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Kingdom Living

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HARVESTIME INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE

This course is part of the Harvestime International Institute, a program designed to equip believers for effective spiritual harvest. The basic theme of the training is to teach what Jesus taught, that which took men who were fishermen, tax collectors, etc., and changed them into reproductive Christians who reached their world with the Gospel in a demonstration of power.

This manual is a single course in one of several modules of curriculum which moves believers from visualizing through deputizing, multiplying, organizing, and mobilizing to achieve the goal of evangelizing.

For further information on additional courses write:

Harvestime International Institute
3176 A Via Buena Vista
Laguna Woods, CA 92637
U.S.A.
ÓHarvestime International Institute

 
TABLE OF CONTENTS

How To Use This Manual

Suggestions For Group Study

Introduction

Course Objectives

1.   The Invisible Kingdoms

2.   King Of Kings

3.   The Kingdom: Past, Present, Future

4.   Keys To The Kingdom

5.   Cast Out Of The Kingdom

6.   Patterns And Principles: An Introduction

7.   The Culture Of The Kingdom: Kingdom Principles - Part I

8.   The Culture Of The Kingdom: Kingdom Principles - Part II

9.   The Culture Of The Kingdom: Kingdom Principles - Part III

10.  Kingdom Parables

11.  Ambassadors Of The Kingdom

Answers To Self-Tests

HOW TO USE THIS MANUAL

MANUAL FORMAT

Each lesson consists of:

Objectives:  These are the goals you should achieve by studying the chapter.  Read them before starting the lesson.

Key Verse:  This verse emphasizes the main concept of the chapter.  Memorize it.

Chapter Content:  Study each section. Use your Bible to look up any references not printed in the manual. 

Self-Test:   Take this test after you finish studying the chapter.  Try to answer the questions without using your Bible or this manual.  When you have concluded the Self-Test, check your answers in the answer section provided at the end of the book.

For Further Study:  This section will help you continue your study of the Word of God, improve your study skills, and apply what you have learned to your life and ministry.

Final Examination:  If you are enrolled in this course for credit, you received a final examination along with this course.  Upon conclusion of this course, you should complete this examination and return it for grading as instructed.

ADDITIONAL MATERIALS NEEDED

You will need a King James version of the Bible.

I. SUGGESTIONS FOR GROUP STUDY

FIRST MEETING

Opening:  Open with prayer and introductions.  Get acquainted and register the students.

Establish Group Procedures:  Determine who will lead the meetings, the time, place, and dates for the sessions.

Praise And Worship:  Invite the presence of the Holy Spirit into your training session.

Distribute Manuals To Students:  Introduce the manual title, format, and course objectives provided in the first few pages of the manual.

Make The First Assignment:  Students will read the chapters assigned and take the Self-Tests prior to the next meeting.  The number of chapters you cover per meeting will depend on chapter length, content, and the abilities of your group.

SECOND AND FOLLOWING MEETINGS

Opening:  Pray.  Welcome and register any new students and give them a manual.  Take attendance.  Have a time of praise and worship.

Review:  Present a brief summary of what you studied at the last meeting.

Lesson:  Discuss each section of the chapter using the HEADINGS IN CAPITAL BOLD
FACED LETTERS as a teaching outline.  Ask students for questions or comments on what they have studied.  Apply the lesson to the lives and ministries of your students.

Self-Test:  Review the Self-Tests students have completed.  (Note:  If you do not want the students to have access to the answers to the Self-Tests, you may remove the answer pages from the back of each manual.)

For Further Study:  You may do these projects on a group or individual basis.

Final Examination:  If your group is enrolled in this course for credit, you received a final examination with this course.  Reproduce a copy for each student and administer the exam upon conclusion of this course.

II. Module:  Deputizing

Course:  Kingdom Living: Patterns and Principles

INTRODUCTION

All men live in a natural kingdom of this world.  They live in a city or village which is part of a nation. That nation is a kingdom of the world.

In addition to the natural kingdoms of this world there are two spiritual kingdoms which exist. Every person alive is a resident of one of these two kingdoms: The kingdom of Satan or the Kingdom of God.

This course concerns the Kingdom of God.  It introduces the two spiritual kingdoms, their  rulers, and residents. It provides spiritual keys for gaining access to the Kingdom of God and warns of things which result in being cast out of the Kingdom. The past, present, and future of this Kingdom are examined, Kingdom parables are explained, and its patterns and principles of living are stressed.

Why is study of the Kingdom of God important?

Jesus told His followers: And this Gospel of the Kingdom  shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.  (Matthew 24:14)

Before Jesus returns to set up His Kingdom in its final form, the Gospel of the Kingdom must be extended throughout the nations of the world. In order to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom, you must understand the Kingdom of God.  Before you can become custodian to the keys to the Kingdom, you must first experience that Kingdom. In the past, much emphasis has been placed on the life and ministry of the King of the Kingdom, Jesus Christ, and rightly so. But not enough emphasis has been given the Gospel of the Kingdom.  Jesus told the religious leaders of His time: Ye shut up the Kingdom of Heaven against men: For ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. (Matthew 23:13)

It was this Gospel of the Kingdom which was the central purpose of Christ's life.  He began His earthly ministry by declaring the arrival of the Kingdom (Matthew 4:17).  He ended His earthly ministry by speaking of things pertaining to the Kingdom (Acts 1:3).  In between the beginning and ending of His earthly ministry, the emphasis was on the Kingdom: And He said unto them, I must preach the Kingdom of God to other cities also; for therefore am I sent.  (Luke 4:43)

The Kingdom of God was the greatest concern of Jesus.  His teachings and parables focused on the Kingdom.  His miracles were a demonstration of the Kingdom of God in action.

The phrases "Kingdom of God" and "Kingdom of Heaven" are used over 100 times in the books of  Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.  We are told to seek first the Kingdom, to pray for it, and to preach it.  We are told how to enter the Kingdom and taught that residency in it requires a new lifestyle.

To enter this Kingdom, to maintain residency, and to fulfill the commission to preach its Gospel to the world it is necessary to understand the principles and patterns of the Kingdom. That is the purpose of this course.

But there is a greater purpose than just understanding Kingdom principles. You must go beyond mere knowledge of the Kingdom to actually experience it and make it the central purpose of your life.

People seek for meaning in life.  They want a cause for which to live and die.  Make the Kingdom of God your central purpose of life and ministry. It is a Kingdom which cannot be shaken by enemy forces.  It is an eternal cause to which you can give your total allegiance.

COURSE OBJECTIVES

Upon completion of this course you will be able to:

·         Identify the invisible spiritual kingdoms.

·         Identify the rulers of the invisible kingdoms.

·         Identify the residents of the invisible kingdoms.

·         Explain how entry is gained into the Kingdom of God.

·         Summarize the past, present, and future of the Kingdom of God.

·         List sins which prevent entrance into the Kingdom of God.

·         Recognize the importance of spiritual patterns and principles.

·         Demonstrate understanding of basic principles of the Kingdom of God.

·         Demonstrate understanding of Kingdom parables.

·         Become an ambassador of the Kingdom of God by spreading the Gospel of the Kingdom.

·         Continue independent study of the Kingdom of God.

·         Continue independent study of the ministry and teachings of Jesus Christ.

 

CHAPTER ONE: THE INVISIBLE KINGDOMS

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

·         Write the Key Verse from memory.

·         Demonstrate understanding of the natural and spiritual worlds.

·         Define the word "kingdom."

·         Identify the two spiritual kingdoms.

·         Identify the rulers of the spiritual kingdoms.

·         Identify the residents of the spiritual kingdoms.

·         Define the phrase "Kingdom of Satan."

·         Define the phrase "Kingdom of God."

KEY VERSE:

And this gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations:  and then shall the end come. (Matthew 24:14)

INTRODUCTION

This chapter concerns the natural and spiritual worlds. The natural world is that which you can see, hear, touch, or taste. It is the visible world around you. But there is another world which surrounds you of which you are a part. It is an invisible world which is composed of two spiritual kingdoms.  In this chapter you will learn about these spiritual kingdoms, their rulers, and residents. You will learn of the Kingdom of Satan and the Kingdom of God.

NATURAL AND SPIRITUAL

Man exists in two worlds: The natural world and the spiritual world. The natural world is that which can be seen, felt, touched, heard, or tasted.  It is tangible and visible. The country, nation, city or village in which you live is part of the natural world. You are the resident of a natural kingdom located on one of the visible continents of the world. You can see the people who are part of your environment. You can communicate with them. You can experience the sights, sounds, and smells around you. But there is another world in which you live. That world is a spiritual world. You cannot see it with your physical eyes, but it is just as real as the natural world. Paul speaks of this division of natural and spiritual: There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. (I Corinthians 15:40)

All men have a natural body which lives in the natural world.  But man is also a spiritual being with an eternal soul and spirit. Man is body, soul, and spirit.  Your spiritual being (soul and spirit) is part of a spiritual world just as your natural body is part of the natural world.

TWO SPIRITUAL KINGDOMS

There are natural kingdoms of this world. A natural kingdom is a territory or people over whom a king rules. The Bible speaks of the kingdoms of the world.  The kingdoms of the world are presently under the control of Satan: Again, the Devil taketh Him (Jesus) up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth Him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto Him, All these things will I give thee, if you wilt fall down and worship me. (Matthew 4:8-9)

In the future, all the kingdoms of the world will become kingdoms of  God and He will rule over them: And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign forever and ever.  (Revelation 11:15)

In the natural world a king is the sovereign ruler of the kingdom. All the territory and people of the kingdom belong to him.  He has the power of life and death over his subjects. The spiritual world is composed of two spiritual kingdoms, the Kingdom of Satan and the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of Satan consists of  Satan, spiritual beings called demons, and all men who live in sin and rebellion to God's Word. The Kingdom of God consists of God the Father, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, spiritual beings called angels, and all men who live in righteous obedience to God's Word.

THE KINGDOM OF GOD

There is one Kingdom of God, but it is described in different ways in Scripture.  The expression "Kingdom of Heaven" is also used as a name for the Kingdom of God. This Kingdom is identical with the Kingdom of the Father (Matthew 26:29), of Jesus (Revelation 1:9), of Christ Jesus (II Timothy 4:1), of Christ and God (Ephesians 5:5), of "our Lord and His Christ" (Revelation 11:15), of "our God, and the power of His Christ"  (Revelation 12:10), and "of the Son of His love" (Colossians 1:13). All of these are names for the Kingdom of God. For purposes of simplicity, the single title "Kingdom of  God" is used in this course.

The Kingdom of God is not a denomination. Denominations are man-made organizations of groups of churches. They have been established for practical purposes of organization and administration. Denominations are major church organizations like Baptist, Assembly of God, Methodist, Lutheran, etc. The Bible speaks of the true Church which is not a denomination or religious organization. The true Church is composed of all those who have become residents of the Kingdom of God. The true Church is the corporate spiritual body which God established by which the Gospel of the Kingdom is to be extended to the nations of the world. This Church is composed of all men and women who are residents of the Kingdom of God.

The Church is not only to preach and teach the Gospel of the Kingdom, but it should provide a scale model of life in the Kingdom of God.  The Church should operate by Kingdom patterns and principles and demonstrate in its lifestyle the teachings of its King, Jesus Christ.

The Kingdom of God existed in the past, it exists in the present, and it will exist in the future, all in different forms.  At the present time in the natural world, the Kingdom of God exists individually within every man, woman, boy or girl who has made Jesus King of their lives.  In the future, there will be an actual visible revelation of God's Kingdom.  You will learn more about the past, present, and future of the Kingdom of God later in this course. Because the Kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom and not a natural kingdom of this world, it must be understood with a spiritual mind: But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God:  for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.  (I Corinthians 2:14) 

RULERS OF THE KINGDOMS

The Kingdom of Satan is ruled by Satan.  You will learn more about him and his kingdom in the "For Further Study" section of this chapter.   Satan was originally a beautiful angel created by God and was part of the Kingdom of God, but he tried to take over God's Kingdom.  You can read about his rebellion in Isaiah 14:12-17 and Ezekiel 28:12-19.  Several angels joined Satan in this rebellion and they were all cast out of the Kingdom by God.  They formed their own kingdom which is called the Kingdom of Satan.

The Kingdom of God is ruled by the Trinity of God which is composed of the Father, the Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. You will learn more about the ruler of this Kingdom in Chapter Two of this course. 

RESIDENTS OF THE KINGDOMS

In addition to the rulers, there are other residents of the two spiritual kingdoms.  Evil spirits called demons are residents of the Kingdom of Satan. These spirits can enter, torment, control, and use humans who belong to Satan's kingdom.  They motivate many evil acts done by men and
women.

Before the end of the world, Satan will use two special spiritual beings in his kingdom called the Antichrist and the False Prophet.  They will be part of the final deceptive plan of Satan to overthrow the Kingdom of God.  The Kingdom of God also has residents.  There are angels which are spiritual beings who minister to men and women who are part of the Kingdom of God. Just as demons do the bidding of Satan in the world, angels do the will of God.

Although angels and demons are spiritual beings, they reveal themselves visibly and verbally in the natural world on occasion.  Demons possessing the bodies of men speak and act in evil ways through them and angels sometimes appear in visible form. In addition to these spiritual beings, all people alive are either residents of the Kingdom of Satan or the Kingdom of God.

ENTRANCE TO THE KINGDOMS

One of the parables told by Jesus reveals that all men are either part of the Kingdom of Satan or the Kingdom of God.  Jesus compared the world to a field.  The good seed in the field were the children of the Kingdom of God.  The bad seed, which resulted in the growth of tares (weeds) were the children of the wicked one: The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the Kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one.  (Matthew 13:38)

People enter the Kingdom of Satan through natural birth.  The Bible teaches that all men are born in sin.  This means that they have a basic sin nature or the "seed" of sin within. Their natural inclination is to do evil: Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. (Psalms 51:5)

Wherefore, as by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. (Romans 5:12)

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.  (Romans 3:23)

Because we are born with the basic sin nature, we have all at one time been part of the Kingdom of Satan.  The whole message of God's written Word, the Holy Bible, is the appeal to man to move from this evil Kingdom of Satan to the righteous Kingdom of God. Men are born into the Kingdom of Satan through natural birth. They must be reborn into the Kingdom of God through spiritual birth.  You will learn more about this in Chapter Four, "Keys To The Kingdom." 

Those who are born again change their residency from the Kingdom of Satan to the Kingdom of God. They change their allegiance from Satan to God.  When they enter the Kingdom of God they must learn the principles which govern life in this Kingdom.  It is like learning the lifestyle of a new country to which you have immigrated. You will learn more about these important principles in other lessons of this course.

RELATIONS BETWEEN THE KINGDOMS

From the time of the rebellion of Satan, there has been spiritual warfare raging between the Kingdom of Satan and the Kingdom of God.  The Bible is the written record of the warfare between these two kingdoms. This spiritual warfare being waged throughout the world is over the minds, souls and spirits of
mankind. Satan is trying to keep men captive to sin in his kingdom.  Through deceptive methods he entices men and women to partake of the temporary lusts of sinful living.  He aims for the affections of the soul and spirit which rightfully belong to God:

The thief (Satan) cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I (Jesus) am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.  (John 10:10)

This warfare in the spirit world will continue until the end of time as we now know it.  Spiritual warfare is a subject of such great depth that an entire Harvestime International Institute course, "Spiritual Strategies: A Manual Of Spiritual Warfare," has been devoted to it.  The course focuses on the Kingdom of  Satan, his strategies, and spiritual tactics for defeating the forces of evil. 

SELF-TEST

1. Write the Key Verse from memory.

2. What are the two divisions made in I Corinthians 15:44-49?

3. What are the two invisible kingdoms in the world today?

4. Who are the rulers of the two invisible kingdoms?

5. Who are the residents of the Kingdom of Satan?

6. Who are the residents of the Kingdom of God?

7. What is the difference between these two phrases:  "Kingdom of God" and "Kingdom of Heaven"?

8. Define the word "kingdom."

 (Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)

FOR FURTHER STUDY

This course is devoted to study of the Kingdom of God. But as you learned in this chapter, there is another invisible kingdom, the spiritual Kingdom of Satan.  It is important that you understand both spiritual kingdoms.

The Harvestime International Institute course entitled "Spiritual Strategies: A Manual Of Spiritual Warfare" provides further information on this kingdom and spiritual strategies to deal with Satan.  Obtain this manual as a companion to this course, "Kingdom Living."  For purposes of this course, the following outline provides basic information on Satan and his kingdom.  

THE KINGDOM OF SATAN

I. Ruler of the Kingdom of Satan:  Satan

A. His origin:  All creatures were created by God: John 1:3; Colossians 1:16-17

B. His former glory: Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:12-17

C. His former position: Ezekiel 28:14

D. His fall: Ezekiel 28:12-19

E. His names:

l. God of this world: II Corinthians 4:4

2. Angel of light: II Corinthians 11:14

3. Devil: I Peter 5:8; Matthew 4:1

4. Satan: John 13:27

5. Lucifer: Isaiah 14:12

6. Dragon: Revelation 12:3

7. Serpent: Revelation 12:9; 20:2; II Corinthians 11:3; Genesis 3:4,14

8. Adversary: I Peter 5:8

9. Belial: II Corinthians 6:15

10. Beelzebub: Matthew 12:24; Luke 11:15; Mark 3:22

11. Murderer: John 8:44

12. Tempter: Matthew 4:3; I Thessalonians 3:5

13. Anointed Cherub: Ezekiel 28:14

14. Destroyer: Revelation 9:11

15. Deceiver: Revelation 12:9; 20:3

16. Apollyon (Greek word for destroyer): Revelation 9:11

17. Abaddon (Hebrew word for a destroying angel): Revelation 9:11 

18. Ruler of darkness: Ephesians 6:12

19. Angel of bottomless pit: Revelation 9:11

20. Enemy: Matthew 13:39

21. Prince of the devils: Matthew 12:24

22. Liar, father of lies: John 8:44

23. King of Tyrus: Ezekiel 28:12-15

24. Prince of this world: John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11

25. Prince of the power of the air: Ephesians 2:2

26. Spirit that worketh in the children of disobedience:  Ephesians 2:2

27. Evil one: I John 5:9

28. Roaring Lion: I Peter 5:8

29. Accuser of the brethren: Revelation 12:10

F. His attributes:

1. Intelligent and subtle: II Corinthians 11:3

2. Emotional: Revelation 12:17

3. Self-willed: II Timothy 2:26

4. Proud: I Timothy 3:6

5. Powerful: Ephesians 2:2

6. Deceitful: Ephesians 6:11

7. Fierce and cruel: I Peter 5:8

8. Deceptive: II Corinthians 11:14

G. Recorded words of Satan:

1. Genesis 3:1,4,5

2. Job 1:7-12

3. Job 2:1-6

4. Matthew 4:1-11

5. Luke 4:1-13

II. Residents of Satan's Kingdom:  Demonic spirits

A. Satan is the ruler of a host of demons: Matthew 12:22-28

B. Their Origin: Revelation 12:7-9; Jude 6

C. Their attributes:

l. Spirit beings: Matthew 8:16; Luke 10:17,20

2. Speak: Mark 5:9,12; Luke 8:28; Matthew 8:31

3. Believe: James 2:19

4. Exercise their wills: Luke 8:32; 11:24

5. Demonstrate intelligence: Mark 1:24

6. Emotional: Luke 8:28: James 2:19

7. Recognize: Acts 19:15

8. Supernatural strength: Acts 19:16; Mark 5:2,3

9. Supernatural presence: Daniel 9:21-23; 10:10-14

D. Their structure:

l. United: Matthew 12:26,45; Luke 8:30; I Timothy 4:1

2. Organized in forces: Luke 8:30

3. There are degrees of wickedness: Matthew 12:43-45

4. There is organized structure: Ephesians 1:21; 3:10; 6:12; Romans 8:38

5. There are different kinds of demons: Matthew 10:1; I Timothy 4:1

III. Residents of Satan's Kingdom: All people who are not residents of the Kingdom of God: Revelation 20:15; 21:8

IV. The realm of activity of Satan and demons:

A. Access to God's presence: Job 1:6-7

B. Access to the whole earth: Revelation 12:10

V. Activities of Satan and demons: The activities of Satan and demons are dealt with in detail in the Harvestime International Institute course entitled "Spiritual Strategies: A Manual Of Spiritual Warfare."  To summarize: Their activities are always directed against God, His purposes, and His people.

VI. Believers have greater power than Satan and his demons:

A. Matthew 10:1; Mark 6:7;9:38; 16:17; Luke 10:17; Acts 5:16; 8:7; 16:16-18; 19:12

B. Methods of spiritual warfare are dealt with in the Harvestime International Institute  course, "Spiritual Strategies: A Manual Of Spiritual Warfare." These are powerful spiritual guidelines that will help you exercise your rightful authority over the Kingdom of Satan.

VII. The future destiny of Satan's Kingdom: Matthew 8:29;25:41;  II Peter 2:4;  Jude 6; Revelation 12:7-9;  20:10; I John 3:8; Luke 8:28; Matthew 25:41

 

CHAPTER TWO: KING OF KINGS                         

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

·         Write the Key Verse from memory.

·         Define the word "king."

·         Identify Jesus as King of the Kingdom of God.

·         Continue further study of the life and ministry of King Jesus.

KEY VERSE: And He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His Kingdom there shall be no end.  (Luke 1:33)

INTRODUCTION

There is no kingdom without a king. In this chapter you will learn about the greatest King that has ever ruled, the King of Kings, Jesus Christ.

WHAT IS A KING?

A king is a sovereign ruler of a nation, tribe, or country. The word "sovereign" means he has the supreme power, highest authority, and is free from outside control. In times past in the natural world there were many kings and kingdoms.  In an earthly kingdom the king owned all the territory in the kingdom and had authority over everything in the kingdom including the people. The king made the laws of the kingdom and residents of the kingdom obeyed these laws. The king had power over the people, including the power of life or death.

THE KING OF KINGS

The greatest of all kings is the Lord Jesus Christ.  Paul refers to Jesus as the King of Kings: Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords.  (I Timothy 6:15)

The book of Revelation calls Him King of kings: For He is Lord of lords, and King of kings. (Revelation 17:14)

And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, King of kings, and Lord of lords.  (Revelation 19:16)

Jesus is the King of kings because He rules over a Kingdom that is eternal and sovereign. The Kingdom of God will never come to an end.  It will never be overthrown by revolution. There will never be another ruler who will succeed the King of kings.

THE PRE-EXISTENCE OF THE KING

The Bible tells the story of the King of kings.   Part of that story is the account of His life and ministry on earth.  But Jesus existed before His earthly ministry. You can read about His pre-existence with God in John 1:1-18.  (In this passage Jesus is called "The Word.")

PROPHECIES ABOUT THE KING

The Old Testament contains many prophecies about the King of kings.  A prophecy is an immediate word from God which reveals things about the future which cannot be known by natural wisdom. These Old Testament prophecies reveal how, when, and where the King was to be born and many details about His life, ministry, death, and resurrection. The New Testament shows how Jesus fulfilled these prophecies. (A detailed list of these prophecies is provided in another Harvestime International Institute course entitled "Creative Bible Study Methods").

GENEALOGY OF THE KING

You can read the genealogy of the King of kings, Jesus, in Matthew 1:1-17 and Luke 3:23-38. The genealogy traces the ancestors of Jesus through His earthly father and mother.  But remember, Jesus was really the Son of God born to the virgin Mary.

THE BIRTH OF THE KING

You can read about the earthly birth of King Jesus in Matthew l and 2 and Luke l and 2.

THE NAMES OF THE KING

Jesus was called by many different names, some of which reflect His ministry and purpose.  The following are all names of Jesus, the King of Kings:

Adam, the Second: I Corinthians 15:45-47

Advocate: I John 2:1

Almighty: Revelation 1:8

Alpha and Omega: Revelation 21:6

Amen: Revelation 3:14

Ancient of Days: Daniel 7:9

Angel of His Presence: Isaiah 63:9

Anointed Above His Fellows: Psalms 45:7

Apostle of our Profession: Hebrews 3:1

Arm of the Lord: Isaiah 51:9-10

Author and Finisher of our Faith: Hebrews 12:2

Author of Eternal Salvation: Hebrews 5:9

Begotten of God: I John 5:18

Beloved: Ephesians 1:6

Bishop of Souls: I Peter 2:25

Blessed and Only Potentate: I Timothy 6:15

Branch, The: Zechariah 3:8

Branch, A Righteous: Jeremiah 23:5

Branch of Righteousness: Jeremiah 33:15

Branch of the Root of Jesse: Isaiah 1:1

Bread of Life: John 6:35

Bright and Morning Star: Revelation 22:16

Captain of the Lord's Host: Joshua 5:15

Carpenter's Son: Matthew 13:55

Chief Cornerstone: I Peter 2:6

Chiefest Among Ten Thousand: Song of Solomon 5:10

Christ, The: John 1:41

Christ the Lord: Luke 2:11

Christ Jesus Our Lord: Romans 8:39

Christ the Power of God: I Corinthians 1:24

Counselor: Isaiah 9:6

Covenant of the People: Isaiah 42:6

Dayspring: Luke 1:78

Daystar: II Peter 1:19  

Deliverer: Romans 11:26

Door, The: John 10:9

Elect: Isaiah 42:1

Emmanuel: Matthew 1:23 (RSV)

Eternal Life: I John 5:20

Everlasting Father: Isaiah 9:6

Faithful and True: Revelation 19:11

Faithful Witness: Revelation 1:5

First Begotten: Hebrews 1:6

First Born: Psalms 89:27

First Born Among Many Brethren: Romans 8:29

First Fruits: I Corinthians 15:23

First and Last: Revelation 22:13

Foundation Laid in Zion: Isaiah 28:16

Glorious Lord: Isaiah 33:21

God of Israel: Isaiah 45:15

God with Us: Matthew 1:23

Good Shepherd: John 10:11

Great God: Titus 2:13

Great High Priest: Hebrews 4:14

Head of the Body: Colossians 1:18

Head over all Things: Ephesians 1:22

Headstone of the Corner: Psalms 118:22

Heir of all Things: Hebrews 1:2

His Anointed: Psalms 2:2

Holy One of Israel: Isaiah 41:14

Hope of Glory: Colossians 1:27

I Am: John 8:58

Image of the Invisible God: Colossians 1:15

Immanuel: Isaiah 7:14

Jesus Christ Our Lord: Romans 1:3

Judge of Israel: Micah 5:1

King of Glory: Psalms 24:7

King: Zechariah 9:9

King over all the Earth: Zechariah 14:9

Lamb of God: John 1:29

Light of the World: John 8:12

Lily of the Valleys: Song of Solomon 2:1

Living Bread: John 6:51

Lord God Almighty: Revelation 4:8

Lord and Savior Jesus Christ: II Peter 2:20

Lord of All: Acts 10:36

Lord Our Righteousness: Jeremiah 23:6

Lord, Your Redeemer: Isaiah 43:14

Love: I John 4:8

Man of Sorrows: Isaiah 53:3

Master: Matthew 23:10

Messiah: Daniel 9:25

Mighty God: Isaiah 9:6

Mighty One of Jacob: Isaiah 60:16 

Mine Angel: Exodus 23:20-23

Most Holy: Daniel 9:24

Most Mighty: Psalms 45:3

Nazarene: Matthew 2:23

Only Wise God: I Timothy 1:17

Our Passover: I Corinthians 5:7

Physician: Luke 4:23

Prince of Peace: Isaiah 9:6

Prince of the Kings of the Earth: Revelation 1:5

Prophet: Deuteronomy 18:15-18

Propitiation: Romans 3:25

Rabbi: John 1:49

Redeemer: Isaiah 59:20

Resurrection: John 11:25

Righteous Servant: Isaiah 53:11

Rock: I Corinthians 10:4

Root of Jesse: Isaiah 11:10

Rose of Sharon: Song of Solomon 2:1

Savior of the World: I John 4:14

Seed of David: John 7:42

Seed of the Woman: Genesis 3:15

Son of God: Romans 1:4

Son of Man: Acts 7:56

Son of Mary: Mark 6:3

Son of the Highest: Luke 1:32

Star out of Jacob: Numbers 24:17

Stone: Matthew 21:42

Sun of Righteousness: Malachi 4:2

Sure Foundation: Isaiah 28:16

Teacher: John 3:2

Truth: John 14:6

Unspeakable Gift: II Corinthians 9:15

Vine: John 15:1

Way: John 14:6

Wonderful: Isaiah 9:6

Word: John 1:14

Word of God: Revelation 19:13

THE LIFE OF THE KING

The books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John tell the story of the life of King Jesus.  These books were written by four disciples of Jesus who ministered with Him during His earthly ministry.

THE MINISTRY OF THE KING

The ministry and teachings of Jesus are recorded in the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. In "Teaching Tactics," another Harvestime International Institute course, a complete list of Christ's teachings by subjects is given. Although there is much recorded in the four Gospels about the life and ministry of Jesus, John informs us: And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.  (John 21:25)

THE REJECTED KING

As far as natural ancestry, Jesus was born a Jew. He came as King to His own Jewish people first, but they rejected Him.  He was questioned as to whether or not He was the expected King (Matthew 27:11; Mark 15:2). He was accused of being of Satan rather than of God (Matthew 12:25-28; Luke 11:17-20). On one occasion the people tried to take Jesus and make Him a king by force because He was not establishing the visible kingdom they desired (John 6:15).

Only once was there public acclaim of Jesus as King. This was when He came into Jerusalem for the final time (Matthew 21:1-9). But the same people who honored him as king that day soon turned against Him. Many of those who cried "Hosanna" as Jesus rode into Jerusalem were shouting "Crucify Him" just a few days later. They were disappointed that Jesus did not overthrow the Roman government and set up a great earthly kingdom. Those who longed for release from foreign domination were angry when Jesus did not establish a visible, earthly kingdom.

Jesus was not the King which the Jews had pictured.  He did not crush the Roman Empire. He did not set up the expected earthly Kingdom. He did not act as they thought a king should act. What they failed to realize was that before Jesus could assert His outward Lordship, He first had to rule the inner fortress of man's heart. The greatest need of the Jewish people was not freedom from Rome, but release from the chains of sin. The key to the Kingdom of Jesus was repentance, not revolution. (You will learn more about this in a later chapter.)

Satan tempted Jesus to set up a visible earthly Kingdom (Matthew 4:8; Luke 4:5). Right up to the end of the earthly ministry of Jesus, the disciples longed for an earthly Kingdom (Acts 1:6). But the Kingdom of God was not to be set up at this time in visible form. Jesus said: My Kingdom is not of this world: if my Kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight,  that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my Kingdom not from hence. (John 18:36) 

So the King of Kings was rejected by His own people: He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.  (John 1:11)

Only a few people recognized Jesus as King. Nathanael, one of His disciples, was one of these: Nathanael answered and saith unto Him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel. (John 1:49)

But to those few who accepted Jesus as King, a special relationship was extended: But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.  (John 1:12)

All of life is based on relationship.  It is not what you know that is most important, it is who you know. It is not what we know about the Bible or Christianity that assures our entrance into the Kingdom of God.  It is who we know. You must know the King of kings. In Chapter Four, "Keys to the Kingdom,"  you will learn how to enter and maintain residency in the Kingdom of God.

DEATH OF THE KING

Sinful man could not enter the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God was different from all other kingdoms. It was a righteous Kingdom. Through the death of King Jesus, a way was provided for all men to become part of the Kingdom. Jesus did nothing worthy of death. He never sinned, but He died in the place of all those who have sinned.  He paid the penalty of death for their sins: For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.  (Romans 6:23)

You can read about the death of King Jesus in Matthew 26-27, Mark 14-15, Luke 22-23, and John 18-19.

RESURRECTION OF THE KING

After His death by crucifixion, the King was buried but He did not remain in the tomb. You can read about  His miraculous resurrection from the dead in Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, and John 20. 

Through His resurrection from the dead, Jesus gained victory over physical death. Those who become part of the Kingdom of God may experience physical death just like Jesus, but they will also experience resurrection from the dead as He did. Because our King is eternal, we are part of an eternal Kingdom and have eternal life.

APPEARANCES BY THE KING

After His resurrection from the dead, King Jesus appeared to many people. You can read about His appearances in Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, John 20-21, and Acts 1.

THE KING RETURNS TO HEAVEN

After Jesus appeared to many people over a period of forty days, He returned to Heaven. He will remain there until time for Him to return and establish the visible Kingdom of God in final form. You will learn more about this in the next chapter as you study the past, present, and future of the Kingdom of God.  You can read about the return of Jesus to Heaven in Matthew 28:16-20, Mark 16:19-20, Luke 24:50-53, and Acts 1:1-11.

THE KING'S COMMISSION

Just before He returned to Heaven, Jesus gave His followers an important commission to be ambassadors of the Kingdom throughout the world.  You will learn more about this commission later.

THE COMING KING

The Bible reveals that Jesus will return to earth in great power and glory to set up the visible Kingdom in its final form.  You can read about His return in I Thessalonians 4:13-18.  You can read about the establishing of the Kingdom and the events preceding it in the book of Revelation. The Bible reveals that the Kingdom of Jesus will be eternal: Of His Kingdom there shall be no end.  (Luke 1:33)

Every kingdom of earth and the kingdom of Satan will be defeated by the King of kings.  In the end an announcement will be made that...The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever.  (Revelation 11:15)

CONTINUE YOUR STUDY

The story of the King of kings is too great to be confined to the length of a  single chapter in this manual.  The "For Further Study" section of this chapter gives you an opportunity to study the life of Christ in detail through an outline of the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

SELF-TEST

1. Write the Key Verse from memory.

2. Define the word "king."

3. Who is the King of the Kingdom of God?

4. What four New Testament books tell the story of the earthly life, ministry, and teachings of King Jesus?

 (Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)

FOR FURTHER STUDY

Study the life of the King and His Kingdom teachings using the following outline.  The outline combines the four New Testament records of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John: The King And His Kingdom

I. Pre-existence of the King: John 1:1-18

II. Introduction of the King

A. Arrival of the King

l. Ancestry of the King: Matthew 1:1-17; Luke 3:23-38

2. Arrival of the King:

a. Announcement of the birth of John: Luke 1:5-25

b. Announcement to Mary of the birth of Jesus: Luke 1:26-38

c. Arrival of Mary in Judea: Luke 1:39-45

d. Praise of Mary: Luke 1:46-56

e. The birth of John: Luke 1:57-80

f. Announcement of the birth of Jesus to Joseph: Matthew 1:18-25

g. The birth of King Jesus: Luke 2:1-7

h. Announcement of the birth of Jesus to the shepherds: Luke 2:8-20

3. The infancy and childhood of the King

a. Circumcision of the King: Luke 2:21

b. Presentation of the King: Luke 2:22-38

c. Infancy of the King:

(l) In Bethlehem: Matthew 2:1-12

(2) In Egypt: Matthew 2:13-18

(3) In Nazareth: Matthew 2:19-23; Luke 2:39

d. The childhood of the King

(l) Growth of the King: Luke 2:40

(2) The King visits Jerusalem: Luke 2:41-50

(3) Development of the King: Luke 2:51-52

B. The forerunner of the King:  John the Baptist

l. The message to John: Mark 1:1; Luke 3:1-2

2. The message of John: Matthew 3:1-6; Mark 1:2-6; Luke 3:3-6

3. The explanation by John: Matthew 3:7-10; Luke 3:7-14

4. The promise by John: Matthew 3:11-12; Mark :7-8; Luke 3:15-18

III. The approval of the King

A. The approval of the King

1. At His baptism: Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-23

2. By His temptation: Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:12-13; Luke 4:1-13

3. By His forerunner, John:

a. Testimony of John to the leaders: John 1:19-28

b. Testimony of John to Jesus: John 1:29-34

B. Acceptance of the King

l. Belief by the first disciples: John 1:35-51

2. Belief through the first miracle: John 2:1-12

3. Possession of the temple: John 2:13-22

4. Acceptance in Judea: John 2:23-3:21

5. The witness of John: John 3:22-36

6. In Zebulun/Naphtali: Matthew 4:12; Mark 1:14; Luke 3:19-20; 4:14; John 4:1-4

7. Acceptance in Samaria: John 4:5-42

8. Acceptance in Galilee: John 4:43-45

C. The authority of the King

1. His authority to preach: Matthew 4:17; Mark 1:15; Luke 4:14-15

2. His authority over disease: John 4:46-54

3. Rejection of His authority in Nazareth: Luke 4:16-30

4. Residence in Capernaum: Matthew 4:13-16

5. His authority over nature: Matthew 4:18-22; Mark 1:16-20; Luke 5:1-11

6. His authority over demons: Mark 1:21-28; Luke 4:31-37

7. Authority over sickness: Matthew 8:14-17; Mark 1:29-34; Luke 4:38-41

8. Authority to preach: Matthew 4:23-25; Mark 1:35-39; Luke 4:42-44

9. Authority over defilement: Matthew 8:1-4; Mark 1:40-45; Luke 5:12-16

10. His authority to forgive sin: Matthew 9:1-8; Mark 2:1-12; Luke 5:17-26

11. His authority over men: Matthew 9:9-13; Mark 2:13-17; Luke 5:27-32

12. Authority over tradition: Matthew 9:14-17; Mark 2:18-22; Luke 5:33-39

13. His authority over the Sabbath:

a. Through the healing of the paralytic: John 5:1-47

b. Through argument over grain: Matthew 12:1-8; Mark 2:23-28; Luke 6:1-5

c. Through healing the withered hand: Matthew 12:9-14; Mark 3:1-6; Luke 6:6-11

14. His authority to heal: Matthew 12:15-21; Mark 3:7-12

15. His authority to commission: Mark 3:13-19; Luke 6:12-16

16. His authority to interpret the law: Matthew 5:1-7:29; Luke 6:17-42

a. He is the fulfillment: Matthew 5:17-20

b. Rejection of traditional interpretation of the law:

(l) Murder: Matthew 5:21-26

(2) Adultery: Matthew 5:27-30

(3) Divorce: Matthew 5:31-32

(4) Oaths: Matthew 5:33-37

(5) Retaliation: Matthew 5:38-42

(6) Love: Matthew 5:43-48; Luke 6:27-30; 32-36

c. Rejection of the practices of the Pharisees:

(l) Giving: Matthew 6:1-4

(2) Prayer: Matthew 6:5-15

(3) Fasting: Matthew 6:16-18

(4) Attitude toward wealth: Matthew 6:19-24

(5) Lack of faith: Matthew 6:25-34

(6) Judging: Matthew 7:1-6; Luke 6:37-42

d. Instruction to those who would enter the Kingdom: 

(l) Prayer: Matthew 7:7-11

(2) Righteousness: Matthew 7:12; Luke 6:31, 43-45

(3) The way of access: Matthew 7:13-14

(4) Warning to false teachers: Matthew 7:15-23

(5) The two foundations: Matthew 7:24-8:1; Luke 6:46-49

17. Recognition of the King's authority in Capernaum: Matthew 8:5-13 Luke 7:1-10

18. Recognition of the King's authority in Nain:  Luke 7:11-17

19. Witness of the twelve to the Kingdom: Matthew 9:35-11:1; Mark 6:6-13; Luke 9:1-6

IV. Controversy over the King

A. Rejection of John: Matthew 11:2-19; Luke 7:18-35

1. Death of John: Matthew 14:1-12; Mark 6:14-29; Luke 9:7-9

B. The curse of the cities of Galilee: Matthew 11:20-30

1. Condemnation for their unbelief: Matthew 11:20-24

2. Explanation of their unbelief: Matthew 11:25-27

3. An invitation to believe: Matthew 11:28-30

C. Controversy over a sinner: Luke 7:36-50

D. Witness to the King: Luke 8:1-3

E. Rejection of the King by the leaders: Matthew 12:22-37; Mark 3:19-30

F. Request by the leaders for a sign from the King: Matthew 12:38-45

G. Rejection of the nation: Matthew 12:46-50; Mark 3:31-35; Luke 8:19-21

H. Revelations of the rejected King:

l. The Kingdom in the present: Matthew 13:1-53; Mark 4:1-34; Luke 8:4-18

2. Power over nature: Matthew 8:18, 23-27; Mark 4:35-41; Luke 8:22-25

3. Power over demons: Matthew 8:28-34; Mark 5:1-20; Luke 8:26-39

4. Power over disease/death: Matthew 9:18-26; Mark 5:21-43; Luke 8:40-56

5. Power over blindness: Matthew 9:27-34

I. Rejection in Nazareth: Matthew 13:54-58; Mark 6:1-6

V. Instruction of the disciples by the King

A. Feeding of the 5,000: Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:30-44; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-13

B. Rejection of offer to be King: Matthew 14:22-23; Mark 6:45-46; John 6:14-15

C. Instruction by example in Gennesaret: Matthew 14:34-36; Mark 6:53-56

D. Instruction concerning the Bread of Life: John 6:22-71

E. Instruction concerning defilement: Matthew 15:1-20; Mark 7:1-23; John 7:1

F. Instruction in:

1. Tyre and Sidon: Matthew 15:21-28; Mark 7:24-30

2. Decapolis: Matthew 15:29-38; Mark 7:31-8:9

3. Magadan: Matthew 15:39-16:4; Mark 8:10-12

4. A warning against rejection: Matthew 16:5-12; Mark 8:13-26

G. The confession of Peter: Matthew 16:13-20; Mark 8:27-30; Luke 9:18-21

H. Instruction concerning the death of the King: Matthew 16:21; 17:22-23; Mark 8:31-33; 9:30-32; Luke 9:22; 43-45

I. Concerning discipleship: Matthew 16:22-28; Mark 8:34-9:1; Luke 9:23-27

J. Revelation of the Kingdom: Matthew 17:1-8; Mark 9:2-8; Luke 9:28-36

K. Instruction concerning Elijah: Matthew 17:9-13; Mark 9:9-13

L. Concerning dependence: Matthew 17:14-21; Mark 9:14-29; Luke 9:37-43

M. Instruction concerning sonship: Matthew 17:24-27

N. Humility: Matthew 18:1-5; Mark 9:33-37; Luke 9:46-48

O. Pride: Matthew 18:6-14; Mark 9:38-50; Luke 9:49-50

P. Forgiveness: Matthew 18:15-35

Q. Discipleship: Matthew 8:19-22; Luke 9:57-62

R. A challenge by the brothers of the King: John 7:2-9

S. The journey to Jerusalem: Luke 9:51-56; John 7:10

VI. Opposition to the King

A. Conflict at the Feast of Tabernacles

1. The authority of the King is questioned: John 7:11-15

2. The explanation by the King: John 7:16-24

3. The person of the King is questioned: John 7:25-27

4. The explanation by the King: John 7:28-30

5. Response: John 7:31-36

6. An invitation from the King: John 7:37-52

B. Conflict over the law: John 7:53-8:11

C. Conflict over the light: John 8:12-20

D. Conflict over the person of the King: John 8:21-59

E. Conflict over the healing of a blind man: John 9:1-41

F. Conflict over the shepherd: John 10:1-21

G. Witness of the seven: Luke 10:1-24

H. Conflict over the question of eternal life: Luke 10:25-37

I. Conflict at the feast of dedication: John 10:22-39

J. Conflict over the healing of the dumb man: Luke 11:14-36

K. Conflict over ritualism: Luke 11:37-54

VII. Instruction of the disciples by the King

A. An example of fellowship: Luke 10:38-42

B. Instruction in prayer: Luke 11:1-13

C. Kingdom principles concerning:

1. Hypocrisy: Luke 12:1-12

2. Covetousness: Luke 12:13-34

3. Watchfulness: Luke 12:35-41

4. Faithfulness: Luke 12:42-48

5. The effect of the King's coming: Luke 12:49-53

6. Signs of the times: Luke 12:54-59

7. Repentance: Luke 13:1-9

8. Israel's need: Luke 13:10-17

9. The Kingdom program: Luke 13:18-21

D. Withdrawal from Judea: John 10:40-42

E. Instruction concerning entrance into the Kingdom: Luke 13:22-35

F. Instruction in a Pharisee's house: Luke 14:1-24

G. Instruction on Kingdom principles concerning:

1. Discipleship: Luke 14:25-35

2. God's attitude toward sinners: Luke 15:1-32

3. Wealth: Luke 16:1-31

4. Forgiveness: Luke 17:1-6

5. Service: Luke 17:7-10

H. The raising of Lazarus:

1. The miracle: John 11:1-44

2. Conflict over the miracle: John 11:45-54

I. Instruction on Kingdom principles concerning:

1. Thankfulness: Luke 17:11-19

2. The coming of the King: Luke 17:20-37

3. Prayer: Luke 18:1-14

4. Divorce: Matthew 19:1-12; Mark 10:1-12

5. Entrance into the Kingdom: Matthew 19:13-15; Mark 10:17-31; Luke 18:31-34

6. Israel: Matthew 20:29-34; Mark 10:46-53;  Luke 18:35-43

7. Personal faith: Luke 19:1-10

8. The postponed Kingdom: Luke 19:11-28

VIII. Presentation of the King

A. The King arrives in Bethany: John 11:55-12:1, 9-11

B. Entry into Jerusalem: Matthew 21:1-11, 14-17; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:29-44; John 12:12-19

C. Authority of the King: Matthew 21:12-13, 18-19; Mark 11:12-18; Luke 19:45-48

D. Invitations by the King: John 12:20-50

E. Proof of authority: Matthew 21:20-22; Mark 11:19-25; Luke 21:37-38

F. The King's authority challenged:

1. By the priests and elders:  The rejection of the King: Matthew 21:23-22:14; Mark 11:27-12:12; Luke 20:1-19

2. By the Pharisees and Herodians:  Kingdom principles regarding tribute: Matthew  22:15-22; Mark 12:13-17; Luke 20:20-26

3. By the Sadducees:  Kingdom principles regarding the  resurrection: Matthew 22:23-33; Mark 12:18-27; Luke 20:27-40

4. By the Pharisees: The greatest commandment in the  Kingdom: Matthew 22:34-40; Mark 12:28-34

G. A challenge by the King: Matthew 22:41-46; Mark 12:35-37; Luke 20:41-44

H. Principles of judgment: Matthew 23:1-39; Mark 12:38-40; Luke 20:45-47

I. Kingdom principles of giving: Mark 12:41-44; Luke 21:1-4

IX. Preparation for the death of the King

A. Predictions by the King

1. The question: Matthew 24:1-3

2. The tribulation: Matthew 24:27-30

3. The second coming: Matthew 4:27-30

4. The regathering of Israel: Matthew 24:31

5. Endtime parables:

a. The fig tree: Matthew 24:32-44

b. The faithful servant: Matthew 24:45-51

c. Ten virgins: Matthew 25:1-13

d. The talents: Matthew 25:14-30

6. Judgment on the Gentiles: Matthew 25:31-46

B. Preparation for the death of the King:

1. The prediction of His death: Matthew 26:1-2; Mark 14:1; Luke 22:1

2. The plan of the rulers: Matthew 26:3-5; Mark 14:1-2; Luke 22:2

3. Pouring of the ointment: Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9; John 12:2-8

4. The promise to betray: Matthew 26:14-16; Mark 14:10-11; Luke 22:3-6

5. Preparation for the Passover: Matthew 26:17-19; Mark 14:12-16; Luke 22:7-13

6. The Passover: Matthew 26:20; Mark 14:17; Luke 22:14-16; 24-30

7. Provision of an example: John 13:1-20

8. Prediction of Judas' betrayal: Matthew 26:21-25; Mark 14:18-21; Luke 22:21-23; John 13:21-30

9. Prediction of Peter's denial: Matthew 26:31-35; Mark 14:27-31; Luke 22:31-38; John 13:37-38

10. A memorial: Matthew 26:26-30; Mark 14:22-26; Luke 22:17-20

C. Final message of the King:

1. Introduction: John 13:31-35

2. Problems: John 13:36-14:24

3. Promises: John 14:25-31

4. Instruction concerning:

a. Fruit bearing: John 15:1-17

b. Enemies of the disciples: John 15:18-16:4

c. The ministry of the Holy Spirit: John 16:5-15

d. Results of the resurrection: John 16:16-28

e. Conclusion: John 16:29-33

D. Final prayers of the King

1. His prayer for Himself: John 17:1-5

2. His prayer for His disciples: John 17:6-19

3. His prayer for all believers: John 17:20-26

E. The Garden Prayer: Matthew 26:36-46; Mark 14:32-42; Luke 22:39-46; John 18:1 

X. Death of the King

A. Arrest: Matthew 26:47-56; Mark 14:43-52; Luke 22:47-53; John 18:2-12

B. The religious trial of the King

1. Examination before Annas: John 18:12-14,19-23

2. Examination before Caiaphas: Matthew 26:57, 59-68; Mark 14:53, 55-56; Luke 22:54, 63-65; John 18:24

3. Denial by Peter: Matthew 26:58, 69-75; Mark 14:54; 66-72; Luke 22:54-62; John 18:15-18, 25-27

4. Verdict of the Sanhedrin: Matthew 27:1; Mark 15:1;  Luke 22:66-71.

5. Death of Judas: Matthew 27:3-10

C. The civil trial of the King

1. The trial before Pilate: Matthew 27:2, 11-14; Mark 15:2-5; Luke 3:1-5; John 18:28-38

2. Trial before Herod: Luke 23:6-12.

3. Trial before Pilate: Matthew 27:15-26; Mark 15:6-15; Luke 23:13-25; John 18:39-19:1, 4-16

4. Mockery of the King: Matthew 27:27-30; Mark 15:16-19; John 19:2-3

D. The journey to Calvary: Matthew 27:31-34; Mark 15:20-23; Luke 23:26-33; John 19:16-17

E. The crucifixion of the King

1. The first three hours: Matthew 27:35-44; Mark 15:24-32; Luke 23:33-43; John 19:18-27

2. Second three hours: Matthew 27:45-50; Mark 15:33-37; Luke 23:44-46; John 19:28-30

3. Signs at the death of the King: Matthew 27:51-56;  Mark 15:38-41; Luke 23:45,47-49

F. Burial of the King: Matthew 27:57-60; Mark 15:42-47; Luke 23:50-56; John 19:31-42

G. The sealing of the King's tomb: Matthew 27:62-66

XI. Resurrection of the King

A. Preparation by the women: Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:1

B. Opening of the tomb: Matthew 28:2-4

C. The visit of the women: Matthew 28:5-8; Mark 16:2-8; Luke 24:1-8; John 20:1

D. The report to the disciples: Luke 24:9-12; John 20:2-10

E. Appearance of the King to Mary: Mark 16:9-11; John 20:11-18

F. Appearance of the King to the women: Matthew 28:9-10

G. The report of the guards: Matthew 28:11-15

H. Appearance to disciples on the Emmaus Road: Mark 16:12-13; Luke 24:13-32

I. Report of the two disciples: Luke 24:33-35

J. Appearance to the ten disciples: Mark 16:14; Luke 24:36-43; John 20:19-25

K. Appearance of the King to the eleven disciples: John 20:26-31

L. Appearance of the King to the seven disciples:  John 21:1-25

XII. Commissioned by the King: Matthew 28:16-20; Mark 16:15-18; Luke 24:44-49

XIII. The King returns to Heaven: The ascension of Jesus: Mark 16:19-20; Luke 24:50-53

 

CHAPTER THREE: THE KINGDOM: PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE

 OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

·         Write the Key Verse from memory.

·         Demonstrate understanding of the Kingdom of God in its past form. 

·         Demonstrate understanding of the Kingdom of God in its present form.

·         Demonstrate understanding of the Kingdom of God in its future form.

·         Present basic facts about the Kingdom of God.

KEY VERSE: 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.  (Matthew 25:34)

INTRODUCTION

The previous chapters introduced the Kingdom of God and the ruler of this Kingdom, the Lord Jesus Christ. This chapter presents an overview of the past, present, and future of the Kingdom of God. It also presents basic facts about the Kingdom. There is a basic theme that unites both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. That theme is the Kingdom of God and the King. The phrases "Kingdom of God" and "Kingdom of Heaven" do not appear in the Old Testament. These are New Testament terms. But as you will discover as you study the past history of the Kingdom of God, its foundations were laid in Old Testament times. The present and future forms of the Kingdom are built on these Old Testament foundations.

THE PAST KINGDOM: OLD TESTAMENT

The Kingdom of God is eternal.  This means it has always existed and will always exist: Thy Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations.  (Psalms 145:13)

God's Kingdom existed first in Heaven.  When God created the earth, it was His desire that His Heavenly Kingdom be extended to the world He had created.

A CHOSEN MAN:

To fulfill this desire, God created a perfect environment as an extension of His Kingdom. In this Garden of Eden He created the first man and woman who were to multiply and populate the earth. By this method of reproduction they were to extend the Kingdom  throughout the world. The creation of the world marked the preparation of the Kingdom of God to be inherited by man: 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. (Matthew 25:34)

The first man and woman, Adam and Eve, were given dominion over the earthly extension of God's Kingdom: And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them. And God blessed them and God said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. (Genesis 1:26-28)

God did not want forced servitude from the subjects in His earthly Kingdom. He wanted man to be part of the Kingdom of God by free choice. So He made a law in the new Kingdom. The law was based on freedom of choice. The choice would determine whether or not man would continue to live in the Kingdom of God: And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. (Genesis 2:16-17)

In Genesis chapter 3 you can read the story of the wrong choice made by Adam and Eve. When Adam and Eve sinned, they lost their inheritance in the Kingdom of God. They lost eternal life and the beautiful environment of the Kingdom.

Because of sin, certain curses came upon Satan, the earth, and man. You can read about these curses in Genesis chapter 3.  The earth was no longer a perfect environment, a flawless extension of the Heavenly Kingdom. Man no longer had dominion over the earth, and he was separated from the presence of the King because of sin. 

God had offered to extend His Kingdom through a man, but the Kingdom had been rejected. Man lost the inheritance prepared for Him by God from the foundation of the world and Satan took control of the earth.  But in this darkest hour came the promise of God to restore the Kingdom of God to man.  God said to Satan: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. (Genesis 3:15)

This was the first promise of a King who would someday come and crush the power of the enemy, Satan. From a woman's body the King, Jesus Christ, would come. Through His death man could be cleansed from sin, reborn into the Kingdom of God, obtain eternal life, and reclaim his rightful inheritance. 

A CHOSEN PEOPLE:

After man failed, God chose a nation through which He could extend His Kingdom throughout the world.   God raised up Abraham as the man from whom this nation would descend.  He made many promises concerning the nation of Israel and their role in the extension of God's Kingdom throughout the world.  You can read the story of Abraham and the promises given him and the nation of Israel in Genesis 12 through 25.      

The nation of Israel was chosen for purpose, not privilege. They were not chosen because they were better than other nations or God loved them more.  It was a choice of responsibility. That responsibility was to extend the Kingdom of God throughout the earth.  God gave Kingdom laws to the nation of Israel.  Many of these laws are recorded in the book of Exodus.

Earthly kings were later appointed to help govern God's Kingdom.  But the nation of  Israel failed in its responsibility to extend the Kingdom.  Time and time again the nation sinned and turned to false gods.  You can read examples of their failures in the book of Judges in the Old Testament.

God compared the nation of Israel to a vine in the natural world.  Israel has been chosen to bear the "fruit" of the Kingdom of God. God finally said of Israel: Israel is an empty vine, he bringeth forth fruit unto himself; according to the multitude of his fruit he hath increased the altars; according to the goodness of his land they have made goodly images. Their heart is divided; now shall they be found faulty; He shall break down their altars, He shall spoil their images. For now they shall say, We have no king, because we feared not the Lord. (Hosea 10:1-3)

Yet I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed:  how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto me.  (Jeremiah 2:21)

Because of their rejection of the Kingdom of God and failure to fulfill the responsibility of its extension, Israel became a divided nation.  They were separated into the nations of Israel and Judah. Finally both of these nations were conquered and ruled by heathen nations.  

Despite Israel's failure,  God promised that His Kingdom would someday be restored in visible form and Israel would again be part of it.  Through the prophets, God gave many promises about the coming King and the Kingdom of God in its future form.  

Promises were given to David (II Samuel 7:16; Psalms 22:27-28; 72:7-11; 89:1-4; 96 and 98) and to Jeremiah (Jeremiah 3:17-18; 23:5-6; 31:31-34).  Promises were given by the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 2:2-5; 33:20-22; 35; 62:1-2; 65:17-25).  Promises were also given to Ezekiel (Ezekiel 26:25-30; 37:22-28), Joel (Joel 2:28), Zechariah (Zechariah 8:20-23; 12:10; 14:9-17), Amos (Amos 9:15), and Micah (Micah 4).  There were many other promises given concerning the Kingdom in addition to those listed.

The nation of Israel waited for the coming of a Messiah who would fulfill these great promises. 
They waited for a King who would free them from the control of other nations.  They waited for the Kingdom which they had lost to be restored in visible form.

THE PAST KINGDOM: NEW TESTAMENT

There is a key verse which links together the Old and New Testament accounts of the Kingdom: The law and the prophets were until John; since that time the Kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it. (Luke 16:16)

Old Testament prophecies predicted the coming Kingdom and its King. The New Testament fulfilled these predictions. The Old Testament law laid the foundation for New Testament principles which would govern life in the Kingdom. When Jesus came He did not do away with the law but fulfilled it and expanded Kingdom principles on this foundation.

When John the Baptist lifted up his voice in the wilderness of Judea and announced, "The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand," he used terms common to his day. These terms were understood by the nation of Israel, for the hope of the promised Kingdom and its King burned in the heart of every Jew: In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye:  for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, prepare ye the way  of the Lord, make his paths straight.  (Matthew 3:1-3)

A CHOSEN MAN:

In the Old Testament, God selected a man to extend His Kingdom throughout the world. Adam failed in this responsibility.  In the New Testament, God sent His own Son, Jesus, to extend the Kingdom to the world.  Jesus fulfilled this responsibility, as He made it the central purpose of His life and ministry.

After the imprisonment and death of John the Baptist, Jesus began to share the message of the Kingdom: Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand:  repent ye, and believe the Gospel.  (Mark 1:14-15)

From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.  (Matthew 4:17)

During His earthly ministry, Jesus selected several key men to be His disciples. Jesus instructed them to go and preach saying "The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand" (Matthew 10:7).  What does the term "at hand" mean?  Look at the same words of Jesus used in a different context: Rise, let us be going:  behold, he is at hand that doth betray me. (Matthew 26:46)

When Jesus said the one who was to betray Him  was  "at hand," He meant the person (Judas) had arrived.  The time for betrayal was "at hand."  When Jesus said the Kingdom of God was "at hand," it meant the Kingdom had arrived.  Jesus spent His entire life telling people the  Kingdom had come, teaching the principles of Kingdom living, and explaining how men and women could enter the Kingdom of God. Although the Kingdom of God was at hand, it did not come in visible form: And when He was demanded of the Pharisees, when the Kingdom of God should come, He answered them and said, The Kingdom of God cometh not with observation; Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the Kingdom of God is within you.  (Luke 17:20-21)

The parables of Jesus about the Kingdom pictured it as seed which was sown, a mustard seed hidden in the ground, a hidden treasure, and a hidden pearl of great price.  In all these forms, the Kingdom was present yet not visible. Israel had expected the Kingdom of God to come in visible form, with great fanfare, ruled over by a visible and powerful King: And as they heard these things, He (Jesus) added and spake a parable, because He was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the Kingdom of God should immediately appear.  (Luke 19:11)

The parable Jesus told was of a nobleman who went into a far country and would return to receive his kingdom.  As Jesus was approaching Jerusalem, He was preparing the people for His forthcoming death. Through this parable He revealed that the Kingdom in its visible form was to be postponed until another coming.  On His return, it would be established.

Israel believed that the true King would immediately establish the Kingdom in all the glory of its previous visible form under King David.  God had promised King David: He shall build an house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. (II Samuel 7:13)

When Jesus rode into Jerusalem, the people thought He was coming to establish the visible Kingdom with Jerusalem as its capitol as had been prophesied since Old Testament times. Because of this, they rejoiced and honored Him as King as He entered the city. They cried: Blessed be the Kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord, Hosanna in the highest.  (Mark 11:10)

But the Kingdom was not to be visibly established. Jesus had already given a parable about leaven in a lump of dough to illustrate the spread of the Kingdom (Matthew 13:33).  It was to come through silent, steady growth just as leaven spreads through bread dough.

Jesus had already given the parable of the nobleman who went to a far country and later returned to receive his kingdom.  But Israel had not understood these Kingdom parables. Because Jesus did not immediately establish a visible Kingdom, a short time later the same people who had received Him as King rejected Him.  They turned against Him and called for His death by crucifixion.

When Jesus came to earth, the Kingdom of God was "at hand."  Because it did not come as they expected, the Jewish people rejected both the Kingdom and its King: He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of 
God, even to them that believe on His name: Which were born, not of blood,  nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.  (John 1:11-13)

Because of this rejection, Jesus announced that the Kingdom of God had been taken from Israel and given to a people who would produce the fruit of righteousness: Therefore say I unto you, The Kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.  (Matthew 21:43) By this, Jesus meant that the message of the Kingdom would be taken to the Gentile nations (all nations other than Israel). They were ready to receive and respond to it.

Jesus said the nation of Israel and Jerusalem, their capitol city, would come under judgment: And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations:  and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.  (Luke 21:24)

Because Israel rejected the Kingdom and the King, the visible establishment of the Kingdom in its final form was postponed until another coming of the King. That other coming is called the second coming of Jesus Christ. 

A CHOSEN PEOPLE:

In the Old Testament, God chose the nation of Israel as the corporate body of people through which the Kingdom could be extended throughout the world. Israel failed in this responsibility. In the New Testament, God selected the Church, those who receive and respond to the Gospel, as the corporate body through which the Kingdom is to be extended. The Apostle Paul, chosen of God to bear the Gospel of the Kingdom to the Gentiles, wrote these
words: Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by
Jesus Christ: To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.  (Ephesians 3:8-11)

Remember that the Kingdom was prepared for man by God from the foundation of the world. The Church has been chosen by God to reveal this mystery of the Kingdom to the nations of the world.  Through this, the eternal purpose of God will be accomplished: Having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which he hath purposed in Himself; That in the dispensation of the fullness of times, He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in Heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him.  (Ephesians 1:9-10)

The Church is the visible corporate body through which the Kingdom of God is to be extended throughout the world.  Study the following diagram:

The Kingdom

The Church

Believers

Jesus left the Church with the responsibility: Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.  (Mark 16:15)

He equipped believers with the power to accomplish the task: But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in  Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.  (Acts 1:8)

In the end, all things will be brought into subjection to the King, Jesus, who will return to establish the visible Kingdom.

THE PRESENT KINGDOM

Jesus taught that "the Kingdom of God is within you." That is, where the King is and where His rule is acknowledged, the present Kingdom of God exists.  The Kingdom of God is the sphere of God's rule. The Kingdom in the world is presently the sphere in which, at any given time, His rule is acknowledged.

Remember that from the time of Satan's rebellion in Heaven, war has existed between the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Satan. The earth is the scene of this universal rebellion against God. Through the sin of man, a curse came upon the earth and Satan has taken advantage to try to establish his evil kingdom. It was evident that he controlled the earthly kingdoms when he tempted Jesus: Again, the devil taketh Him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth Him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto Him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down
and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve (Matthew 4:8-10)

But God has not relinquished His sovereignty as King in the face of rebellion of man. He has declared His purpose to establish it: And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a Kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the Kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.  (Daniel 2:44)

The Kingdom of God is also here and now.  It is not something in the future which we cannot know until it is visibly established at the end of the world.  The rule of the King is presently acknowledged in the hearts of individual believers. The rule of the King is acknowledged in the true Church of Jesus Christ.  The Kingdom is present wherever people love God, have been born into the Kingdom, adopt Kingdom principles as their lifestyle, and acknowledge the reign of the Lord Jesus Christ as King.The Kingdom is said to be a "mystery" now (Mark 4:11) because it is not within the range of the
natural powers of observation: The Kingdom of God cometh not with observation...  (Luke 17:20)

The Kingdom is presently only spiritually discerned on earth.  It has been spiritually, but not yet visibly, established.   The present visible Kingdom of God is in Heaven.  This is not the heaven of which we speak when we talk of the sky above us.  This is the Heaven in which Jesus lived before He came to earth (John 17:5).  It is the Heaven to which He ascended after His resurrection from the dead (Acts 1:9-11).

Heaven is the present residence of God, Jesus, and the angels in visible form.  Heaven is where Jesus now waits until time for His return to earth to establish the Kingdom in its permanent, visible form.  While He waits in Heaven, Jesus serves as an intercessor.  He sits at the right hand of God and intercedes for believers still on earth (Hebrews 7:25).

THE FUTURE KINGDOM

Although Jesus told His disciples the Kingdom was at hand and was actually in their midst, He also spoke of the Kingdom in its future form.  He told the disciples to pray "Thy Kingdom come" (Matthew 6:10).

The disciples had expected Jesus to establish this "coming" or future Kingdom before Calvary. When Jesus died, their hope was lost.  After His resurrection their hope revived.  In the period of time between the resurrection and His return to Heaven, Jesus spoke many things about the Kingdom of God. This prompted the disciples to ask, "Wilt thou at this time restore again the Kingdom to Israel?" (Acts 1:6). Jesus answered: It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in His own power.  (Acts 1:7)

The coming of the Kingdom is certain, but the timing of its visible restoration rests with the Father. Jesus did share many things which must happen on earth before the Kingdom would be established in its final form.  These signs were revealed to help us recognize when the time is near. You can read of these signs in Matthew chapters 24 and 25, Mark chapter 13 and Luke 17:20-37; 21:8-36.  Jesus told the disciples that when these things began to happen, they were a sign that the visible restoration of the Kingdom of God was near: So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the Kingdom of God is nigh at hand.  (Luke 21:31)

THE GOSPEL TO ALL NATIONS MARKS THE BEGINNING OF THE END:  And this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. (Matthew 24:14)

JESUS WILL RETURN TO EARTH: This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into Heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into Heaven.  (Acts 1:11)

JESUS WILL DEFEAT ALL KINGDOMS OF THE WORLD: Then cometh the end, when He shall have delivered up the Kingdom to God, even the Father, when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign, till he hath put all enemies under His feet. (I Corinthians 15:24-25) And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in Heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever.  (Revelation 11:15)

SATAN AND RESIDENTS OF HIS KINGDOM WILL BE CONQUERED: And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. (Revelation 20:10)

ALL NATIONS WILL COME INTO THE KINGDOM: And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the Kingdom of Heaven. (Matthew 8:11)

ALL PEOPLE WILL ACKNOWLEDGE JESUS AS KING: Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in Heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.  (Philippians 2:9-11)

And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia:  for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.  (Revelation 19:6)

ALL MEN, LIVING AND DEAD, WILL BE JUDGED BY GOD: I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick (living) and the dead at His appearing and His Kingdom. (II Timothy 4:1)

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life:  and the
dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them; and they were judged every man according to their works... And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast  into  the lake of fire.  (Revelation 20:12, 13, 15)

Jesus told a parable about the Kingdom being like a great net cast into the sea which gathered every kind of fish.  When the net was drawn in, the good fish were separated from the bad (Matthew 13:47,48). 

He also spoke of the Kingdom as tares and wheat growing for a time together.  But in the end, the good wheat were separated from the tares (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-42).   By the example of tares among wheat Jesus taught that the Kingdom had come, but evil men were still present.  For a time, the two would coexist.  At judgment, they would be separated. Both of these parables concern the separation which will occur at the time of judgment. Those who have entered the Kingdom through the new birth will be accepted into the visible Kingdom in its final form.  All others will be cast out of the Kingdom: 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.  (Luke 13:28)

THE KINGDOM OF GOD WILL BE ESTABLISHED IN ITS VISIBLE FORM: 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.  (Daniel 7:14)

TRUE BELIEVERS WILL REIGN WITH JESUS IN THE KINGDOM: To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame and am set down with my Father in His throne. (Revelation 3:21)

 THERE WILL BE A NEW HEAVEN AND A NEW EARTH: You can read the descriptions of the new Heaven and earth in Revelation chapters 21 and 22. Jerusalem will be the throne of the Lord, and all nations will be gathered into it: At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the Lord; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart.  (Jeremiah 3:17)

A SUMMARY

Now let us summarize the past, present, and future of the Kingdom of God. Study the following chart and then study the summary which follows the chart.

The Kingdom of Heaven   

Kingdom of God

On Earth

Return of the King

Establishing of Kingdom of God in its Final Visible Form

End of Time

Extended by…  Man  Israel  Church

Note the dotted line at the top of the diagram.  It shows that God's Kingdom existed in Heaven before the creation of the earth and will continue to exist eternally. Note the arrows at the bottom of the diagram.  God created the earth as an extension of His Heavenly Kingdom.  He chose man as the instrument through which His Kingdom would be extended.  Man failed in this responsibility.

Then God chose a nation through which His Kingdom would be extended. But Israel failed in the responsibility.  They turned to heathen gods and accepted worldly standards instead of the Kingdom principles.

Then God sent His Son, Jesus Christ.  Where the first man, Adam, failed, the second man, Jesus, succeeded.  He ushered in the Kingdom of God on earth.  Jesus provided a way, through spiritual rebirth, that man could live in the Kingdom of God and that Kingdom exist within him even though he still lived in the natural world.   Because the King and His Kingdom were rejected, the visible establishment of the Kingdom was postponed until a second coming.

To extend the message or "Gospel" of the Kingdom, God has now chosen the Church.  The Church is the instrument through which the Kingdom message is to be shared with the nations of the world.   Where the first chosen people, Israel, failed, the Church will succeed. When the Gospel of the Kingdom has been preached throughout the world, the second return of the King will occur. The Kingdom of God will be established in its final, visible form.  All other worldly kingdoms will be defeated.

FACTS ABOUT THE KINGDOM OF GOD

You have learned of the past, present, and future of the Kingdom of God.  Here are some other basic facts about this Kingdom:

IT IS RULED BY GOD FROM HIS THRONE IN HEAVEN: The Lord hath prepared His throne in the Heavens; and His Kingdom ruleth over all.  (Psalms 103:19)

IT IS RULED BY A KING WHO IS UNCHANGING: Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.  (Hebrews 13:8)

THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS ETERNAL: Thy Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations.  (Psalms 145:13)

And He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of His Kingdom there shall be no end.  (Luke 1:33)

But unto the Son He saith, Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of thy Kingdom.  (Hebrews 1:8)

How great are His signs! And how mighty are His wonders!  His Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom, and His dominion is from generation to generation. 
(Daniel 4:3)

THE KINGDOM OF GOD CANNOT BE MOVED, SHAKEN, OR DESTROYED: Wherefore we receiving a Kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. (Hebrews 12:28)

THE KINGDOM WAS PREPARED SINCE THE BEGINNING: 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.  (Matthew 25:34)

GOD WANTS US TO INHERIT HIS KINGDOM: Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom.  (Luke 12:32)

And I appoint unto you a Kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me. (Luke 22:29)

THE KINGDOM IS THE LORD'S: For the Kingdom is the Lord's; and He is the governor among the nations. (Psalms 22:28)

For thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. (Matthew 6:13)

And the Lord shall be King over all the earth:  in that day shall there be one Lord, and His name one.  (Zechariah 14:9)

GOD'S KINGDOM IS SOVEREIGN OVER ALL OTHER KINGDOMS: The Lord hath prepared His throne in the Heavens; and His Kingdom ruleth
over all.  (Psalms 103:19)

THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS COMPOSED OF PEOPLE FROM ALL NATIONS: 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 13:29)

GOD'S KINGDOM IS NOT A KINGDOM OF THIS WORLD: Jesus answered, My Kingdom is not of this world:  If my Kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my Kingdom not from hence.  (John 18:36)

GOD'S KINGDOM IS BASED ON SPIRITUAL PRINCIPLES: For the Kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. (Romans 14:17)

For the Kingdom of God is not in word, but in power. (I Corinthians 4:20)

GOD'S KINGDOM CANNOT BE INHERITED BY FLESH AND BLOOD: Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of

God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. (I Corinthians 15:50)

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. 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. (John 3:3 and 5)

THERE ARE SPIRITUAL KEYS TO GOD'S KINGDOM: And I will give unto thee the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven. (Matthew 16:19)

These "keys to the Kingdom" will be explained in the following chapter.

 

SELF-TEST

1. Write the Key Verse from memory.

2. On a separate sheet of paper, write a brief summary of the past history of the Kingdom of God. 

3. On a separate sheet of paper, write a brief summary about the present Kingdom of God. 

4. On a separate sheet of paper, write a brief summary describing the future Kingdom of God. 

5. Review the basic facts about the Kingdom of God given in this lesson, then see how many you can list from memory.

 (Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)

FOR FURTHER STUDY

As you have learned in this course, there are two spiritual kingdoms and each person alive is residing in one or the other.  You are either a resident of the Kingdom of Satan or the Kingdom of God.  As long as you live on earth you will also live in a kingdom of the world.  This means you will live in a nation which is controlled by a human government.

Human government was originally ordained by God to maintain proper organization and administer His laws on earth.  God was to be the sovereign ruler over human government and it was to operate on the basis of His Word, plan, and purposes.  It is evident in the world today that governments have not followed the original plan of God. They have become evil and oppressive. They do not operate on the principles of God.  Many of these governments and their rulers do not even acknowledge the existence of God.  Such governments have become "kingdoms of the world" controlled by Satan.

Because you must live under human government it is important for you to know what the Bible teaches regarding this subject:

Kingdoms Of The World

I. God originates governments

A. Governments are ordained by God: Romans 13:1

B. Rulers are God's ministers: Romans 13:4,6

C. God sets up and takes down governments according to His will: Daniel 4:32; 5:21;  Psalms 75:7

 

II. God's plan for government

A. The original plan of God was for governments:

1. To maintain and promote the good of the people: Romans 13:3,4

2. To operate in righteousness and judge evil: Romans 13:3-4

B. Governments opposed to His plan:

1. Use authority unrighteously to fulfill selfish desires: I Kings 21:7-14

2. In such cases, God finally brings judgment upon the ruler or rulers: I Kings 21:19

 

III.    Responsibilities of government to the people

A. Must not lead people into sin: I Kings 12:28-30

B. Must promote the good of the people: Romans 13:1-5

C. Must judge evil: Romans 13:3-4

D. Must maintain internal peace: I Samuel 30:21-24

E. Must protect the rights of its citizens: Acts 22:25-30

 

IV. Principles governing rulers:

A. The ruler is to be wise:  Genesis 41:33; Deuteronomy 1:13

B. The ruler is to protect and help the poor and needy: Romans 12:4; Psalms 82:3-4

C. The ruler is to acknowledge God as God: Psalms 2:10,11

D. Rulers who do not recognize God are brought down:

1. Nebuchadnezzar: Daniel 4

2. Belshazzar: Daniel 5

3. Herod: Acts 12:21-23

E. God may set a ruler who is obedient to Him in place of one who is not: I Kings 11:11

F. God may remove a family from a place of authority because of sin: I Kings 14:7-11

G. Because of one man's righteousness, God may allow him to maintain an heir or descendent on the throne: I Kings 11:13; Luke 1:32

 

V. Relation of people to the government

A. Rulers and laws are not to be resisted: Romans 13:2

1. Submit for the Lord's sake: I Peter 2:13-14

2. Despising government is a sin of the flesh: II Peter 2:10

3. People must obey laws: Mark 12:17

B. There is an exception to such obedience:  Commands of rulers are not to be obeyed when they are opposed to God's commands or purposes:

1. Exodus 1:17

2. Daniel 3:18

3. Acts 5:29

C. People are to pay tribute to government: Romans 13:6-7; Matthew 17:25-27

D. God sometimes permits some freedom in choice of government: I Samuel 8:4-9

E. People must pray for rulers: I Timothy 2:1-2

 

VI. Human government is temporary. All governments will someday cease to exist: I Corinthians 15:24

 

CHAPTER FOUR: KEYS TO THE KINGDOM

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

·         Write the Key Verse from memory.

·         Identify the keys to the Kingdom.

·         Identify to whom the keys were given.

·         Recognize repentance from sin is necessary to gain access to the Kingdom.

·         Realize that continued spiritual growth is necessary to assure entrance to the Kingdom.

KEY VERSE: And I will give unto thee the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven:  whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven. (Matthew 16:19)

INTRODUCTION

You have learned about the existence of the eternal Kingdom of God and of the King, Jesus Christ.  In this chapter you will discover how to gain access to the Kingdom of God as you study the "keys to the Kingdom."

AN APPOINTED KINGDOM

Before Jesus returned to Heaven He told His disciples: And I appoint unto you a Kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me. (Luke 22:29)

Jesus also spoke of His Church which would extend the message of the Kingdom throughout the world: And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven.  (Matthew 16:18-19)

In this passage Jesus revealed that Peter would be one of the spiritual foundation stones of the first church.  This meant he would be a vital part of its growth and development. Peter's name actually meant "a rock" or "stone." 

Jesus then said of Himself, "...upon this rock I will build my Church" indicating that the Church would derive its existence from Him.  He would be the rock upon which the Church was built. There would be many other lesser stones (people like Peter). These stones would be an important part of the Church.  But Jesus Himself was the cornerstone on which the structure of the Church was to be built. Jesus then made two comments regarding this Church. 

First, He said that "the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it."  This implied that the Church would have enemies fighting it, but assured that the enemies would not overcome it.

Second, and most important to our study, Jesus promised to give the keys to His Kingdom to the Church. 

In the natural world if you possess the keys to a building, it means you have authority there. The authority Jesus was speaking of in this passage is a spiritual authority.  He gave the Church spiritual keys to the doors of His Kingdom.  Jesus said "I" will give them.  The power and authority of the Church was to flow from Jesus.  The use of the word "will" (future tense) meant that the keys had not yet been given at the time Jesus spoke.  This power was released in Acts 2 when the Holy Ghost was given to believers:

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.  (Acts 1:8)

The keys to the Kingdom were the power to bind and loose.  To bind something means to put fetters or a bond on it.  It is like closing and locking the door to a room.  To loose something is to release or set it free.  It is similar to opening the door to a room.

The Church would have a position of authority.  It would have the keys to God's Kingdom.  It would be the instrument through which the spiritual doors to the Kingdom would be opened to the nations of the world.  Peter would be the first to use these keys to the Kingdom. He would open the door of ministry to the Gentile nations of the world.  

The Church would have the power to loose the spiritual forces of good and bind the spiritual forces of evil.  In every difficulty faced by believers, binding and loosing would be the key to victory.

 

HOW TO ENTER THE KINGDOM

The keys to the Kingdom were given by Jesus to the Church. But specifically, how was entrance to be gained to the Kingdom of God?

John 3:1-21 records the story of Nicodemus, a religious leader at the time of Christ's ministry on earth.  He came to Jesus desiring to gain access to the Kingdom of God and, by doing so, inherit eternal life.  Jesus told him: Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.  (John 3:3)

Nicodemus was confused.  He asked Jesus: How can a man be born when he is old?  Can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?  (John 3:4)

Jesus explained to Nicodemus that the "born-again" experience of which He spoke was not a physical birth.  Through physical birth you are born into a kingdom of this world as a citizen of a nation. 

At natural birth, you inherit the basic sin nature: Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. (Psalms 51:5)

Because God's Kingdom is a spiritual kingdom, you must be born into it through spiritual rebirth. You must change your residency from the kingdom of Satan to the Kingdom of God.  Jesus said: That which is born of the flesh is flesh: and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.  (John 3:6-7)

Paul explained that you could not enter the Kingdom with a flesh and blood body: Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God...  (I Corinthians 15:50)

You enter the Kingdom of God and become heirs of the Kingdom through spiritual rebirth. The way to be born again is by believing that Jesus died to pay the penalty for your sins. You must confess your sins, ask forgiveness, and place your trust in Him: For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth 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.  (John 3:16-17) (Repentance from sin and having faith toward God is covered in a Harvestime International Institute course entitled "Foundations Of Faith."  If you have not received the born again experience, we encourage you to obtain this course and study more in this area.)

It is through Jesus that you can move from the kingdom of Satan to the Kingdom of God:(God) Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness and hath translated us into the Kingdom of His dear Son.  (Colossians 1:13)

REPENTANCE OR REVOLUTION?

When Jesus came to earth to extend the Kingdom of God, some who acknowledged Him as King thought the Kingdom would come through revolution.  They thought there would be an actual physical revolt against the existing ruling powers of the world.  But Jesus taught that the key to His Kingdom was not revolution but repentance: Jesus answered, My Kingdom is not of this world:  if my Kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight that I should not be delivered to the Jews:  but now is my Kingdom not from hence.  (John 18:36)

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

From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.  (Matthew 4:17)

When Jesus died on the cross two thieves were crucified on crosses near Him.  One of them repented and asked: Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy Kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.  (Luke 23:42-43)

Repentance is the only way to gain access to the Kingdom of God. Jesus warned that there would be many false doctrines and false prophets claiming they were the way to the Kingdom: Enter ye in at the strait gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.  (Matthew 7:13-14)

There is only one way to enter the Kingdom and that is through Jesus Christ. Jesus warned that you should enter the gate to eternal life now, because someday the entrance will be shut: Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I  say unto you, will seek to enter in and shall not be able. When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us: and He shall answer and say unto you, I know not whence ye are. (Luke 13:24-25) 

Now the door to the Kingdom is open.  You can enter it by repenting from sin.  In the time of God's judgment of the world, it will be too late.  The door will be closed.

THREE PARABLES ABOUT ENTRANCE

Jesus told a series of parables in Luke 15:1-32.  You will learn more about parables later in this course.  Parables were natural examples Jesus used to illustrate spiritual truths.  Read the parables in Luke 15 about a lost sheep, a lost coin, and a lost son.  They all concern entrance to the Kingdom of God.

·         The parable of the shepherd seeking the lost sheep illustrates how God seeks to bring those who are spiritually lost into His Kingdom.

·         The parable of the woman looking for a lost coin illustrates the diligence with which you should seek for those lost in sin to guide them to the Kingdom.

·         The parable of the lost son illustrates the principle of repentance through which you can gain your rightful place as an heir of the Kingdom of God.

ADDING TO FAITH

It is through faith in God and His Son, Jesus Christ that you enter the Kingdom of God: Hearken, my beloved brethren, hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the Kingdom which He hath promised to them that love Him.  (James 2:5)

The Apostle Peter, however, speaks of spiritual qualities you should seek to develop in your life after the new birth experience: And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue: and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure:  for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (II Peter 1:5-11)

After you enter the Kingdom through faith, you must develop a lifestyle consistent with governing principles of the Kingdom of God. If you do not do this, you will soon forget God has cleansed you from sin and return to the old sinful lifestyle. Peter says that if you go on to spiritual maturity your entrance to the Kingdom will be assured. Later in this course you will learn principles for living in the Kingdom of God which will help you achieve spiritual maturity. 

 

SELF-TEST

1. Write the Key Verse from memory.

2. To whom were the keys of the Kingdom given?

3. What are the keys to the Kingdom?

4. What necessary action must one take in order to transfer from the kingdom of Satan to the Kingdom of God?

5. What did Jesus tell Nicodemus he must do in order to enter the Kingdom of God?

6. What does the passage in II Peter 1:5-11 teach?  (You may use your Bible to read these verses again).

7. What does it mean to bind something?

8. What does it mean to loose something?

 (Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)

FOR FURTHER STUDY

In a previous chapter you studied an outline of the life and teachings of Jesus organized on the basis of the King, the Kingdom, and principles of the Kingdom.  The outline combined the four Gospel records of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. 

Now you will study one of the Gospels in detail.  The book of Matthew, although written for all believers, targeted the Jews as its original audience.  Matthew presented Jesus as the promised Messiah and stressed the role of Jesus as King of the Jews.  Matthew emphasized the Gospel of the Kingdom taught by Jesus. Because of this emphasis, Matthew is one of the most Kingdom-oriented books of the Bible.  The word "kingdom" is found more than 50 times in Matthew's record and he uses the phrase  "Kingdom of Heaven" throughout the entire book.

Use the following outline to study the book of Matthew in terms of the King, His Kingdom, and Kingdom principles.

 

Part One:  The Genealogy Of The King (1:1-17)

I. Introduction: 1:1

II. People in the genealogy: 1:2-16

III. The plan of the genealogy: 1:17

 

Part Two:  The Birth And Childhood Of The King (1:18-2:23)

I. The conception: 1:18-23

II. The birth: 1:24-25

III. Events related to the birth: 2:1-23

A. Visit of the wise men and Herod's plot: 2:1-12

B. The flight into Egypt: 2:13-15

C. Herod's revenge: 2:16-18

D. Return to the Nazareth home: 2:19-23

 

Part Three:  Preparation (3:1-4:11)

I. Preparation for the King's coming: 3:1-17

A. The ministry and message of John the Baptist: 3:1-12

B. The baptism of the King: 3:13-17

II. Preparation of the King: 4:1-11

A. His humanity attacked by Satan: 4:1-4

B. His divinity attacked by Satan: 4:5-7

C. His Messiahship attacked by Satan: 4:8-11

 

Part Four:  Ministry Of The King In Galilee (4:12-13:58)

I. A call to repentance: 4:12-17

II. Four fishermen called to discipleship: 4:18-22

III. Early success and fame: 4:23-25

IV. Principles of conduct for Kingdom citizens: 5:1-7:28

A. Attitudes that should characterize Kingdom citizens: 5:1-12

B. The witness of Kingdom citizens: Light and salt: 5:13-16

C. Kingdom principles in relation to the law and the prophets: 5:17-48

l. God's law in general: 5:17-20

2. The new law: 5:21-48

a. Killing: 5:21-26

b. Adultery: 5:27-30

c. Divorce: 5:31-32

d. Oaths: 5:33-37

e. Treatment of others: 5:38-48

D. Three attitudes of worship in the Kingdom: 6:1-18

l. Giving:  Outward look: 6:1-4

2. Praying:  Upward look: 6:5-15

3. Fasting:  Inward look: 6:16-18

E. Priorities for Kingdom citizens: 6:19-33

1. In relation to values: 6:19-21

2. In relation to service: 6:22-24

3. In relation to material needs:  6:25-34

4. The proper priority:  The Kingdom: 6:33

F. Proper conduct for Kingdom citizens: 7:1-29

1. Judging: 7:1-5

2. Care for that which is holy: 7:6

3. Prayer: 7:7-12

a. Three kinds of prayer:  Asking, seeking, knocking:  7:7-8

b. Comparing natural fathers and the Heavenly Father: 7:9-11

G. Special warnings to Kingdom citizens: 7:13-29

1. Two gates: 7:13-14

2. False prophets: 7:15-20

3. The proof of God's man:  Doing His will: 7:21-23

4. A comparison of wise and foolish men: 7:24-27

H. Astonishment at the doctrine of Jesus: 7:28-29

V. The authority of the King: 8:1-9:38

A. Authority over disease: 8:1-17

1. Healing of a leper: 8:1-4

2. Healing of the Centurion's servant: 8:5-13

3. Healing of Peter's mother-in-law: 8:14-15

4. Healing of all types of diseases: 8:16-17

B. Authority over His disciples: 8:18-22

C. Authority over natural elements: 8:23-27

D. Authority over demons: 8:28-34

E. Authority over sin: 9:1-8

F. Authority over men: 9:9-17

1. The calling of Matthew: 9:9

2. Eating with sinners: 9:10-13

3. Answering a challenge: 9:14-17

G. Authority over death:  The ruler's daughter: 9:18-19, 23-26

H. Authority over physical conditions:  8:20-38

1. Woman with the issue of blood: 8:20-22

2. Blindness: 9:27-31

3. Deafness and demon possession: 9:32-34

4. The compassion of Jesus: 9:35-38

VI. Commissioned by the King: 10:1-42

A. The twelve missionaries and their authority: 10:1-4

B. Instructions for the journey: 10:5-42

1. Where to go: 10:5-6

2. The ministry: 10:7-8

3. Material instructions: 10:9-15

4. Spiritual instructions: 10:16-42

VII. Attitudes towards the Kingdom: 11:1-30

A. The Kingdom misunderstood: 11:1-11

B. The Kingdom perverted: 11:12-19

C. The Kingdom rejected: 11:20-24

D. The Kingdom accepted: 11:25-30

VIII. Controversies with the Pharisees: 12:1-14

A. Harvesting on the Sabbath: 12:1-8

B. Healing on the Sabbath: 12:9-13

C. The results: 12:14-21

IX. The unpardonable sin: 12:22-37

X. Christ's reply to the demands of the Pharisees: 12:38-45

XI. The priority of spiritual over physical relationships in the Kingdom: 12:46-50

XII. Parables of the Kingdom: 13:1-53

A. Parable of the sower: 13:1-9

B. The reason for speaking in parables: 13:10-17

C. Interpretation of the parable of the sower: 13:18-23

D. Parable of the tares: 13:24-30

E. Parable of the mustard seed: 13:31-32

F. Parable of the leaven: 13:33

G. Summary concerning parables: 13:34-35

H. Interpretation of the parable of the tares: 13:36-43

I. Parable of the treasure hidden in a field: 13:44

J. Parable of the pearl of great value: 13:45-46

K. Parable of the dragnet: 13:47-50

L. Concluding remarks about parables: 13:51-52

XIII.  The King's reception in His home town: 13:53-58

 

Part Five:  Ministry Of The King In Regions Near Galilee (14:1-18:35)

I. The death of John the Baptist: 14:1-12

II. Jesus' withdrawal beyond the sea: 14:13-15:20

A. Feeding the 5,000: 14:13-21

B. Following for loaves and fishes: 14:22-23

C. Walking on the sea: 14:24-33

D. Ministry in Gennesaret: 14:34-36

E. Controversy with the Pharisees and Scribes: 15:1-20

III. Jesus' withdrawal to the region of Tyre and Sidon: 15:21-28

IV. Jesus' withdrawal to the vicinity of Decapolis: 15:29-38

A. Healing ministry near the Sea of Galilee: 15:29-31

B. Feeding the 4,000: 15:32-38

V. Ministry in the regions of Magdala: 15:39-16:4

VI. Warning the disciples concerning the Pharisees and the Sadducees: 16:5-12

VII. Withdrawal to Caesarea-Philippi: 16:13-17:21

A. Testing the disciples: 16:13-20

B. Announcement of His death, resurrection, and return: 16:21-28

C. Christ's transfiguration: 17:1-13

D. Healing of a lunatic: 17:14-21

VIII. A brief visit to Galilee: 17:22-18:35

A. A reminder of His death and resurrection: 17:22-23

B. Paying the temple tax: 17:24-27

C. A lesson in greatness: 18:1-6

D. Warnings concerning offenses: 18:7-9

E. Parable of the lost sheep: 18:10-14

F. Settling disputes among Kingdom citizens: 18:15-35 

1. How to settle disputes: 18:15-17

2. The responsibilities and privileges of Kingdom citizens: 18:18-20

3. A question on forgiveness: 18:21-22

4. The King and his debtors: 18:23-35

 

Part Six:  Ministry Of The King In Perea (19:1-20:34)

I. Healing multitudes in Judea: 19:1-2

II. The question concerning divorce: 19:3-12

III. Children blessed by Jesus: 19:13-15

IV. Interview with the Rich Young Ruler: 19:16-22

V. The peril of riches: 19:23-30

VI. Parable of the householder: 20:1-16

VII. Impending death and resurrection of Jesus: 20:17-19

VIII. A mother's selfish request: 20:20-28

IX. Two blind men healed near Jericho: 20:29-34

 

Part Seven:  The King's Last Week (21:1-27:31

I. The royal entry into Jerusalem: 21:1-11

II. Cleansing the temple: 21:12-17

III. The fig tree cursed: 21:18-22

IV. The authority of Jesus challenged: 21:23-32

V. Parable of the wicked husbandmen: 21:33-46

VI. Parable of the marriage feast: 22:1-14

VII. Attempts to discredit Jesus: 22:15-45

A. Question of paying taxes to Caesar: 22:15-22

B. Question concerning the resurrection: 22:23-33

C. Question of the great commandment: 22:34-40

D. Questions by Jesus: 22:41-46

VIII. Discussion concerning the Scribes and Pharisees: 23:1-39

A. They pretend religious authority: 23:1-3

B. They impose burdens: 23:4

C. They covet praise: 23:5-7

D. Advice to His disciples: 23:8-12

E. Woes upon the Scribes and Pharisees: 23:13-36

F. The cry over Jerusalem: 23:37-39

IX. The future of the Kingdom: 24:1-25:46

A. The destruction of the temple: 24:1-2

B. Signs of the end: 24:3-14

C. The tribulation period: 24:15-22

D. The return of Jesus: 24:23-31

E. Parable of the fig tree: 24:32-35

F. The day of the Lord: 24:36-41

G. The command to watch:  24:42-51

H. Parables concerning the end times: 25:1-46

l. The ten virgins: 25:1-13

2. The talents: 25:14-30

3. The sheep and goats: 25:31-46

X. Events prior to the crucifixion: 26:1-27:31

A. Announcement of approaching death: 26:1-2

B. The plot to kill Jesus: 26:3-5

C. Anointed for burial: 26:6-13

D. Agreement of Judas to betray Jesus: 26:14-16

E. The Last Supper: 26:17-29

l. Preparations for the Passover: 26:17-19

2. The Last Supper: 26:20-29

3. Jesus' warning and Peter's boast: 26:30-35

F. Gethsemane: 26:36-46

G. Betrayal and arrest: 26:47-56

H. The trials of Jesus: 26:57-27:26

 

Part Eight:  The King's Death And Triumph (27:27-28:20)

I. The crucifixion and burial: 27:27-66

A. The mockery by the soldiers: 27:27-31

B. The road to Calvary: 27:32

C. Death on Calvary: 27:33-50

D. Supernatural events: 27:51-54

E. The faithful women: 27:55-56

F. The burial: 27:57-61

G. The tomb guarded: 27:62-66

II. The resurrection: 28:1-15

III. The Great Commission: 28:16-20

 

CHAPTER FIVE: CAST OUT OF THE KINGDOM

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

·         Write the Key Verse from memory.

·         Identify Biblical passages which list sins preventing entrance to the Kingdom of God.

·         Define sins which prevent entrance into the Kingdom of God.

·         Provide a Biblical reference which explains how to eliminate sins preventing entrance to the Kingdom.

KEY VERSE: Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven:  but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in Heaven. (Matthew 7:21)

INTRODUCTION

In the last chapter you learned spiritual keys which permit access to the Kingdom of God.  This chapter concerns things which prevent entrance into the Kingdom of God. It deals with the tragic reality that some people will be cast out of the Kingdom.

CAST OUT OF THE KINGDOM

There are many who profess to be part of God's Kingdom who are not actually Kingdom residents.  The Bible speaks of the Kingdom being filled with good seed and tares resulting from bad seed: The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the Kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one... The Son of Man (Jesus) shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity. And shall cast them into a furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. (Matthew 13:38-43)

At the present time there are those who claim to be Kingdom residents who still live in sin. There will come a future day of judgment when God will separate these people from the true residents of the Kingdom.  Those who are evil will be cast out of the Kingdom of God.

The Bible also compares the present Kingdom to a big net thrown into the sea which gathers
many kinds of fish: Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end of the world:  the angels shall come forth and sever the wicked from among the just. And shall cast them into the furnace of fire:  there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.  (Matthew 13:47-50) 

The Bible tells of a day in the future when... Many shall come from the east, and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob in the Kingdom of Heaven.  (Matthew 8:11)

But Jesus warns that... 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.  (Luke 13:28)

Before the final establishment of the Kingdom, God will judge all men, those alive at the return of Jesus and those who previously died: I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick (alive) and the dead at His appearing and His Kingdom. (II Timothy 4:1)

At the time of final judgment there will be division made between all men.  Some will enter the Kingdom and some will be cast out: When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory: And before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 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.  (Matthew 25:31-34)

 

GAINING PERMANENT RESIDENCY

Because the Bible reveals some people will be cast out of the Kingdom, it is important to understand how to gain permanent residency in the Kingdom of God.  Jesus said: Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven:  but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in Heaven.  (Matthew 7:21)

Acknowledging Jesus is Lord does not assure permanent residency in the Kingdom of God. Jesus said  verbal commitment was not enough.  You must do the will of the Father.  It is God's will that you repent of your sins and receive Jesus Christ as Savior: The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.  (II Peter 3:9)

After accepting Jesus as Savior you must continue to do the will of God.  You must live by the principles of the new Kingdom into which you have entered.  These principles will be explained later in this course.

Becoming a resident of the Kingdom of God requires more than a verbal commitment.  It involves changes in thought and action patterns.  You must develop a new lifestyle consistent with the patterns and principles of God's Kingdom.

The importance of doing God's will is stressed in a story told by Jesus in Matthew 21:28-32. Read this story in your Bible. It reveals that personal response to the Gospel is necessary.  Verbal commitment is not enough.  You must take action.

 

SINS PREVENTING ENTRANCE

Sin prevents entrance to the Kingdom of God.  Sin is breaking the law of God: Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the
transgression of the law.  (I John 3:4) There are many sins identified in the New Testament.  In another Harvestime International Institute course entitled "Foundations Of Faith" there is a complete listing of these sins.

Two specific passages identify sins which prevent entrance to the Kingdom of God: Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the Kingdom of God?  Be not deceived:  neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners shall inherit the Kingdom of God.  (I Corinthians 6:9-10)

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like:  of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God.  (Galatians 5:19-21)

Some sins are listed in both of these passages, and each passage contains sins not listed in the other reference. 

The following sins are mentioned in both Corinthians and Galatians:

UNRIGHTEOUS: The first listing in the Corinthians passage states that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God.  Galatians repeats that the unrighteous are not heirs to the Kingdom.  Galatians calls it "uncleanness" which is spiritual or moral unrighteousness. Many nations of the world have a system whereby a person, upon their death, can pass on possessions to other people.  The people who are to inherit are called heirs.  If you are the heir to something it means you are to inherit it; something is being given to you from someone else.  But in order to receive, you must meet certain requirements.  You must be a rightful heir according to the laws of the nation.

You are an heir of the Kingdom of God.  Jesus made you an heir at the time of His death. Through His death for your sins, you can gain entrance to the Kingdom.  But to be a rightful heir you must receive forgiveness for past sins, trust Jesus to change your lifestyle, thoughts, and actions, and begin to live righteously.  These are the requirements set by the Scriptures. The word "righteous" means to be just, right, and holy.  It means to conform to the will of God as revealed in His written Word with holiness in thought, word, and action. Righteousness cannot be obtained by obedience to any law.  It is only obtained through faith in Jesus.  The person who trusts in Jesus becomes "the righteousness of God in Him."  He becomes all God requires a man to be and all that he could never be in himself: For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin:  that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.  (II Corinthians 5:21)

The scribes and Pharisees, religious leaders during the time of Christ's earthly ministry, tried to be righteous by conforming to religious traditions.  But Jesus warned: Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.  (Matthew 5:20)

Jesus told the religious leaders: Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!   For ye shut up the Kingdom of Heaven against men:  for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.  (Matthew 23:13)

Anyone who adopts religious creeds, traditions, rules, or regulations to try to obtain righteousness is in the same class as the scribes and Pharisees. Such things are false righteousness. They involve outward conformity to rules rather than an inward change of heart. If someone teaches such traditions are the way to obtain righteousness, then they prevent the entrance of others into the Kingdom.

The terms "unrighteousness" and "uncleanness" are very inclusive.  Although all the sins identified in God's Word are not listed in the Galatians and Corinthians passages, these two terms include all sin.  Anyone living unrighteously in any sin will not enter the Kingdom.  Note that the Corinthians passage warns "do not be deceived."  To believe you can live as you please and still enter the Kingdom of God is a deceptive lie of Satan.

FORNICATORS: Fornication is sexual intercourse by two people who are not married to each other.  This sin includes adultery, which is sexual intercourse by a married person with someone who is not their mate.  Fornication also includes sexual intercourse between people who are not married.  It includes sexual sins such as homosexuality (sex with someone of the same sex) and incest (sex with a blood relative).

IDOLATERS: Idolatry is the worship of idols.  This does not just mean the worship of images out of stone, wood, or precious metals.  An idol is anything that is more important to us than God. Idolaters are those who practice idolatry or worship something other than the true God.  Idolatry is the lack of acknowledgment of God's rightful position in your life.

ADULTERERS: Adultery is sexual intercourse by a married person with someone who is not their mate.  

DRUNKARDS: In the Galatians passage this sin is called drunkenness.  It is the condition of having mental and physical faculties affected by drinking of strong drink, usually alcoholic beverages. The following sins are listed only in the Corinthians passage:

EFFEMINATE: This not only applies to a male who practices lewd sexual sins, but those guilty of sexual sins of the flesh.

ABUSERS OF THEMSELVES WITH MANKIND: To abuse means to take unfair advantage or mistreat.  People who "abuse themselves with mankind" commit wrong sexual acts with others.  In doing so, they are abusing their own bodies.

THIEVES: Thieves are people who steal.  They take things that belong to other people without their permission or knowledge. They are also called robbers.

COVETOUS: When you covet something you long for something with intense desire, wishing you had something instead of the person who has it. You might covet someone's money, property, position, or power.  You might also covet someone's husband or wife.

EXTORTIONERS: Extortion means to take a thing by force, to make someone give you something by exercising power over them.

REVILERS: Revile means to speak profanely, speak against, or talk back to someone in an unholy manner. The following sins are listed only in the Galatians passage:

LASCIVIOUSNESS: Lasciviousness is the sin of lust, sinful emotions, lewd, filthy, and shameless conduct.

WITCHCRAFT: Witchcraft is the practice of witches, including white and black magic, sorcery, astrology, voodoo, use of potions, spells, enchantments, and drugs.  It includes all Satanic practices and worship.

HATRED: Hatred is the opposite of love.  It is an emotion of intense dislike for another person.

VARIANCE: Variance is disagreement, disharmony, and dissension.  It is similar to strife.

EMULATIONS: Emulations is the desire to copy others and to equal or excel them.  It is a spirit of rivalry and a form of jealousy.

WRATH: Wrath is violent anger, an angry act, or rage.

STRIFE: Strife is quarreling, fighting, or conflict.  It means a clash or dispute.

SEDITIONS: Sedition is the stirring up of unrest or discord. 

HERESIES: Heresies are beliefs contrary to the Word of God.  They are self-willed opinions which are in error and lead to division in the church.

ENVYINGS: Envy is jealousy excited by the success of others, resenting their financial, spiritual, or material blessings. 

MURDERERS: To murder is to take the life of another with willful malice and forethought.  Murder is not the same as self-defense or an accidental killing.

REVELLINGS: This means to engage or delight in worldly living, riotous, or boisterous behavior.

 

ENTRANCE DENIED

In addition to these lists of specific sins, there are other things mentioned in the Bible which result in entrance to the Kingdom being denied:

FLESH AND BLOOD: Paul warned: Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.  (I Corinthians 15:50) This relates back to the keys to the Kingdom discussed in the previous chapter. The Kingdom of God is a spiritual Kingdom.  You cannot enter it with your flesh and blood body.   As discussed in the last chapter, you must make a spiritual decision to enter the Kingdom by being born again: 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. Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.  (John 3:3 and 5)

For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  (II Peter 1:11)

LACK OF CHILDLIKE FAITH: Jesus said... Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.  (Matthew 18:3)

Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the Kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.  (Mark 10:15)

It is necessary to become like a little child in order to enter the Kingdom of God.  This does not mean you become physically or emotionally like a child, any more than being born again means entering again into your mother's womb.  It means you must enter the Kingdom by simple, childlike faith.  If you do not do so, you cannot enter the Kingdom.

RICHES: On one occasion during the earthly ministry of Jesus, a certain ruler said he wanted to follow Him as a disciple.  (Read this story in Luke 18:18-25).  This ruler was a righteous man, but Jesus said... Yet lackest thou one thing:  sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in Heaven: and come, follow me. And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich. (Luke 18:22-23)

The rich ruler would not follow Jesus because His riches were more important than the Lord... And when Jesus saw that He was very sorrowful, He said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the Kingdom of God.  (Luke 18:24)

And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto His disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the Kingdom of God. And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the Kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God.  (Mark 10:23-25)

Jesus did not mean that riches would keep men out of the Kingdom.  It is the love of riches that keep men from the Kingdom because... the love of money is the root of all evil. (I Timothy 6:10) When riches are more important than following Jesus they prevent entrance to the Kingdom.

 

THE REMEDY FOR SIN

If you are guilty of any sin, there is only one remedy: Forgiveness through Jesus Christ.  Paul said: And such were some of you:  but ye are washed, but ye are  sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. (I Corinthians 6:11)

No matter what you have done in the past, no matter what you are doing in the present, you can be forgiven: If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  (I John 1:8-9) When you are cleansed from all unrighteousness, you are forgiven of all sins which prevent entrance to the Kingdom of God. 

PLUCK IT OUT: Open your Bible to Mark 9:43-48.  In this passage Jesus teaches that if your hand or foot offends you, you are to cut them off.  He says if your eye offends you, pluck it out: And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out:  it is better for thee to enter into the Kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire. (Mark 9:47)

Jesus means that anything which causes sin in your life must be removed.  Even though it is something you consider needful or precious, it must be removed.  He uses the example of the hand, foot, and eye.  In the natural these are needful and precious body parts. But Jesus says if they cause you to sin, it is better to remove them than to let them prevent your entrance into the Kingdom.

There is nothing...no sin, pleasure, or possession worth the penalty of being cast out of the Kingdom.

 

SELF-TEST

1. Write the Key Verse from memory.

2. List two references which list specific sins that prevent entrance into the Kingdom of God.

3. Read each statement below.  If the statement is true, write the letter T on the blank in front of it.  If it is false, write the letter F on the blank in front of it.

a._____If you are rich, you cannot gain entrance into the Kingdom of God.

b._____Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God.

c._____Jesus indicated you are to remove anything in your life which might prevent entrance into the Kingdom.

d._____Jesus said you must become like a little child in order to enter the Kingdom of God.

e._____You must receive Jesus as Savior in order to enter the Kingdom of God.

f._____All you must do is say "Jesus is Lord" and you will be assured entrance into the Kingdom of God.

g._____There will be a final time of judgment and some people will be cast out of the Kingdom.

4. Give a Biblical reference which explains how to eliminate sins preventing entrance to the Kingdom of God.

5. Read the list of sins which prevent entrance to the Kingdom given in Column One.  Then read the definitions in Column Two.  Write the number of the correct definition on the blank in front of the sin which it describes.  The first one is done as an example for you to follow.

 

Column 1

Column 2

____ a. Unrighteousness

1. Wordly living, riotous behavior.

____ b. Fornicators

2. This includes all sin.

____ c. Idolaters

3. Jealousy of success of others.

____ d. Adulterers

4. To take the life of another.

____ e. Drunkards

5. Sex between two people not married to each other.

____ f. Effeminate

6. Affected by strong drink.

____ g. Abusers of themselves

7. People who steal.

____ h. Thieves

8. To speak against someone in an unholy manner.

____ i. Covetous

9. Worship of idols.

____ j. Extortioners

10. Make who practices lewd sexual sins.

____ k. Revilers

11. Sex by a married person with one who is not their mate.

____ l. Lasciviousness

12. Abuse their own bodies.

____ m. Witchcraft

13. Desiring something belonging to another person.

____ n. Hatred

14. To take a thing by force.

____ o. Variance

15. Sinful emotions, filthy conduct.

____ p. Emulations

16. Violent anger.

____ q. Wrath

17. Beliefs contrary to the Word of God.

____ r. Strife

18. Intense dislike.

____ s. Seditions

19. Disagreement, disharmony.

____ t. Heresies

20. Desire to copy others and equal or excel them.

____ u. Envying

21. Quarreling, fighting.

____ v. Murderers

22. Stirring up discord.

____ w. Revellings

23. Practice of witches.

(Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)

FOR FURTHER STUDY

Study references to the Kingdom of God and summarize the Kingdom principles taught in the book of Mark: 1:14-15; 3:24; 4:11,26,30; 9:1,47; 10:14-15, 23-25; 11:9-10; 13:8; 14:25; 15:43

 

CHAPTER SIX: PATTERNS AND PRINCIPLES:  AN INTRODUCTION

 

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

·         Write the Key Verse from memory.

·         Define the word "pattern."

·         Define the word "principle."

·         Explain what is meant by a "Biblical pattern."

·         Explain what is meant by a "Biblical principle."

·         Explain what is meant by "Kingdom patterns and principles."

KEY VERSE: All this, said David, the Lord made me understand in writing by His hand upon me, even all the works of this pattern.  (I Chronicles 28:19)

INTRODUCTION

In the previous chapter you learned of spiritual keys which provide entrance to the Kingdom of God.  When you take up residency in the Kingdom of God you must learn the patterns and principles of Kingdom living.  It is similar to learning the lifestyle of a new country to which you have immigrated. The Bible is the written record of the patterns and principles by which the Kingdom of God operates.  Before you study the principles in the following chapters, you must understand their importance.

 

PATTERNS AND PRINCIPLES

A pattern is an original or model of something created for the purpose of imitation.  It is something designed to be copied or imitated.  For example, in the western world clothing is created from patterns.  A dress pattern is placed on material and the material cut according to the pattern.  Many dresses can be created from the same pattern and they will all be identical because they came from the same pattern.

A principle is a truth, method, or rule adopted as the basis for action or conduct.  It is a general truth composed of other subordinate truths.  "Subordinate" truths are related to the general truth. For example, a basic principle of the constitution of the United States of America provides for freedom of expression.  The subordinate truths include the rights to  write and speak freely, conduct lawful assemblies, express beliefs, etc.

 

BIBLICAL PATTERNS AND PRINCIPLES

A Biblical pattern is a spiritual model or example given in Scripture for purposes of imitation. For example, the life of Jesus Christ is given as a pattern or model which believers are to follow. A Biblical principle is a spiritual truth taught in Scripture.  Such principles often incorporate additional subordinate principles which apply to many different situations.   For example, one Biblical principle taught by Jesus is "Give and ye shall receive."  Its subordinate truths apply to giving money, material goods, friendship, etc.  In each of these, spiritual benefits are received as a result of the act of giving.

 

THE IMPORTANCE OF PATTERNS AND PRINCIPLES

Read Ezekiel 43:7-12. This passage stresses the importance of patterns and principles.  God established specific patterns for the nation of Israel to follow which included spiritual patterns of conduct as well as material patterns for their places of worship. But Israel set up their own patterns. This is what God means when He says they have "set up their thresholds by my thresholds" and "their posts by my posts."   Because Israel created their own patterns, they erected a wall of separation between them and God which stopped the flow of God's power. It prevented their worship and service from being acceptable to Him.

The prophet Ezekiel told the people to look at God's pattern and measure the pattern of their lives accordingly: Thou son of man, shew the house to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities; and let them measure the pattern. (Ezekiel 43:10)

When people set up their own patterns of conduct, their own denominational, religious, or cultural rules, they set up a false standard of measurement. They begin to teach as Biblical doctrine things that are nothing but commandments of men. Jesus said of such people: But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.  (Matthew 15:9)

 It is important to understand Biblical patterns and principles because otherwise your worship of God can be in vain. There are many worldly standards of measurement. There are different patterns for worldly conduct and success which men pattern themselves after.  Men measure themselves by other men instead of by God's standard.  The Apostle Paul wrote: For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves:  but they measuring themselves by themselves,  and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. (II Corinthians 10:12)

When Moses was given instructions for building the tabernacle, he was cautioned to do everything according to the pattern given by God: According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it...And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was shewed thee in the mount.  (Exodus 25:9, 40)

As Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith He, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.  (Hebrews 8:5) King David was careful to follow God's pattern when he planned for the construction of the temple: All this, said David, the Lord made me understand in writing by His hand upon me, even all the works of this pattern.  (I Chronicles 28:19)

These men were careful to follow the pattern of God in the physical world.  How much more careful we should be to follow the spiritual patterns and principles found in the Bible.

 

EXAMPLES OF BIBLICAL PATTERNS

Jesus was the great example by which believers are to pattern their lives: For I (Jesus) have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to
you.  (John 13:15)

The lives of men and women of God are recorded in the Bible as patterns for us to follow: Now these things were our examples. (I Corinthians 10:6)

Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition. (I Corinthians 10:11)

The record of the nations in the Bible provide positive examples for other nations to follow and negative examples to avoid: And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly.  (II Peter 2:6)

Christian leaders are to be examples to their followers: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. (I Peter 5:2-3)

The Apostle Paul wrote: Brethren, be followers together of me, and  mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.  (Philippians 3:17)

Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us.  (II Thessalonians 3:9)

Believers are to be spiritual patterns themselves. They are to provide a positive spiritual example for others to follow: Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. (I Timothy 4:12)

So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. (I Thessalonians 1:7)

In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works. (Titus 2:7)

If you are to provide a positive spiritual pattern for others, then you must understand and incorporate Biblical principles into your life.

 

EXAMPLES OF BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES

In Hebrews 5:12 Paul refers to the "first principles of the oracles of God."  In Hebrews 6:1-3 he lists these principles. Because of their importance, Harvestime International Institute has devoted an entire course, "Foundations Of  Faith," to these principles. We suggest you obtain the course, "Foundations Of Faith,"  as a companion to this course.  It explains in detail the importance of basic Biblical principles.  These basic principles provide the spiritual foundation for incorporating Kingdom patterns and principles into your life.

KINGDOM PATTERNS AND PRINCIPLES

In the following chapters you will learn patterns and principles which govern life in the Kingdom of God as you study "The Culture Of The Kingdom." These patterns and principles differ from worldly standards and from the patterns and principles of the kingdoms of this world.

 

SELF-TEST

1. Write the Key Verse from memory.

2. Define the word "pattern."

3. Define the word "principle."

4. What is meant by a "Biblical pattern?"

5. What is meant by a "Biblical principle?"

6. What is meant by "patterns and principles of Kingdom living?"

 (Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)

FOR FURTHER STUDY

In the next few chapters you will study basic principles governing life in the Kingdom of God. These principles are based upon commandments given by Jesus.  Use the following outline to study these commands.

COMMANDS OF THE KING

REPENTANCE:

·         Repent: Matthew 4:17; Revelation 2:5

·         Come unto Me: Matthew 11:28

·         Seek first God, and His righteousness: Matthew 6:33

·         Forgive if ye have ought against any: Mark 11:25

·         Deny yourself: Matthew 16:24

·         Ask...seek...knock: Matthew 7:7

·         Strive to enter in at the strait gate: Luke 13:24

BELIEF:

·         Believe the Gospel: Mark 1:15

·         Ye believe in God, believe also in Me: John 14:1

·         Believe on Him whom He (God) hath sent: John 6:28-29

·         Believe Me that I am in the Father He in Me: John 14:11

·         Believe the works...I do: John 10:37-38

·         While ye have light, believe in the light: John 12:36

·         Believe that ye receive: Mark 11:24

THE NEW BIRTH:

·         Ye must be born again: John 3:7

·         Cleanse first that which is within: Matthew 23:26

·         Make the tree good, and his fruit good: Matthew 12:33

·         Abide in Me, and I in you: John 15:4

·         Have salt in yourselves: Mark 9:50

·         Labor...for that meat which endureth: John 6:27

·         Rejoice, your names are in heaven: Luke 10:20

RECEIVING THE HOLY GHOST:

·         Receive ye the Holy Ghost: John 20:22

·         Let the children first be filled: Mark 7:27

·         If any man thirst, let him come to me: John 7:37-39

·         Keep My commandments; another comforter: John 14:15-17

·         Ask...with importunity: John 16:24; Luke 11:5-13

·         Tarry...until ye be endued with power: Luke 24:49

·         The comforter will testify of me and ye also: John 15:26-27

FOLLOWING JESUS:

·         Follow Me: John 12:26

·         Be baptized: Matthew 3:13-15;  28:19

·         This do in remembrance of Me: Luke 22:17-19

·         Ye also ought to wash one another's feet: John 13:14-15   

·         If any man come after Me...let him take His cross: Luke 9:23

·         Learn of Me: Matthew 11:29

·         Continue ye in My love: John 15:9

PRAYER:

·         Pray always: Luke 21:36

·         Pray that ye enter not in temptation: Luke 22:40-46

·         Pray...the Lord of the harvest for laborers: Luke 10:2

·         Pray for them which despitefully use you: Luke 6:28

·         Pray to the Father...in My name: Matthew 6:6; John 16:24-26

·         After this manner therefore pray ye: Matthew 6:9-13

·         When ye pray, use not vain repetitions: Matthew 6:7-8

FAITH:

·         Have faith in God: Mark 11:22

·         Be not faithless: John 20:27

·         Neither be ye of doubtful mind: Luke 12:29

·         Take no thought for your life: Matthew 6:25-34

·         Let not your heart be troubled: John 14:1-27

·         Be of good cheer: Matthew 14:27

·         Be not afraid: Mark 5:36; Luke 12:4-7

FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH:

·         Be thou faithful unto death: Revelation 2:10

·         Hold that fast which thou hast: Revelation 3:11

·         When men revile you and persecute you, be glad: Matthew 5:11-12; Luke 6:23

·         When they persecute you in this city, flee to another: Matthew 10:23

·         Take no thought what ye shall speak: Matthew 10:19

·         Murmur not among yourselves: John 6:41-43

·         Look up, and lift up your heads: Luke 21:28

PREACHING THE GOSPEL:

·         Preach the Gospel to every creature: Matthew 10:7; Mark 16:15

·         Repentance should be preached in Christ's name: Luke 24:46-47

·         Baptize in the name of the Trinity: Matthew 28:19

·         Teach them...all things I have commanded you: Matthew 28:20

·         What I tell you...that speak: Matthew 10:27; Mark 4:22

·         Feed My sheep: John 21:15-17

·         Heal the sick: Matthew 10:8

COVETOUSNESS:

·         Take heed and beware of covetousness: Luke 12:15

·         Lay not up treasures upon earth: Matthew 6:19-20

·         Ye pay tithe...and not leave (them) undone: Matthew 23:23

·         Give to him that asketh thee: Matthew 5:42

·         Give alms of such things as ye have: Luke 11:41

·         When thou makest a dinner...call the poor: Luke 14:12-13

HYPOCRISY:

·         Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees: Luke 12:1

·         Beware of the scribes: Luke 20:46-47

·         Do not ye after their works: Matthew 23:2-3

·         Make not My Father's house a house of merchandise: John 2:16

·         Do not your alms before men: Matthew 6:1-4

·         Enter into thy closet and pray in secret: Matthew 6:5-6

·         When thou fastest...appear not unto men to fast: Matthew 6:16-18

MEEKNESS:

·         Take My yoke upon you: Matthew 11:29

·         Do not exercise dominion as the Gentiles do: Matthew 20:25-26

·         Whosoever will be the chief shall be servant of all: Mark 10:43-44

·         Be not ye called Rabbi: Matthew 23:8

·         Sit not down in the highest room: Luke 14:8-11

·         Rejoice not, that the spirits are subject: Luke 10:20

·         Say "We are unprofitable servants": Luke 17:10

OUR LOVE TO THE BRETHREN:

·         Love one another as I have loved you: John 15:12

·         Despise not one of these little ones: Matthew 18:10-14

·         Have peace one with another...and be reconciled: Matthew 5:23-24; Mark 9:50

·         Resolve offenses with your brother: Matthew 18:15-17

·         Forgive your brother seven times a day: Matthew 18:21-22; Luke 17:3-4

·         Judge not according to appearance: Matthew 7:1-5; John 7:24

·         Condemn not: Luke 6:37

PERFECT LOVE:

·         Be ye therefore perfect: Matthew 5:48

·         Sell that ye have, and give alms: Matthew 19:21; Luke 12:32-33

·         Love your enemies: Matthew 5:44; 26:52

·         Do good to them which hate you: Luke 6:27-28

·         Lend, hoping for nothing again: Luke 6:35

·         Resist not evil: Matthew 5:39-41

·         In your patience possess ye your souls: Luke 21:19

SUPREME LOVE TO GOD:

·         Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart...soul...mind...strength: Mark 12:30

·         God, and Him only shalt thou serve: Matthew 4:10

·         Worship the Father in spirit and truth: John 4:23-24

·         Call no man your father upon the earth: Matthew 23:9

·         Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God: Matthew 4:7

·         Fear Him (God): Luke 12:5

·         All men should honor the Son: John 5:22-23

OUR DUTY TO GOD AND MAN:

·         Render to Caesar the things that are his: Mark 12:17

·         Swear not at all: Matthew 5:34-37; Mark 4:22

·         What God hath joined, let not man put asunder: Matthew 19:5-6

·         Agree with thine adversary quickly: Matthew 5:25

·         Do not forbid others casting out devils: Mark 9:38-40

·         Eat such things as are set before you: Luke 10:38

·         Gather up the fragments that nothing be lost: John 6:12

OUR DUTY TO OUR NEIGHBOR:

·         Love thy neighbor as thyself: Matthew 19:17-19

·         Thou shalt do no murder: Matthew 19:18

·         Thou shalt not commit adultery: Matthew 19:18

·         Thou shalt not steal: Matthew 19:18

·         Thou shalt not bear false witness: Matthew 19:18

·         Honor thy father and thy mother: Matthew 19:19

·         Do to others as you want them to do to you: Luke 6:31

WISDOM:

·         Be wise as serpents, harmless as doves: Matthew 10:16

·         Beware of men: Matthew 10:17

·         Let (the blind leaders) alone: Matthew 15:12-14

·         Give not that which is holy to dogs or swine: Matthew 7:6

·         He that hath a purse, let him take it: Luke 22:35-36

·         Inquire who is worthy and there abide: Matthew 10:11-13; Luke 10:5-7

·         Shake off the dust from your feet when not received: Luke 9:5; 10:10-11

SEARCHING THE SCRIPTURES:

·         Search the Scriptures: John 5:39

·         Remember the word that I said: John 15:20

·         Let these sayings sink into your ears: Luke 9:44

·         Take heed therefore how ye hear: Luke 8:18

·         Take heed what ye hear: Mark 4:24

·         Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees: Matthew 16:6-12

·         Beware of false prophets: Matthew 7:15-17

LETTING YOUR LIGHT SHINE:

·         Let your light shine: Matthew 5:16

·         Make sure the light in you is not darkness: Luke 11:35

·         Go and bring forth fruit: John 15:16

·         Be ye therefore merciful: Luke 6:36

·         Tell the great things the Lord hath done for thee: Mark 5:19

·         Lift up your eyes, look on the fields: John 4:35

·         Walk while ye have the light: John 12:35

THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST:

·         Hold fast till I come: Revelation 2:25; 3:2-3

·         Be ye ready: the Son of man cometh: Luke 12:40

·         Let your loins be girded about, your lights burning: Luke 12:35-36

·         Take heed...lest...your hearts be overcharged: Luke 21:34

·         Remember Lot's wife: Luke 17:31-32

·         Take heed that ye be not deceived: Mark 13:5-6; Luke 21:8

·         Watch: Mark 13:34-37

 

CHAPTER SEVEN: THE CULTURE OF THE KINGDOM:

KINGDOM PRINCIPLES - PART I

 

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this course you will be able to:

·         Write the Key Verse from memory.

·         Explain the importance of knowing Kingdom principles.

·         Recognize basic principles governing life in the Kingdom of God.

·         Identify the foundation upon which Kingdom principles are based.

·         List two Kingdom laws upon which all other principles are based.

KEY VERSE: And I appoint you a Kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me. (Luke 22:29)

INTRODUCTION

The Gospel of the Kingdom is an invitation for man to return to the realm of life God originally intended.  But God does not set up a standard of morality and declare that when you have achieved it you can enter the Kingdom.  There is one requirement for entrance:  Repenting from sin which results in spiritual rebirth.  Through repenting and accepting Jesus Christ as Savior you are born into the Kingdom and become a Kingdom resident.

Residency in the Kingdom of God requires a new lifestyle governed by the laws of the Kingdom. Life in the spiritual Kingdom affects the quality of life in the visible world.  The lifestyle of the Kingdom is exactly opposite of the lifestyle of the kingdoms of the world.  It is different in both structure and principles. When you enter the Kingdom of God it is like immigrating to a new country.  You must learn a different culture.

In the natural world, "culture" is the behavior patterns which govern life in a given society. In this and the following chapter  you will learn about the culture of the Kingdom  of God.  In a later chapter, additional truths about the Kingdom revealed through parables will be presented.  

THE IMPORTANCE OF KINGDOM PRINCIPLES*

It is important to know the principles which govern life in the Kingdom of God because:

YOU MUST LIVE BY KINGDOM PRINCIPLES TO MAINTAIN RESIDENCY:

Although repentance is the only requirement for entrance to the Kingdom, there are definite requirements to maintain residency.  Jesus said: Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in Heaven. (Matthew 7:21)

The will of the Father, revealed by Jesus Christ, was that believers be governed by the laws of the Kingdom.

JESUS SAID KINGDOM PRINCIPLES ARE IMPORTANT:

In Luke 12:22-31 Jesus taught that the Kingdom should be the primary concern of life.  He concluded with this statement: But rather seek ye the Kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Luke 12:31)

If you seek the Kingdom first...its principles, its lifestyle, its Gospel...then all other necessary things in life will be provided.

FRUITS OF THE KINGDOM ARE THE TEST OF POSSESSION:

Jesus told the Jews that the test of possessing the Kingdom was bringing forth the fruits thereof (Matthew 21:43).   The fruit of the Kingdom is that which is outwardly produced by the inward life flow, just as fruit on a natural tree is the outward product of the flow  of  life within.  If you are a resident of the Kingdom of God it will be apparent in your visible lifestyle.

____________________

*  Everything  Jesus taught concerned the Gospel of the Kingdom.  In another Harvestime International Institute course entitled "Teaching Tactics" the complete teachings of Jesus organized by subject matter are presented. Study of "Teaching Tactics" as a companion course to this one is suggested since this list is not repeated in this manual.  The student may also study the teachings of Jesus by using a red letter edition of the Bible.  This is a Bible
which has everything Jesus taught printed in red ink, while the remainder of the text is printed in black ink.

TO REIGN IN THE FUTURE KINGDOM WE MUST KNOW ITS PRINCIPLES:

II Timothy 2:12 indicates that believers will reign with Jesus in the future Kingdom of God.  To "reign" means to "rule with power and authority." If you are to reign with Him, you must know the laws which govern the Kingdom.

THE FOUNDATION OF KINGDOM PRINCIPLES

A foundation in the natural world is the underlying structure on which something is built. Whenever men erect a building they must first lay a proper foundation. The foundation supports the superstructure or the visible building. The foundation of the Kingdom of God and its governing principles is righteousness: But unto the Son He saith, Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of thy Kingdom. (Hebrews 1:8) A scepter is a rod or wand held in the hand as an emblem of power or authority. The authority or power of the Kingdom of God is righteousness. It is not the righteousness of self-improvement or religion. Jesus said: For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the Kingdom  of Heaven.  (Matthew 5:20)

The Scribes and Pharisees were religious leaders in the time of Christ's earthly ministry. Their spiritual experience was founded in their own attempts to be righteous. They had many rules, regulations, and traditions which governed every area of life. The righteousness upon which the Kingdom is built is the righteousness of God. We are told: But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.  (Matthew 6:33)

The foundation of God's Kingdom stands on righteous men living righteous lives: But the firm foundation laid by God stand sure and unshaken, being this seal and inscription: The Lord knows those who are His and let everyone who names himself by the name of the Lord give up all iniquity and stand aloof from it.  (II Timothy 2:19)  Amplified Bible This is illustrated by the following diagram:

The Foundation of God’s Kingdom

Righteous Men

The Lord knows those who are His.

Living Righteous Lives

Let everyone who names himself by the name of the Lord give up all iniquity and stand aloof from it.

There are two levels of commitment to this righteousness. These are evident in the following passage: And behold, one came and said unto Him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And He (Jesus) said unto him, Why callest thou me good?  There is none good but one, that is God:  but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. The young man saith unto Him, All these things have I kept from my youth up:  what lack I yet? Jesus said unto him, if thou wilt be perfect go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven:  and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.  (Matthew 19:16-17; 20-22)

There is one level of righteousness necessary to "enter into life."  This is the righteousness that comes through the new birth experience when man is cleansed from sin and begins to live by God's commandments.  But there is another level of righteousness known as perfection (spiritual maturity).  To achieve perfection requires total consecration of worldly values, standards, or possessions which are precious to you.

This does not mean we all have to sell what we own and give it to the poor.  Jesus required this of this man only because his riches were more important to him than God. Nothing in the world can be more important to us than the King. To achieve perfection we must abandon the principles of the world and embrace the principles of God's Kingdom. 

 

THE TWO GREATEST KINGDOM PRINCIPLES

There are two great Kingdom principles upon which all other principles are based.  When asked what were the greatest commandments, Jesus replied: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:37-40)

Mark recorded the same statement in the following way:

And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel:  The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength:  this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. (Mark 12:29-31)

Jesus stated the second commandment in another way: Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.  (Matthew 7:12)

And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. (Luke 6:31)

To summarize, the two greatest principles of God's Kingdom are:

1. Loving God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.

2. Loving and doing to others as you love yourself and want others to do to you.

All other Kingdom principles are based upon these two key principles.  Each Kingdom principle relates either to your relationship with God or others.

THE KINGDOM INTRODUCED

From the time of the introduction of the Kingdom, it was apparent that its structure was exactly opposite to the structure of the kingdoms of this world.  After the angel appeared to the virgin Mary and proclaimed her to be the mother of the coming King, Mary praised God.  The words of her worship were prophetic and revealed the new world order of the Kingdom of God: For He that is mighty hath done to me great things: and holy is His name. And His mercy is on them that fear Him from generation to generation. He hath shewed strength with His arm; He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.  (Luke 1:49-53)

The proud and mighty of the world were to be brought down, and those of low degree exalted. The hungry were to be filled, while the rich were to be sent away empty. When John introduced the Kingdom of God,  this same order was revealed: Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.  (Luke 3:5-6)

The first miracle Jesus performed was turning water into wine.  This illustrated that laws governing the Kingdom would be contrary to those of the natural kingdoms of the world.

 

GENERAL PRINCIPLES:  CULTURE OF THE KINGDOM

The basic principles upon which the Kingdom of God operates are exactly opposite of the common thinking of man and the accepted structure of earthly kingdoms.  These principles include:

A GENERAL PRINCIPLE:

Jesus established a basic Kingdom principle: "It shall not be so among you." But Jesus called them unto Him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the
Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you:  but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant; Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.  (Matthew 20:25-28)

But ye shall not be so:  but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.  (Luke 22:26)

But so shall it not be among you:  but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister, And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. (Mark 10:43-44)

Although Jesus was dealing with a specific matter of leadership here, He also established a general principle of the Kingdom: "It shall not be so among you."  Although worldly standards and earthly kingdoms accept certain principles, the principles of God's Kingdom are different..."It shall not be so among you."

THE PRINCIPLE OF UNITY:

There are many earthly kingdoms, all divided from one another. There are also divisions within earthly kingdoms which result in coups and revolutions.  God's Kingdom is a united Kingdom.  It is described as one spiritual body with many parts: For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one spirit. For the body is not one member, but many.   (I Corinthians 12:12-14)

The residents of God's Kingdom are united together in God and Jesus: That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also many be one in us:  that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one,
even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.  (John 17:21-23)

God's Kingdom has no relationships with the kingdom of Satan: Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every
city or house divided against itself shall not stand: And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the Kingdom of God is come unto you. (Matthew 12:25-28.  See also Mark 3:23-26 and Luke 11:17-20)

One of the main purposes of unity in the Kingdom of God is the unlimited power it produces. Jesus promised: Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.  (Matthew 18:19-20)

Because the residents of God's Kingdom are still in fleshly bodies, division may arise from time to time. Jesus gave instructions for handling such divisions in Matthew 18:15-35.

THE PRINCIPLE OF PENETRATION:

The Kingdom of God is to penetrate the world in two ways:  As light and as salt: Ye are the salt of the earth; but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith
shall it  be salted?  It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world.  A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.  (Matthew 5:13-16)

No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the
light. The light of the body is the eye:  therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness. If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light. (Luke 11:33-36)

Salt is good:  but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned? It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.  (Luke 14:34-35)

And He said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed?  And not to be set on a candlestick?  (Mark 4:21)

Salt is good:  but if the salt have lost his  saltiness, wherewith will ye season it?  Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.  (Mark 9:50)

In the natural world, salt works silently.  It is used to preserve food, heal wounds, and add flavor. A little salt affects a great amount of food. In the spiritual world, Kingdom residents are to penetrate the world as salt.  They are to  preserve the values and quality of the Kingdom, be a healing balm to others, and like the flavor of life. They are to spread the Kingdom steadily. As salt, they can affect a great mass of humanity.  In another passage, Jesus compared the penetration of the Kingdom to leaven (Matthew 13:33). Like salt, a little leaven works silently to penetrate a great lump of bread. 

In the natural world, light exposes darkness.  It shows the way out of darkness.  Light in darkness cannot escape notice.  The Kingdom resident is to be a spiritual light in the world.   He is to expose and show the way out of darkness.  He is not to allow anything in his life (bushel) to conceal the light of the Kingdom.  Believers are to live the life of the Kingdom in a visible way, steadily penetrating the kingdoms of the world with the Gospel of the Kingdom. 

PRINCIPLES OF PRAYER:

Prayer in the Kingdom  is based on three principles:  Asking, seeking, and knocking: Ask, and it shall be given you;  seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth:  and he that seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.  (Matthew 7:7-8) Each level of prayer speaks of greater intensity in seeking God. Jesus also gave a model prayer for Kingdom residents.  You can read it in Matthew 6:9-1. And Luke 11:2-4.

PRINCIPLES OF WORSHIP:

The basic principles of worship in the Kingdom  are described in Matthew 6:1-18.  Read this passage in your Bible.  The basic principles of worship include:

Giving: Outward look (Matthew 6:1-4)

Praying: Upward look (Matthew 6:5-15)

Fasting: Inward look (Matthew 6:16-18)

All three areas of worship are to be done in secret in order to be blessed of God.

THE PRINCIPLE OF SINGLENESS OF VISION:

The single vision of Kingdom residents is to seek first the Kingdom of God.  Read Matthew 6:19-34 and compare it to Luke 12:22-34:

·         Jesus speaks of singleness of heart in Matthew 6:19-21.

·         He speaks of singleness of vision in Matthew 6:22-23.

·         He speaks of singleness of devotion in Luke 16:13.

·         He speaks of singleness of service in Matthew 6:24 and Luke 9:60 and 62.

·         He speaks of singleness in thought in Matthew 6:25-32 and 34.

The following verse summarizes this principle of singleness of vision: But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these
thing shall be added unto you.  (Matthew 6:33)

 

SELF-TEST

1. Write the Key Verse from memory.

2. What is the  foundation upon which all other Kingdom principles rest?

3. What are the two Kingdom laws upon which all other principles are based?

First

Second

4. Give four reasons why it is important to know Kingdom principles.

5. You may use your Bible to match each verse with the principle it teaches.  Look up a verse in Column One.  Choose the general principle from Column Two which is taught by that verse.  Write its number in front of the reference in Column One.  The first one is done as an example for you to follow.

Column 1

Column 2

____ a. Matthew 5:13-16

1. Principle of unity

____ b. 1 Corinthians 12:12-14

2. Principle of penetration

____ c. Matthew 20:26

3. Prayer principles

____ d. Matthew 7:7-12

4. Kingdom principles are opposite of worldly principles

____ e. Matthew 6:1-18

5. Singleness of vision

____ f. Matthew 6:19-34

6. Principles of worship

 (Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)

FOR FURTHER STUDY

Summarize the Kingdom principles taught in the book of Luke:

Luke 1:33

4:43

6:20

7:28

8:1,10

9:2,11,27,60

10:9-11

11:2, 17-20

12:31-32

13:18-29

14:15

16:16

17:20-21

18:16-29

19:11-15

21:10,31

22:16-30

23:42, 50-51

 

CHAPTER EIGHT: THE CULTURE OF THE KINGDOM:

KINGDOM PRINCIPLES - PART II

 

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this course you will be able to:

·         Write the Key Verse from memory.

·         Identify contrasts of structure between the Kingdom of God and kingdoms of the world.

KEY VERSE: Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the Kingdom which He hath promised to them that love Him? (James 2:5)

INTRODUCTION

In this chapter you will learn more about the culture of the Kingdom of God as you continue your study of Kingdom principles. You will learn specific principles of this spiritual Kingdom which rest on the general principles discussed in Chapter Seven.

SPECIFIC CONTRASTS:  CULTURE OF THE KINGDOM

Now let us study about specific principles of the Kingdom which rest on the general principles already discussed. Many of these contrasts are found in Matthew 5-7 and Luke 6. Read these chapters before you continue with your study. 

These passages are part of the teachings of Jesus which have come to be known as the "Sermon On the Mount" because He first taught it on a mountainside in Israel. This sermon contains many specific Kingdom principles.  The sermon does not cover every life situation, but the principles are representative. They establish a pattern for ethics and behavior applicable in all situations.

The first part of the sermon, Matthew 5:1-12 has come to be known as the "Beatitudes" and deals with basic Kingdom attitudes which are blessed by God. Those who are blessed do not hold the conventional values of society. The word "blessed" used in this passage means  to be approved by God.  There is a difference between being blessed and being happy. Being blessed depends on God and is unaffected by circumstances.  Being happy depends on circumstances of life.

Here are some of the specific contrasts in the culture of the Kingdom of God.

THE KINGDOM BELONGS TO THOSE WHO ARE POOR IN SPIRIT:

Blessed are the poor in spirit:  for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. (Matthew 5:3) The world honors those with material wealth.  God chooses the poor of the world and makes them rich in faith: Hearken,  my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the Kingdom which He hath promised to them that love Him? (James 2:5) And He lifted up his eyes on His disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the Kingdom of God.  (Luke 6:20)

THE POOR ARE RICH AND THE RICH ARE POOR:

The world emphasizes the spirit of self reliance, self- expression, and self-improvement.  But God approves those who are poor in spirit who realize they have no ability to save themselves, to satisfy their spiritual needs, or to solve their own problems. But woe unto you that are rich! For you have received your consolation. (Luke 6:24)

SORROW BRINGS JOY:

There are two kinds of sorrow.  The sorrow of the world is sorrow resulting from sin.  It is a sorrow which comes through suffering the penalties of sin.  But this  sorrow does not result in a change in lifestyle.  Godly sorrow is sorrow for sin.  Godly sorrow results in repentance: For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of; but the sorrow of the world worketh death.  (I Corinthians 7:10)

God approves of such sorrow. He says those who experience it will receive comfort: Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted (Matthew 5:4). Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh (Luke 6:21). Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world
shall rejoice; and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy (John 16:20).

In the Kingdom, those who mourn are comforted and sorrow brings joy.  Joy is turned to sorrow for those in the kingdoms of the world: Woe unto you that laugh now! For ye shall mourn and weep.  (Luke 6:25)

THE MEEK ARE CONQUERORS:

Meekness is not weakness or passiveness. To be meek means to be gentle in nature, not easily provoked, and to have a mild temperament. It is the opposite of worldly principles which advise "assert yourself, stand up for your rights." Meekness is not a natural quality of fleshly man.  It is one of the spiritual fruits of the Kingdom: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance; against such there is no law.  (Galatians 5:22-23)

Each of these qualities should be characteristic of  Kingdom residents. They are spiritual fruit which are a result of the infilling of the Holy Spirit. (These are discussed in detail in another Harvestime International Institute course entitled "Ministry Of The Holy Spirit.")

The world does not consider meek people as conquerors, but God promises the meek will inherit the earth: Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth.  (Matthew 5:5)

THE HUNGRY ARE FILLED:

Men hunger after many things in the kingdoms of the world. They hunger after power, wealth, success, and happiness. Kingdom residents should not hunger for such material things. They should seek righteousness which is the basic principle of the Kingdom: Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled. (Matthew 5:6)

Blessed are ye that hunger now; for ye shall be filled. (Luke 6:21)

Some believers go from religious meeting to meeting seeking "blessings" from God. They are never satisfied spiritually. In this Kingdom principle, Jesus reveals that only those who hunger for righteousness will be spiritually filled.

When you are hungry in the natural world, you do not sit down and passively wait for food. You take action to satisfy your hunger by obtaining food and preparing a meal. In the spiritual world you cannot sit and passively wait for God to satisfy your spiritual hunger. You must actively seek spiritual food by communicating with God in prayer and studying His written Word. The hungry are filled in the Kingdom of God. Those in the kingdoms of the world are left hungry: Woe unto you that are full!  For ye shall hunger. (Luke 6:25)

THE MERCIFUL OBTAIN MERCY:

Worldly principles warn that if you are too merciful with others, they will abuse you. If you show too much kindness, they will take advantage of you.  Kingdom principles teach the opposite. If you show mercy you will obtain mercy instead of abuse: Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.  (Matthew 5:7)

INWARD RATHER THAN OUTWARD STRESSED:

The religious leaders of Jesus' day stressed the outward keeping of law and tradition rather than inward heart attitudes. They observed the Sabbath strictly, fasted regularly, prayed openly, and gave alms to the poor. But Jesus stressed the inward attitudes of the heart rather than the outward sacrifices.  He said: Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God. (Matthew 5:8)

It is not those with the outward signs of religion that will see God. It is those who are pure in heart.

PEACE INSTEAD OF REVOLUTION: 

Revolution is the method of change in the kingdoms of the world. Peacemakers are those who bring change in the Kingdom of God.  Jesus said: Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. (Matthew 5:9)

Peace is not running away from problems or the absence of war and strife. The peace of which Jesus spoke is different from worldly peace: Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you:  not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27)

In the peace of the world there is fear.  Will they keep the peace treaty?  Will they abide by their promises? In God's peace, there is no fear. He has promised to keep believers in perfect peace. They can have the peace of God even while living in chaotic circumstances in the kingdoms of the world.

THE PERSECUTED ARE REWARDED:

This Kingdom principle pronounces blessing on those who suffer for a specific reason:  For righteousness sake. Blessed are they which are persecuted for  righteousness' sake; for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.  (Matthew 5:10)

Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy:  for, behold, your reward is great in Heaven:  for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets. (Luke 6:22-23)

Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! For so did their fathers to the false prophets. (Luke 6:26)

It is not a general blessing on all who suffer, because some people suffer for their own faults: For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? But if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.  (I Peter 2:20)

Sin is behind some suffering: Is any sick among you?  Let him call for the elders of the Church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.  Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another that ye may be healed.  The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.  (James 5:14-16)

THE LEAST ARE GREATEST:

In the world, greatness is exalted.  People are considered great if they are successful, famous, have great wealth or power.  In the Kingdom of God, those who are great live and teach Kingdom principles. They may be considered the least in the kingdoms of the world, but they are greatest in the Kingdom of God: Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven:  but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.  (Matthew 5:19)

THE HUMBLE ARE EXALTED:

For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.  (Luke 14:11)

And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.  (Matthew 23:12)

SERVANTS ARE LEADERS:

The kingdoms of the world hold leaders in high esteem. They are honored and exalted.  They are waited upon by servants and considered in a social class far above all others. In the Kingdom of God, to lead you must become a servant: But Jesus called them unto Him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you:  but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant; Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.  (Matthew 20:25-28)

But ye shall not be so:  but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.  (Luke 22:26)

But so  shall it not be among you:  but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister,  And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be
servant of all.  (Mark 10:43-44)

But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.  (Matthew 23:11)

THE LAST ARE FIRST:

Those who are first in the kingdoms of the world are last in God's Kingdom: But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first. (Matthew 19:30)

So the last shall be first and the first last. (Matthew 20:16)

And behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last.  (Luke 13:30)

SMALL BECOMES GREAT:

Jesus illustrated this principle by the natural examples of a mustard seed, leaven, and a widow's mite: The Kingdom of Heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field; Which indeed is the least of all seeds:  but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof... The Kingdom of Heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened. (Matthew 13:31-33. See also Mark 4:30-32)

And He looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury. And He saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. And He said, of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all: For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God:  but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.  (Luke 21:1-4)

THAT WHICH IS HIGHLY ESTEEMED IS LOWLY VALUED:

And He said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men: but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.  (Luke 16:15)

ADULTS BECOME AS CHILDREN:

In the Kingdom of God, adults must become as children.  This means they must accept the Gospel of the Kingdom in the same way as a child:  In simple faith. At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto them and set him in the midst of them. And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.  (Matthew 18:1-4)

But Jesus called them unto Him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not:  for of such is the Kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the Kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.  (Luke 18:16-17)

LOSE YOUR LIFE TO SAVE IT:

Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone:  but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. (John 12:24)

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever  shall lose his life for my sake and the Gospel's, the same shall save it.  (Mark 8:35)

He that findeth his life shall lose it; and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. (Matthew 10:39)

You lose your life by denying of worldly pleasures and standards in order to follow the King: Then said Jesus unto His disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. (Matthew 16:24-25)

HATE LIFE INSTEAD OF LOVING IT:

He that loveth his life shall lose it:  and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.  (John 12:25)

GIVE TO RECEIVE:

Give, and it shall be  given  unto you: good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom.  For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. (Luke 6:38)

THE IMPOSSIBLE IS POSSIBLE:                           

And He said, the things which are impossible with men are possible with God.  (Luke 18:27)

But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.  (Matthew 19:26)

And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God:  for with God all things are possible.  (Mark 10:27)

THOSE WITHOUT SIGHT SEE AND THOSE WITH SIGHT ARE BLIND:

And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. (John 9:39)

Jesus came to give spiritual vision to those lost in spiritual darkness. Those who thought they had spiritual vision through religious tradition were actually blind.

TAKE A YOKE AND BURDEN TO REST:

A yoke is a piece of equipment used to pair up two animals to pull a plow.  It speaks of labor.  A burden is something that is carried.  It is a weight.  Jesus said: Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me: for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.  (Matthew 11:28-30)

You find true rest by being yoked together with Jesus to carry His burden.  His burden is that the Gospel of the Kingdom be extended to the nations of the world.

HEAVENLY RATHER THAN EARTHLY TREASURES ARE EMPHASIZED:

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:  For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.  (Matthew 6:19-21)

Jesus compared those who emphasize earthly treasures to a fool: So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God. (Luke 12:21)

HEAVENLY RATHER THAN EARTHLY GLORY IS SOUGHT:

He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory; but he that seeketh His glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him. (John 7:18)

How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that  cometh from God only.  (John 5:44)

Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing; it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that He is your God.  (John 8:54)

DIVISION INSTEAD OF PEACE RESULTS:

Jesus is peace.  When He came to the world in fleshly form, peace was on earth.  But Jesus brought division instead of peace to the kingdoms of the world.  Families, cities, and kingdoms were divided because of Him.  Some believed and accepted Him as King. They became residents of the Kingdom through spiritual rebirth.  Others did not accept Jesus as King and did not become part of the Kingdom.  This resulted in division: Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.  (Luke 12:51-53)

And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.  (Matthew 10:36)

THAT COVERED IS REVEALED:

There is nothing covered that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light; and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.  (Matthew 10:26-27)

THE KINGDOM IS EXTENDED TO SINNERS INSTEAD OF RIGHTEOUS:

For I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. (Matthew 9:13)

SPIRITUAL RATHER THAN NATURAL IS EMPHASIZED:

For the Kingdom of God is not meat  and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.  (Romans 14:17)

For the Kingdom of God is not in word, but in power. (I Corinthians 4:20)

ADDITIONAL CONTRASTS

Use the following chart to study additional contrasts between the Kingdom of God and the kingdoms of the world:

Two paths and two gates: Matthew 7:13-14

Two prophets: Matthew 7:15

Two trees: Matthew 7:17-20; Luke 6:43-44

Two claims: Matthew 7:21-23

Two houses: Matthew 7:24-27; Luke 6:46-49

 

SELF-TEST

1. Write the Key Verse from memory.

2. On each blank supply the correct word to complete the sentence: Specific Kingdom Principles

a.  The poor are______________.

b.  Sorrow brings______________.

c.  The meek are_______________.

d.  The hungry are______________­­_.

e.  The merciful obtain_______________.

f.  Inward rather than______________ is stressed.

g.  Division instead of________________.

h.  The persecuted are________________.

i.  The least are _______________.

j.  The humble are_______________.

k.  Servants are_______________.

l.  The last are_______________.

m.  Small becomes_______________.

n.  That which is highly esteemed is______________.

o.  Adults become as____________.

p.  You die to_____________.

q.  You lose your life to_____________it.

r.  You hate life instead of______________it.

s.  You give to _____________.

t.  The impossible is________________.

u.  Those without sight______________.

v.  You take a yoke and a burden in order to___________.

w.  Heavenly rather than___________treasures are emphasized.

x.  That covered is_____________. 

(Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)

FOR FURTHER STUDY

To continue your study of the contrasts in the Kingdom of God review those listed in II Corinthians 6:8-10 and list them below.

 

CHAPTER NINE: THE CULTURE OF THE KINGDOM: 

KINGDOM PRINCIPLES - PART III

 

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

·         Write the Key Verse from memory.

·         Explain the relation between Old Testament law and New Testament Kingdom principles.

·         Identify New Testament principles expanded from Old Testament laws.

KEY VERSE: And the people when they knew it, followed Him: and He received them, and spake unto them of the Kingdom of God, and healed them that had need of healing.  (Luke 9:11)

INTRODUCTION

This chapter continues study of the culture of the Kingdom of God by examining the relation between Old Testament law and New Testament principles.

TREASURES OLD AND NEW

One of the examples Jesus gave of the Kingdom of God stressed the combination of old and new in Kingdom principles: Then said He unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the Kingdom of Heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which
bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.  (Matthew 13:52)

Kingdom principles taught by Jesus were both old and new.  Jesus called them "old and new treasures."   The law given by God to Moses and recorded in Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy became the foundation for the new principles of life in the Kingdom.  The Old Testament law was specific and concerned with outward actions.  The new Kingdom principles taught by Jesus were more inclusive and concerned with inward attitudes.

Jesus' teachings did not eliminate the law, but fulfilled it: Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets:  I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.  (Matthew 5:17-18)

And He said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms,  concerning me. (Luke 24:44)

Jesus expanded the principles of the Kingdom on the Old Testament foundation.  He did not eliminate the old principles.  He simply stripped them of the outward trappings of religion which resulted in the tendency to miss the inner reality of the Kingdom. The teaching of Jesus was in harmony with the Old Testament, but it was in disharmony with the religious leaders of the time.  The Scribes and Pharisees added their own traditions and interpretations to God's law.  They were concerned with the "letter of the law," that is, keeping every detail of the law, plus their own man-made traditions and interpretations.  Jesus emphasized the "spirit of the law," the general principles behind the laws.

THE OLD COULD NOT CONTAIN THE NEW

These Kingdom principles taught by Jesus could not be contained in the old religious structure. Jesus told two stories illustrating this.  He spoke of old and new garments: No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from  the garment and the rent is made worse. (Matthew 9:16)

No man also seweth a piece of new cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up taketh away from the  old, and the rent is made worse.  (Mark 2:21)

And He spake a parable unto them:  No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old. (Luke 5:36) 

He also spoke of old and new wine: Neither do men put new wine into old bottles:  else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish:  but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.  (Matthew 9:17)

And no man putteth new wine into old bottles:  else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred:  but new wine must be put into new bottles.  (Mark 2:22)

And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved. No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new:  for he saith, The old is better.  (Luke 5:37-39)

The old religious systems could not contain the "new wine" of Kingdom principles.  The new wine must be poured into new vessels. This is why entrance into the Kingdom was by spiritual rebirth.  It was necessary to allow time for these old religious structures to change because those who had experienced them would say, "The old is better."

Jesus did not destroy the old religious structure.  He allowed it to be preserved while at the same time pouring "new wine" into the new spiritual vessels of men and women reborn in Christ Jesus. He allowed time for the transition from the old to the new. This is an important key in introducing the Gospel of the Kingdom into societies with pre-existing religions.  Emphasis should be on pouring the "new wine" into new vessels, not expending effort on destroying traditional religious structure.  The old will be eliminated as men and women find the "new wine" to be better.

A PATTERN OF IDENTIFICATION 

Throughout the Gospels you can identify the "old and new treasures" by watching for the following pattern:

1. Jesus introduces these teachings with the phrases "It has been said,"  "It is written" or "Have ye not read?"  

2. The Old Testament law is stated.

3. Then Jesus adds, "But I say unto you."

4. The New Testament Kingdom principle, expanded on Old Testament law, is then stated.

TREASURES OF THE KINGDOM

The following chart summarizes some "old and new treasures" of the Kingdom revealed by Jesus.  Look up each reference to study these Kingdom principles.

References

Old Treasure

“It has been said”

New Treasure

“But I say unto you”

Matthew 5:21-26

Thou shall not kill

Anger without cause is the same thing.

Matthew 6:1-8; 23:14,23-17

Mark 7:6-8; 11:25-26

Luke 18:10-14; 5:23-24

Worship depends on outward actions.

Worship depends on inward attitudes.

Matthew 5:27-32

Thou shalt not commit adultery.

Thought the same as the act.

Matthew 5:33-37; 23:16-22

Do not swear by thyself.

Do not swear by anything.

Matthew 5:38-42

Return evil for evil.

Return good for evil.

Matthew 5:43-47

Luke 6:27-35

Love thy neighbor.

Love thy enemy.

Matthew 15:3-9

Mark 7:7-13

Holiness comes by following traditions of man.

Holiness is keeping commandments of God.

Matthew 12:3-14

Mark 2:23-28; 3:1-6

Luke 6:1-11

John 5:1-47

Man was made for the Sabbath and must keep its detailed laws.

Sabbath made for man.

Matthew 15:10-20

Mark 7:14-23

Emphasis on outward holiness.

Emphasis on inward holiness.

Matthew 5:31-32; 19:1-9; Mark 10:2-12

Divorce for every cause.

Divorce not originally God’s plan but permitted only for limited causes.

The chart you just studied does not include all the "old and new treasures."  It focuses on major examples to establish a pattern which will enable you to continue the study on your own. Read through the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) and watch for this pattern.  Use the "For Further Study" section of this chapter to make other additions to this chart of old and new treasures of the Kingdom.

 

SELF-TEST

1. Write the Key Verse from memory.

2. Write the word "old" on the blank in front of each statement which describes the Old Testament law.  Write the word "new" on the blank in front of each statement which describes New Testament Kingdom principles.

a._____ Concerned more with inward attitudes.

b._____ Concerned more with outward actions.

c._____ More specific.

d._____ More inclusive.

e._____ Letter of the law.

f._____ Spirit of the law.

g._____ Thou shalt not kill.

h._____ Anger without cause is the same thing.

i._____ Do not swear by anything.

j._____ Do not swear by thyself.

k._____ Return good for evil.

l._____ Return evil for evil.

m._____ Love thy neighbor.

n._____ Love thy enemy.

o._____ Worship depends on inward attitudes.

p._____ Worship depends on outward actions.

q._____ Sabbath made for man.

r._____ Man made for Sabbath.

s._____ Holiness is keeping man's traditions.

t._____ Holiness is keeping God's commandments.

u._____ Emphasis on outward holiness.

v._____ Emphasis on inward holiness.

w._____ Divorce for limited cause.

x._____ Divorce for every cause.

3. Circle the correct answer to complete this sentence: Jesus came to…  

a.  Destroy the Old Testament law.

b.  Fulfill the Old Testament law.

4. What is the relationship between Old Testament law and New Testament Kingdom principles?

 (Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)

FOR FURTHER STUDY

1. There are not many direct references to the Kingdom in the book of John, but those few made are important: John 1:45-49: Nathanael acknowledges Jesus as King and the living fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies. John Chapter Three:  This is one of the most important chapters explaining how to gain entrance to the Kingdom of God. John 18:36:  An important reference on the Kingdom:  Establishes the principle that the Kingdom is not a kingdom of this world.

2. Continue your study of  "old and new treasures" in the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.  Record your discoveries on the chart below:

Old Treasure

“It has been said”

New Treasure

“But I say unto you”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER TEN: KINGDOM PARABLES

 

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

·         Write the Key Verse from memory.

·         Define the word "parable."

·         Explain why Jesus used parables to teach Kingdom principles.

·         Identify the main subject of the parables of Jesus.

·         Study the parables of Jesus to learn Kingdom principles.

KEY VERSE: He answered and said unto them,  Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but to them it is not given. (Matthew 13:11)

INTRODUCTION

In previous chapters you learned basic principles governing life in the Kingdom of God.  During His earthly ministry, Jesus used a unique teaching method called "parables" to reveal  other spiritual truths about the Kingdom. In this chapter you will learn what parables are and why Jesus used them to teach Kingdom principles.  You will also study selected parables to learn Kingdom principles.

WHAT IS A PARABLE?

A parable is a story which uses an example from the natural world to illustrate a spiritual truth. The actual meaning of the word "parable" is "to lay beside to compare." In parables, Jesus used a natural example and compared it to a spiritual truth. A parable is an earthly story with a Heavenly meaning.  That which is natural is something you can observe with your senses.  You can see, hear, or touch it. That which is spiritual can only be observed with spiritual senses.

THE SUBJECT OF THE PARABLES

The main subject of the parables of Jesus was the Kingdom of God. Before telling some of these parables Jesus clearly stated this as the subject: And He said, Whereunto shall we liken the Kingdom of God? Or with what comparison shall we compare it? (Mark 4:30)

Then said He, Unto what is the Kingdom of God like? and whereunto shall I resemble it?  (Luke 13:18)

And again He said, Whereunto shall I liken the Kingdom of God. (Luke 13:20)

Even when the parable was not introduced by such a direct statement, the subject was still the Kingdom of God. Every parable told by Jesus related in some way to the Kingdom.

WHY PARABLES?

Why did Jesus choose this unique teaching method of parables to reveal spiritual truths about the Kingdom of God?  The disciples asked this same question: And the disciples came, and said unto Him, Why speaketh thou unto them in parables?  (Matthew 13:10)

Jesus answered: Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but to them it is not given. (Matthew 13:11.  See also Luke 8:10)

Knowledge of the spiritual truths of the Kingdom was given to the disciples because they had spiritual minds. Those without spiritual minds heard the parables and failed to understand them because spiritual truths can only be understood by a spiritual mind: But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.  (I Corinthians 2:14)

Those with spiritual minds understand the Kingdom principles revealed in parables. Those with carnal, sinful minds cannot understand them. Jesus used parables to conceal these great spiritual principles from unbelievers: That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing, they may hear, and not understand...  (Mark 4:12) (A "spiritually minded" man is one who has been born again spiritually as explained in Chapter Four of this manual.)

PARABLES OF THE KINGDOM

All the parables told by Jesus reveal various facts about the Kingdom of God.   The subject, references, and Kingdom truth taught by each are listed.  Look up each reference in your Bible and read the parable.

PARABLES CONCERNING THE OFFER OF THE KINGDOM:

The following parables concern the offer made by Jesus of the Kingdom of God.

The Patched Garment: Matthew 9:16; Mark 2:21; Luke 5:36

The Wine Bottles: Matthew 9:17; Mark 2:22; Luke 5:37

These two parables teach that Jesus offered a Kingdom that was new and unique.  It could not be confined to the old patterns of religious tradition. It is not possible to understand the Kingdom of God by trying to fit it into old thought patterns and lifestyles.

The Good Shepherd: John 10:1-16

King Jesus is compared to a shepherd.  He would lead His sheep out of religious bondage and bring them into the liberty of His Kingdom.  His sheep would know His voice and respond to His offer of the Kingdom.

The Lost Sheep: Matthew 18:12-14; Luke 15:4-7

The Lost Coin: Luke 15:8-10

The Lost Son: Luke 15:11-32

These parables illustrate how the Father seeks lost sheep for the Kingdom, how His followers should seek the lost, and how repentance is the key to becoming an heir to the Kingdom.

The Wedding Banquet: Matthew 22:1-14

The Great Banquet: Luke 14:16-24

Through these parables, Jesus invited the present generation to enter the Kingdom.  The original announcement was sent to a special group of people, the nation of Israel. Not all those chosen responded, so another invitation was extended to the Gentile nations.

The Two Builders: Matthew 7:24-27

In this parable Jesus taught that the Kingdom was built on Him.  He compared Himself to a rock on which a person may build their life. A house built on such a secure foundation will stand through every storm.  Jesus offered men and women the opportunity to build their lives on the eternal foundation of the Kingdom of God.

The Two Gates: Matthew 7:13-14; Luke 13:24-28

Only one gate leads to the Kingdom.  That gate is the Lord Jesus Christ. 

PARABLES CONCERNING THE REJECTION OF THE KING:

The Murderous Husbandmen: Matthew 21:33-44;  Mark 12:1-11; Luke 20:9-18

Jesus used parables to reveal that the nation of Israel would reject Him as Messiah and King. This was illustrated in the parable of the murderous husbandmen. God sent prophets to earth with the offer of the Kingdom but Israel killed the prophets. Then God sent His own Son. He, too, was rejected and killed.

The Barren Fig Tree: Luke 13:6-9

Jesus told a parable about a barren fig tree.  The fig tree is a natural symbol of the nation of Israel.  God raised up Israel as the nation through which He could reveal the Kingdom to the world.  Time and time again God tried to get the "tree"  of Israel to bring forth "fruit" among heathen nations by sharing their knowledge of the true God,  but Israel remained barren and unfruitful.

The Wedding: Matthew 22:2-14

Jesus also used a parable of a wedding to illustrate His rejection.  Servants were sent to call people to the wedding but the people killed the servants and rejected the invitation. This revealed how the offer of the Kingdom was to be rejected.

PARABLES CONCERNING THE POSTPONEMENT OF THE KINGDOM:

The Talents: Matthew 25:14-30; Luke 19:11-27

The Man On A Long Journey: Mark 13:34-37

The Servants:  Matthew 24:43-51; Luke 12:39-46

The Watching Servants: Luke 12:36-38

Jesus told several parables which revealed the Kingdom of God would be established in its final form in the future. The Kingdom would not come at the present time because Israel rejected Jesus as King.  These parables also revealed Jesus would be absent for a time from the realm in which the Kingdom would finally be instituted.  They stressed that His followers should be faithful over the task given them, using their talents and abilities to extend the Kingdom of God.

The Fig Tree: Matthew 24:32-34; Mark 13:28-30; Luke 21:29-32

Jesus told a parable about a fig tree which revealed the approximate timing for the final establishing of God's Kingdom.  He said one can tell when summer is near because the fig tree puts out growth in leaves and blossoms.  As already mentioned, the fig tree is a natural example of the nation of Israel.  Jesus was revealing that when Israel was restored to her own land and began to "blossom" again as a nation, the time of the return of the King was near.   (This event has already happened...Israel has been restored to her own land as a nation!)

PARABLES CONCERNING THE GROWTH OF THE KINGDOM:

Jesus told several parables which illustrated how the Kingdom of God would extend throughout the world.

The Talents: Matthew 25:14-30; Luke 19:11-27

This parable reveals that the Kingdom will be spread by wise use of the spiritual talents and abilities God has given believers.

The Sower: Matthew 13:3-8; Mark 4:3-8; Luke 8:5-8

The Gospel of the Kingdom will be spread by the sowing of  the seed of the Word of God. To this sowing there will be varied responses, depending on the attitude of the hearers. The fruit depends not on the sower but on the life that is in the seed itself and the condition of the soil (man's heart).

The Tares And Wheat: Matthew 13:24-30

Satan will try to defeat the spread of the Kingdom by sowing people described as "weeds" among the good seed of God's  Kingdom. The weeds Satan sows resemble good wheat.  At the time of harvest wheat can be identified by the grain it produces, however, while weeds produce no useable grain.

The Net: Matthew 13:47-50

The Kingdom is also compared to a great net thrown into the sea.  All kinds of fish are caught, but when the net is drawn to shore the good fish are separated from the bad.  The Kingdom will draw in men and women from all nations.  Prior to the final establishing of the Kingdom, there will be judgment to determine those who must be excluded.

The Mustard Seed: Matthew 13:31-32; Mark 4:31-32; Luke 13:19

The Kingdom of God will grow like a mustard seed.  The seed is very small and has an insignificant beginning, but in maturity grows to great size. 

The Leaven: Matthew 13:33; Luke 13:21

Like leaven in a lump of dough, the Kingdom of God will spread throughout the whole "lump" of the world.  The power of the Kingdom is not external but internal.

PARABLES CONCERNING KINGDOM JUDGMENT:

The Ten Virgins: Matthew 25:1-12

The Sheep And The Goats: Matthew 25:31-46

Jesus told several parables concerning future judgment in the Kingdom.  At the time of judgment, those who are sheep of the true shepherd, Jesus Christ, will be accepted.  All others will be denied entrance into the Kingdom. 

PARABLES CONCERNING THE VALUE OF THE KINGDOM:

Jesus used several parables to illustrate the great value of the Kingdom of God.

The Pearl Of Great Price: Matthew 13:45-46

The Hidden Treasure: Matthew 13:44

These parables show that the Kingdom of  God is of such great value that nothing else compares with it.  It is more valuable than any possession of man.  If you must give up everything you possess in order to obtain the Kingdom, it is worth the sacrifice.

The Householder: Matthew 13:52

In this parable Jesus compared Himself to the custodian of a storehouse who brings forth items needed by the household.  A custodian is a person in charge of something.  The custodian may bring out new grain or old grain, new wine or old wine.  By what he brings, the needs of the household are fully met.  In some ways the Kingdom Jesus brought was like the previous form of the Kingdom.  In other ways, it was entirely new.  But both the old and new had value in meeting needs of residents of the Kingdom of God.

PARABLES CONCERNING LIFE IN THE KINGDOM:

Many parables Jesus told illustrated principles of Kingdom living.

The Two Sons: Matthew 21:28-32

Jesus taught that obedience is the test of sonship within the Kingdom family.

The Good Samaritan: Luke 10:30-37

The Kingdom principle of love to all is taught in this parable. Our neighbor is anyone in need, whose need we know, and whose need we are able to meet.

The Two Debtors: Luke 7:41-43

This parable teaches that love will be shown by the one who has experienced the love of the Kingdom.

The Pharisee And The Publican: Luke 18:10-14

The Pharisee approached God on the basis of his own righteousness.  The tax collector recognized there was nothing in himself worthy to stand before the Lord.  In this parable Jesus taught how people should approach God to offer worship, praise, thanksgiving, petition, and intercession in the Kingdom.  It also taught humility in prayer and warned of the sin of self-righteousness.

The Persistent Widow: Luke 18:1-8

The Persistent Friend: Luke 11:5-10

These two parables illustrate the importance of persistence in prayer.

The Faithful Manager: Matthew 25:14-30

This parable stresses the importance of wise and righteous stewardship of Kingdom treasures which God entrusts to believers.

Seats At The Wedding Feast: Luke 14:7-11

This parable illustrates the importance of humility and that promotion in God's Kingdom comes from the Lord.

The Vine And The Branches: John 15:1-6

This parable describes the relationship of Jesus to the Church.

The Laborers In The Vineyard: Matthew 20:1-16

This parable teaches that eternal rewards are not made on the basis of worldly standards. 

The Servant's Office: Luke 17:7-10

This parable teaches that it is our responsibility to serve and do those things commanded by the King.

The King Going To War: Luke 14:31-33

The Man Building A Tower: Luke 14:28-30

These parables emphasize the importance of proper understanding of commitment to the Kingdom.

The Wedding Garment: Matthew 22:10-14

This parable emphasizes the necessity of being clothed in righteousness to remain in the Kingdom.  It is through Jesus' righteousness, not self-righteousness, that this is achieved.

The Rich Man's Meditation: Luke 12:16-21

This story illustrates the folly of relying on temporal material wealth. The priority of life is the eternal Kingdom of God.

The Mote And The Beam: Matthew 7:1-5; Luke 6:41-42

This parable teaches that we should judge ourselves rather than others.

The Harvest: Matthew 9:37-38; Luke 10:2

It was the story of a harvest,  ripe and ready to gather, which Jesus used to focus the attention of His disciples on the need for extending the Kingdom.  It was the vision conveyed by this parable that changed them from "fishermen" to "fishers of men."

 

SELF-TEST

1. Write the Key Verse from memory.

2. What is a parable?

3. Why did Jesus use parables to teach spiritual truths about the Kingdom of God?

4. What was the main subject of the parables of Jesus?

 (Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)

FOR FURTHER STUDY

The book of Revelation is just as its name reflects:  It reveals that which was not previously known.  God revealed to the Apostle John events which will happen in the future. These were things John could not possibly know by natural wisdom.  As God revealed these things, John wrote them in the book called "Revelation." This revelation concerns  events that are to happen prior to the ending of this world and time as we now know it.  Like  parables, Revelation is difficult to understand with the natural mind. It must be discerned with a spiritual mind. Revelation reveals much about the future of the Kingdom of God.

l. Study the following references to the Kingdom of God in the book: Revelation 1:9; 11:15; 12:10

2. The following references deal with the kingdoms of the world and of Satan:  Revelation 16:10; 17:17

3. Revelation 20:10-15 reveals the final destiny of Satan and residents of his kingdom.

4. Revelation chapters 21-22 describes the destiny of residents of the Kingdom of God.

Summarize what you learn from these passages regarding the Kingdom of God:

 

CHAPTER ELEVEN: AMBASSADORS OF THE KINGDOM

 

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

·         Write the Key Verse from memory.

·         Define the word "ambassador."

·         Define the word "witness."

·         Explain the importance of extending the Gospel of the Kingdom throughout the world.  

KEY VERSES: And as ye go, preach, saying, The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils:  freely ye have received, freely give.  (Matthew 10:7-8)

INTRODUCTION

You have learned many things about the Kingdom of God in this course.  You have learned of the existence of the spiritual kingdoms of Satan and of God.  The past, present, and future of the Kingdom of God was reviewed.  You studied the life and teachings of King Jesus.  You have been given the keys for entrance into the Kingdom of God and warned of things which result in being cast out of the Kingdom.  You studied Kingdom parables and learned important principles of Kingdom living.

In this final chapter you will receive a special assignment.  This assignment will take a lifetime to complete.  You will be commissioned as an ambassador of the Kingdom of God.

THE MISSION OF JESUS

Jesus came to this earth with a special mission to establish the Kingdom of God: Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, And saying, the time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand:  repent ye, and  believe the Gospel.  (Mark 1:14-15)

From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.  (Matthew 4:17)

The commitment of Jesus to the Kingdom of God was evident throughout His entire ministry: And He said unto them, I must preach the Kingdom of God to other cities also:  for therefore am I sent.  (Luke 4:43)

After His death and resurrection, Jesus remained on earth for a short period of time and appeared to many people.  His message had not changed.  It focused on the Kingdom of God: To whom also He shewed 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.  (Acts 1:3)

Jesus began His ministry by declaring the message of the Kingdom (Matthew 4:17).  He ended His earthly ministry by speaking of things pertaining to the Kingdom (Acts 1:3).  Between the start and conclusion of His ministry, His chief concern was the extension of God's Kingdom.

THE GREAT COMMISSION

Even before His death, Jesus prepared His disciples to continue the extension of the Kingdom. First, the disciples were observers of how the message of the Kingdom was to be presented: And it came to pass afterward, that He (Jesus) went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the Kingdom of God: and the twelve were with Him.  (Luke 8:1)

Next, Jesus trained the disciples by participation.  He sent them throughout Israel with directions to... preach the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick.  (Luke 9:2)

Finally, He commissioned them with the responsibility of extending the Gospel of the Kingdom to the nations of the world: And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in Heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. (Matthew 28:18-20)

And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.  (Mark 16:15)

AMBASSADORS OF THE KINGDOM

Before Jesus returned to Heaven, He said to His followers: And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me. (Luke 22:29)

The Kingdom God gave Jesus was passed on by Jesus to His followers and we are privileged to be part of this eternal empire.  But God chooses for purpose, not just privilege.  Jesus left His followers with a responsibility of extending the Kingdom of God throughout the world. They were to be ambassadors of the Kingdom.

An ambassador is a representative sent by one kingdom to represent and transact business in another.  He is a messenger and authorized agent of the kingdom he represents.  Paul said: We are ambassadors for Christ.  (II Corinthians 5:20)

We are the ambassadors sent by the King to represent and transact the business of the Kingdom of God in the kingdoms of the world. Our assignment as ambassadors of the Kingdom is a lifetime commitment. Once we have accepted this commission, we cannot look back: And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the Kingdom of God.  (Luke 9:62)

WE ARE WITNESSES

As ambassadors, we are to be witnesses for the Kingdom of God.   A witness is someone who can testify and present evidence of something experienced firsthand.  He is one who personally sees, observes, experiences, and produces proof of what he has experienced.  Jesus said to His
disciples: And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.  (John 15:27)

The witness of the ambassadors of the Kingdom was to extend throughout the earth: But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.  (Acts 1:8)

The message of the witnesses was to be... Thus it is written, and  thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance  and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. (Luke 24:46-48)

As the disciples went out as witnesses, God also witnessed through them: God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers
miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to His own will. (Hebrews 2:4)

We are to be ambassadors of the Kingdom, giving witness to its message, with God confirming our witness by the demonstration of His power.

AN IMPORTANT RESPONSIBILITY

Why is this responsibility to extend the Kingdom so important? Because Jesus said... And this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.  (Matthew 24:14)

The final establishment of the Kingdom of God will not come until the Gospel of the Kingdom is preached to all the world.   Note that it is not just the Gospel...it is the Gospel of the Kingdom. In these verses Paul gives the elements of the Gospel: Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you,
unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures. (I Corinthians 15:1-4)

The basic Gospel message is that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, He was buried, and He rose again according to the scriptures.    The Gospel must be preached, but it must include the message of the Kingdom.  Men must be informed of its existence and taught how to enter and live as Kingdom residents. 

SHARING THE KINGDOM

Specific guidelines were given by Jesus on how the message of the Kingdom is to be shared. The message of the Kingdom must include the call to repentance from sin: Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand: Repent ye, and  believe the Gospel.  (Mark 1:14-15)

From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.  (Matthew 4:17)

The message of the Kingdom is to be spread through both teaching and preaching: And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom. (Matthew 9:35)

Jesus told His followers... As ye go,  preach, saying,  The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. (Matthew 10:7)

The message of  the Kingdom is not to be in words only. The demonstration of God's power is to accompany the verbal presentation of the Kingdom.  This was evident in the example set by Jesus: And Jesus went about all the cities and villages,  teaching  in their synagogues, and preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.  (Matthew 9:35)

And the people, when they knew it, followed Him: and He received them, and spake unto them of the Kingdom of God, and healed them that had need of healing.  (Luke 9:11)

Jesus instructed His disciples to not only teach and preach the Kingdom, but in every city to...heal  the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The Kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.  (Luke 10:9)

And He sent them to preach the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick. (Luke 9:2)

The demonstration of power...miracles and healings...is the Kingdom of God in action. Paul said: For the Kingdom of God is not in word, but in power. 

(I Corinthians 4:20)

FULFILLING THE COMMISSION

The Apostle Paul, a great  ambassador of the Kingdom during the period of the early Church, said: And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.  (I Corinthians 2:4-5)

The first Church fulfilled the commission of extending the Kingdom of God not only by teaching and preaching.  It was not extended by educated theologians, parties, programs, or building great buildings.  The commission was accomplished by combining the message of the Kingdom with the demonstration of the power of the King. The extension of the Kingdom became the central purpose of the early Church.  Despite persecution, believers continued to fulfill their commission as ambassadors of the Kingdom: And at that time there was a great persecution against the Church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions. Therefore they that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the word.  (Acts 8:1,4)

Part of the follow-up plan for establishing churches was instruction regarding the Kingdom of God: They returned again...confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the Kingdom of God.  (Acts 14:21-22)

The Kingdom of God was the message of the laymen of the Church: But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the Kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.  (Acts 8:12)

The Kingdom of God was the focus of great leaders of the Church: And he (Paul) went  into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the Kingdom of God.  (Acts 19:8)

The Kingdom of God was the central focus of Paul's ministry.  Towards the end of his ministry Paul told believers... And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the Kingdom of God, shall see my face no more.  (Acts 20:25)

In the final Biblical mention of Paul, he is continuing the extension of the Kingdom even though captive in Rome: Preaching the Kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern  the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him. (Acts 28:31) 

BUILDING UP THE KINGDOM

In many cases, the modern Church has lost this emphasis on building the Kingdom of God. We build great churches, beautiful buildings, and large denominations. We emphasize the building of orphanages, schools, and hospitals. While these things are good and a legitimate part of the ministry of the Church, they are not to be the central focus. Fund raising and construction are not our commission. The products of such can result in the building of personal kingdoms rather than the worldwide extension of the Kingdom of God. Paul warned of this when he said... For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's. (Philippians 2:21)

Each ministry project considered should be  judged by this question:  How will this help fulfill the commission to extend God's Kingdom?  We preach and teach on many subjects...marriage, family, prophecy. These are good subjects and much needed in our world today.  We train great orators to fill our Church pulpits.  But each message should be judged by this question:  How does this message communicate the principles of the Kingdom of God?

Ask yourself these questions...

·         How long has it been since I heard a message on the Kingdom of God?

·         How is my Church fulfilling the commission to extend God's Kingdom?

·         How am I personally fulfilling my role as an ambassador of the Kingdom of God?

Jesus taught that we are to focus our prayers on the Kingdom.  We are to pray: Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in Heaven.  (Matthew 6:10)

We are to seek the Kingdom as our highest priority in life: But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6:33)

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

The Church was raised up by God as an instrument through which the Kingdom can be extended to the nations of the world. Many churches have lost the vision of this calling. They have emphasized building their membership and denomination instead of building the Kingdom. Competition between pastors, churches, and denominations has broken the unity of the Body of Christ.  We have lost the vision of one united Kingdom of God of which each local Church is a part. Instead of helping one another in the mission to extend the Kingdom, we compete for greater buildings, larger membership rolls, and increased finances to build our own kingdoms.  

The plan of God was that the Church not only preach the Kingdom but that it should be a living example of the Kingdom.  Are we meeting that challenge?

The Church needs to lose itself in a greater cause than its membership rolls. It needs to dedicate its efforts to more than building programs and membership drives.  The Church needs to seek first the Kingdom of God which transcends denominational, cultural, and national boundaries.  If the Church will seek first the Kingdom, then all these others things will be added.

AN OLD TESTAMENT EXAMPLE

God's first commission to man was to "multiply and replenish the earth" (Genesis 1:28). The emphasis was on people. The goal was to fill the earth with men and women created in the image of God with a personal relationship with God.  But in Genesis 11:1-9  we find the emphasis changed by man. Read this passage in your Bible.

At Shinar  the emphasis was on building a city and a great tower instead of populating the earth. Projects rather than people had become the focus of attention. The purposes were selfish: To make a great name and congregate a great number of people. At the tower of Babel God came to view the work of the people. God had not appointed their task, so He came to come see what they were doing. This is the condition of many of our churches. We have ignored the commission to extend the Kingdom and we are building great towers of denomination and membership. We are building great buildings.  What would God say if He came down to view what we are doing?  

The people of Shinar said , "Let us build a city."  There is a difference between a city built by man and a city whose builder and maker  is God.  These people were building by self-effort to accomplish their own selfish desires. God took action and confounded their language: Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. Therefore the name of it is called Babel: because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth. (Genesis 11:7-9)

With everyone speaking different languages the project halted. We hear many conflicting voices in the Church today. When communication becomes confused, we should examine our tower. It may be that the projects we are working on are not of God. Sometimes, as in the case of Babel, extending  the Kingdom involves tearing down instead of building up.  But some people will not end their own projects to extend the Kingdom because their work has become an idol.

A NEW TESTAMENT EXAMPLE

Jesus commissioned the early Church to reproduce disciples throughout the earth, not build a great Church at Jerusalem. Yet we find the Church reproducing so rapidly that organization and administration systems were strained (Acts 6). They were creating a great mass of  believers in Jerusalem instead of going out to the nations of the world as they had been commanded.  Because of this, God allowed persecution to come and the believers were scattered: And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem: and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria. (Acts 8:1)

Through this they returned to their original commission as ambassadors of the Kingdom: Therefore they that were scattered  abroad went everywhere preaching the Word.  (Acts 8:4)

When "great churches" are gone, God's people live on. The Kingdom of God will not be extended throughout the world by the building of great buildings.  It will not advance through projects. It will spread by ambassadors bearing witness  to the Gospel of the Kingdom and disciples reproducing disciples.

The previous chapter, "Kingdom Parables," explained how the Kingdom will spread throughout the world. The parable of the talents in Luke 19 and Matthew 25 reveals that the Kingdom will be spread by wise use of the spiritual gifts and abilities.

The parable of  the  leaven  (Matthew 13:33) reveals that the Kingdom would have a small beginning, but as leaven in bread it would continue to steadily spread. The parable of the net cast into the sea reveals that the Kingdom of God will draw men and women of all nations. The Kingdom is also spread as men cast the seed of the Gospel into the hearts of men and women.  Like seed in the natural world, the Gospel of the Kingdom grows, although the growth process is not fully understood by the one sowing the seed (Mark 4:26-27).

THY KINGDOM COME

There will come that great day when the Kingdom of God is permanently established and the Kingdom of Satan finally defeated: And I heard a loud voice saying in Heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the Kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ:  for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.  (Revelation 12:10)

Then cometh the end, when He shall have delivered up the Kingdom to God, even the Father; when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. (I Corinthians 15:24)

And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the Kingdoms of our Lord,
and of His Christ:  and He shall reign for ever and ever.  (Revelation 11:15)

And He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His Kingdom there shall be no end.  (Luke 1:33)

Until that great day you can claim this promise... The Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto His heavenly Kingdom:  to whom be glory for ever and ever.  Amen.  (II Timothy 4:18)

Our final prayer for you is... That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto His Kingdom and glory. (I Thessalonians 2:12)

 

SELF-TEST

1. Write the Key Verses from memory.

2. What is the meaning of the word "ambassador"?

3. What is the meaning of the word "witness"?

4. Paul said his preaching was not just with words but accompanied by what?

5. Why is the extension of the Gospel of the Kingdom  an important responsibility?

6. What was the central theme of the ministry of Jesus?

 (Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)

FOR FURTHER STUDY

The books of  Acts through Jude in the New Testament record the first efforts of believers as they responded to this commission to be ambassadors.  Study the following passages to see how this was accomplished:

Acts 1:3,6,9-11; 8:12; 14:22; 19:8 20:25; 28:23,31

Romans 14:17

I Corinthians 4:20; 6:9-10; 15:24,50

Galatians 5:19-21

Ephesians 5:5

Colossians 1:13; 4:11

I Thessalonians 2:12

II Thessalonians 1:5

I Timothy 6:15; 17:14; 19:16

II Timothy 4:1,18

Hebrews 1:8; 11:33; 12:28

James 2:5

II Peter 1:11

 

ANSWERS TO SELF-TESTS

CHAPTER ONE:

1. And this gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations:  and then shall the end come.  (Matthew 24:14)

2. The division of all things into either that which is natural or that which is spiritual.  See I Corinthians 15:44-49.

3. The Kingdom of Satan and the Kingdom of God.

4. Satan rules the Kingdom of Satan.  The Trinity (God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit) rule the Kingdom of God.

5. The residents of the Kingdom of Satan are Satan, demons, and all men who live in sin and rebellion to God.

6. The residents of the Kingdom of God are God the Father, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, angels, and all men who live in righteous obedience to God.

7. There is no difference between the two.

8. A kingdom is the territory and people over which a king rules. 

CHAPTER TWO:

1. And He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of  His Kingdom there shall be no end.  (Luke 1:33)

2. A king is a sovereign ruler of a nation, tribe,  or country.  The word "sovereign" means he has the supreme power, highest authority, and is free from outside control. 

3. Jesus. 

4. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

CHAPTER THREE:

1. 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.  (Matthew 25:34)

2. Compare your summary with the description of the past history of the Kingdom of God in Chapter Three.

3. Compare your summary with the description of the present Kingdom of God in Chapter Three.

4. Compare your summary with the description of the future Kingdom of God in Chapter Three.

5. Review the basic facts about the Kingdom of God in Chapter Three.

CHAPTER FOUR:

1. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of Heaven:  and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven:  and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven.  (Matthew 16:19)

2. The Church.

3. They are the spiritual powers to bind the powers of evil, loose the powers of good, and open the door to the Kingdom by extension of the Gospel.

4. Repentance from sin; the born-again experience.

5. Experience spiritual birth; be born again. 

6. After receiving the new birth by faith we should go on to spiritual maturity in order to assure entrance into the Kingdom of God. 

7. To bind something means to put fetters or a bond on it.  It is like closing and locking the door to a room. 

8. To loose something is to release it or set it free. It is similar to opening the door to a room. 

CHAPTER FIVE:

l. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven:  but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in Heaven.  (Matthew 7:21)

2. I Corinthians 6:9-10 and Galatians 5:19-21.

3. a. False;   b. True;   c. True;   d. True;   e. True;   f. False;   g. True 

4. I John 1:8-9.

5.

a. 2

j. 14

s. 22

b. 5

k. 8

t. 17

c. 9

l. 15

u. 3

d. 11

m. 23

v. 4

e. 6

n. 18

w. 1

f. 10

o. 19

 

g. 12

p. 20

 

h. 7

q. 16

 

i. 3

r. 21

 

CHAPTER SIX:

l. All this, said David, the Lord made me understand in writing by His hand upon me, even all the works of this pattern.  (I Chronicles 28:19)

2. A pattern is an original or model of something created for the purpose of imitation.  It is something designed to be copied or imitated. 

3. A principle is a truth, method, or rule adopted as the basis for action or conduct.  It is a general truth composed of other subordinate truths.

4. A Biblical pattern is a spiritual example given in Scripture for purposes of imitation. 

5. A Biblical principle is a spiritual truth taught in Scripture.  Such principles often incorporate additional subordinate principles. 

6. These are Biblical patterns and principles which govern life in the Kingdom of God.

CHAPTER SEVEN:

1. And I appoint you a Kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me.  (Luke 22:29)

2. Righteousness. 

3. First:  Loving God.  Second: Loving your neighbor as yourself.

4.

·         You must live by them to maintain residency in the Kingdom.

·         Jesus said they are important.

·         Fruits of the Kingdom are the test of possession.

·         To reign in the future Kingdom you must know its principles.

5. a. 2;  b. 1;  c. 4;  d. 3;  e. 5;  f. 6

CHAPTER EIGHT:

1. Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the Kingdom which He hath promised to them that love Him?  (James 2:5)

2. Review the principles given in this chapter:

a. rich

i. leaders

q. save

b. joy

j. exalted

r. loving

c. conquerors

k. greatest

s. receive

d. filled

l. first

t. possible

e. mercy

m. great

u. see

f. outward

n. lowly valued

v. rest

g. peace

o. children

w. earthly

h. rewarded

p. live

x. revealed

CHAPTER NINE:

1. And the people when they knew it, followed Him: and He received them, and spake unto them of the Kingdom of God, and healed them that had need of healing.  (Luke 9:11)

2.

a. new

i. new

q. new

b. old

j. old

r. old

c. old

k. new

s. old

d. new

l. old

t. new

e. old

m. old

u. old

f. new

n. new

v. new

g. old

o. new

w. new

h.new

p. old

x. old

3. The answer is b.

4. New Testament Kingdom principles are expanded on the foundation of Old Testament law. 

CHAPTER TEN:

1. He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but to them it is not given.  (Matthew 13:11)

2. A parable is a story which uses an example from the natural world to illustrate a spiritual truth.  The actual meaning of the word "parable" is to "lay beside to compare."  In parables, Jesus used a natural example and compared it to a spiritual truth.  It is an earthly story with a Heavenly meaning.

3. Jesus used parables to teach Kingdom truths so only those with spiritual minds would learn these important principles.  Those with carnal, sinful minds could not understand.  Jesus used parables to conceal these spiritual principles from unbelievers. 

4. The Kingdom of God. 

CHAPTER ELEVEN:

1. And  as ye go, preach, saying, The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils:  freely ye have received, freely give.  (Matthew 10:7-8)

2. An ambassador is a representative sent by one kingdom to represent and transact business in another.  He is a messenger and authorized agent of the kingdom he represents. 

3. A witness is someone who can testify and present evidence of something experienced first hand.  He is one who personally sees, observes, experiences, and produces proof of what he has experienced. 

4. The demonstration of power. 

5. Because the end will not come and God's Kingdom will not be established in its final form until the Gospel of the Kingdom is preached throughout the world. 

6. Spreading the message of the Kingdom of God. 

 

 

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