I was not trying to argue that, heaven or the heavens or Heaven was not an actual place. I was just admonishing the people to stop renaming New Jerusalem. Let New Jerusalem be New Jerusalem; God did not tell you to rename it.

So you want to preach, Heaven instead of the Kingdom. You can find a lot of things in the Bible about the Kingdom being promised. You cannot find anything in the Bible about Heaven being promised. But also, you cannot find any picturesque descriptions of Heaven in the Bible; nevertheless, you still want to preach Heaven instead of the Kingdom. So you decide to steal. You steal the picturesque descriptions of New Jerusalem and tell the people that this is Heaven. How dare you! No, you didn’t steal it. Somebody else stole it and gave it to you. You are holding on to it and possession is nine points of the law.

So for your sermons and for your church doctrines, you need to be able to impress people concerning Heaven. The only way you can do this is by adding to the Scriptures. Something was stolen and given to you. It is too precious for you to give it up; you dare not come out and be honest and tell people the truth. The truth is that the apostles preached the kingdom of God throughout the book of Acts, to the very last chapter and to the very last verse. They did not once preach Heaven.

The truth is, if you want to preach Heaven instead of the Kingdom, you are on your own. You will not be able to impress your congregations unless you embellish what the Bible says about heaven. Heck, why don’t I steal the whole city and rename it, Heaven? Well, people did that and now there is a city called, Heaven. New Jerusalem is now called, Heaven, by man of course. She is not called that by God.

Now what if you never tricked people into thinking that New Jerusalem was, Heaven, how would you keep people in your churches? You would have no other picturesque descriptions to give them. You could not say, “Heaven has streets of gold”. You could not say, “Heaven has gates of pearl”. So you’ve got a problem.

Your problem can be easily solved; go back to the old landmark; do as the apostles did; preach the Kingdom as the hope and expectation of God’s people. Will your bishops and district elders and prelates and other higher ups boot you out of the organization for preaching the gospel of the kingdom? I hope they wouldn’t do that. Some of the people that Jesus taught got booted out of the synagogues. Getting booted out did not hurt them, because they went with Jesus.

What is the gospel of the kingdom? Will you believe this?   Mark 1:14  Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 1:15  And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. 

The gospel was news. Jesus was announcing that the kingdom of God was at hand. He was telling the people to repent and believe it.

Before His death, Jesus preached the gospel of the Kingdom. Now notice here, before He dies He preaches a gospel. In His preaching, He does not include His death, burial and resurrection, but it is still the gospel. So here is the biblical definition of the gospel and it is defined independently of His death, burial and resurrection; it is the news of the kingdom. We must all learn what the gospel is; it is the news of the kingdom. After Jesus has died, we do indeed include the news of His death, burial and resurrection in the preaching of the gospel. But if you leave out proclaiming the Kingdom, you have left out the gospel from your preaching. If you preach His death, burial and resurrection and proclaim Heaven instead of the Kingdom, you are going overboard with taking license upon yourself; you are not following Bible command or Bible precedence.

Get with the Bible and throw out the stuff the theologians have taught you, read up on the things concerning the Kingdom and this time let God teach you. Some things come by revelation from God and even the theologians do not get those things; some of the theologians did not have the Spirit of God.

The reason I wrote this is to admonish people to return to preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God. It is not heresy to preach the original, Bible gospel.

 

Assignment to pastors:

Put together a committee and divide it into two groups. Have one group find and list all the scriptures in the Bible that contain the word, heaven. Have the other group to find and list all of the scriptures that contain the word, kingdom. Now, study to find which list is more conducive to preaching the gospel. If you do this without sincere prayer, it doesn’t count.

 

Also, anybody can do this.

The Reign of the Heavens

The Reign of the Heavens in PowerPoint. Please click to view.

How can this be possible? is a PowerPoint. Click here to view.

It is the Reign of the Heavens

To preach the Kingdom of the heavens* is not to preach a city called Heaven.

If I try to teach English speaking people that Jesus never preached Heaven, I might run into some difficulty because in Matthew we see these words: “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”. (Matthew 4:17)  If you speak Spanish, read this verse in the Santa Biblia, Reina-Valera 1909 to see that the English versions mostly differ in translating this.

The phrase, kingdom of heaven is only found in Matthew (never in the Santa Biblia, Reina-Valera 1909). And people, who are unaware that in most English Bibles, this phrase is an incomplete translation, are sometimes tempted to say that Jesus is preaching Heaven, here.  But He is actually preaching the kingdom. It would help if they knew that the phrase should really be translated, the kingdom of the heavens, or the reign of the heavens.

There is no other book in the entire Bible to which people can go and mistakenly think that Jesus is preaching Heaven. This is because there is no other book with the phrase, “kingdom of heaven”.

In what is called Christendom, “Heaven” means one thing and “the heavens” means something else. In popular culture, Heaven is a city with streets of gold and pearly gates. On the other hand, the heavens are the celestial realm.

The purpose of the following is to confirm that the phrase should rightly be translated, the kingdom of the heavens or the reign of the heavens.

KJV:

Matthew 3:1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,

3:2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

-

Greek:

Mt 3:2 ——————————————————————————————————–

————————————————————————————————————

I ask your forgiveness, since I am not able to write the Greek text in such a form that will post, so I ask those of you who are able, to please study this same passage in Greek text that you can find available. I intend to shortly make a PowerPoint available that will contain this subject, along with the Greek text that I cannot directly post.

  

Scofield commentary notes 1917

(1) The phrase, kingdom of heaven (lit. of the heavens), is peculiar to Matthew and signifies the Messianic earth rule of Jesus Christ, the Son of David. It is called the kingdom of the heavens because it is the rule of the heavens over the earth, Matthew 6:10. 

Young’s Literal Translation:

Mt 3:1 And in those days cometh John the Baptist, proclaiming in the wilderness of Judea,

Mt 3:2 and saying, `Reform, for come nigh hath the reign of the heavens,`

-

Santa Biblia, Reina Valera 1909:

Mt 3:1 Y EN aquellos días vino Juan el Bautista predicando en el desierto de Judea,

Mt 3:2 Y diciendo: Arrepentíos, que el reino de los cielos se ha acercado.

-

Santa Biblia, Reina Velera 1909 Matthew 3:2:

Y

diciendo:

Arrepentíos

que

El

reino

de

los

cielos

se

ha

acercado.

         

reign

of

the

heavens

     

So you see, it does not say, “Heaven”; it says, “the heavens”.

In Spanish Bibles, this is plain (although not necessarily clear of weaker translations). However this is not plain to most English-only people, because as a rule English translators fail to completely translate the phrase.

All of the above was done in order to show that it is not Heaven (as in a city called Heaven, or just plain, Heaven) that Jesus is preaching. He is preaching the kingdom or reign of the heavens. We would have to add in our own traditional preferences (as co-scriptures) in order to continue to allege that Jesus preached, Heaven.  

Getting back to English, please let us observe that even in the imperfect English translations He does not say, repent for the kingdom—Heaven is at hand; but rather,  “for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Excuse the faulty translation). The long dash (—) between kingdom and Heaven would, in that case, indicate that the kingdom and Heaven are one and the same. But it was not expressed in that way. In reality, the kingdom is the kingdom and the heavens are the heavens. So therefore, it is the reign of the heavens that we are looking forward to.

 

Kingdom Gospel Salvation

In the Bible you will find that Jesus preached the gospel of the kingdom of God and you may wonder, what was that all about; but you only have to look at the first chapter of Mark to see that this is truly what He did.

Mark 1:14 KJV
1:14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 1:15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

This is Jesus, Himself preaching the gospel and the first and only gospel that was preached in the New Testament was indeed the gospel of the Kingdom. The true hope and expectation of the believers in Christ is the future appearance of God’s kingdom. Jesus spent His entire ministry, not preaching that people should expect Heaven, but rather the promised Kingdom. Today it is more chic to preach Heaven than it is to preach the Kingdom. But the apostles preached the Kingdom of God throughout the book of Acts, to the very last chapter and to the very last verse. They did not once preach Heaven; they were never ordered by Jesus to preach Heaven, so why would they? Therefore if we preach the gospel, we also will not preach Heaven, but rather, the Kingdom of God.

People who heard the gospel and believed it, wanted to know how to enter into this kingdom. Jesus showed us how to enter when He spoke of these things to a member of the Sanhedrin, named Nicodemus in John chapter 3.

Here is Jesus telling us, not what is necessary to enter Heaven, but rather, what is necessary to enter the Kingdom.

John 3 KJV
1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
3:2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
3:4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

You might ask me, well, aren’t the Kingdom and Heaven one and the same thing? Truth be told, we cannot say that they are the same if we go by the Bible. At the time of Jesus, the people of God did not have Heaven listed as a hope or an expectation. You cannot compare Heaven and the Kingdom, because the Bible does not indicate that they are similar. This might confuse a lot of people, but only because of how most of us have been indoctrinated. Heaven and the Kingdom are different. One important difference between Heaven and the Kingdom is, the Kingdom was preached and Heaven was not preached.

The Bible tells us that there is one hope of our calling, Ephesians chapter 4, verse 4, and not that the Jews are to look forward to the Kingdom and the Gentiles are to look forward to Heaven. Later on in this article, I will present you with a number of scriptures pertaining to the promise of the Kingdom and I challenge anyone and everyone to give one scripture where Heaven is preached. I invite anyone, who comes to realize how true this is, to spend some real quality time before God in prayer. I even ask for calls to corporate prayer.

Seeing this to be true, where do we go from here?
The Kingdom is the true hope and promise; in order to enter God’s kingdom it is necessary for a person to be born of water and of the Spirit. Although there is a lot of confusion over how to be saved, we must not disbelieve the words of Jesus; but rather, our faith must be in the words of Jesus.

Let us pause and be prayerful about this also, so that we may be delivered from the doctrinal argruments that have risen against this.

Now that you see what Jesus said, trust that His knowledge is far superior to the knowledge of all the trusted theologians and ministers, or even all other men who have ever walked the earth. Let us accept His words and stand on them. He tells us that one must be born of water and of the Spirit.

It is necessary for us to know what it means to be born of water and of the Spirit? The Bible does not leave this to guessing. You will know from scriptures, that being baptized in the name of Jesus Christ (that is being submerged under water in His name) is being born of water. This is for the remission of our sins as the Scriptures do indeed tell us in Acts.

Acts 2:38 KJV
2:38 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.

This should come after hearing and believing the true gospel message and repenting by placing ourselves in our rightful place, under the authority and rule of our Lord. And who is Lord? Acts: 2:36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Jesus Christ is Lord. But I do not think I had to tell most of you that.

The people hearing this, realized they needed to do something; 2:37 Now when they heard [this], they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men [and] brethren, what shall we do? They were not seeking a do-nothing easy-believism salvation.

The word, lord means, ruler. God has sent Jesus to be our Ruler and King (the title, Christ, refers to the fact that he is King). He shall rule over all in the future. To be accepted by Him in the future, we must find our place under His ruler-ship now; that is what repentance is.

When we have done this, we must be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of our sins (that is why He died in our place; it is so that those baptized in His name will benefit through His death, which was a death in our place to cover our sins. This is how we escape our punishment for the sins we have done): According to Acts 2:38, this is for the remission of our sins. Your sins will be washed away, even the very guilt burden of those sins. This is what it means to be born of water.

Repentance Further Clarified
When you repent, you cease to do evil and learn to do good. Take a look at Isaiah chapter 1 Modern KJV:

1:16 “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil,
1:17 Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow.

You submit to Christ and do this; God will look on you and examine your heart and see if you have truly come into submission to His Son with an attitude of obedience and reverence.

God gives His Holy Spirit to people who will obey Him, Acts 5:32. After we have received His Spirit, we can be led by His Spirit in the path that pleases Him.

Romans 8:13 and 14
8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

The good works in the lives of God’s people come from Him; this is grace. Grace is actually more than most people have come to believe and have been taught.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

When you reject the good works you are rejecting the grace. Although our salvation is not of works, the same God Who gives salvation in Christ also gives the good works with the salvation. He did not mean for us to try to separate the two.

God judges whether or not to give a person the gift of the Holy Spirit. When your heart is right, then He will do it. You will know it and the believers around you will know it because God has given us a sign to go by. You will speak in another tongue or language under the influence and guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 10:45 and 46
10:45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. [Holy Ghost is Holy Spirit.]
10:46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God.

This will be the sign by which you will know that you have been born of the Spirit:

Acts 2:4
2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. [Holy Ghost is Old English for Holy Spirit.]

When we are born of water and of the Spirit, we are not born mature. Let us accept and appreciate the fact that God still has more for us.

There are cases where God rewards believers without seeing or before seeing them demonstrate works of obedience. This is nothing to be baffled about. It’s all in the nature of faith. Faith that brings about obedience is what God rewards. And true faith does this. He sees true faith and recognizes it before the person has had opportunity or occasion to respond with an outward action of obedience. When the faith in God’s word is genuine, it will by its very nature, bring about obedience to God. So, if what God sees, is that type of faith then He knows that it is good as gold. He trusts it because He knows what it will do. He knows if a person’s faith is genuine, even if the person does not know. If He’s got people with genuine faith, He knows that He can get obedience out of thosew people. The faith is real before the obedience happens. He doesn’t have to wait to see if that person will obey Him. Seeing this faith in them, He can do as He pleases and give them what they desire of Him. It would seem to us that people are receiving the Holy Spirit up front. If these are people who will obey Him, God clearly sees this.

He can also grant things to people He knows will not obey Him. Do not be slack because you know God is good. You will lose out in the end, because Christ will reward men according to their works.

Those who receive the Holy Spirit speaking in tongues must continue and learn obedience. Let us be aware that even if we speak in tongues, that this is just the beginning. Having received the Holy Spirit of God, we must follow on and learn to be led by His Spirit. Do not let your initial speaking in tongues be a start that does not go anywhere.

People receive the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues before they show obedience. This does not mean that they have received irreversible salvation. In the end we will be judged according to our works. Let those of us who have received the Holy Spirit, fight the good fight of faith so that we may lay hold on eternal life. Let those who have not yet received the Holy Spirit know the importance of serving Christ. As you seek Him, call on His name in prayer. Get some quality time and meditate on Him and on His goodness.

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More About The Kingdom

When Jesus was on Earth, He preached that God’s kingdom was at hand. But the message of the Kingdom was not a new message; it had been spoken of by the prophets for ages, even from the early times of the Old Testament writings. This was an on-going promise expressing God’s good intentions for the future of His people.

The prophets spoke many things about the future kingdom. Here in the book of Daniel is a very clear promise.

Daniel 7:13 & 14
7:13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, [one] like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
7:14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion [is] an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom [that] which shall not be destroyed.

And look at this promise in Isaiah:

Isaiah 9:6&7 .
9:6 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, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
9:7 Of the increase of [his] government and peace [there shall be] no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

Also: Psalm 2
2:1 Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
2:2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, [saying], [God’s Anointed is Messiah, referred to in English as Christ.]
2:3 Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. [This means that the world was rejecting God’s Rule that He was extending to Earth through Christ. This is why they killed the Son].
2:4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.
2:5 Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.
2:6 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.
2:7 I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou [art] my Son; this day have I begotten thee.
2:8 Ask of me, and I shall give [thee] the heathen [for] thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for] thy possession.
[The Heathen are the Gentiles or the non-Hebrew nations.]
2:9 Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.
2:10 Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth.
2:11 Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
2:12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish [from] the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed [are] all they that put their trust in him.

And: Daniel 7:27
7:27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom [is] an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.

When Jesus Christ was born on Earth, this was the beginning of God’s kingdom on Earth in-as-much-as Jesus Christ, the Son of God is the King.

The kingdom of God came in its next phase in Acts chapter two. This is when the believers in Jesus Christ were born of water Acts 2:38 and of the Spirit Acts 2:4. Remember John 3:5, where Jesus said that one must be born of water and of the Spirit to enter God’s kingdom John 3:5; God fulfilled these conditions in His people.

The next phase of the kingdom of God will come about at the return of Christ. Then the Kingdom will be globally manifest.

II Timothy 4:1
4:1 I charge [thee] therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

There are many promises of the kingdom in the Old Testament. These promises related to the future. They will all be fulfilled in the time of the New Testament.

Jesus was born to be King.
Luke 1:30
1:30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
1:31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
1:32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
1:33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

This was also shown in Isaiah 9:6 and 7.
9:6 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, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
9:7 Of the increase of [his] government and peace [there shall be] no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

Jesus made promises concerning the kingdom as He preached and taught the people:

Luke 6:20
6:20 And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed [be ye] poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.

Luke 12:31
12:31 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Luke 13:28 and 29
13:28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye
shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets,
in the kingdom of God, and you [yourselves] thrust out.
13:29 And they shall come from the east, and [from] the west,
and from the north, and [from] the south, and shall sit down in
the kingdom of God.

Luke 16:16
16:16 The law and the prophets [were] until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.

Luke 22:29
22:29 And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me;

John 3:5.
3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

Acts 1:1-3
1:1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,
1:2 Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:
1:3 To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:

Luke 12:32
12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Read Revelation chapter eleven, paying close attention to verse fifteen.

The kingdom of God is the future hope of His people.

Substantial Repentance

Click here to view Substantial Repentance in PowerPoint

Substantial Repentance
16 “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil,
17 Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow.
from Isaiah 1 Modern KJV

Substance the American Heritage College Dictionary definition:
1. a. that which has mass and occupies space; matter.
5. Material possessions; goods; wealth.

The purpose of this lesson is point out the fact that repentance is more than quitting; it is doing.
Such righteousness not only needs to be taught; it must be learned through practice.

The first teaching on repentance in the New Testament
John the Baptist preached for the people to repent for the kingdom of the heavens was at hand. He warned them that the ax was already laid at the roots of the trees and that every tree that did not bring forth good fruit was going to be cut down and thrown into the fire. He warned them not to have confidence in their religious heritage for a sense of security. When they wanted to know what to therefore do, he started by teaching them a Repentance that involved Substance and not just turning away from stuff. Luke 3:7-11

Carefully and prayerfully read through the following verses. He taught them to start sharing their substance.

Luke Chapter 3
7 Then he said to the multitudes that came out to be baptized by him, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
8 “Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones.
9 “And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.“
10 So the people asked him, saying, “What shall we do then?“
11 He answered and said to them, “He who has two tunics, let him give to him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise.“
Luke 3:7-11 MKJV

Repenting By Beginning to Do Good
There is more to his teaching of repentance, as you will see if you read beyond verse 11, but I want to turn your focus to the first thing that he brought up in teaching them repentance, which is material sharing; that is the sharing of ones actual substance.
This is repentance not just in word and not just in tongue. You see this in verse 11. In God’s eyes this is good. It pleases Him when we share as John the Baptist commanded the people to do.

It’s not just quitting
The question that the people had asked John, was, “what shall we do, then?” It was not, what shall we stop doing? Today churches are full of bored people who have stopped doing things, but have not started doing what God desires that they do. True as it is, you do see from reading forward from verse 12, that he taught those who were doing wrong things to stop.

If we go forward to when the apostles preach repentance in Acts 2, we only have to keep reading to see the manifestation of substance based repentance. Selfish hording and greed were replaced with selfless sharing.

Acts 2:44 and 45
This type of repentance was understood in those days. John the Baptist and Jesus had gone before, making repentance plain. The apostles taught these things to the people for Jesus had commanded them to teach the people “to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you…” Therefore as the apostles taught the people, they did not fail to teach them substance based repentance, just as they had been taught it by Jesus.

The people “continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine…” As a result, we see the fruit of such teachings manifested early in the book of Acts. Read farther in Acts 4:32-35.

Non- substantial Repentance
There is a type of repentance that is practiced and taken for granted today. It is a repentance of just quitting things, or just leaving bad things alone. This is only half repentance. Is half repentance good enough? No. John told them to actually bring forth something, that is, fruits befitting repentance.

Repentance has two sides
When, after we have repented, we are still blind to the fact that we should share our substance with those in need when it is within our power, this might well indicate that we are caught up in the delusion of half repentance. Half repentance leads to disappointment. Our repentance is non-substantial if it does not have as its fruits the sharing of our substance. It is virtual repentance in which there is no giving of material things, except, maybe to the ministry (an admonition that is seldom neglected). People know to give to the ministry, but they do not know to share with one another.
Let us open our eyes some. While you are limiting yourself to this type of giving, where is Jesus?

From Matthew 25 KJV
25:34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35 For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed [thee]? or thirsty, and gave [thee] drink?
38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took [thee] in? or naked, and clothed [thee]?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done [it] unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done [it] unto me.
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Who was Jesus? He was the brethren who were in need.

In the book of Acts they got it right:
Acts 4:32 All the believers were of one heart and mind, and they felt that what they owned was not their own; they shared everything they had.
33 And the apostles gave powerful witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God’s great favor was upon them all.
34 There was no poverty among them, because people who owned land or houses sold them
35 and brought the money to the apostles to give to others in need.
From Acts 4, New Living Translation

The repentance of today is partial; you are living a clean life, albeit, a sterile life in that it does not involve sharing with those really in need. This is sin, as you can see without controversy when you have read the passage in Matthew given above.

What James taught in James in chapter 2, verse 15-17 is not to be casually ignored by churches:
15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food,
16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?
17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
From James 2 Modern KJV

Going back to Isaiah chapter 1, we see God telling the people to stop doing bad things and to learn to do what is good:

Isaiah 1:16 and 17
Learn? Things are not learned when they are not practiced.
Sharing where sharing is needed is a way to learn these things by practicing them. This is how we have this become a part of us.

Our actions testify of our faith and reveal our actual faith toward God and love toward our brothers and sisters. God responds to faith which works through love.

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