Gospel of the Kingdom

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth...and all was good. God the Father ruled over creation with and through His eternal Son. Then something happened, a revolt among some of the creatures God had created, a revolt with the aim to rob God of the glory due Him as the Creator, glory due Him to and through His eternal Son. For the intent of the Father was, and is, that all the universe should express and take part in His love for His Son and in like manner the Son's love for the Father. Sharing in that love, being part of that love and being held together by that love, all things would find their fullness and summation in the eternal Son of God to the glory of God the Father...that God might fill all things.

Now, man initially was not part of this revolt which took place in heaven. For he was of the earth, a lower realm, and therefore unaware. It was through angels, a higher order of beings than man, Satan being the instigator, that sin entered the universe and the kingdom of darkness came into existence. Man lived in a tender intimacy with God, God loving and caring for him in such a way that resembled one caring for a child. For man's character was innocent and there was no guilt, no sin, barring the way for fellowship between God and man. This beautiful relationship, however, was to end. For Satan took opportunity to capture man for himself when in God's care for man He commanded him to not eat of a particular tree, warning him that if he were to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil he would die. Satan knew that if man were to disobey this command he would fall into Satan's hands, man's nature being permanently altered from innocence to evil. Man would thereby join the revolt and enter the kingdom of darkness. Satan tempted man and man disobeyed God, even as Satan had hoped he would. Man betrayed his Creator, his God and companion, who loved him, and as a result of man's sin, God, by virtue of His holy nature, separated Himself from man. For God who is light can have no fellowship with darkness.

For man all seemed hopeless. He was unable to recover his innocence. He was forever guilty before God, condemned to eternal death. Yet man had in him still a vestige of the creature God had made, a creature God had made to love Him. He still had the need, the desire, to be accepted by God. Therefore, to this day, he is torn inwardly between his need to love God and his evil nature which demands love for himself in lieu of God. Yet In spite of all this God is gracious and gives man hints of a rescue, directing man to approach Him in faith, for his need of forgiveness and blessing, by means of an animal sacrifice, a blood-shedding sacrifice. On this ground God would accept their worship and give reason to them for hope. For God intended for man to learn from this, that it is through the death of an innocent creature that God would bring about their salvation, man's guilt being covered by the death of a substitute, a death in place of their own. This foreshadowed the sacrifice which would come, even the sacrifice of God's beloved Son for the salvation of the world. Still man's mind is prone to darkness and he fails to retain any understanding. In His distance from God he becomes yet more disobedient, more unrighteous, and more ignorant. Generation after generation he gropes for God in his darkened state while loving himself foremost over God. He has not eyes to see and in his seeking God he is not seeing Him but His heart is far from Him. He offers sacrifices but he offers them to the images he has made from the evil imaginations of his heart. He makes images of God in the forms of man, beasts and reptiles. He begins to worship the creation over the Creator, expressing the very nature of the revolt. The whole world becomes full of idols, lust and violence.

Nevertheless, God still loves man and desires to redeem him. So God eventually chooses one man, himself an idolater, to appear to and show favor to, for the eventual benefit of all men. This man is Abram (who later was to become Abraham). He responds to God in obedience, ridding himself of idols, believing His promises and believing in Him for salvation. From this man's descendants God will make the nation of Israel, a nation distinct from all the nations of earth, chosen to be a vehicle to bring salvation to all men and to show forth the glory of God. God gives Israel His Law so they will know what He expects of them in regards to righteousness, so they will be a testimony before the whole world. God promises them a land flowing with milk and honey, abundant harvests and wealth, and safety and health, all on the condition that they keep the Law He has given them. However, Israel was disobedient and kept not the Law, bringing God's judgment upon themselves instead of the blessings God desired for them. Even so, God still loves Israel and He will keep His promises to Abraham concerning his descendants. So, He speaks to Israel through his prophets giving Israel understanding of what he would eventually do for them. Eventually they would experience all that they were promised under the Law but it would be through a new covenant wherein the laws of God would be written on their hearts, becoming part of their nature, so that they would have peace with God. This would be in a time of great blessing, a time when a righteous king would be sent by God to rule over them, and through them the whole world. This they looked forward to as the Kingdom of God.

Then in the fullness of time God sent to earth His eternal Son whom he loved so dearly, through whom He created all things and for whom were all things created. From heaven He came to be born through a virgin of Israel... a miracle birth...a divine act. He was given the name of Jesus, meaning savior, for He was to save men from their sins. Jesus was the promised king, God's anointed, but no one knew. All supposed Him to be as any other man. God then sent a prophet, John, to proclaim the arrival of the king. Jesus was 30 years of age when John began to preach saying, "Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven has drawn near"; and when John was asked if He were the king they expected he said no but "I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord...", and "He who is coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose". Then when Jesus was made known to John he declared "...I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God". And again, speaking of Jesus he said, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. This is He of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for He was before me". All those that believed John were baptized unto the remission of sins in preparation for the coming king. However, this message John brought was not the message of the Law or the prophets but it amounted to something new. It was the gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven. This message will prove different than even those promises God had given to Israel concerning their future as a nation. What Israel had been promised were things all of which were earthly in nature, the possession of the land of Israel without foreign occupation, the abundance of harvests, long life and health, peace among the twelve tribes, and supremacy over the nations. In contrast, this gospel offered to them that believe the remission of sins; eternal life; a standing of grace before God; a heavenly portion of the coming Kingdom as priests and kings as companions of the Lord and King, a resurrection wherein one is changed from an earthly constitution to a heavenly constitution, an earthly body to a spiritual body, so that one would be equal to the angels in regards to their ability to inhabit the heavens. Indeed, this gospel is superior to even the promises given to the nation of Israel by the prophets after they had failed in keeping the Law. This gospel was a surprise to Israel who hadn't expected it. For it had been kept hidden in the heart of God from the foundation of the world to be revealed at this time when His beloved Son would be presented on earth. It should have been received with joy from all that heard it for it is indeed the greatest news that could ever be told to man. But in fact Israel as a nation did not receive it.

John introduced this gospel by preparing the way for the Lord, the King of the coming Kingdom. The King is righteous and therefore only those which repent of their sins will be prepared. So John cried, "Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand". Jesus then presented the gospel by presenting Himself in correlation with His words concerning the Kingdom. He spoke of its mysteries, its character, and its demands on its aspirants. He also demonstrated the nature of the Kingdom through signs and wonders, through miraculous healings, by raising the dead and casting out demons. All these were part of the presentation of the gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven. All worked to draw men unto Himself for it is He who embodies the Kingdom, who makes the Kingdom all that it is and will be. To know the Lord is a prerequisite to the entrance into the coming Kingdom. One must know Him inwardly as Lord now to share in the heavenly portion of the Kingdom which this gospel offered. Without a living, loving relationship with Jesus as Lord no one will inherit the Kingdom of God. So it was in this manner, in which Jesus Christ and the Kingdom are as one, that the presentation was made. However, the complete presentation of this gospel was not until Jesus had been rejected as a whole by Israel and put to death by its leaders and then raised from the dead to ascend into heaven receiving glory and honor and power at the hand of His Father. At that time the disciples of Jesus came to understand that their Lord had to die for man's sins and that by dying He had delivered all that would believe from eternal death. They understood that by His resurrection He made the way for our resurrection, and by His ascension our ascension into heaven where we shall forever have fellowship with the Father and the Son, ruling with Jesus in His Kingdom. For it was after Israel rejected Him, after his death and resurrection that He appeared to his disciples telling them to not only preach this gospel to Israel but to the whole world. So it is, even unto this day, we proclaim: "God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son that whosoever should believe in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believes on Him is not condemned: but he that believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil." John 3:16-19

So we intreat you to repent and believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and live in preparation of His coming Kingdom when He shall be manifested unto the whole world. God in His grace retains our Lord in heaven yet giving us time to spread this gospel of the Kingdom, for it is His will that all come to the knowledge of the truth and believe on his Son unto salvation. However, there will come an end to this time of grace. For when He comes He will come to judge the world for its sins. Each man shall stand before Him to give an account. Each man knows this in His heart for it is etched in Him, his conscience bearing witness to the fact. Call out unto the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins and He will forgive you, so you will not be found as His enemy when He comes. Wherever you are or whatever circumstances you are in, surrender to Him in your heart, confess Him with your mouth as Lord, and be baptized in His Name for He loves you and will receive you.