Loading

About Us - Publications - Broadcasts - Audio & Video - Contact Us - Home

- Publications -

Rainbow Divider

Chapter 10

The Mystery of the Kingdom

“And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable. And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.” Mark 4:10-12.

There are numerous things referred to as a mystery in the Bible, including the kingdom of God. The purpose of speaking in parables was that those without might hear and yet not understand, “... lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.”

Because of those who think of the kingdom of God as the re-establishment of the Jewish nation in Palestine, let it be pointed out that the kingdom was purposely hidden to those without to keep them from being converted. It was not an earthly kingdom to be established anywhere in this world.

The mystery of the kingdom had to do with conversion and forgiveness of sins. This kingdom is entered by repentance and faith. Matthew 3:2. Mark 10:17-24. I Corinthians 6:9-11. Only by the spiritual birth can men see or enter this kingdom. John

COMES NOT WITH OBSERVATION

“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.

It is evident from the scriptures above that the Jews did not understand the true nature of the kingdom of God. Like those today who believe in the millennium, they thought it was going to be established in the earth with earthly Jerusalem as the center. Even the disciples were blind to the true nature of the kingdom before Pentecost. John 3:3, 4:20. Acts 1:6.

Jesus said it did not come with observation. It wasn’t a visible, material kingdom to be seen with carnal eyes. Even though it was in their midst, they would never be able to say, “Lo here! or lo there!”

KINGDOM SPIRITUAL

Not being materialistic or visible, the kingdom of God could only be seen by the revelation of God’s Spirit. The truth is, God’s kingdom belongs to another realm which is spiritual and eternal. This is why Jesus said, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3.

John the Baptist heralded the kingdom by preaching repentance “... and saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 3:2. In the person of Jesus Christ the kingdom was introduced to man.

By the Spirit of God, Jesus Christ was God’s earthly manifestation of his eternal kingdom. Jesus said to the Jews, “If I by the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.” Luke 11:20. Matthew 9:35. says, “... Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom....”

Likewise the disciples were commissioned to do the same. Luke 10: 1-9. Yet Jesus told Pilate, “... 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.

Being spiritual, the kingdom of God is more of a state of being than it is a place located somewhere in God’s universe. Someone has rightly said, “an unregenerate sinner would be wretchedly miserable in heaven.” Romans 14:17 says, “for the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”

Because we are carnal, God has used much language known and understood by the natural man when speaking of the kingdom. This is true of the Old Testament as well as the New. Literal interpretation of such passages can only lead to much error and belief in an earthly, materialistic kingdom.

For example, let us consider some verses of Isaiah chapter two, which many say will be literally fulfilled during the supposed millennium. Verses 2 and 3 say, “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.”

By literal interpretation, these verses are taken to mean that God’s kingdom will be established in the earth with the Jews’ return to Palestine and Jerusalem’s becoming the religious capital of the world. And, of course, all nations will have to bow before this kingdom and go up to Jerusalem if they receive anything from God.

Most of the language here is a type that points to a spiritual reality fulfilled in the Church and God’s eternal kingdom.

The mountain of the Lord’s house that is to be established in the top of the mountains with all nations flowing unto it is Mount Zion, the Church of the firstborn and the heavenly Jerusalem referred to in Hebrews 12:22-23. “But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect.”

It will be noticed that Paul told these Hebrew converts they had “... come unto Mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, ... church of the firstborn ....” This wasn’t something for the future but was a present day reality. Read also Galatians 4:25-26 which gives the true contrast between earthly Jerusalem and heavenly Jerusalem.

Earthly Jerusalem was simply a type of the true Holy Jerusalem which John saw “ ... coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” Revelation 21:1-2.

The “all nations” of Isaiah 2:2 that flow into the Lord’s house are the nations of them which are saved that walk in the light of the holy city of Revelation 21:24-26. Only the redeemed whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life will get into this Jerusalem. This is also the true Church in the earth today which is an extension of God’s eternal kingdom.

The “house of the God of Jacob” of Isaiah 2:3 is God’s spiritual house, the Church. “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone, In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: in whom ye also are framed together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” Ephesians 2:19-22. Read also Hebrews 3:1-6.

The true Church is God’s house or dwelling place because he, by the Spirit, lives in it. This is also where men will have to come and be taught the ways of the Lord. The mountain of the Lord, house of God, Zion and Jerusalem of Isaiah 2:3 are types pointing to God’s spiritual house.

The belief that Isaiah 2:4 will be literally fulfilled during the millennium with all the nations of the world beating their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruninghooks is another clumsy effort of literal interpretation that can’t possibly be fulfilled.

In the first place modern man doesn’t use the primitive weapons of swords and spears mentioned here. This has to be a type pointing to the warlike nature that God takes out of his people when they are saved by his grace. Hate, which breeds war and violence, is replaced with God’s love when he saves us. I John 4:7-12.

In the second place these nations of people will not learn war any more. The work that is done in them is permanent and eternal. According to those who believe in the millennium, Satan will be loosed for a little season at the end of the thousand years and will go forth to deceive the nations once more. They will learn war again and come against Jerusalem. As is seen from this, a literal interpretation of this scripture would contradict their own doctrine.

Isaiah 2:2-5 is a picture of God’s kingdom, the Church, and the day of grace in which he has judged among the nations and rebuked many people. This has been and is being done by the Spirit of God through the Gospel. This was the purpose of the coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.

“Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you: but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.” John 16:7-11.

“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous therefore, and repent.” Revelation 3:19.

KINGDOM IS ETERNAL

God’s kingdom is neither materialistic nor temporal, but it is spiritual and eternal. After this earth is destroyed by fire at Christ’s coming, he will create new heavens and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness. II Peter 3:10-13. This is where new Jerusalem, the holy city, will be located. Revelation 21:1-4.

The earthly Jerusalem of Palestine is still in bondage with her children as well as the rest of this world. They have no part nor lot in God’s eternal kingdom of which heavenly Jerusalem is the capital. Galatians 4:25-26. This kingdom is still in our midst, but those that are without cannot see it.

THE JEW

The Jewish hope of an earthly kingdom is not the kingdom that Christ came to establish in the hearts of men. This is what Jesus meant when he said to the woman at Jacob’s well, “Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father ... But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in Spirit and in truth; for the Father seeketh such to worship him.” John 4:21, 23.

The return of the natural Jew to Palestine has nothing to do with the fulfillment of the scriptures. There is no scriptural basis for belief in a national conversion of Israel nor a Jewish millennium with all nations going up to Jerusalem to learn the ways of the Lord.

The much ado about Israel and the regathering Jew is, I believe, part of Satan’s great conspiracy to deceive the religious world, lest it be prepared for the coming of the Lord and the end of the age. Satan would much rather men believe there is a thousand years plus a little season before this world is destroyed by fire. He would also like for the natural Jew to believe his Messiah is still to come and restore the kingdom to Israel.

Israel, as a nation, has had her opportunity. The first advent of Christ was God’s last overture to her as a nation. The lament of Christ over Jerusalem marked the end of his dealings with her as a chosen people.

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.” Matthew 23:37-38. Read also Luke 19:41-44.

Jesus summed it up in these words, “... Did ye never read in the Scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing and it is marvelous in our eyes: Therefore I say unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.” Matthew 21:42-43.

The answer of who this nation is that the kingdom has been given to is found in I Peter 2:9. “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”

This holy nation is the Church called out of all nations by the gospel. It is made up of Jew and Gentile. Ephesians 2:14-18.

The hope for national conversion of the Jew is false. As an individual he can be saved through the same gospel that saves a Gentile. He will be grafted back into his own olive tree when he repents and believes the gospel. Romans 11:20-24.

Romans 10:12. “For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.”

“For through him (Jesus) we both (Jew and Gentile) have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” Ephesians 2:18.

Return to Library of Articles