Note: J. Preston Eby, in order to continue to devote his full energy to writing, no longer works in the office and does not receive email. He does, however, respond to any urgent correspondence via snailmail.
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KINGDOM BIBLE STUDIES
the things concerning the
Table of Contents
Chapter Title Page
28. The Principles of the Kingdom 3
29. The Principles of the Kingdom (cont.) 16
30. The Principles of the Kingdom (cont.) 28
31. The Principles of the Kingdom (cont.) 42
32. The Principles of the Kingdom (cont.) 55
33. The Principles of the Kingdom (cont.) 69
34. The Keys of the Kingdom 82
35. The Righteousness of the Kingdom 96
36. The Righteousness of the Kingdom (cont.) 105
37. The Peace of the Kingdom 118
38. The Joy of the Kingdom 132
39. The Power of the Kingdom 141
40. The Power of the Kingdom (cont.) 153
41. The Power of the Kingdom (cont.) 168
THE PRINCIPLES OF THE KINGDOM
the new order of the
broke every tradition and violated all accepted standards, procedures, norms, orders,
methods and systems. He
demonstrated the ways of the
When the hour arrived for supper, no ones feet had been washed. Although no one mentioned it, there was an uncomfortableness about them because the service had not been rendered. Then it happened! Jesus, fully aware that the Father had put everything into His hands, and that He had come from God and was returning to God, got up from supper, took off His garments, and taking a servants towel, He fastened it around His waist. Then He poured water into the washbasin and began to wash the disciples feet and to wipe them with the servants towel with which He was girded. Peter watched, astounded. They knew in their hearts who He was. They had confessed Him as the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of the living God. He was the deliverer prophesied by all the holy prophets since the world began. He was the promised son of David destined to rule all nations, Emmanuel, God with us, who was the King of earth and the universe. And He was washing feet!
Peters blood was boiling, beads of perspiration stood out on His flushed face, and His thoughts raced wildly. This isnt the way to rule over men, this isnt a demonstration of power! Caesar doesnt wash the feet of his soldiers, not even his generals! Power would mean that they would wash his feet if he so ordered! Power means that you are served, that your orders are obeyed, that your rank, position, and prestige is respected, bowed to, even cringed before. What was Jesus doing! Jesus came to Judas, gazed gently into his shifty eyes, and humbly washed and dried his feet. Peter was horrified and his mind was going crazy. Jesus cant do this, it isnt right; what kind of a King is He if He assumes the role of a servant; what is the dignity and power of this Kingdom if its King serves His subjects instead of ruling over them. And what will be our role as administrators in this Kingdom if we are to wash feet instead of barking orders! It all seemed so contradictory.
When Jesus came to Peter, Peter had his thoughts collected and said to Him, Lord, are my feet to be washed by you? Is it your place to wash my feet? Jesus met Peters gaze and replied, You do not understand now what I am doing, Peter, but you will understand later on. Peter said to Him sharply, You shall never wash my feet! Jesus calmly answered him, Unless I wash you, you have no part with me no share in my Kingdom. Shocked, Peter said to Jesus, If thats the case, then Lord, wash not only my feet, but my hands and my head, too! Jesus said, Anyone who has had a bath needs not to wash except his feet, but is clean all over except for where he has walked through the dust. And you are clean but not entirely clean your walk must be cleansed, purified.
The disciples took their places at the table. Their damp, cold feet testified against their pride and condemned them from beneath the table. A holy hush fell over them as they tried to digest the full meaning of the event that had just occurred. Their concepts of the Kingdom were disintegrating, and their quest for power and position was trembling beneath their feet. Jesus looked from one to the other and said, Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Master and the Lord, and you are right in doing so, for that is what I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet if I have ministered to you in meekness and humility, and by my words and actions have cleansed your walk you ought, it is your duty, you are under obligation, you owe it to wash one anothers feet! For I have given this to you as an example, so that you should do in your turn what I have done to you.
Gospel of Luke gives additional insight into the events of the last supper. According
to Luke an eager contention arose between the disciples as to which of them was considered
and reputed to be the greatest, and Jesus said to them, The kings of the Gentiles
are deified by them and exercise LORDSHIP, ruling as emperors and tyrants over them; and
those in authority are elevated above the people and called Benefactors. But
this is not to be so with you. On the contrary let him who is the greatest
among you become as the youngest, and him who is the chief and leader as one who serves. For which
is the greater, he who reclines at table (the master of the house), or he who serves? Is not
he who reclines at the table the greatest? But I am in your midst as the one who serves.
I have esteemed you better
and greater than myself. With those words Jesus laid down one of the
greatest principles of the
THE UNSTRUCTURED KINGDOM
Jesus came to change the world, transform the world, and rule the world by the power of the Spirit of God. Yet, while on earth, He seemed to have no program, no method, no system, no organization, no instrument, no structure to accomplish such a feat. He expended His energies on individual cases, teaching and healing all who were drawn to Him, but forming them into no cohesive movement. Christs life had no other program than that of personal influence, the transformation of individuals. When Jesus ascended, He left behind Him no system of doctrine, no instructions for the organization of the ministry, no specified chain of command, no detailed guidance about worship. Oh, yes, on the day of Pentecost He founded the church, but He founded it neither as an organization nor with a hierarchy. The commission laid upon the church with respect to the world was to go out and make disciples of all nations and continue His work upon individuals. Christs definition of a church had nothing to do with a group of people submitted under a pastor, a board of elders and deacons, with board meetings, Sunday School, church buildings, fellowship halls, recreational facilities, committees, youth programs, crusades and the like. The Lords own definition of church is given in Matthew 18:20, For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
long years of captivity in
The apostles of the church age are not the same order of apostle as the original twelve. The twelve apostles were ordained apostles by Jesus during the days of His flesh, while He was still on earth. They were already apostles when the day of Pentecost arrived. The apostles of the church age are given by the ascended Christ, after He had ascended on high. When He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. After Christ ascended He gave to His church a new order of apostles and they were given along with prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers and therefore have been a continuing ministry in the body of Christ throughout the age. Let all who follow on to know the Lord understand the undeniable truth that there is an infinite difference between a gift-ministry and an organizational hierarchy. The gift-ministries are just that gifts to the body of Christ not lords over Gods heritage. As a teacher I am myself a gift to the people of God. I have a divine commission to teach, exhort, reprove, counsel, instruct, beseech, encourage and strengthen the body of Christ in any and all ways He leads and empowers me to do. But I have no right to subject any man or group of men to my ministry, to form them into a movement around myself, to rule over them, dominate them, control them, or become a lord or master over them.
Let not those who have received the call to sonship imagine even for a moment that some minister or ministry is able to usher them in to the fullness of Christ. There is a great error propagated in the land that says that the five-fold ministry has been ordained of God to bring the Lords people into perfection, unto maturity as a perfect man, and unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ manifested sonship. Now should someone reply that the scripture itself declares that God gave the five-fold ministry for the perfecting of the saints, and to bring us all unto a perfect man and to full stature in Christ, I must respond kindly but firmly that the scripture says no such thing. A faulty translation and faulty punctuation has spawned that erroneous and absurd notion. But that is exactly what all the self-appointed apostles want you to believe so that they can bring you under their dominion. We are living in an hour of great deception, and the land is full of self-proclaimed apostles and prophets who will tell you that only their ministry, or their revelation, or their church, or their movement can bring you to perfection, immortality, and sonship.
see, my beloved, there is no punctuation in the original; the punctuation is supplied by
the translators as part and parcel of their translation. There
should be no comma between the phrase, for the perfecting of the saints, and
the phrase that follows, for the work of the ministry. The
perfecting of the saints and the work of the ministry are not two separate functions of
the five fold ministry. It
should read, And He gave some
for the perfecting of the saints for the work of the ministry... A
number of translations have corrected this error and given the accurate sense of the
Greek. I will quote just a few. And
He gave some. for the equipping of the saints for ministering work (Wuest). And
the same one gives these...toward the adjusting of the saints for the work of dispensing
(Concordant Literal). And
He gave some...with a view to the fitting of the saints for the work of ministering
It should be a self-evident truth that no man can bring another man into something that he does not himself possess. You cannot give what you dont have, neither can you bring anyone into a place you have not entered. The five-fold ministry cannot bring Gods elect saints into something they have not themselves experienced. It is impossible for the five-fold ministry to perfect the saints unless the five-fold ministry itself IS PERFECT. It would be an effort in futility for any ministry to try and make me a PERFECT MAN IN CHRIST except that ministry should have already attained perfection. How could any apostle or prophet bring saints unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of the Christ except that apostle or prophet has already reached that position of absolute fullness in Christ? I cannot lead men to Christ if I have not myself experienced Christ. Preachers who have not been filled with the Holy Spirit do not go around laying hands on people, imparting the gift of the Holy Ghost. A teacher cannot successfully teach science or mathematics unless he is proficient in those subjects. ONE CANNOT MINISTER OR IMPART WHAT HE DOES NOT POSSESS. If an apostle or prophet is to bring you into immortality, he must first become immortal himself. No sick, aging, or corruptible servant of God can minister incorruptible life to your body. If a ministry can bring you into fullness, that ministry must first be filled with fullness. Can we not see by this that only one who is perfect can bring men to perfection, and only a manifested son of God is able to bring men into sonship. Thank God, there is ONE! But we see Jesus...crowned with glory and honour...for it became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings (Heb. 2:9-10). That is why Jesus is called our great forerunner He has entered in before therefore HE is able to draw us in!
The five-fold ministry are indeed ministers to the body of Christ for the blessing and edification of the body. But notice the limitation of the perfection they minister. And He gave some...for the perfecting of the saints FOR THE WORK OF THE MINISTRY. These gift-ministries are placed in the body of Christ to perfect the saints in the area of ministry. The five-fold ministry is just that MINISTRIES! Any ministry can take people only as far as that ministry has gone, reproducing itself. The disciple is never above his master it is enough that he be as his master. Therefore ministry can only perfect you in ministry. They can bring you into what they themselves posses and which they are able to impart. You can become as that ministry in the experience of Christ. All the knowledge, wisdom, anointing, power and ability of that ministry can be reproduced in you. But they cannot bring you to full Christ perfection and stature because they are not themselves perfect or fully mature as sons of God. They cannot bring you to manifested sonship because they are not manifested sons.
The five-fold ministry continues TILL we all come IN THE UNITY OF THE FAITH AND OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE SON OF GOD UNTO a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. There are three key words in this passage: TILL, IN, and UNTO. The five-fold ministry is only valid TILL. Then it is IN the unity of the faith of the Son of God and the knowledge or knowing of the Son of God that we arrive at the measure of the Christs full stature. The till is the dividing point. All before the till is what the five-fold ministry can do for us. It can edify us and equip us for the work of ministering in the present in part realm of church experience. That is all. Everything after the till is what the unification of His faith and knowledge within ourselves can do for us! Since HE is the only one thus far to enter into the perfection and maturity of sonship, it becomes obvious that only by HIS FAITH, and only by KNOWING HIM in intimacy of fellowship and vital union, are we enabled to enter in! J. B. Phillips, in his translation, has beautifully and accurately expressed the truth of these words: His gifts were made that Christians might be properly equipped for their service, that the whole body might be built up UNTIL THE TIME COMES, when in the unity of common faith and common knowledge of the Son of God, we arrive at real maturity the measure of development which is meant by the fullness of Christ.
Kingdom is established by the power of the Spirit and it is ruled by the ministration of
the Spirit not by men in
hierarchical positions of authority. Do I mean by this that I am opposed to
brethren meeting together as the church or the body of Christ, with elders, pastors,
teachers, prophets, apostles, evangelists, and the various gifts and ministries the Spirit
would bring forth among them? Not at all! Let me be
understood very clearly. It is not a question of whether brethren come
together as a local expression of the Lords body to encourage, strengthen, bless and
edify one another it is altogether
a matter of the spirit in which they
assemble, and the attitude, agenda and role of those who minister. God is
not the author of organizational structures, man-made dominions, or hierarchical lordships
over His people. But
He is in the midst of His people, and He does move
among His people, and He does flow through spiritual ministry to the members of
His body. If
I didnt believe that I would put away my pen, for whether I write the
counsel of God via articles and personal correspondence to a vast, scattered invisible
congregation of Gods elect, or whether we meet together and I speak the
word of God to a local visible congregation of saints THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE! The idea that a local congregation with
physical and visible ministry is
The Spirit flows through men in a fluid way, ministering as Christ ministered, touching lives, healing, delivering, teaching, instructing, encouraging, counseling, correcting, rebuking, and any other needed service all as a ministry of the spirit and life, as a gift to men, not out of title, delegated authority, organizational design, or hierarchical position. The Kingdom is thus an unstructured kingdom, for it is the kingdom of the Spirit who is like the wind you hear the sound thereof, but cannot tell from whence it comes or whither it goes. The Kingdom is the rule of God in our hearts, activities, and relationships. The Spirit teaches us Kingdom ways and manifests through us in Kingdom grace, mercy, wisdom, glory and power.
I say that the
Kingdom of God is an unstructured Kingdom because it cannot be built, assembled,
formed, or produced by the wisdom or ability of man nor by any
external exercise, handicraft, workmanship, management, control, administration or
governance. The Kingdom is only by life and out of life. Though
the word of the Kingdom be spoken and imparted into your life by man, just as the seed is
planted in the earth by man, the germination, growth, development and result is all the
work of life. Both
the foundation and superstructure of the Kingdom are the result of the reign of God within
our hearts. The
Kingdom is not, nor will it ever be, a political institution or outward organization
controlled and dominated by a president, prime minister, senate, parliament, mayor,
council, police force, army, pastor, apostle, bishop, or organizational headquarters. The
dominion that God uses in His theocracy is something altogether different. The
Kingdom is Gods authority by the
you were Jesus and realized that you were going to leave the earth and return into the
heavens, surely you would have made arrangements with those who were going to carry on
your work and establish your church. It would seem to us, naturally and
religiously speaking, that after His resurrection, when the Lord Jesus planned a special
meeting with His chosen apostles on a mountain in
would think the Lord would need to schedule a three week work-shop with His disciples. But to
our amazement, instead of a three week work-shop, He appears but briefly and delivers an
88 word memo! And,
behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of
That was the first conference after the resurrection of Christ, and the only one that related to the future church agenda! The Lord Jesus was so simple. He wasnt concerned about external things and outward structure He was only concerned that they be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit! There was no need for Him to tell them so many things, or to give them a book on theology, a ministers manual, or a church discipline. There was only the need for them to possess the wisdom and power of the Holy Spirit and to be led by the Spirit. The Spirit Himself would guide and teach them day by day as to where to go, what to do, and how to do it. They would not need to write a book about it to guide those who would come after them, but all Gods ministers, throughout all generations, would need the very same credentials and qualifications the power and wisdom of the Holy Spirit, and to be led by the Spirit. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
And the Lord would probably never do the same thing in the same way twice, for God is a God of infinite variety and diversity. One of our difficulties in doing the work of the Lord is that we think only in terms of established patterns. We want to know how God has done it, so that we can follow the pattern. We think that when God does something by His Spirit once or twice that He is revealing a system for us to embrace and use. But it is impossible to limit God to a fixed pattern, to any method He has used in the past, or anything He has done before. Sometimes saints get the notion that if they fast for forty days because Elijah and Jesus fasted forty days they will receive the ministry of a prophet or become a manifested son of God. But copying patterns is wrong. Just because God blessed someone when they did a certain thing a certain way doesnt mean that is His purpose or requirement in our life. God doesnt usually do the same thing twice, in the same way, in our own experience! Just as soon as we think we have found the groove or discovered the method or laid hold upon the way it works, we discover that this is not His groove, but our rut. Unless we are ready to follow the Lord along the new and strange paths of HIS PURPOSES, discovering that His ways are inexhaustible, we might become buried in this rut. As wind, those who are born of the Spirit cannot tell whence it cometh or whither it goeth (Jn. 3:8). Ever try figuring out the wind? Where did it start, where is it going? Can I detect some sort of pattern so that the next time I can predict its movements? There are no precise patterns for those who are born of God! There are no precedents for the on-going ministry of the Spirit of God!
Our God is spontaneously creative; He is not systematically creative. What I mean is that God does not employ a program in His purpose; God is a God of spontaneity. God moves not by system, method, or organization, but by the creative power of His life. God is speaking in this hour by His life. His words are words of life. God is quickening, energizing and transforming by supernatural life. The life of God is the creative instrument of His nature. God is infinite in all of His thoughts, abilities, actions and ways. God in creation is ingenious beyond comprehension. Everything God creates is unique. God is a God of unlimited diversity, of infinite variety, of inexhaustible capacity, and we behold the blessed wonder of this fact displayed gloriously in creation.
There are billions of trillions of stars in the heavens and no two stars are equal in their glory. With my finite human brain I cant even comprehend the understanding, wisdom, knowledge and power that is able to create a billion trillion stars and make each one of them unique, giving each an unduplicated glory and naming them! Oh! The wonder of it. How many snowflakes do you suppose have fallen upon the vast plains and towering mountains of earth through the measureless ages of time? And yet they tell us that no two snowflakes are alike! What kind of a mind is the architect of this marvel of nature? There are more than six billion people walking the face of this globe today, and no two fingerprints match no two people are identical. God has established it all by His creative word of life. When God speaks the superlative comes into existence. And the varieties are as infinite as His divine mind.
The Lord builds His church and establishes His Kingdom, not in a human way, but in a divine way; not in an organized way, but by His life-giving, transforming Spirit. There is no so-called divine order pattern or system for Gods church what He does in one place or at one time will be totally different from what He does in another place or at another time if it is by His Spirit! The way He deals with you may not be the same as the way He deals with me. What He requires of me in specific acts of obedience may not be the same thing that He requires of you. The way the Spirit moves and directs His people to worship, minister, and the structure He brings forth in their midst, will not be carbon copies of what He did in Jerusalem, Ephesus, Colossae, Corinth, or in the body of Christ today in the next city, state or nation.
Jesus never made any arrangements or left any schedule. He left a bunch of men in charge who only weeks before had abandoned Him, who cursed and swore that they didnt even know Him, and who fled in terror into hiding. What a faithless, unpredictable, undependable group! From our natural viewpoint, what He did was a mess. Everything occurred as a kind of accident. Jesus did everything without any revealed plan or any appointments or any pre-arrangements or apparent method. When He wanted to speak to His disciples after His resurrection He just came. He came in a way that was absolutely different from the religious systems of today.
Even during His three and a half years of sonship ministry He never called a formal meeting there never was one. Never did He announce that He would be preaching and ministering to the sick on a certain day, at a particular place and time. He held no organized crusades. He did no advertising, nor mailed out any announcements. He rented no halls, stadiums, auditoriums, and pitched no revival tent. His meetings had no announced time of beginning or ending. He hired no campaign manager and appointed no song or worship leader. Peter didnt open the meeting with prayer, James didnt lead the worship, John didnt make the announcements or take the offering. Think of it no prayer, no singing, no worship service, no Bible reading, no stirring of the emotions, no form of preliminaries, no order of meeting, no hype of any kind! There were absolutely NONE of the activities or structure without which modern-day traditional evangelistic, revival, crusade and church meetings could not function. There was certainly nothing religious. Only His preaching and teaching as one having authority, and the spontaneous manifestation of the power of God that was all Jesus used that was positively all!
seconds is all it takes. When sponsors of a television program want to
entice viewers to tune in next week, a one-minute preview of the most exciting scenes is
all it takes. If
you like what you see in that brief encounter, you will surely love the complete version or so they hope. In a
similar way, the Lord Jesus provided His disciples and the nation of
raised Lazarus at the cemetery and Tabitha in her home. Blind
Bartimaeus was healed on the street and Zaccheus was saved in a tree. A cripple
was healed in the synagogue and another at the pool of
is how Jesus ministered, and He is the pattern, the prototype of the life of sonship and
the realm of the Kingdom. Jesus ministered wherever He was, day or
night, here or there, with one person, two, ten, a thousand, five thousand it mattered not. He
preached by the sea and in the fields; He ministered on the streets, in the homes, in the
desert, in the temple, in the synagogues, in the mountain, by a well. This is not the
order of the modern-day church systems, but this is how the
a brother shared with me a little article he wrote in which he gave the following example.
gentleman was on a plane that was in serious trouble. Someone on board the plane suggested
that all the passengers on board the plane bow their heads in prayer. One man
asked why. He
said, I dont believe in prayer. They said, Well, do something religious! So he
took up a collection. The firstborn Son of God opposed religion and
all that went with it. He
broke the Sabbath, He companied with harlots and ate with sinners, and He sat at meat with
unwashed hands. He
acted so clearly un-religious before His disciples, showing them by example
His attitude toward religion. They all saw it. By
example He taught them the ways of the UNSTRUCTURED KINGDOM. And when,
after the day of Pentecost, the apostles went out into all the world preaching the name of
Jesus and the
The twelve apostles and Paul and the other apostles all preached and did mighty signs and wonders among the people. This they did on the streets, in the temple, in the synagogues, by the rivers, in the deserts and fields, in the homes and places of business, in the shadow of pagan temples, on ships and in chariots but never in an organized crusade. Read the book of Acts and you will see. They rented no halls, established no system, made no program, announced no schedule, built no platform. They required no hour of worship to create an atmosphere for God to move! God was in them equally at all times and in every place to spontaneously reveal the power of Christ. They didnt have to preach for two hours in order to get spiritually primed so their gift would work! Their ministries were not traditional Christian ministries, they did not do things the way they are done today, but they had the goods even in this in-part realm and they turned the world up-side-down!
While I was still writing this message brother Bob Torangos paper arrived in the mail. He has written some words so poignant and powerful that I am compelled to share them here. He speaks of the manifestation of the sons of God in terms of the New Millennium Ministry, and says, A millennial mind-set is one that does not allow the world to dictate death and destruction to it, but the world must line up to the order of this Millennial Ministry. Their order dictates the blessing of God in the earth and they are the representatives of an everlasting kingdom that will never pass away. They are the shining lights of Gods presence and are His express will in the earth. They are not preachers, teachers, bishops, prophets or any other labeled office of ministry, but they are a new order, a company that is totally re-programmed from the six-day mind-set. They do not rely on the intellect of learned knowledge, but they operate out of a millennial mind-set of newness. They do not feel compelled to line up with the church system and know that the armor of Saul will never fit them in the upcoming battle with Goliath.
God has a ministry to minister to this Millennium! We are being initiated into it even now and our heart-mind is teaching us the order of it. One thing is certain. This New Millennial Ministry will not rely upon the smoke and mirror methods of the passing church age to meet the challenges of this Day. Kiss your Sunday morning religion good bye. You can also kiss your dead, structured, lifeless, Bible thumping, pulpit pounding, money pulling, program driven, people pleasing ministry good bye. While you are at it, why dont you kiss your philosophical, theological, pseudo-psychological, metaphysical, intellectual, holistical, rational, logical, apocalyptical, twice dead, plucked up from the roots, doctrinal dogmas good-bye, also. None of these things will do anything for you or anyone else if the collapse (of the world system and economy) comes.
The only thing we can rely on, the only thing that will save us is the Spirit of the living God. Anything else that we have used in the past to try to describe that Life...will be utterly useless to us. Only the real McCoy, the 100%, concentrated, undiluted, unmanufactured, true blue, pure, undefiled, unpolluted Life of God will help us in that case. All temporary, maintenance type of ministries will not be Millennial ready. The five offices of the church, namely the Apostle, Pastor, Prophet, Teacher, and Evangelist are for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, and for the edifying of the body of Christ, UNTIL we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. The offices of the church are a maintenance ministry, necessary and needful to KEEP THE CHURCH MAINTAINING, but in view of the arrival of this new millennium, they are not Millennial ready! I say that there is coming forth out of our midst a New Millennium Ministry that will not be molded out of the old mold of the church maintenance system, but will start a new lineage of priestly and kingly ministry end quote.
THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT
The fame of Jesus miracles and teachings increased until vast multitudes followed Him. He began to teach in the open air. Once He taught the people from the bow of a boat, while the multitude stood on the shore. At another time He spoke on a grassy knoll. But on one wonderful occasion He climbed into a high place in the mountain and sat, undoubtedly on the ledge of a rock, and delivered His wonderful words of wisdom. It was a plain, simple address. It was but a few direct words. There were no oratorical flights of eloquence. There were no stately rhetorical periods. There was no emotional appeal, no animated theatrics, no soulish stirring of the crowd to respond with Amens, Hallelujahs, or Praise the Lord! But in its simplicity and unpretentiousness it was one of the mightiest and most momentous proclamations of history. It was potent because it came with divine authority. It was a message from God. It was delivered by His chosen messenger. A great company of people sat listening, silently, hushed by the power of the message which they heard. Today it is called The Sermon on the Mount.
crowd assembled before Jesus resembled the multitude of
must have been their astonishment when the first sentence fell from His lips, Blessed
are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the
Lord began His sermon on the mount by describing the citizens of Gods Kingdom. The men
seated immediately around Him had seen things that no man before them had ever seen. Their
ears had caught the sweet sounds of a message so transcendingly glorious that even the
soldiers exclaimed, No man ever spake like this man! And now
their ears heard with joy His manifold blessings pronounced upon those who had the spirit
could man devise such a Kingdom as this! This is how the citizens of the Kingdom live,
this is how the citizens and rulers in the
the mountain Jesus sat; the hillside by the beach
Grass-carpeted cathedral where He could speak, and teach
Those flaming, burning words of truth that priest and demagogue
Would never tolerate at all in church or synagogue.
own cathedral He had built; had built it by His word,
And neath its vaulted panoply the glory of the Lord
Would pale the light of noonday sun; for what He said that day
Would blaze and shine eternally, when worlds had burned away.
to their tasks the crowd had gone, and He was left alone
Save for a little company that He could call His own.
What use was there for restless crowds the worldly, giddy throng
Might listen to the music, but never hear the song.
the tones rang out, repeated oer and oer!
And from her heaving bosom rose the music of her waves,
For heaven was calling earth to tell that only Jesus saves.
can the sermon on the mount be lived by human life?
Can sinful man ascend so high above his sin and strife?
Is there the possibility that he can strive and strain
Through a thousand consecrations that life to attain?
us, Lord, if such we think, for this is not the way.
Oh, give us ears to really hear what Thou didst say that day!
We want life. Oh, vision blessed, from us, Lord, never part,
For we can only live it when Thou livest in our heart.
Charles S. Price.
that time only Jesus knew how to love His enemies; only Jesus knew how to pray for those
who would despitefully use Him. No one but Jesus knew how to seek the
THE PRINCIPLES OF THE KINGDOM
nation on earth has a Constitution. The Constitution of a country is its supreme
Constitution is the basis of the national government. The Constitution establishes the branches of
government with their respective powers, as well as the rights and privileges of the
we admit that the
is an old saying that things are not what they seem; that is to say our faculties are not
testimony they give is not always dependable on its face value. The world
is packed full of illusion. The earth looks as if it were flat but we
know it is not. The
sun looks as though it rises and sets, but we know it does not. We say
that seeing is believing, but when we say that we forget the curious tricks our senses
speak of the phenomena of nature, but phenomena is a Greek word and simply means
appearance of things is not the reality; the reality is infinitely more wonderful than the
the eye the firmament is studded with fixed points of light but to the soul these points
are celestial worlds sweeping by at a breathless velocity. I have
met men who say there is no God, simply because they have never seen Him. But then,
my friend, have you ever seen any of the really great things about you? Have you
ever seen any of the cosmic forces? Have you ever seen a single motive that
impels you? Have
you ever seen love or hate or joy or peace or patience? Have you
ever seen music? A
visible God would not be our God. A visible God would have limitations. God, to
be God, must be invisible. No man can see thought but thought can be clothed in speech. No man
can see truth but truth can be communicated. The seeming is not the real. The real
is the intangible, the eternal, the spiritual. When I say that the Constitution or laws of
Sermon on the Mount is the Constitution of the
repeated again and again, Take no thought, be not anxious, meaning Dont
worry, dont fret yourself, or as one brother put it, Save your nerves
for an emergency! Jesus
was teaching us that life in the Kingdom is free from worrying, that life in the Kingdom
is free from anxiety, that life in the Kingdom is free from fretting. You have
such a relationship with the King, you are so very close to Him, so very one with Him, and
you are convinced of His ability to rule your life and to rule the nations, that there is
no concern in you at all. These are spiritual principles the principles
are, therefore, spiritual principles that govern the
is a God of principles. The
law given to
Gods law is written in our heart, His nature how He is is inscribed upon the tablets (genetic code) of our inner
would never be a broken home, a heartbroken wife or husband, or deserted and destitute
children if the nature of God was written in all mens hearts. There
would be no bigotry, no hatred, no crime, no war, no evil or trouble anywhere on earth if
the nature of God was written in the heart of every man, woman and child, giving them a
heart in the likeness of His own and a mind as the mind of Christ. From the
redeemed and transformed heart the law (nature) of God flows forth as a river of life. The law
of life within us is the principle of the external law. The
Sermon on the Mount enunciates the underlying principles of the
principles we are free we can do what
we want. Nobody
is telling us that we cant do this or that, or we must do the other. There are
still those among us who thunder the letter of the law from Sinais mount and would
impose the penalties for breaking it, but I do not hesitate to tell you that Moses
law has no authority or power in the
it is in the Sermon on the Mount that we find the complete statement of the Charter or
Constitution of the
Jesus assumed an authority above that of Moses. The character of His teaching stood in sharp contrast to the teaching of the priests and rabbis which relied upon the authority of earlier rabbis. Nor did His teaching follow the style of the prophets who said, Thus saith the Lord! The prophets, including Moses, spoke on behalf of God. But Jesus message was grounded in His own authority and is repeatedly introduced by the words, I say unto you! It has been said by them of old time (Moses and the prophets)...but I SAY UNTO YOU! Jesus did not speak for God, He spoke as God. Jesus was not speaking as a prophet, He spoke as the Lord Himself. And that is the order of sonship. Sons are not mere messengers for God, sent by God sons are themselves, within themselves, the Voice of God, the righteousness of God, the wisdom of God, the authority of God and the power of God. As we move out of the old order of the in-part church ministries into the reality of manifested sonship we will no longer use the gift of prophecy which says, Thus saith the Lord. God will speak to humanity out of us as us I SAY UNTO YOU!
the Kingdom we must be able to discern what is constructive to spiritual character in our
lives and the will of God in the earth. That is the way of sonship! Its
not a matter of whether its good or bad, right or wrong, but is it constructive to
the life of God being raised up in men? Is it in conformity with the principles of
His Kingdom? When
we walk in the ways of the Kingdom we are BLESSED! If we sow to the flesh, we shall of the flesh
reap corruption. There
is no avoiding that. But
we are not under a law. We
are blessed if we do the Fathers will, and not blessed if we dont. Blessed
are they that... Its
that simple. Only
those who understand and live within these Kingdom principles shall be qualified
to rule and reign in the
A MESSAGE TO THE SONS OF GOD
underlying thrust of the Sermon on the Mount is revealed by the word Father
which pervades it. That
word, along with the word sons, beyond anything else, is its prominent
is here that the name Father is first revealed in the word of God. And it is
here that the principle of sonship is first established. The
Sermon on the Mount sets forth the lifestyle, not of Israelites under the law, nor yet of
subjects of the
Sermon on the Mount reveals the divine characteristics of the sons of the Kingdom. In fact,
some of the principles specifically state that this divine kind of nature sets them apart
as sons of God, and to have this kind of disposition means they are in the
is not true that the church is for the Gentiles, as some teach, and the
Sermon on the Mount is the most important word in all the scriptures given to the sons of
God who are the sons of the Kingdom. It is the Manifesto of the King, it is the
Constitution of the Kingdom. Today there are multitudes of believers who
claim to be born again and children of God, but they live lives that contradict the
principles of the
The Sermon on the Mount is the picture of the Perfect Man. It is the portrait of one who has fully put on the mind of Christ which is the mind of the Father. It embodies all the deepest yearnings of the heart of the man or woman who has been apprehended to live and walk and rule by the divine nature. The man that Jesus describes in that sermon is poor in spirit, humble and meek, always thirsting after righteousness, merciful, pure in heart, a peacemaker, suffering for righteousness sake, yet rejoicing in it, the salt of the earth, the light of the world, devoid of anger in human relationships, using no contemptuous words, having the spirit of quick agreement when opinions clash, without lustful thinking, relentless against evil, happy in family relationships, truthful in speech and motive, ready to turn the other cheek, giving sacrificially, going the second mile, giving to those who ask, loving his enemies, blessing and praying for those who hate and persecute being perfect as the Father in heaven is perfect. What a word!
It was said by them of old time...but I say unto you... If anyone doubts the power and authority of this teaching of Jesus as the Constitution of the Kingdom, let him recall what the Lord Himself said at the conclusion of His teaching on the mount. Therefore whosoever heareth these saying of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And everyone that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at His doctrine: for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes (Mat. 7:24-29).
Holy Spirit also bears witness to the significance of the Lords teaching. God,
who at sundry times and in divers manners spake
in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He hath appointed
heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds (Heb. 1:1-2). The
prophetic mysteries spoken by Moses himself give testimony to the blessed fact that our
Elder Brother, the firstborn Son of God, brought a new and higher word than any word
Christ was the prophet like unto Moses in that He spoke the words of God to a people whom God had set apart for Himself. When Jesus said, It was said by them of old time, it is abundantly clear that He referred to the word and law of Moses. It was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill. It was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery. It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a bill of divorcement. Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths. Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. Can we not readily see from the above quotations how each and every one of these is right out of Moses law, including the ten commandments?
Now listen to what Jesus says following each of the above: BUT I SAY UNTO YOU! I SAY! Ah, there is a word that is higher than Moses word. There is a commandment that transcends, as the heavens are high above the earth, the commands of Moses. There is an authority that is greater than the authority of Moses. There is a law that supersedes and replaces the law of Moses. But I say unto you is indeed a very impressive claim of the King of the Kingdom. And His word always goes beyond Moses word, and sometimes completely reverses Moses law. See how radically and powerfully the Son of God repudiates the commandment of Moses: Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy (Lev. 19:18; Deut. 23:3-6). But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you...
gave an outward law to the people of
Sermon on the Mount was not spoken to the careless and promiscuous multitudes on the plain
enjoy the unspeakable privilege of hearing the laws of the new order of the
Father had a higher purpose in mind than just to minister to some needy people. If Jesus would have healed their sick and cast out devils and done signs and wonders all that day, all we would have of it would be the record of some wonderful works done in a far away place on a long ago day. Gods plans and purposes go beyond meeting physical and material needs. His concern is for the whole man that men might be sound in mind, pure in heart, kind and merciful and loving in disposition, holy in character, joyful in spirit, powerful in life, helpful and redemptive in actions, honest and upright in motives, filled with righteousness, wisdom and power. God sees the overall plan, while we may see only the immediate problems. It is His plan to bring the blessings and benefits of His Kingdom to all the earth. The earth shall be filled with His glory and all nations shall come and worship before Him. The tabernacling of God in His sons shall be with men, and He shall dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. And all men shall be righteous for there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things shall pass away and all things shall be made new. It is only as we are led by the Spirit that we can be right on target and right on time in Gods great Kingdom program of redemption and restoration. When Jesus taught the Kingdom principles to His disciples, He set forth a plan for His Kingdom that would raise up many more sons, just like the first Son. And when His vast family of sons was complete, matured and equipped, they would set the whole creation free from the curse of sin and death. That hour is now upon us for in our own generation, in the midst of the sound of a mighty wind from heaven, as God has again visited His people in great power and authority, the mouth of the Lord has spoken it!
The scriptures record for our instruction the two great and wonderful occasions in the history of the world when men heard the voice of God Himself giving them the divine Constitution for their age. What a marvelous contrast there is between those two occasions! At mount Sinai there were terrifying sights and sounds. The mountain was aflame because the Lord, the consuming fire, descended in glory upon it and the smoke of His presence hung like a thick fog over the craggy peak and the desert floor beneath; the whole mount quaked violently. There were blackness and darkness and tempest, and the sound of a trumpet which waxed louder and louder. But the hardest of all for the people to endure was the voice of the Lord Himself which was powerful and full of majesty, which so terrified them that they begged that the word should not be spoken to them any more. And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die (Ex. 20:18-19).
different it was at the other mount, concerning which it is written, And seeing the
multitudes, He went up into a mountain: and when He was set, His disciples came unto Him: and He opened
His mouth, and taught them, saying... Because of His miracles great multitudes
followed Jesus from Decapolis, and from
Why did they come to Him now and not shrink back and stand afar off as when the same Lord gave commandments to a fleshly people at mount Sinai? Why did they climb that mountain and listen unterrified to His words? He was not working miracles on the mountain, nor dispensing loaves and fishes. He was giving a new order for a new age, just as He had done at the other mountain. Yet His disciples came unto Him and quietly and reverently drank in His words while He revealed the heart of the Father who had sent Him for this very ministry. Ah, at Sinai we see man shrinking from the presence and the voice of God, and standing afar off. That was LAW. But on the Mount of Beatitudes we have Immanuel, God with us, the King of glory, the blessed Saviour, come in the form of a servant, made flesh like unto His brethren, to redeem, lift, and transform into the image and likeness of God. That is the KINGDOM.
disciples, in response to a heaven-sent impulse, made their way up the mountain, away from
the distracting sights and sounds of earth, to that quiet place where the Christs
own voice might be heard speaking the words His Father gave Him to speak, that they might
be the sons of their Father in heaven. Those who ascended the mount with Jesus heard
His call by the spirit and separating themselves from the noisy crowd, followed Him in
reaching the summit, Jesus sat down and they gathered around Him. They had
come not to be entertained, not to be blessed, nor to see a sign and wonder, but to be
taught by Him of the
Today, as then, it is necessary for every son of God, in order to hear the words of the Kingdom of God, to leave the level of the crowds, even of those crowds that sing Hosannas and glory in the signs, wonders, and miracles of the Christ in their midst. Is it not sadly true that the multitudes still follow Him for the healings, for the miracles, and for the loaves and fishes? They follow Him for the blessings, the meeting of their immediate physical and emotional needs, the answers to their prayers about earthly things. Few there are who leave the noise, the clamor, the excitement, and the experiences of the religious fervor below, to climb the mountain, and to come to Him. The difference between those who ascend into the high place, there to sit at His feet, and listen attentively to His words, and the crowds who follow Him for various causes, is entirely a matter of being called to sonship and called to the Kingdom.
is certainly high time for the saints of God to stop playing
church and come apart
instead to be taught by the King of kings. There is a place closer to Him than the
multitudes that throng to churches on Sunday mornings. There is much subtle truth in the words of
the Gospel writer where he records, And as Jesus was going up to
Our Lord loved the people, yearned after them, and met them compassionately and powerfully in their need. But how often do we read of His going away from them for a season. Every time there was something truly important and superlative to be done He withdrew from the crowd. So He went up, up to symbolically get near to His Father and to be alone with Him. He was always stealing away at evening to the hills. Most of His ministry was carried on in the towns and cities by the seashore, but He loved the mountains best and oftentimes when night fell He would climb into their peaceful embrace. And I cannot help feeling that what the sons of God need today, more almost than anything else, is that they should go apart with their Lord and sit in silence and holy solitude at His feet in the sacred privacy of His blessed presence.
Consider with bowed head and shoes removed from your feet the secrecy of true relationship with the Father. Sonship is preeminently a personal matter; it is a strictly close and familiar relationship; it is a sacred association. There is something about the walk of sonship that was never intended for the vulgar gaze, just as the relationship between a husband and a wife. Sonship is different than brideship, but sonship can only be learned in the presence of the Father. In order to know intimacy of fellowship and vital union with our Father it is necessary to find a state of retirement from the throng. Come, says the Master, come ye apart into a desert place, come with me into the height of the mountain, and He did not mean by that a vast waterless, treeless, grassless, flowerless waste or a place with nothing but rocks and boulders, but rather a place deserted by the people, a place of tranquil and undisturbed and intimate communion.
We all know that there is a strange strength that is conceived in solitude. The noblest creatures of the field and the air are not sociable. Crows go in flocks and wolves in packs, but the cougar and the eagle are solitaires. When we study the history of the church we find a great deal said in it about a certain class of people, some of whom were called saints and others mystics. They were men and women who seemed to have genius for the unseen. They had a strange passion for seclusion. They loved to go apart. They were a company of Gods elect children who even in this dark age pilgrimed on the heights St. Francis, Loyola, St. Teresa, Thomas a Kempis, Jacob Boehme, George Fox, Jane Leade, Praying Hyde, and a long glorious chosen band on whom the Spirit came. What a shining group they are as they walk the great white lonely way! And the particular point just now that impresses me is that they all loved the secret place. They lived in the shadow of the Almighty. The heavens were opened to them and they saw things none other saw, and experienced the Lord in measures beyond all the divines of the church age. They sang songs in the night.
In relation to mystics George Hawtin once wrote, Though some may disbelieve it, the truth is that all spiritual men must and will appear to be mystics. It is not because they try to be so, but it is because they are so. They cannot help being oddities and misfits here because they do not belong to this world. Jesus said, Ye are not of this world, even as I am not of this world. Therefore, because we are not of this world, we will always be strangers to it. We are foreigners and wanderers in a strange country. Our speech will always betray us. Our actions and customs will always reveal us. Our communications with the spiritual realm will mark us. The things we love will unmask us. Our lack of interest in all that belongs to this present realm will give our identity away. We will always feel that we do not belong in this realm and that we neither can belong nor wish to belong. They that speak such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He hath prepared for them a city end quote.
We are living in a very wonderful age. It is an age of drive and hurry and stress and storm. One would not go far afield today in describing our age as an age of impatience and unrest. The tragic fact in the life of the American people at the present time is the absence of apartment or repose. We believe in drives. We slavishly pursue our careers and social involvements, we meet our husband or wife in the hall and say, Hi! and we are gone. It takes great effort and tenacity in order to find a few minutes to spend quality time with the children. If nothing else is going on we have the television going to keep our mind engaged lest we discover the silence. We are in too great a rush for repose. We have little or no time for the inner chamber. We prefer the limelight and the crowds, the hustle and bustle. Nothing appeals to us but the strenuous and the thrilling. Repose is too tame a thing entirely for this atomic space age.
The sad part of it is that it is no different in the church world. The church is imitating the world. Christians regulate their devotion by the clock. The church schedule is packed with flesh-appeal programs and activities that run day and night. They feel that a ministry that does not cry aloud in the streets, and does not advertise in every newspaper in glaring headlines is an ineffective thing. They have the strange idea that nothing is being done unless somebody is talking. So they fairly swarm to conferences and seminars and committee meetings and platform discussions and concerts and programs and workshops and conventions. The inquiry that is nearly always made concerning a religious gathering is, Was there much of a crowd there? They take it for granted that if the speaker was a good talker and the building was crowded, the meeting was a big success. Do you remember in Pilgrims Progress the conversation between Christian and Talkative? I thought we should have a great deal of talk by this time, says Talkative. The moments when he was pursuing his journey in silence seemed wasted.
The church systems are reaching out their hands to society around them but their hands are so full that their hearts are empty. What do busy preachers or busy Christians know about the secret place of the Most High? The churches are filled to overflowing with members who are so busy running hither and thither, on errands of mercy and ministry it may be, that they are never alone with God. Undoubtedly they think that their heavenly Father is proud of them and their Christian success, their religious career and their eternal, unceasing busi-ness for the Kingdom of God, never giving thought to the fact that they are not unlike the successful child who is so absorbed in his pursuit of position, fame and prosperity that he never finds a moment to stop by and chat with Dad who made it all possible.
churches that dont have great programs often specialize in the noise of
emotionalism, forgetting that their true power is out of sight. Today we
have the noiseless gun. The
noise is eliminated by the use of a muffler called a silencer; it being a well-known fact
that the noise which goes with an explosion is not produced by the actual discharge but by
the sudden escape of the gas. There is no real power in noise. There is
never any real power in noise. The prophets of Baal discovered this
long ago on
for the culture of the secret place! It is in solitude that we catch the mystic
notes from the depths of God within. It is deep down in the depths that the
righteousness and power and glory of the Kingdom are known. By going
apart one gets a vision of eternal realities. How vast the soul becomes when in the
presence of the Infinite! But ours is an age of fuss and trumpet
Christians have more faith in the noise and swirling activity of the whirlwind than in the
still small voice. I have learned by arduous experience
that God usually speaks in whispers but we cannot hear these whispers for the clamor of
the street. We
are called to heavenly places, far above the clamor of the world and the
all the religious ruckus of the hour there is a little
flock that has climbed the mount with
care not for the flamboyant humbug of the hour, but, having beheld the glories of the
Kingdom afar off, they are pressing through surging waves of humanity to come apart
to receive instruction from the King of the Kingdom. At His
feet they hear the call to the heavenly mark and find a door opened for them to enter in
to lay hold upon the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. These are
they who follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. They lean hard upon Christ. The
spirit of His sonship dwells within them. They are partakers of His mind. They have
been given the knowledge of His will. They comprehend His plan and purpose in the
earth, in His sons, and in the universe. They have laid aside every weight and the sin
which does so easily beset them. They are running the race with patience. They
esteem the hope that is set before them higher than all the pleasures of
will close this message by quoting some pertinent words from the pen of George Hawtin. Men
and women must abandon this mad rush of religion and come before God in quiet meditation and prayer, looking to God and
looking to His word that they might clearly see how far away from God this sectarian
religion has led them. God
has no pleasure in it. He has
pleasure only in those who love Him and seek to know Him. The ox knoweth
his owner and the ass his masters crib, but
not those who enter into the secret place of Gods presence imagine even for a moment
that other Christians will understand, for they will not. Tell them
ever so earnestly, but they cannot hear. From this day forth the spiritual man will be a speckled bird (Jer. 12:9). Even while he tells them, their eyes will be heavy with sleep and he will seem to them as one who has taken leave
of his senses. The
hour is coming and now is when the sons of God, who are coming into the image of the
firstborn Son, Jesus Christ, will find themselves living in a spiritual realm completely independent of the bondage of all that is
is clear to be seen that Jesus, even while He lived among men being found in fashion as a
man, proved that sons of God are in all
things independent of the bondage and power
of this present world system. Always after the hour of His baptism in the
THE PRINCIPLES OF THE KINGDOM
principles of the Kingdom are not the way to enter the Kingdom, but reveal to us the lifestyle
of the Kingdom. Our
King is not asking us to live any differently than the way He lives Himself. The more
we yield ourselves to the Spirit to live the Kingdom lifestyle, the more Christ-like we
Sermon on the Mount is not a teaching for those who expect the end of the world someday,
and a Kingdom to follow, but for those who have
experienced the end of the world within themselves
and the coming of the
Principle of Kingdom Attitudes (Mat. 5:1-2).
2. The Principle of Rewards (Mat. 5:13-16).
3. The Principle of Outward Righteousness (Mat. 5:17-26).
4. The Principle of Inward Purity (Mat. 5:27-32).
5. The Principle of Integrity (Mat. 5:33-37).
6. The Principle of Non-Resistance (Mat. 5:38-42.
7. The Principle of Divine Love (Mat. 5:43-48).
8. The Principle of Almsgiving (Mat. 6:1-4).
9. The Principle of Prayer (Mat. 5:5-15).
10. The Principle of Fasting (Mat. 6:16-18).
11. The Principle of Kingdom Priorities (Mat. 6:19-23).
12. The Principle of Faith (Mat. 6:24-34).
13. The Principle of Mercy and Judgment (Mat. 7:1-6).
14. The Principle of Persistence (Mat. 7:7-11).
15. The Principle of Discernment (Mat. 7:15-23).
16. The Principle of Hearing and Doing the Fathers Will
walk in the
Paul makes this very plain. Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: among whom also we all had our lifestyle in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others (Eph. 2:2-3). Again, Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, sensual appetites, unholy desires, and covetousness, which is idolatry: for which things the wrath of God cometh upon the children of disobedience: in the which ye also once walked, when ye lived in them (Col. 3:5-7). Paul doesnt tell us that all these things have passed away, that they no longer exist in us, that they are dead or were crucified two thousand years ago on the cross. The command is, Mortify kill, put to death, execute, slay, assassinate, liquidate, do away with, wipe out, put an end to, waste, finish off the evil desire, the animal impulse, the earthly disposition lurking in your members!
I here point out that within the Lord Jesus Himself, in the days of His flesh, dwelt two
know that within Him were two wills, for
on that dreadful night in the agony of
a man is born of the Spirit he inherits from his heavenly Father the soul of the Spirit. The soul
of the Spirit is simply the mind of the Spirit, the will of the Spirit, the emotions of
the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit. With the mind of the Spirit we think the
thoughts of God, thoughts of peace, thoughts of righteousness, thoughts of wisdom,
knowledge and understanding. The mind of the Spirit is the vehicle of revelation. By the will of
the Spirit we are motivated to act as sons of God, to fulfill all of Fathers purpose
in us. The emotions of
the Spirit are love,
joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. By the desires of
the Spirit we are drawn to spiritual and heavenly realities and seek the
I doubt that any child of God would deny that there is also within him another soul the soul of the flesh. The soul of the flesh is simply our own natural mind, our own human will, our fleshly emotions and carnal desires. If we say we have not this soul of the flesh we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. E. Stanley Jones has given the following illustrations. The Chinese have a character for peace which depicts a house roof and one woman under it. The character for strife or contention is the same house roof with two women under it! A mother said to her little girl as she was all flustered and flurried with indecision: Now, hurry up, Mary, and make up your mind. To which the little girl replied with a sigh, Its easy for you to make up your mind, mother, for youve got only one mind to make up, but Ive got lots of minds to make up! There is age long wisdom gathered up in those stories. Where there is unity of purpose and action there is peace and power, but where there is inner division in loyalty and purpose there is strife and contention and consequent weakness and breakdown.
The double-souled man that is unstable in all of his ways is the man who constantly vacillates back and forth between Gods will and his own, between the emotions of the Spirit and those of his flesh. Back and forth, back and forth, seeking Gods will today and his own tomorrow. He can never make up his mind, can never maintain constancy in his experience, is like a wave driven by the wind, and never becomes established in the will and ways and life of the Spirit. That is the two-souled man. The spiritual man, in all things, says with the firstborn Son of God, Not my will, but Thine be done! The spiritual man denies not the movie house, not the liquor store, not the dance hall he denies HIMSELF! His own flesh-soul is brought under subjection to the spirit-soul. Our heavenly Father never functions out of any soul except that of the Spirit, for He is Spirit. Gods soul is a spirit soul. Mans soul is a flesh soul. Therefore there is omniscient wisdom beneath His determination to subdue our soul unto His.
The following quotation from George Hawtin will plainly illustrate what our true position should be. There is coming a day when the sons of God will subdue all things and bring everything into subjection unto the Father. Christ must reign until all enemies are under His feet (I Cor. 15:24-25). Let us therefore face this solemn fact that all who reign with Him must first of all be subject to Him and be ruled by Him. Those who will be used of God to subdue all things must first of all be subdued. Those who are to subdue the enemies of Christ must first of all have all the enemies of Christ subdued within themselves. Never let this truth depart from you either day or night, for, if God should give men power to subdue who have not themselves been subdued, they would not be one whit superior to all those tyrannical dictators of the past, who in their lust for power trod their enemies under their bloody feet, rejoicing only in their bombastic and dictatorial spirit and the groveling servitude of the people.
Before God can launch us into the breadth and sweetness of His service and entrust us with great things for Himself, we must be perfectly subdued in every part of our nature to His will and the disposition of His mind. We must be subdued in our hearts, in our minds, in our words, in our tempers, in our manners: subdued through and through so thoroughly that we will be flexible to all His purposes and plans. We must be subdued that harshness, severity, criticism, sluggishness, laziness, impetuosity, and all wanting our way, even in spiritual things, must be subdued out of us. Conversion will not finish this work and perhaps not in one case out of a thousand will a second work of grace produce this complete condition of teachable subjugation to Gods will. Being able to preach strong sermons on sanctification will not do it, or having charge of camp meetings, or conventions, or Bible schools, or the writing of books and editing of papers on Christian holiness will not prove adequate for this.
We must be subdued, not merely in our opinion, not merely think ourselves subdued, not only in the esteem of our friends and fellow-workers, but subdued so perfectly that the all-seeing eye of God can look us through and the omniscient One knows that we are subdued. God must conquer the man that He can trust with His great thoughts and plans end quote.
is here that we meet the powerful principles of the
When Jesus uttered those words about the house divided against itself, He was speaking to Pharisees. They themselves were what He meant by the futility of living a life in two different directions. They were not consciously bad men just hypocritically divided men. They were trying to please God while they pleased themselves. They were trying to fulfill the law of God by being self-righteous. They drew around themselves a set of religious scruples which fit into their outward form of what religion was, and rejected things that were closer to the heart of God. Ye tithe mint and anise and cumin and pass over justice and the love of God. These men were so zealous for the law that even if in their patio or on the roof top they raised a very small patch of spices for their personal use in cooking, they tithed it! They were legalists to the penny. But mercy, goodness, helping the needy, forgiveness, love, and compassion would mean they would have to share and consider the feelings and circumstances of others, and that they felt no responsibility to do. On the side of the law they served God, but on the side of mercy, forgiving, loving, lifting and blessing creation they served themselves. They were divided in their religion, majoring in minors, and minoring in majors. They were double-souled, and their religious house doomed to collapse.
Jesus enumerated the principles of the
1. Dont try to give your alms with the divided motive of pleasing God and getting credit from men (Mat. 6:1).
2. Dont pray to God and at the same time try to impress men with your sanctity (Mat. 6:5).
3. Dont fast before God and at the same time try to build up a reputation for self-abnegation and spirituality (Mat. 6:16).
4. Dont try to make the best of both worlds by attempting to lay up treasure in two directions (Mat. 6:19).
5. Dont try to be divided in your loyalty by attempting to serve two masters God and mammon (Mat. 6:24).
6. Dont be anxious in two directions today and tomorrow concentrate on today (Mat. 6:34).
7. Dont try to judge in two directions yourself and others concentrate on yourself (Mat. 7:1-5).
8. Dont try to bring forth good fruit out of an evil heart (Mat. 7:15-18).
9. Dont try to give lip service saying, Lord, Lord, without doing the will of God (Mat. 7:21).
you try to live with a dual motive, Jesus says, then there will be one sure result you will be like
a man building his house on sand, and when the pressures of life come, when the winds blow
and the floods come, there will be a great crash! In these examples Jesus was not preaching
what men call morality. He was expounding how life in the
When I speak of Kingdom laws I do not mean external rules and regulations. True, Jesus enunciates these principles of the Kingdom as an instruction, as a teaching, but He does not demand legalistic obedience in the way Old Testament laws were obeyed. That is merely external righteousness. And that is why Jesus didnt say, as Moses said, Thou shalt and thou shalt not. He said, rather, Blessed are they that... Someone may say, I find it almost impossible to love that person, but I am going to love them because Jesus says I must. That is not the Kingdom! That is not sonship! That is just plain law, and the person who attempts it is still divided within himself and his attempt will fail. You cannot love people by any human effort. The principles of the Kingdom can only be lived out by a new nature, not outward conformity. If you have to bite your tongue and count to ten, you are still divided and living under law. And I am not preaching condemnation to you, precious friend of mine; I am merely pointing out how the life of sonship is.
law of the Kingdom is the law of the spirit
of life in Christ Jesus. Jesus is
not instructing us as to what commandments we are to obey, but about what nature we must
ye know that He is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of
is born of God does not practice sin; for Gods seed abideth in him: and he cannot
practice sin because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and
the children of the devil... (I Jn. 2:29; 3:9-10). Nature is
was the giver of laws; Christ is the
giver of life! Those who
fulfill the law of the Kingdom are not servants, slavishly obeying, but sons, born of His
life, possessed of His heart. The righteousness of the Kingdom can be lived
only by the man who has experienced the powers of the
THE POOR IN SPIRIT
come now to the first principle of the
be poor in spirit does not mean to be lacking in spirit, but indicates an attitude of
Greek word used for poor is PTOCHOS. It is one of two words for poor
in the Greek language. While
the other word, PENES, is used to describe one who has fewer possessions, and has to work
hard for a living, the word PTOCHOS describes the man who has absolutely nothing at all. It means
a pauper or a beggar. It
has connections with the root word PROSSEIN which means to couch or cower. It
describes the poverty of one who has been beaten to his knees. To be
poor in spirit is to become like Jesus, who made Himself of no reputation (Phil. 2:7). For,
though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became
poor (ptochos), that ye through
His poverty might be rich (II Cor. 8:9). Deeper
yet, this term poor in spirit in the original speaks of bankruptcy. I like to
translate our Lords words this way, Blessed are the bankrupt they who have
come to the end of themselves for theirs is the
we cannot come to be taught of God feeling within ourselves that we are
understanding, we are power, we are creators, we are kings and rulers, or that we have
anything that commends itself to God. We must be poor in spirit, poor in attitude unclothed of
word spirit is used many times to describe an attitude of heart or a state of
we say of someone, He has a good spirit, we dont mean that he has an
holy angel or a well-mannered ghost living inside of him. We mean
that he has a good attitude, disposition, temperament, personality, demeanor, and
expression. The beatitudes
are just that attitudes of being. They are the BE-ATTITUDES, the very attitudes
the sons of God must become. Jesus
said in effect, The attitude of a poor person is the same attitude that will help
you to inherit the
in spirit means renounced in spirit. Yielding up everything of self selfishness,
self-assertiveness, self-interest that we may gain
on the threshold of the
he saintly George MacDonald has beautifully expressed the truth in these inspiring words: The poor, the beggars in spirit, the humble men of heart, the unambitious, the unselfish; those who never despise men, and never seek their praises; the lowly, who see nothing to admire in themselves, therefore cannot seek to be admired of others; the men who give themselves away these are the freemen of the Kingdom, these are the citizens of the New Jerusalem. The men who are aware of their own essential poverty; not the men who are poor in friends, poor in influence, poor in acquirements, poor in money, but those who are poor in spirit, who feel themselves poor creatures; who know nothing to be pleased with themselves for, and desire nothing to make them feel well of themselves; who know that they need much to make their life worth living; these humble ones are the poor whom the Lord calls blessed. The gate of the Kingdom begins to open to such a man.
such a man has attained to, he straightway forgets; it is part of him and behind him. His
business is with what he has not, with the things that lie above and before him. The man
who is proud of anything he thinks he has reached, has not reached it. He is but
proud of himself, and imagining a cause for his pride. If he had reached, he would already have
begun to forget. He
who delights in contemplating whereunto he has attained, is not merely sliding back; he is
already in the dirt of self-satisfaction. The gate of the Kingdom is closed, and he is
man who does not house self has room to be his real self Gods
eternal idea of him. He
lives eternally; in virtue of the creative power in him, he is. How should there be in him one thought of
ruling or commanding or surpassing! He can imagine no bliss, no good in being
greater than someone else. He would lift every man to the embrace of the
are the poor in spirit, for they are of the same spirit as God, and of nature the
The following quotation by Paul Grubb further illuminates this wonderful Kingdom principle of poor in spirit. When Jesus said, Blessed are the poor in spirit, in essence He was saying, Blessed are they, who in spirit reckon that they possess nothing. Blessed are those who in their spirit are conscious of the fact that they do not possess one thing. It all belongs to the Father. If the automobile has their name on the title, it does not belong to them. If the house has their name on the deed, it does not belong to them. If the million dollars in the bank is deposited in their name, it does not belong to them. It belongs to the Father. If humility is demonstrated through their lives, it does not belong to them. It belongs to the Father. If righteousness is manifested in them, it does not belong to them. It belongs to the Father. If goodness is exerting its influence through their lives, it does not belong to them. It belongs to the Father. If power flows through them to the needs about them, it does not belong to them. It belongs to the Father. Anything valuable that they possess either spiritually or materially is not their own. They are conscious that a man does not really possess any righteousness. Any he thinks he possesses is self-righteousness. He does not possess any humility or goodness. He does not possess any power, for all power is of God.
we come to know we are poor in spirit, we are not in the Kingdom. Anyone
who thinks he has righteousness is far from the Kingdom. He who
thinks he has humility, goodness or power is far from the Kingdom. Jesus
never boasted of humility, goodness, righteousness or power. But you
never saw Him with anything less! Jesus declared that even the words which He
spoke and the deeds that He did were not of Himself. The very words that He spoke belonged to the
Father; they were the Fathers words. The works that He did were not His own works,
they were the works of the Father. What He heard from His Father He spoke, and
what He saw of His Father He did. As sons of God we must be brought to the
place where we know the words are not ours, the works are not ours, the results are not
ours, the humility is not ours, the gifts are not ours, the calling is not ours, the
ministry is not ours, the
automobile is not ours, the house is not ours, the family is not ours, the children are
not ours, the parents are not ours. Everything belongs to Him. Blessed
are the poor in spirit for theirs is the
Brother Bob Torango adds this testimony from a recent article: Dont be anxious! Look not on the outward evidence of the vessel. You are only a container, a bottle in which the Lord of glory abides. The container is only as holy as what it contains. It is not the container that this Day depends upon, but what is contained within it. This Kingdom has nothing to do with you, with your righteousness, with your power, with your ability, with your holiness; but it is totally reliant and dependent upon the Righteous, Holy One who embodies us. It is not up to us to perform these things, it is His plan, His ministry, His salvation, His conciliation; it is Him and only Him that this Day is about. You are His vehicle through which He will express Himself, but the ultimate work of change, the melting of the elements, the burning of the heavens and earth, the passing away of the old and the rising up of the new, all of this cannot and will not be done by mortal man but we do contain the Lord of lords, and the Logos of His will is in us to will and to do of His good pleasure! Our only challenge is to expect, believe, yield, disappear, get out of the way, lose our self, avail our self, and ultimately just to hang on when the ride begins!
THEY THAT MOURN
Jesus gave the second principle of the Kingdom in these words: Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted (Mat. 5:4). Let all who read these lines understand Jesus is not merely putting a premium on mourning. He is saying that the man who can mourn and is able to know sorrow is to be thought of as a blessed man because he shall find comfort in his sympathy for his brethren.
Nowhere is this principle seen with greater clarity than in Gods Royal Priesthood company being selected and trained in Gods school of sonship dominion to restore all creation back to God. Of these King-Priests it is written, Thou...hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth (Rev. 5:9-10). This passage is one of rare beauty. It is like a precious diamond, the effulgence of whose radiance dazzles the mind. It must be engraved deeply upon the heart of every son of God. There is so much depth to that text that I am afraid we often do not perceive it. It is like a beautiful star-studded sky on a bright clear night and one cannot even begin to grasp the vast depth that lies above us. So it is with these marvelous words: Thou hast made us TO BE KINGS AND PRIESTS! Can you say that? As we plumb its depths a little more I hope that you will ask yourself the question more carefully, Am I being made a priest unto God? Is the process of transformation into the kingly and priestly nature practically taking place in my life?
The wonderful book of Hebrews is literally packed full of mysteries, types, shadows, and allegories, all pointing to the ministry of the sons of God who are Gods Royal Priesthood. These are only unfolded by the Holy Spirit as we are able to bear it. Hebrews chapter five sets forth the qualifications that the typical High Priest under the law, and therefore Christ Jesus, the anti-typical High Priest of the new order of the Kingdom, must possess. All the members of the Royal Priesthood, the Kings and Priests of the Kingdom who are, with Him, partakers of the heavenly calling, must also have the same qualifications, for they are the body of the High Priest.
For every High Priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that He may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins: who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way, for that he himself is compassed with infirmity (Heb. 5:1-2). Here we have defined the intrinsic nature of the priestly office. First, he must be taken from among men, that is, he must partake of both the nature and the circumstances of those on whose behalf he acts. Second, he acts not as a private individual, but as a public official: is ordained for men. Third, he came not empty-handed before God, but furnished with gifts and sacrifices for sins. Then, he himself must not be exempt from infirmity, so that he might the more readily succor the distressed and distraught.
All this is important for it points to Jesus qualifications to be our great High Priest. A High Priest must know and experientially understand the problems and limitations of those he represents. Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity. On three different occasions Matthew tells us that our Lord was moved with compassion on the multitudes. Frankly, when you read the Gospels you read of Jesus doing miracles, healings, signs and wonders; but Jesus never went around looking for a miracle to perform. HE WENT ABOUT DOING THE FATHERS WILL. The Father brought Him to a place where His heart could be moved with compassion. It was not a gift of compassion that came to Him by the Holy Spirit; it was the compassion wrought out in His life by His many sorrows, sufferings, and testings. He had suffered loss, He had suffered pain, He had suffered reproach. Coming to a town He sees a funeral procession and as a Son, having suffered the loss of Joseph and friends and family members, and shared in the sorrow of His mother at the loss, thereby developing the nature of a Priest, He is filled with compassion when He sees the widow and her dead son. There was no Social Security in those days, and the boy was the only person to look after the widow, so He stops the procession, raises the boy, hands him over to the mother, and goes about the Fathers business. I find that the basis of the sonship ministry of Jesus was not power IT WAS COMPASSION!
When He saw the multitude He was moved with compassion. They were hungry, and He had known gnawing hunger, so He said, Let us feed them. When He met the leper He was moved with compassion, for He had experienced pain and shame, and He laid His hands upon him and healed him. He could have spoken a word to heal him, but that man needed the touch of somebodys hand on him, he had been separated from people so long, he needed more than to be healed from his leprosy, he needed the sense of the hand of God upon him. When Jesus looked upon the careworn faces of the toiling, tax-ridden multitudes taxed by cruel priests; taxed by Herod; taxed by Pilate; taxed by their own sins and sorrows; wearily burdened, wounded at heart, and heavy laden He was not looking for a chance to show off His power He was moved with compassion.
can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; FOR THAT HE
HIMSELF ALSO IS COMPASSED ABOUT WITH INFIRMITY. The condition which develops compassion in
us, is that we ourselves get compassed surrounded,
hedged in by the problems,
the difficulties, the needs that are going to be represented in the people to whom we
many of us are intolerant in certain areas of our lives because we have not gone through
the pressure, we have not been compassed by that particular infirmity, weakness, sorrow or
demands suffering, trial, testing, tribulation, and pressure. Sonship
demands relationship with God. He sends the Spirit of the Son into our
hearts and we cry, Abba, Father! Now God intends that all of us who have been
called should be sons of God, and that all of us should be a
John the Revelator said, And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them...they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years (Rev. 20:4-6). Here you see that it is not the sons who are reigning it is the PRIESTS! What about the sons? He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son (Rev. 21:7). The sons inherit, for they are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ (Rom. 8:17). Who, then, is destined to reign? THE SONS WHO ARE PRIESTS! Christ was a Son before He was a Priest. He was not a Priest during His years in the flesh, although He was qualifying to be one, but He was a Son. Christ in His ministry from the heavens today is not merely the Son of God. As a Son He is heir of all things; but to become the great High Priest and provide the priestly ministry on our behalf the Son had, as a Son, to go through the experience that was necessary to perfect Him for the understanding heart of the Priesthood. We have not an High Priest which cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities; BUT WAS IN ALL POINTS TEMPTED LIKE AS WE ARE, yet without sin (Heb. 4:15). Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered; and being made perfect, He became...AN HIGH PRIEST AFTER THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK (Heb. 5:8-10). Every High Priest...must be compassed with infirmity.
Jesus could have been a son without being so totally compassed with infirmity,
BUT HE COULD NEVER HAVE BEEN A PRIEST WITHOUT IT. He might have been perfect in character,
noble in motive, and desirous to help us; but, if He had never tasted death, how could He
allay our fears as we tread the verge of
There have been those precious folk who have said to me, Brother Eby, I dont understand. Since I came into this Kingdom message things have gotten worse all hell has broken loose. That is just what you need IF YOU WOULD BE A PRIEST! Have you not known some beautiful saints to whom you naturally betake yourself in time of trial and sorrow? They always seem to speak the right word, to give the very counsel you are longing for; you do not realize, however, the cost they had to pay ere they became so skillful in binding up gaping wounds and drying tears. But if you were to investigate their past you would find that they have suffered more than most. They have watched the slow untwisting of some silver cord on which the lamp of life hung. They have seen the golden bowl of joy dashed at their feet, and its contents spilt. They have stood by ebbing tides, and drooping flowers, and darkened skies; but all this has been necessary to make them comforters and healers, the priests of men.
The only persons on earth who really understand our sorrow are the persons who have traveled the same valley of despair. Only those who have been bereaved know what bereavement really is. They alone can shed the sympathizing tear and intercede in power with God, for they alone truly understand. Others may kindly and with feeling offer their condolence, but they can do little more than that, for they have not experienced the pain and loneliness of our loss. The reason our blessed Lord is touched with the feeling of our infirmities is that He knoweth our frame. He remembereth that we are dust. He knows this not by revelation or by divine omniscience, but He Himself was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. He knew what it was to be despised, afflicted, and rejected of men. He knows what it is to be misunderstood, to be dragged from prison and judgment with no man to declare His generation. He knows what it is to be tested in all points as we are tested, and the sympathizing tears flow from His eyes as He extends His nail-pierced hand to lift us from the shades of our gloomy night to the ineffable light of the plain on which He dwells.
If you are going to be a manifested son you must first get bound because God wants His sons to be Priests, kingly Priests who show forth both authority and redemption. You must not only have the authority of Kingship, but also the compassion of Priesthood. Let me say now, I DO NOT RECOMMEND PRIESTHOOD I RECOMMEND SONSHIP! When you are a son you have an inheritance, great wealth, blessings from the Fathers hands, and freedom. As a son you have power to do things, but the moment you become a Priest, they put you in chains: compassed, surrounded, hedged in, pressed on every side by infirmity. Infirmity is weakness. I pray that as God deals with His sons in these days that we will not despise our limitations, our infirmities, and our sufferings, but look unto Jesus who has pioneered the way of Royal Priesthood before us.
Christ was tempted as a Son, but after that there came a temptation in testings that had nothing to do with Him, but were preparing Him for the perfection of the Priesthood. As sons of God, with full inheritance, we should be blessed beyond measure, we should have no problems, by rights we should be in perfect health, have good jobs, money in the bank, and everything coming to us. And we can demand our rights! Vast numbers of Christians today choose to walk only in their Kingdom privileges of blessing, health and prosperity. And they do not know it, but they SHALL NOT REIGN WITH CHRIST. It is the priests that reign! And they shall be priests of God...and they shall reign. To the Priests God says, No, I am going to limit you here, put you through pressure there, subject you to suffering, hedge you in and compass you about with infirmity, not because you have no rights, but that it will work a compassion, an understanding, a mercy, a grace, work something in you so that out of you will flow a river of love, forgiveness, tenderness, redemption and then a flow of power, enabling and ability.
Now can we understand the depth of the principle of the Kingdom that teaches, Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted and they shall be comforters!
There is, however, a further dimension to the mourning of the sons of God! In the true and eloquent words of another, When Jesus says, Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted, He is not talking about someone who is hired to mourn. Of course, in Jesus day, the Eastern custom at funerals was to have just such as that. With cruel, yet merciful swiftness, the hour arrives for interment. The lamentation, that was passionate before, became tumultuously defiant. Relatives lost all self control, and refusing to let the pall- bearers discharge their sad office, had to be forcibly removed. A procession was then formed and on the way to the cemetery the wailing was increased by those who joined in to show their respect to the family. After the family and neighbors became weary with wailing, they hired professionals to continue it. This highly hysterical type of mourning continued for days!
The foregoing is just a description of the Oriental custom for mourning. That certainly was not what Jesus had reference to in the beatitude. As we look to another scripture or two, we will be able to determine what Jesus had in mind when He said, Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. John 16:4-6, But I have said these things to you that when the hour comes you may remember that I told you of them. I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going to Him who sent me. Yet none of you ask me, Where are you going? But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts. Nevertheless I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away. For if I go not away, the Comforter will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. And then in verse 20, Truly, truly I say to you, you will weep and lament (mourn), but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy. And then in verse 22, So you will have sorrow now, but I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice and no one will take your joy from you.
The mourning Jesus is referring to is a mourning over the absence of the presence of God, or of Christ. That is the godly mourning that Jesus had in mind. And that is the mourning that is representative of the sons of God. The only time that Jesus mourned was when He mourned for the absence of the presence of God. Twice we find Him weeping. He wept at Lazarus tomb. It was because of the absence of the presence of God. When Jesus saw her weeping and the Jews who came with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and troubled; and He said, Where have you laid Him? They said to Him, Lord, come and see. Jesus wept. So the Jews said, See how He loved him! But some of them said, Could not He that opened the eyes of the blind have kept this man from dying? Then Jesus deeply moved came again to the tomb (Jn. 11:33-38).
His deep mourning here is for the absence of God. Lazarus had died. In the first place, that signifies the absence of God. Life is of God and God is life. Death is the absence of the presence of God. Where God is, there is life. Death is the opposite to it. The mourning here is because there is death and not life. Jesus was not mourning because He thought that Lazarus would not come back to life. He knew exactly what He was going to do. In part, Jesus was mourning because there was the presence of death and the absence of the presence of God. But the absence of faith in God grieved Him also. The unbelief was expressed by the mourning scene and the expression of the sisters. The unbelief was undoubtedly the influence of their past teaching. Although the doubt was the expression of the emotional disturbance and grief in the hearts of these women, it displayed the absence of Gods assurance and faith. Gods presence is faith. Gods presence is life. The mourning of Jesus was for the absence of God in this situation. He mourned because they did not believe. Satan had beclouded their minds to cause them to believe a lie rather than the truth. After all that He had said to them, they still could not believe. Although Martha said, I know that my brother shall rise in the resurrection at the last day, they still did not believe. Jesus said, I am the resurrection and the life. If a man believes, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and if you live and believe, you shall never die. Jesus did not see that kind of faith there! So He mourned because of the absence of the presence of God.
one other occasion Jesus mourned when He beheld
is one of the ways in which the sons of God enter into the fellowship of Christs
first begins in our own lives and then it goes out to the others. Our first
revelation is how little of the King is embraced in our own lives. There
comes a mourning in our spirit, when we recognize how little of the
promise in the beatitude is that this mourning will not be permanent. This
mourning of the sons is going to climax with a comfort when Christ fully rules in our
lives and finally rules in all the earth. The
Our mourning is because there is sin in the world. There is sickness. There is sorrow. Christ is not ruling in the lives and affairs of men. But we live in assurance that the day is coming when all of the kingdoms of this world will give way to the Kingdom of our God and His Christ! Then all of the mourning of the sons will be comforted and shall be turned to joy. This mourning is the kind of mourning experienced by the firstborn Son of God. It is mourning because God has been displaced and is denied His rightful place. Likewise, all the sons of the Kingdom mourn because of it. I am sure that Christ is mourning today in the lives of the sons of God because many multitudes of people, including the religious ones, are rejecting His Kingship and His Kingdom in their lives. The common people heard Jesus gladly. They welcomed the gospel of the Kingdom and the King. They had lived in distress and hardship long enough. They wanted to see God! They welcomed a Kingdom in which there was peace and joy and plenty, righteousness and health and perfection.
The present world condition distresses our spirits. It gives us a mourning within. But Jesus promised that this mourning is going to be changed. We shall be comforted because we are going to see in fullness what we now see in part. What we are seeing on a small scale in a local manner, we are going to see on a mighty scale, in a world-wide visitation. We are going to see this glorious Christ come to His rightful place. We are going to see the Kingdom come in its power and come in its glory. Then shall we rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory! Paul Grubb.
THE PRINCIPLES OF THE KINGDOM
all the beatitudes, or the be-attitudes of the sons of the Kingdom, the third is the one
that seems to bear the greatest contradiction. Blessed are the meek: for they shall
inherit the earth (Mat. 5:5). After all, isnt it the high-energy,
self-motivated, grasping, ruthless, promoter, wheeler-dealer, fast talker, power broker
who really gets super rich, famous, and powerful, and inherits the earth? What did
Jesus mean when He said that the meek shall inherit the earth? Wouldnt
it have made more sense if He had said, Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit heaven? That we
could understand. But
inherit the earth? To the natural mind that doesnt seem to add up. And it
doesnt add up until with the spiritual mind we understand what it means to be meek
and how the principle of meekness works in the
Let me give you an illustration. Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth (Num. 12:3). Moses, when he first felt the call of God upon his life, sensed that God was with Him and had raised him up to be the deliverer of His people. God had called him to this deliverance ministry. One day it happened that he went out among his brethren, the Israelites, and looked at their burdens; and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of Moses brethren. At the sight something rose up within Moses spirit and he rushed over and smote the Egyptian with his fist. Moses was a real macho man! I do not doubt for one moment that he worked out in the palace and had bulging, rippling muscles. He was no jelly fish or wimp. He grabbed that Egyptian and slew him and buried him in the sand.
went out again the next day to observe his brethren. On this occasion he saw two Hebrew men
quarreling and fighting. He said to the unjust aggressor, Why
are you mistreating your comrade The man snarled at Moses and said, Who
made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you intend to kill me, as you killed that
Egyptian yesterday? Then Moses realized that his actions had been
observed and the news of what he had done was spreading among the people, and he was
sure enough, in due time the news reached the ears of Pharaoh. Pharaoh
was furious and put a price on Moses head. So Moses fled the
The Hebrew word for meek is ANAV which can be translated this way, He was the most worn out man on the face of the earth. God drew Moses to the backside of the desert and there He wore him out. He conquered him. He broke him. He took all the fight out of him. He purged all the arrogance and self-reliance and self-sufficiency and self-defensiveness out of him. He stripped him of all his spirit of retaliation. He brought him to the place where he was worn out and meekness was the hallmark of his life. God changed him. God prepared Him to be a deliverer. Today God is preparing us to be deliverers, to deliver all creation from the bondage of corruption self, rebellion, sin, sorrow and death. God is preparing us to rule and reign with Him in His Kingdom. And He is wearing us out, bringing us to the end of ourselves!
day Jesus was up in
King David prophesied, But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace (Ps. 37:11). The word meek in both the Hebrew and Greek conveys the idea of being humble or saintly. And indeed, Gods firstfruits shall be just that. The spirit of the firstborn Son was the spirit of humility and virtue. Paul wrote, Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind within you, which also was in Christ Jesus who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped or held onto, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross (Phil. 2:3-8).
striking statements stand out: He emptied Himself, and He humbled Himself.
most startling thought of all is that GOD HUMBLED HIMSELF! We can
hardly conceive of such a thing. The high and holy One, The omnipotent Creator
and omniscient Lord of the universe humbled
it could not be otherwise. Let me state it this way: God is humble! Have you
ever thought about that? If God were not humble there would have been no babe in
Furthermore, God requires humility of all His sons and daughters. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up (James 4:10). Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God... (I pet. 5:5-6). Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved...humbleness of mind... (Col. 3:12). God does not require an attitude of mind or a state of being of His elect that He does not Himself possess. Nay! He humbled Himself. In Jesus Christ we behold the meekness and humility of God!
And now comes the word: Have this mind in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who being in the form of God emptied Himself, and as a man humbled Himself. The sons of God must be like Christ in His self-emptying and self-humiliation. The first great act of self-abnegation in which as God He emptied Himself of His divine glory and power and laid it aside, was followed up by the no less wondrous humbling of Himself as a man, to the ignominious death of the cross. And in this amazing twofold humiliation, the astonishment of the universe and the delight of the Father, the Word with utmost simplicity tells us we must, as a matter of course, BE LIKE CHRIST.
have great difficulty understanding an abstraction or a force. It must
be personalized. And
that is why God has come in the person of Jesus Christ, so that we might see Him and see what God is like. The only
begotten Son, He hath revealed Him, hath led Him forth and made Him visible. God has
been personalized in Jesus Christ, and this personification, this embodiment of God
Himself, HUMBLED HIMSELF! That One who walked by the sea of Galilee and
through the dusty roads of
God said, I will invade humanity and come down in the person of my Son, limit myself to a human, physical body just like man has, with all its appetites, emotions, possibilities of suffering hunger, pain, weakness and death, and I will demonstrate the character, the life, the love and the power of God on the human level. The incarnation was God manifesting Himself within the limitations of a human body. As a man Jesus could not fly, He could not see further than anybody else, He could not run faster than the other young men in Nazareth, He got as tired as anyone else, He got as tempted as anyone else, He got hungry and thirsty and weak, fell asleep, they could spit on Him and finally kill Him. Yet in Jesus Christ you have the perfect expression of God. The meaning of the incarnation is that God could drink out of a bottle if Jesus drank out of a bottle, God in Him learned to crawl before He learned to walk, God learned a language and stumbled over the words before He got it straight, His mind could increase.
When God invaded humanity in the body of Jesus Christ, He took upon Himself human nature and limitation. He was made in the likeness, not of glorified flesh, but of sinful flesh, and for thirty-three and a half years lived, walked, slept and died in that body, manifesting God in the scope of humanity. God was not in Christ as a separate entity, as a separate personality and reality dwelling in His body. No, God was in Christ as Christ, as the personality of His life. Being mocked, God was living in Him. Asleep in the boat, God was living in Him. Hungry, and He goes to a tree and finds nothing to eat on it, God was living in Him. When He was weary, pressed, persecuted, hated, reviled, slapped, His back beat, His brow crowned with thorns, His hands and feet nailed to a cross, His side pierced, yet, dying on the cross in agony with the blood and spittle running down His face, GOD WAS LIVING AND MANIFESTING IN HIM God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself!
Do you see what God did? He made it possible for Himself to be at home in human bodies. The tabernacle of God is with men (Rev. 21:3). Not with angels, with man. And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth (Jn. 1:14). Oh, the mystery of it! The wonder of it! It means that God can, by His Spirit, Jesus can, by His Spirit, come in and live in these human bodies of ours, grow up in the fullness of His nature, mind, and power within us, becoming the personality and reality of our lives, living in us, loving in us, and manifesting Himself in us, yea, as us, until with Christ we can say, If you have seen me, you have seen the Father; I and the Father are one.
Described negatively, meekness is the opposite of self-interest and self-assertiveness. In keeping with this Ricky Evans wrote, Meekness is the state of being where we have lost self-interest. How hard it is to lose this self-interest! We have all our lives been taught to set goals and strive for those goals. Find what it is you want in life and go for it. Choose a worthy vocation and make it the center of your life. Plan around it. Let nothing stand in the way. For role models we are given examples of those who have worked hard and become successful. Meekness doesnt fit into the modern persons life-style. Ask people today and you will soon discover they have everything well planned out. They know what they want and how to get it. They have their five year, ten year, and twenty year plan. All of this is geared to enjoying the good life and being successful.
People who have been born of the Spirit, and yet have not had their soul realm dealt with, are no different. One only needs to take a drive around their community some Sunday morning for it to be obvious that born again people are most often still full of self-interest. One can see the great buildings filling with people whose one great interest is to get blessed. I come here because I get fed, I get a blessing, I like what Dr. So and So preaches... Self is still the motivation behind what is being done. Those who build the great buildings and great ministries, for the most part, are simply those who have redirected their self-interest into religious areas, saying, Let us make a name for ourselves (Gen. 11:4). Turn on your television and soon you will find Brother So and Sos or Sister So and Sos ministry. Does not all this reveal that there is yet self-interest involved in our lives? When we see those who promote their ministry, their books, their tapes, their meetings, does this not speak of the self-interest behind such actions?
says, I do only what I see the Father do (Jn. 5:19). I
seek not my own will, but the will of Him who sent me (Jn. 7:16). These
statements show a lack of self-interest. The interest is not in self, but in the
Father and His purpose. We
are not learning and growing in the spirit so we can preach better or prophesy better. Oh, no. We are
learning and growing into a mature relationship with the Father, that we might be led by
the Spirit as mature sons of God (Rom. 8:14). Maturity is not measured by the amount of
may attain about God and His Kingdom; maturity is measured by the degree that we are led by the Spirit. Meekness
means no self-interest, no self-assertiveness, not occupied with self, every vestige of
self pushed aside for the will of the Father. The Fathers will becomes our only concern. We now find a new freedom from all that
religion would impose upon us. We are now free to be led by the Spirit, and
not by religious rules and regulations. Meekness finds its expression toward God. When we
learn the meekness of our Lord Jesus Christ we find developed in us the attitude that is
interested only in the will of the Father. Those who have meekness developed in them seek first the
adds yet a further depth of meaning to this principle of the meekness of the sons of God. Meekness
is not timidity, as some suppose. If you review the life of Jesus, you will not
find any timidity about Him. Yet, He was meek and lowly. The
personal life and ministry of Jesus demonstrated great meekness associated with great
boldness of character and fearlessness of opposition. He was never plagued by fear or timidity when
brought to verbal blows with the pharisaic religionists of His day. Well
aware of the opposition being incurred by His utterances and the logical outcome to which
it would eventually lead Him, Jesus never compromised a principle, or declined a
had no misgivings about the reactions even from the king of
Meekness is a relationship between Father and son. The son senses a meekness in His fellowship with the Father. The Father gives the command the son performs it. The Father administers discipline the son submits to it. The Father instructs the son in wisdom the son receives enlightenment with thanksgiving. The acid test of true meekness comes when the Father uses someone else to bring His discipline to us. If we are truly meek, we will not only rejoice in submitting to the Fathers process, but will level no blame or accusation against the one who is the immediate instrument through whom the correction reaches us. Meekness as an attitude of soul toward the Father results in an attitude of love, humility and kindness toward those who despitefully use us, recognizing that Father does all things well although we may not understand at the moment why it is done in the manner in which, and by the instrument with which, He performs it. But we meekly submit to it. This is the most difficult test of sonship meekness! Jesus displayed it as He hung upon the cross. Rather than silently or openly cursing or retaliating against His murderers, in meekness He prayed, in essence, Father, you do all things well. I am on this cross because it is your will. These fellows are not putting me here. It is the fulfillment of your plan that I am here. And Father, because it is your will, forgive them, for they do not know what they do. That was nothing short of perfect meekness in submission to the will of His Father. Not as I will, but as Thou wilt. That is true meekness.
These are the kind of meek ones who are going to inherit the earth. It looks impossible! Man says, It is the strong who will inherit the earth. Surely it would seem that those who are skilled in the art of warfare should inherit the earth. The human attitude declares that might makes right. Not so! God the Almightys principle is different. Meekness brings dominion and rulership, the son of God assures us. What does inherit the earth really mean? Jesus took the phrase from the Old Testament scriptures. It was not a new phrase with Him. It is found in Isaiah 60:21 and in many other passages. Psalm 37:9 declares, For evil doers shall be cut off. But those that wait upon the Lord, they inherit the earth. For yet a little while and the wicked shall not be. Yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. The 29th verse reads, The righteous shall inherit the land and dwell therein forever. The 34th verse continues, Wait on the Lord and keep His way and He shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off thou shalt see it. Those who become submissive (meek) in their spirit shall enjoy this inheritance of the earth. This does not forego their possession of the heavens. Some seem satisfied with inheriting heaven, and some with inheriting the earth. But the sons of God will possess both.
The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the Lord that seek Him: your heart shall live forever (Ps. 22:26). The meek are those who eat the bread of God, which is the bread that is come down from heaven as the Christ of God, and are abundantly satisfied. Their heart, their inner, deepest self, their very nature and life are quickened by the bread of God, for the bread of God is the life of God in Christ. The sons of God are right now experiencing this precious reality from day to day, as God spreads a table and gives us spiritual, heavenly bread that the world knows not of and of which the church systems have absolutely no conception. By this bread they shall LIVE FOREVER. What a wonderful promise of abundant life!
There shall be a marvelous result of this celestial bread of life manifested in a company of meek ones, the sons of God. When mankind finally sees the pure and abundant revelation of the fullness of life in the son company, it shall cause them to remember a state they once possessed and enjoyed in union with God. Like a person who catches a glimpse of someone from out of his distant past, and the recognition brings a sudden flood of memories of wonderful events of another time, so it is that when mankind sees the full revelation of divine life and glory upon the sons of God there shall come instant recognition and recall of a time when GOD WAS THEIR LIFE. The very next verse following the one I quoted above declares, All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord; and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before Thee. For the kingdom is the Lords: and He is the governor among the nations (Ps. 22:27-28). If all the peoples of the earth are to remember something, it means that they have already heard the voice of the Lord, they have at some previous time seen His glory, and have in some distant eon experienced His life! Certainly that was before the race fell into the futility of sin and death! And when the meek shall eat of the heavenly life of God until they are satisfied, until they have appropriated all of His divine life, nature, and power it is then that all the kindreds and nations of the earth shall be caused to remember and turn unto the Lord! And I am convinced by the Spirit of God that we are right now standing wonderfully close to that very day!
It would be of utmost profit if every Christian would diligently study the oft repeated scriptural term in Christ or in Him. I will now quote one passage that appears to teach that our Lord Jesus Christ is the Creator of all things. He is, of course! But that is not the truth set forth in these particular verses. I will quote this first from the King James version, since it is in this translation that the apostle Paul seems to say that all things were created by Jesus Christ. Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature; for by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist (Col. 1:15-17). From this scripture we would be led to believe that the creation was made by the Son; but it is important to note that the word translated by here in the first instance is the Greek word EN, and means in, not by. And this is the way that nearly all other translations render it: For IN HIM were all things created.
Words are totally inadequate to articulate a truth so sublime, so I must leave this ultimately to the Holy Spirit of Truth to unfold within your spirit. You see, when God planned the universe, He planned it in and around His Christ. The Christ is the center and the circumference of it all. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. The whole vast creation, including the spirit of every man, was made in Him and for Him. It all began in Him because He is the beginning; and it will all end in Him because He is the end. The Christ was the beginning of the creation of God, the firstborn of every creature; that doesnt mean that He was personally created before everything else, but that originally ALL WAS CREATED IN THE BEGINNING IN HIM. These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, THE BEGINNING OF THE CREATION OF GOD (Rev. 3:14). You see, beloved, creation began in Christ. Christ is the origin of all things, including all men. That was the first reality of the universe. He will also be the end, for all things must not only begin in Him, but all must end in Him, for this is the Fathers purpose for His Son. Everything that can possibly exist or be, is included in the scope of both creation and redemption in that wonderful passage in Colossians 1:16-20. Within the compass of five verses we read no less than eight times that the things created in Him and for Him are all-inclusive and all-pervading. He is the firstborn of every creature. All is created in Him, and all is created through and for Him. He is before all. All is bound together by Him. In all He is becoming first, having preeminence. All fullness, or the fullness of all, dwells in Him. He reconciles all through the blood of His cross and on two occasions this is amplified and defined as all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth. It is said to include both visible and invisible all matter and all spirits! Nothing is omitted and nothing can be left out. It certainly includes ALL MEN!
Our God and Father has been pleased to leave us in no doubt or uncertainty as to how or where all things began, but in clear, unequivocal language stated the source and goal of all things for our assurance and joy. All originated IN HIM, created from the substance of His own divine energy and being, and held together in a harmonious wholeness in His eternal Word, or the Christ. But, for His own wise purposes, all did not remain that way. The scriptures are clear that all did not remain in that pristine state in Him. We are assured that there was initiated another stage of activity whereby all things were brought out of Him. Nothing can be clearer than the fact that in and out are opposites! You cannot be both in and out of any place or thing at the same time. It indicates a COMING OUT of. The Word of God declares that not only were all things created in the Christ, or in God, but there was a process by which the same all things came out of God. Let us read it: We are aware that an idol is nothing in the world, and there is no other God except One. For even if so be that there are those being termed gods, whether in heaven or on earth, even as there are many gods and many lords, nevertheless to us there is but one God, the Father, O-U-T OF WHOM ALL IS, and we for Him (I Cor. 8:4-7).
again, O, the depth of the riches and of the wisdom and of the knowledge of God! How
inscrutable are His judgments, and untraceable His ways! For who
knew the mind of the Lord? or who became His adviser? or who gives to Him first, and will
be repaid by Him? seeing that ALL is OUT of Him and through Him and for Him: to Him be
glory for the ages! Amen!
In that primeval and pristine glory the spirits of all men were one with God. All began in the bosom of God and all came out of God. In the glory of that celestial beginning there was no trace of sin, no evil, no adversity, no death, and no darkness or discord at all. Everything everywhere existed in Christ and every spirit stood forth in its full majesty, pulsating the dynamic anthem of exulting creative glory. It was preeminently a spiritual creation, vibrating as a symphony of unutterable beauty, a triumphant masterpiece of dynamic harmonious accord. What a song!
my Father, Thou that dwellest
In a high and glorious place;
When shall I regain Thy presence,
And again behold Thy face?
In Thy holy habitation
Did my spirit once reside;
In my first primeval childhood,
Was I nurtured at Thy side.
a great and glorious purpose
Thou hast made me here on earth;
and withheld the recollection
Of my former friends and birth.
But at times that secret something
Whispers, Youre a stranger here;
And I feel that I have wandered
From a more exalted sphere.
my Father, Thou that dwellest
In a high and holy place
Yet shall I appear before Thee,
And again behold Thy face
Day by day Thy Spirit leadeth,
Ever onward up to Thee;
Till at last I find contentment
In Thy pure reality!
And now, Oh the wonder of it! The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the Lord that seek Him: your heart shall live for ever. All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord; and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before Thee. For the kingdom is the Lords: and He is the governor among the nations. And that is how the meek shall inherit the earth the meek, the sons of God, are first restored in their remembrance and enter back into their inheritance in God; then as all creation is quickened to remember the sons shall restore every man and every thing back into God again. What a plan!
be the instrument of God to restore all things unto Him requires that we be changed. We must
become meek in all our ways, for the ministry of Christ is specifically directed to the
meek and through the meek. Our own hearts have been won by the
forerunner of meekness, the Man of Galilee now exalted in the heavens. The
prophet declared of this firstborn Christ, The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me;
because the Lord hath anointed me TO PREACH GOOD TIDINGS UNTO THE MEEK (Isa. 61:1). The good
tidings of the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is the joyous message of the
THEY THAT HUNGER AND THIRST AFTER RIGHTEOUSNESS
are they that do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled
(Mat. 5:6). This
is a great saying. It
is so great that we will never be able to grasp it in its rich and rounded completeness
except by the illumination of the Holy Spirit. It speaks of being satisfied; it speaks of
the only thing that can satisfy righteousness. And the
article is used in the Greek, the righteousness, the one real righteousness, the
righteousness of the
to hunger and thirst after a thing is to feel that we need it and need it badly, and need
it so badly that we are determined to have it, whatever the cost. The Lord
Jesus takes the most familiar of physical cravings, the appetite for meat and drink, and
applies these to the cravings of the soul. He is not asserting the blessedness of
righteousness in itself, but the blessedness of those who hunger and thirst after righteousness. The Lord
looks upon the heart. It
is not a question of what we are, but of what we are called to be, and therefore want to
promises to fill the sons of God, not with the elementary blessings and benefits of free
grace, but with that high and holy thing we desire above all else. Our
deepest longings shall become our greatest possessions! And this
is the principle of His promise to the sons of the Kingdom! Blessed
are they that hunger and thirst after the righteousness of the
One scholar says that the Greek expresses it this way, Blessed are those who hunger for the entire loaf and thirst for the entire pitcher. God is raising up a people that is not satisfied with the firstfruits of the Spirit, that is not satisfied with the Spirit by measure, that is not satisfied with mere gifts and blessings, that is not satisfied with just the feast of Passover or the feast of Pentecost, who will not settle for salvation and speaking in tongues and a few healings and miracles along the way they want the whole package. They want the fullness of God. They want perfection, the mind of Christ, maturity, and incorruptible life and glory. Some think these are extremes, pipe dreams, things that are too high for us. But such desires are blessed in the words of the first manifested son of God! Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for the fullness of God! Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for the Holiest of all! Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for the feast of Tabernacles! And these are blessed simply because they shall be filled!
greatest curse of religion is that it settles,
it forms its dogmas and creeds, its rituals and forms, it institutions and programs, and
builds its fences around them and there is nowhere to go beyond that. But the
Hunger and thirst after God is not a condition that comes at will. We cannot will ourselves to be hungry. We cannot put an edge on appetite if the appetite is not there, except by some questionable temporary stimulant; just as at the old Roman feasts men would drink bitter mixtures to make them thirsty and regurgitate their food to regain their hunger. Only God can give man a hunger for the Kingdom, just as it is only God who can satisfy the hunger. We pray for our loved ones, we cry out to God because we are concerned, dismayed, or alarmed that they have no hunger for the depths of God. It distresses us that they are satisfied with the husks that the swine eat in the pig pens of the world or the church systems of man. And yet, they cannot hunger until Gods time for them arrives and He Himself creates within them the hunger. They cannot will to hunger. Nor does God command us, Hunger! Thirst! Jesus merely explains the way of the Kingdom, the principle of the Kingdom Blessed are they that do hunger and thirst! Happy are they! We are happy because we hunger, and we hunger because our heavenly Father sovereignly laid His hand upon us and apprehended us to His Kingdom. Yes! WE ARE BLESSED!
furthermore, the quest for righteousness is the only quest that is certain of fulfillment.
this blessed crusade there can be no disappointments, no failures. We have
our Lords own word for it. If you are truly hungering and thirsting
after the fullness of God, my beloved, it is not possible to fail. They
shall be filled is the promise. Fed,
Filled, Satisfied! The
peacemakers are going to be called the sons of God; the merciful are going to obtain
mercy; the mourners are going to be comforted; the meek are going to inherit the earth. All of
these are divine certainties, absolute principles of the
Only righteousness can satisfy. That is the law of the Kingdom. Should you be given power without righteousness, it would not satisfy. Would not it have been surprising, for instance, if Jesus had said, Blessed are they that do hunger and thirst after knowledge. How great a thing is knowledge! Knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven, said Shakespeare. There is not much danger these days of underrating knowledge. The pursuit of truth, the unveiling of natures secrets, the development of technology, the exploration of the universe is mind-boggling. Alexander the Great so valued learning that he used to say that he was more indebted to Aristotle for giving him knowledge than to Philip his father for giving him life.
is power, said another; on which yet another comments that knowledge is power in the
sense that wood is fuel. Wood on fire is fuel and knowledge on fire is
is no more power in knowledge of itself than there is in pieces of sticks or lumps of
is not power until it burns and sparkles in some earnest, consecrated life. When such
a life hungers and thirsts for knowledge then it becomes power. If we
desire the knowledge of God and the knowledge of His Kingdom only for the sake of knowledge, then we will never
be conformed into Gods image, we will never attain unto incorruptible life, nor will
we ever rule in the
shall be filled. Whosoever
drinketh of this water shall never thirst. Filled with righteousness means that they
shall be righteous. They shall be like Him. God has
made mans spirit so great that no created thing can possibly feed it, much less fill
is a vacuum in the soul that nothing can fill but the life of God Himself. The worlds
concoction is like rich confectionery to a starving man. Only
spiritual realities can satisfy the spiritual life. My soul thirsteth for the living God.
believe that I would be correct in saying that the soul thirsts and the spirit hungers after God. And we
who hunger and thirst after God and His Kingdom and His righteousness in this hour are
being filled! To
be sure, this reaches far beyond the present. It can only be true in its literal
we stand on
George MacDonald once put it so well: To be filled with righteousness is to forget even righteousness itself in the bliss of being righteous, that is, a son of God. The thought of righteousness will vanish in the fact of righteousness. When a creature is just what he is meant to be, what only he is fit to be; when, therefore, he is truly himself, he never thinks what he is. He is that thing; why think about it? It is no longer outside of him that he should contemplate it or desire it. That is what it means to be filled with righteousness. Filled goes beyond hungering and thirsting. How blessed is the one who is filled!
through His ministry, Jesus emphasized the great value of eternal things, in contrast to
the material or visible things. The blessed one must be just as
hungry for righteousness as he would be for food if he had had none for days or weeks. All men
can understand this, for all of us have at one time or another had this experience in the
physical body. Jesus
insists that blessing is never attached to mere hungering and thirsting after natural things. Those who
seek wealth and prosperity in this worlds goods, those who say the Kings
kids should have the finest homes, the fastest cars, the best jobs, the most
expensive clothes, and the largest bank accounts know nothing of the blessing of the
Kingdom of God. Seek
ye first the
hunger to add something more to our stature, some finer clothing to our wardrobe, or a
swimming pool to our place of dwelling promises no satisfaction or blessing. Even
those who seek after signs are hungering after externals and not after the
The deepest meaning of righteousness is obedience to the will of God. Jesus said, My meat (the thing I hunger after, that sustains me) is to do the will of Him that sent me. That is true righteousness. It was demonstrated in the life of the firstborn Son of God. The basic principle of His life was phrased by the Psalmist, Lo, I come to do Thy will O God. He did not come to save lost souls primarily. He did not come primarily to heal sick bodies. He did not come primarily to perform miracles, to feed the multitudes, to still the raging sea, or to produce tax-money from the mouth of a fish. His sole mission on earth was to fulfill the will of the Father.
The sons of God must have this same testimony. Our all-consuming passion must be to perfectly perform the will of God in our lives, whether that be working or waiting, winning or losing, suffering or recovering, prospering or being impoverished, going or staying, preaching or carpentering, or living or dying. We feel helpless beside a truth so great and eternal. God must teach us these things. He sets before us the example in Jesus. He hungered to be in the center of, and perfectly obedient to, the will of the Father. He learned this obedience by the things which He suffered (Heb. 5:8). The sons of God today are learning this righteousness through the things which they suffer in their maturing experience. Their personal action in the process is merely to hunger and thirst after this righteousness. God wisely and sovereignly sets us up by causing the circumstances to so arrange themselves into the suffering by which He teaches us righteousness. He brings us into conformity with His will by the pressure of our environmental experiences. Our steps are ordered by the Lord. And the righteousness thereby effected within our lives is the righteousness of God. This is exactly what the sons of God are hungering and thirsting after today. They are bowing low before the Father and saying Amen! to the will of God. It is not an external demonstration of righteousness that someone might behold and commend to exalt our ego. It is not a set of standards established by a group of religious churchmen. It is not the observance of outward rules and regulations called holiness. We are hungering after a deeper righteousness. We are hungering after the very life, the very nature, the very substance of Christ that we might become the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after this righteousness!
THE PRINCIPLES OF THE KINGDOM
fifth beatitude, or principle of the
fifth principle of the
Mercy is an aspect of the perfection of the Fathers nature. This is to be found also in the sons. For sons it cannot be something we learn to do, or something we do out of obligation because we are commanded to do it, but it must flow out of the heart of the Father birthed within us. Many years ago there was a song titled, Doing what comes naturally. That is what all of Adams race is doing what comes naturally! In Adam it is natural to sin, natural to doubt, natural to fear, natural to lust, natural to strive, natural to fight, natural to hate, natural to cheat, natural to war, natural to retaliate. All these things and many more are natural because they spring out of nature. That is what natural means nature-al. People just do what comes nature-ally! But the sons of God are made partakers of the divine nature. When a son of God does what comes naturally he is acting just like his Father! Ah, yes, we are putting on the mind of Christ, the law of Gods life is being inscribed within our hearts, and we are coming to that place where we now think as God thinks, we now speak as God speaks, we now walk like God walks, and we act like God acts. To be perfect in character, to be pure in mind, to be kind, generous, faithful, loving and merciful is becoming NATURAL! In the words of the country song:
seein my father in me,
I guess thats how its meant to be,
And I find Im more and more like him each day;
I notice I walk the way He walks,
I notice I talk the way He talks,
Im startin to see my father in me.
A brother related the following experience. I recall one time when I had laryngitis, the doctor wanted to take a throat culture to see if I had an infection. He took a long Q-tip and reached way back into my throat. I gagged and coughed. When he withdrew the Q-tip he said, I need to do this one more time. I said, Okay. But this time I wont gag. I am going to practice positive thinking. He shook his head and assured me that, in this case, positive thinking would not work. I insisted that it would. And so he explained, Bob, the gag is a reflex. A reflex comes from the spine, not from the brain. Ill put pressure on the back of your tongue and you will gag. Its that simple. Then he demonstrated by having me cross my legs. He hit my knee. My leg kicked. Then he challenged me, Okay, try positive thinking. I did. He hit my knee again. My knee kicked again. Then he summarized, The brain doesnt control the spinal cord. And the spinal cord is the source of a reflex. So, thinking, be it positive or negative, wont do you any good in this situation.
The nature of the sons of God works like a reflex. There is a realm beyond the mind and beyond the will where the nature of God makes us like our Father without conscious thought or effort. Children often walk or talk or laugh or manifest some other mannerism just like one of their parents or some other ancestor. These are inherited traits that have nothing to do with thought, training or effort. It is the way we are. The nature of God must be so formed in us by the operation of the Holy Spirit that the attributes of God become our nature. If we are still thinking about how we should act and react, if we are still trying to bring ourselves to the point where we can manifest Gods life, then the nature of the Father has yet to be fully formed in us. There is no condemnation if you fall short; but trying will not do the job. Nature is inherited on the basis of relationship, and as we are truly born again from experience to experience, from realm to realm, we are made partakers of the divine nature. When the Fathers life has truly become our life, the attributes of God will flow naturally and effortlessly and powerfully from our lives!
Mercy is not measured by outward demonstrations of kindness and goodness. As wonderful as visible acts of kindness are, they do not guarantee the possession of mercy in the heart as a true revelation of the Father. Any of us can force our actions to conform outwardly to the standard we believe God requires of us. And even though externally we appear to be kind and gracious and good and merciful, we are not yet doing what comes naturally. Mercy by revelation is the transmission of the very heart of God to the son. When mercy flows out of our state of being, every attitude and activity is merciful. There is no other possible way for the son of God to act or react. Because the Christ within cannot act in any other manner, the son of God cannot act in any other manner. He is merciful because he is filled with and possessed by the SPIRIT OF MERCY. Blessed are the merciful!
All who rule and reign with Christ in His Kingdom rule in mercy. The throne of God is the Throne of Mercy. And in mercy shall the throne be established: and he shall sit upon it in truth...judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness (Isa. 16:5). In mercy shall the throne be established, saith the Lord. God has come to our lives in mercy. The only reason we are breathing today is because of His mercy. God didnt have to wake us up this morning in our right mind, but He did. Mercy is an aspect of Gods nature that flows out to all men, for our heavenly Father causes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. Man does not know how to be so merciful!
Greek word for throne is KICCE. It means the place or seat of authority. The
throne of God is not a golden chair somewhere out in outer space, nor is it a seat in
David became king, while Saul was seeking to kill him, God put mercy in Davids
and his men hid in many places in the mountains of
one time David was hiding with a few men in a great cave near the
Saul heard these words, his old love for David came back to him and he cried out, Is
that your voice, my son David? And Saul wept and said, You are a
better man than I am, for you have done good to me, while I have been doing you harm. May the
Lord reward you for your kindness to me this day! I know that it is Gods will that you
shall be king, and you will rule over this people. Now give me your word, in the name of the
Lord, that you will not destroy my family, but that you will spare their lives. And David
gave his promise to Saul in the name of the Lord; and Saul led his men away
from hunting David to his place at Gibeah. David is a type of the greater son of David
who was prophesied to reign in righteousness over the people of
The greatness of a man is measured by his attitude toward his enemies. While living here on earth, our Lord was extremely kind. He picked up little children and blessed them. He healed all who were suffering with disease and pain. While relatives were weeping over dead loved ones, He raised four of them to life again. The Saviour of ALL men said to the woman caught in adultery, Neither do I condemn you; go, and sin no more. His kindness made an evangelist out of the licentious woman at the well. Because Jesus really loved the weak, helpless creatures whom He had created, He wept over them, prayed for them, succored them, and taught them continually. Except those religious Pharisees, Jesus never spoke one cross word to the multitudes of people, saint or sinner. He was very tender and kind and merciful in all His dealings with men. His approach to them was very gentle, delicate and considerate. Surely, then, we are safer in His hands than anywhere else! The things He has in store for every one of us are far greater than we could plan for ourselves.
Does God expect His sons to be either better or less than Himself? In Luke 6:35-36 we read, But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be THE SONS OF THE HIGHEST; for HE IS KIND UNTO THE UNTHANKFUL AND TO THE EVIL, BE YE THEREFORE MERCIFUL, AS YOUR FATHER ALSO IS MERCIFUL. In this instance Jesus plainly says that if we desire to be the sons of the Highest, we must be merciful as He is merciful. THE HIGHEST IS MERCIFUL TO ALL!
The question follows: Why should the Highest be merciful to the evil and the unthankful? The answer is clear that the evil one and the unthankful one may come to know the mercy and goodness of God! They would never know that mercy in any other way. If Jesus teaches us that we are to be kind to those who mis-use us, reproach us, curse us, and make themselves our enemies, then what kind of a God and Father would He be, whose words Jesus taught us, who would hate His enemies, refuse to be kind and merciful to those who oppose Him, and cast them into merciless eternal hell to burn forever even if they deserve it? If such a thing were to be, then God would require us to be better than Himself! Jesus teaches us that we are to be kind and merciful to the most despicable of men. Do we then have a Father whose nature is entirely opposite to ours? Impossible! The sons of God are sent, as was the Son, to reveal the nature of our Father to all not merely in words, but by our actions.
we see a God who loves only those who love Him, then we have a very small and fickle God
Jesus taught us the principles of the
Are we to suppose that God requires us to behave in one way toward the unrighteous, while His own disposition toward them is exactly the opposite? Are we to believe that our Father commands us to love our enemies, bless them that curse us, do good to them that hate us, and pray for them that persecute us...while He banishes His enemies to everlasting damnation, torturing endlessly those that curse Him, meeting out eternal vengeance upon those that hate Him, and shutting up all mercy from those who persecute Him? But that is exactly what the churches tell us. What great nonsense! What horrible blasphemy! Oh, they say, God does not send men to hell; they take themselves there. What an absurd, unspeakable cop out! It is God Himself who has all power over every creature and over every event that transpires in the whole universe. There is no power but of God. He is the Judge of all. None can go into hell except that He banishes them there. Men do not go down into hell on their own volition. No man would! Adam didnt leave the Garden of his own volition, God Himself drove the man from the Garden. The serpent didnt do it; God did. And the devil certainly isnt the one who takes men to hell! No scripture says that.
God in infinite wisdom has ordained judgment for His corrective purposes, but blessed be His name, He always makes a way for His banished to return. Is it not obvious that if even one ounce of that infinite love, of that unequaled goodness, of that unending mercy, of that omnipotent power of the heavenly Father and His sons in His image, were to reach these people the goodness of God would ultimately triumph and lead all men to repentance; and hell would eventually freeze over! And it is so! Hallelujah! It is so! How do I know? The Bible tells me so. Furthermore, the mind of Christ and my Fathers nature and heart within my own ransomed spirit tell me so! That is why God Himself is the Saviour, the Deliverer, and the Redeemer. He loves the sinner enough to be patient even for long ages with him; He loves the sinner enough to forgive him any depth of vileness, insult, or injury; He loves him enough to pardon, cleanse, and transform him by His Infinite Grace and Omnipotent Power. He hates sin enough to deal with it, He hates death enough to destroy it, and He hates hell enough to empty it! It cannot but be true, Davids testimony of Him, His mercy endures for the ages...
not only reigns in
righteousness, He reigns in mercy. Mercy is
the activity of His authority and power. And in mercy shall the throne be
established (Isa. 16:5). The Hebrew word for throne also means a
canopy; something that is covered. The mercy seat in the tabernacle in the
wilderness was covered by the skins and the veil of the
The world today is full of people who excel in so many virtues, and live in a state of holiness so far as their conduct is concerned, and yet spoil it all with an unmerciful disposition. It has been said that there are only two kinds of sin: there are the sins of the body and the sins of the disposition (soul). Christians have been conditioned to condemn the sins of the body as far worse than the sins of the disposition. But listen to this, O sons of God: No form of vice, not worldliness, not greed of money and possessions, not foul language, not drunkenness or drug abuse, not adultery or sexual perversion, does more to shut up God from men than unmercifulness. For embittering life, for splitting churches, for breaking up communities, for destroying the most sacred relationships, for devastating homes, for alienating friends and loved ones, for withering up men and women, for perverting the innocence of childhood, for fostering hostilities and warfare, in short, for sheer misery-producing power, lack of love and unmercifulness take the lead.
sins of the body and the sins of the soul (disposition) are illustrated by the story of
the Prodigal Son and his Elder Brother. But, ultimately, which was worse? And how
many prodigal sons are kept out of the
The writer to the Hebrews put it this way: Forasmuch then as the children (of God) are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same. For verily He took not on Him the nature of angels; but He took on Him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a MERCIFUL AND FAITHFUL HIGH PRIEST in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people (Heb. 2:14-18). When the Word of God consented to be made flesh, to strip Himself of the glory He had before, and become a man, a human being, to live among the vileness of the sinful, rebellious, and dying, to be touched by the same infirmities, weaknesses, and feelings that touch us, to suffer being tempted in all points like as we are, to be rejected and suffer the agony of false accusation and the humiliation of ridicule, the pain of the stripes received from the Roman lashes, and the suffering of the cross itself why did He submit to all this? The stock answer to this is that He had to become a man and suffer and die in order to purchase our redemption. This is true. This is a part of the reason He became a man, but only part of it; there is much more to the reason He became a man, much more.
for one moment would I detract from His great love for us in the sacrifice He made for our
love, such wondrous love! Words fail to express the wonder of all that
was transacted at
Let all men know that God is a GOD OF MERCY! The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will He keep His anger for ever (Ps. 103:8-10). Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endureth unto all generations (Ps. 100:1,5). Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful (Lk. 6:36). Blessed are the merciful... (Mat. 5:7). SONS OF THE HIGHEST will be merciful even as their Father! It is the mark of sonship.
following words by Paul Mueller are precious truth for this hour. The
basic principle of mercy in the
certainly, what most Christians believe is far from the basic principles of the
who receive of the Lords salvation and enter His house do so by the abundant mercies
of the Lord. The
Psalmist said, I will come into Thy house in the multitude of Thy mercy
(Ps. 5:7). And
all who dwell continually in His house are surrounded by His goodness and mercy. David
said, Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I
will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever (Ps. 23:6). The basic
principle of the
Lord has had mercy on His elect in
Demonstrations of mercy, such as the world has never known, are now upon the horizon, ready to be manifested at our Fathers appointed time. Ah, darkness covers the earth, and gross darkness the people, but God is forming a body of His own nature with a message of mercy and hope, and in them the light of His glory shall arise upon all the ends of the earth. God is preparing a merciful priesthood to minister unto all the kindreds and nations of mankind. It is a light arising in the darkness and out of the darkness to swallow up all the darkness everywhere. It is a theatrical of mercy in a world of wrath and violence and degradation.
My earnest prayer to God is that all His dear sons shall learn this one grand truth: Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again (Mat. 7:1-2). That is but a negative way of saying, Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Note the words: Shall be judged shall be measured. There are two kinds of judgment. One is of condemnation; the other is of mercy. The one is according to appearance and accusation of evil; the other is righteous judgment and according to truth and mercy. Jesus commands to Judge not according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment. He warns against the judgment which arises from faultfinding and condemning. The warning is just this: You will be judged with your own judgment, and you will be measured with, or in, your own measure. The measure that you use for others is the very same measure that shall be used for you until you learn! Until you become a merciful one!
How precious this inworking of His grace whereby we
are being transformed to become HIS MERCIFUL ONES. How long we have walked with God without
learning what it means to have mercy, to become a vessel or channel
through whom His mercy is poured forth. There has been far too much fight in us, a
demand for justice according to what we perceived to be justice. And
that He might make known the riches of His glory on the
vessels of mercy, which He had afore prepared unto glory, even us, whom He
hath called... (
Merciful priests! The priestly heart is above all things a sympathetic, compassionate, merciful heart, in which the love of Christ constrains us to express His goodness unto men. If a vicious serial killer is caught and slain, or some homosexual activist is murdered, there is that deceitful self-righteous spirit within us which silently judges, saying, Good...there is one less murderer or one less pervert in the world. That is not the Spirit of God, and it is not the judgment of a Priest of God. A priestly heart! Oh, Spirit of God! Write upon my heart, with indelible letters, the merciful heart of my High Priest! It is my deep conviction that it is more important to manifest the nature of Christ in meeting a persons need, than in witnessing to people about the plan of salvation. Christians have become so conditioned to the idea that they arent doing anything for God unless they go out and witness, skillfully using the sword of the Word of God. But, my precious brother, my dear sister, when you are merciful and encourage and help people in their desperate need, you become a living word to them that says, I care and God cares for you! Jesus speaks His word through us in actions, we become a word that is alive to them, not a dead, printed word, or doctrinal word, or religious word, but a Living Word. This is a life to be lived, as Jesus did, and it is more important than witnessing, quoting scripture verses, teaching or preaching. Instead of witnessing, we BECOME THE WITNESS of what our Father is really like.
There is no need to be skilled in the wisdom and ways of this world, no need to attend a Bible School or Seminary; no special talent is needed, no training, no education, no wealth, no power, or attainment in order to BE A VESSEL OF MERCY. Any saint of God can be a merciful priest any day, because there are people who need help every day! When we care for them, we are bringing the heart of God to them in the place of their need. Our Father cares for every soul that has ever seen the light of day upon this planet. The way that He has chosen to reveal that He cares is through His MERCIFUL PRIESTHOOD. That is why it is so important for us to know what our Father is like, that He is a God of justice and a God that is filled with kindness and tender mercies that endure throughout all ages.
It is the property of God to always have mercy, and mercy triumphs over judgment. His mercy is above the heavens. It is from everlasting to everlasting. He has provided a way that the banished may always return. There can be no limits to Gods mercy. Men have limits to their mercy, but our Father has none. The mercy of God is not only mercy, it is tender mercy. It is mercy of the utmost tenderness and compassionate love and infinite kindness. It is mercy that reaches to all, to the darkest sin, and to the lowest hell. Christ Himself manifested that mercy. It is mercy without any alloy, pure, and without any restraint. It is mercy without any remembrance of the transgression. It is the blotting of it out. The record is erased. It is the casting of it into the deep sea of eternal forgetfulness. It extends through all time and into eternity. Those who would be priests of the Most High must exercise His mercy. When you exercise mercy it must be in great tenderness; not grudgingly, not by compulsion, but because it is your nature to do it. Gentle and heavenly mercy is of God. When God speaks of mercy, He uses a figure which is of the sublimest character. He says not only that His mercy endures for all ages, but that His mercy is above the heavens, as if it were the dome of Infinite Love over all. Matters not where are the heavens of His justice and wrath; His mercy is higher than all! It shines brightest in the fair crown of God Himself. It seems as if it were the celestial diamond in the diadem of heaven. On the brows of all Gods sons there is no brighter gem. He sets a crown of forgiveness and tender mercy upon our brows. When we are compassionate and kind and merciful, we are most like God, the very sons of the Father.
THE PURE IN HEART
sixth principle of the
This truth is powerfully expressed in one of the writings of George Wylie. He writes, Some years ago, at a camp meeting I attended, there was a lovely flow of teaching. There was very little prophecy, but wonderful teaching. The people, and especially the young people, expressed their appreciation of the teaching. This is just what we need, they said. When it came to the last meeting, and the teaching ministry had not reached its climax, one of the brethren said to one who had taken it on himself to direct the meetings, Dont you think we should let the teaching ministry finish? No, he answered, we want to pray and prophesy over some people, we want to impress some who are here from a certain area. I wont mention any names, but the idea was to try and impress those present with the greatness of our prophetic ministry. We wanted to let them see how we could do it. So we got some people up on the platform where all could see and prophesied gifts and ministries to them. I dont think they were the least impressed, as we never saw them again.
One wonders, when such things are done, how much of God is in it and how much of the fleshly nature; how much of the prophecy was from God, and how much came from the mind of man. We have seen some poor earnest souls struggling to exercise a gift, and fulfill a ministry that was prophesied to them, that didnt seem to be there. How we need to make sure that our deeds are wrought in God. Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name...and in Thy name done many wonderful works...depart from me, ye workers of lawlessness. How we need to make sure that our hands are clean, that when we carry into the temple our sacrifice of praise and service, to present it to the Lord, that it is not defiled with the uncleanness of the works of darkness, the corruption of the flesh, and the pride of self. Are we ministering unto the Lord in pure love or are we looking for praise and acclaim from men, trying to impress others with our ability and greatness.
has the right to climb the
Our heart is our inward man and when we first invite the Saviour in, our heart is not pure; besides the Lord being there, there is a lot of the old self nature. We have dual personality, a mixture of self and the Spirit of Christ. These two are at enmity with one another. There is constant conflict between the flesh and the spirit. Whether we call it self, the flesh, sin, the carnal nature, or the old man, it is all one and the same and is contrary to God and doing His will. For the desires of the flesh are against the spirit, and the desires of the spirit are against the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you would (Gal. 5:17, R.S.V.). If one is careless, and not overly concerned about pleasing the Lord, he may not be too conscious of this conflict and most of the time he will be living after the flesh; but if your hearts desire is to do the will of God you will certainly know of this war in your inward parts. When we desire to do the will of God, the old self is there to oppose. Sometimes we know when the flesh has had its way, but many times we have been doing the will of self and are convinced we have done the will of God. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. Who can know it? (Jer. 17:9). It is so deceitful that one can even commit murder and think he is doing Gods will. Jesus said, They shall put you out of the synagogues; yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God a service (Jn. 16:2). Can you imagine a man being so deceived? It is easy! Many today, even among the professed elect, are committing character murder, slandering a brother in Christ, desiring to kill his ministry and destroy his influence with Gods children, and are convinced they are doing Gods will.
The pure in heart is one in which only one personality dwells. Paul described the pure in heart when he said, I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ liveth in me. Pauls old self nature had been brought to death, it no longer existed, only the Christ lived within him. Pauls old nature was gone and the divine nature controlled his being. If we are to have a heart pure enough to be able to stand when He appeareth, we will have to come to this place also.
If we are to arrive at the place God wants us to attain, and be what He wants us to be, the old self nature has to go. If from us a pure stream of the water of life is to flow to the restoration and life of the rest of creation, this river must be unpolluted. I think we should all be conscious of the fact that in the course of our ministry we may receive something pure directly from God, but after flowing through a carnal vessel what comes out of our mouth may not be all that pure. It could, and usually does, pick up some impurities along the way. It is like running pure water through a dirty pipe. The water may be pure when it enters the pipe, but what comes out the other end has very likely picked up some of the impurities left by what formerly flowed through the pipe. We have been contaminated with sin and self, and even though saved and washed in the blood, there is still fleshliness in us and we are still possessed with selfish and carnal desires; some of our own thoughts and desires can be mixed with what God has given us as it flows through us to others. My prayer for years has been, Lord, as I minister what you have given me to give to your people, please let it be a pure stream; let it not be polluted with my own thoughts or desires as it flows through my mind. Cleanse my mind, renew my mind that I may only have the mind of Christ. Every time I sit down at the computer to write, my last prayer is, Lord, I am your vessel; I want you to use this vessel. I want to be like your firstborn Son who said, I speak only the words I have heard from my Father; I want to do the same. Give me the words to write and help me to write only what you have given me, no more and no less; prevent any of my own thoughts or feelings from entering into this writing end quote.
The pure heart
is the heart that thinks only redemptive thoughts toward all mankind, regardless of
their race, their religion or lack of it, or the degree of sin in their lives. God loves
them all, God was in Christ reconciling them all, not imputing their trespasses unto them,
and God shall deliver and change them all, in their due order (I Cor. 15:23). We are
the elect who are now being changed in our order, for this Day is the Day of Gods
choosing in our lives to change us into the image and likeness of Christ. The
process of our change requires a new heart. We shall have a heart that wills only the
purposes of God and His Kingdom. It is the heart that counts all men and all
things as reconciled unto God. It is the heart that embraces the power of
This may, in some respects, be called the greatest of the beatitudes; for surely of all things, the most sublime is seeing God. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. The word see in the original tongue is interchangeable with the word know, and must be so understood. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall know God. It is better to know God than even to see Him by the eyes of sense. There were many who saw Jesus who did not know Him. They saw the Christ, but they knew not that He was the Christ. They saw His miracles, but they did not know Him. They thought that He was a great Teacher or Prophet, but they did not see God in Him. They even rejected Him and hated Him, some of them. You could see Christ Himself in bodily form today, but unless you had purity of heart you could not know Him to be the Christ. I do not mean that you must be sinless, with never a wrong thought or deed. No, that is not what I mean by pure in heart. Your heart must be single, unmixed, turned wholly to the Lord, the Spirit. Then you will know God when you see Him. Only such purity of heart gives purity of sight.
As one has written, The nature of Jesus Christ will be demonstrated in the lives of the sons of God. His characteristic conduct will be reproduced again through them. Even as the holiness of His conduct is to be reproduced in this company, also His pureness of heart shall be duplicated within them. He does not declare, Blessed are the pure in deeds: for they shall see God. Frankly, one can have exemplary conduct and yet not have purity of heart. We can manifest good deeds without having them spring from pure motives. With a sinister purpose and evil motive men can look good and act good at times. So we conclude that the pure in heart are not necessarily detected by good deeds.
Knowing now by this instruction of Jesus that sons of God must have purity of heart, our next consideration is how to obtain it. The beatitude states that the pure in heart shall see God. There is no higher, no more glorious reward than to see God. It is not here making reference to a natural view of God with physical eyes, visualized as some ancient prophet with long flowing locks of snow white hair, or as a cloud of brilliant haze, or devouring fire as beheld by the Israelites throughout the wilderness journey, and by the High Priest in the Holy of holies.
The apostle John tells us that No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father, He has revealed Him, has made Him known (Jn. 1:18). Paul supports this truth, saying, I command you to keep the commandments unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ. And this will be made manifest at the proper time by the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings, and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light whom no man has ever seen or can see (I Tim. 6:15-16). John and Paul are both writing about visibly seeing God with the physical eyes of man. Jesus affirms this same fact when He says, And the Father who sent me has Himself borne witness to me. His voice you have never heard. His form you have never seen (Jn. 5:37). He repeats the thought in John 6:46 by the reference, Not that anyone has seen the Father except Him who is from God. He has seen the Father. In I John 4:12 there is another reference to the fact that the Father is not beheld in physical form by man. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No man has ever seen God. If we love one another God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.
these scriptures are sufficient to show that man is not to expect to see God with his
human eyes, nor to expect to behold Him in the form of a man. Therefore,
this promise of Jesus to the pure in heart, does not indicate a physical beholding of a
material form of God. He
promises to the pure in heart the view of the Father which He, Himself, always
word see used in the beatitude is specifically indicating SPIRITUAL
John 3:3, the word see is used in this sense. Jesus
answered him, Truly, truly, I say unto you, Unless one is born anew, he cannot see the
Jesus was not saying, Look at Jesus of Nazareth, son of Mary, and you see the Truth and the Life. It was the eternal God speaking through the human lips of an earthly tabernacle who could lay claim to being the I AM who is the Way and the Truth and the Life. Many had seen and known the earthly tabernacle of Jesus of Nazareth after the flesh, or from the human viewpoint, who never saw the eternal Christ, the Deity, the God within Him. Likewise, many are now beholding the earthly tabernacles of the sons of God today after the human viewpoint, who never see the Christ, the Deity, the God within them. They have never seen Him who spoke through Jesus lips to declare, Before Abraham was, I am. They neither knew Him nor had seen Him, although Jesus had walked in their midst for over thirty years. They saw with physical eyes and understood with human comprehension and thereby knew only after the flesh and not after the spirit. Only those who came to know Him after the spirit had truly seen the Father.
Beloved, we are Gods children now. It does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when He appears we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope within him, purifies himself even as He is pure (I Jn. 3:2-3). The hope which is making us purify ourselves is the hope of this glory coming to us, the hope of seeing God as He is. Millions who only hope to see Jesus coming in clouds are doing nothing about purifying themselves as He is pure. But a company that has become anxious and hungry to see God as He is is setting to work to purify themselves. When we receive the revelation that God plans to again fully manifest Himself in some human tabernacles, we immediately make ourselves candidates for that demonstration, and begin to purify ourselves (become single, unmixed, unadulterated), as He is pure, that we might qualify to see God as He is, and be of the company of sons in whom He will be glorified, and through whom He will manifest Himself to the waiting world. When you inspect the company that today is attempting a purification of themselves in the inner man, you will find it to be the people that has this blessed hope that God once more is going to descend into tabernacles of flesh. This time it will not be just one Son, but a company of many sons brought to glory end quote.
George MacDonald adds these inspiring words: It is not because we are created and He uncreated, it is not because of any difference involved in that difference of all differences, that we cannot see God. If He pleased to take a shape, and that shape were presented to us, and we saw that shape, we should not therefore be seeing God. Even if we knew it was a shape of God call it even God Himself our eyes rested upon; if we had been told the fact and believed the report; yet, if we did not see the Godness, we should not be seeing God, we would only be seeing the tabernacle in which for the moment He dwelt. In other words, not seeing in the form what made it a form fit for Him to take, we should not be seeing a presence, a reality which could only be God. To see God is to stand on the highest point of being. Not until we see God no partial and passing embodiment of Him, but the abiding reality do we stand upon our own mountain-top, the height of the existence God has given us, and up to which He is leading us. That there we should stand is the end of our creation. This truth is at the heart of everything, means all kinds of completions, may be uttered in many ways; but language will never compass it, for form will never contain it. We not only may, but we must so know Him, and it can never be until we are pure in heart. Then shall we know Him with the infinitude of an ever-growing knowledge.
could see God tonight,
if my heart were right.
If all the rubbish in my soul
were cleared away, Id be whole.
My breast then would thrill in glad surprise
of all the wonders before my eyes.
If my heart were right,
I could see God tonight,
and the radiance of His face.
Id fling with light and fill this place
with beauty and the world would know
the face of God down here below
if my heart were right.
THE PRINCIPLES OF THE KINGDOM
5:9 gives us the seventh principle of the
Jesus Christ, the firstborn Son of God, is the Prince of Peace. Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, resides within His elect, the body of Christ. Can we not see by this that with Christ in our lives God has given us the role of peacemakers in this world? Has it occurred to you what it is a peacemaker does? A peacemaker is expected to MAKE PEACE! If you fulfill what Jesus said about peacemakers, you will be blessed indeed. You will be called the sons of God! The nature of your Father will be recognized in your life, and acknowledged. In order to be a peacemaker you must become involved in legitimate conflicts. In this world, if you truly want to be blessed in the Kingdom dimension of the term, you have to encounter crises and conflicts and get involved in them so that you can change the conflict into a peaceful situation. You can do it even now, for the spirit of sonship is already within you! If you are not willing to become a peacemaker in the nitty-gritty of everyday life, dont think that in some future blaze of glory you will suddenly become qualified to be a peacemaker on behalf of nations and principalities and powers. Many have no desire to become involved in conflict and problems. We would just as soon stay at home, laid back in our Lazy Boy recliner, with a glass of iced tea, watching our favorite television program, and say, Thank you, Lord, for that wonderful word you gave me, that you will make a son of God and a peacemaker out of me. I feel so peaceful here! May everyone know this deep peace that I have come into.
does not make peace. The
peace that we experience in the absence of conflict is
writing on this blessed subject of the principles of the
The Hebrew word shalom is the word that is translated peace when the prophet says that Christ is the Prince of Peace. But the Hebrew word means much more than the English word, peace, would imply. The word shalom also means to be safe, well and happy. It means that every person who comes into the kingdom or dominion of Christ will also be healthy and prosperous, and will live on this earth in peace (Lk. 2:14). By the anointed power and divine leadership of the sons of God, who will be moving in the Spirit and functioning at their Fathers direction in this world, every person of every nation shall enjoy the many blessings implied in the word shalom. The sons of God are peacemakers, just like their Prince or Head, for they bring everything around them into a peaceful state. In Fathers time, He shall raise us up to proclaim peace to all. Yea, our message shall be more than peace, for we shall decree SHALOM and all that it means to all mankind. And if this sounds like too much of a task for us to envision, much less fulfill, we should remember that the zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. That which is impossible with man is always possible with God!
To become peacemakers, we must have the peace of God inworked within us. The anointed prophet said, Lord, you will ordain peace (Gods favor and blessings, temporal and spiritual) for us, for you have also wrought in us and for us all our works (Isa. 26:12, Amp.). In order for us to have peace and be peacemakers, the Lord must establish His peace within us. And it should give us great peace just to know that He is doing it! All the work necessary to make us what we must be in His kingdom is the Lords work. He has wrought all our works in us and for us. All the work necessary to make us Melchizedek kings and priests unto God is the Lords work. And He is doing it within us for His glory end quote.
The word that Jesus used for peace reached to the very heart of what He meant when He spoke of the peacemakers who are the sons of God. This important term involves harmony not merely with man, but especially harmony with God. Let us remember that in all of Jesus teaching, the paramount issue was mans relationship with God. Mans relationship with his fellow man always took a secondary place. He said that we must love God first, and then love our neighbor as our self. We can only manifest to men what we have first of all experienced and appropriated in our relationship with the Father. Every teaching of Jesus was God-centered first. It cannot be otherwise! And thus it is in relationship to peacemaking we, and all creation, must first be brought into harmony with our heavenly Father before peace can reign between men and nations on the earth.
The word peace is used approximately 90 times in the New Testament, and in the vast majority of cases it is used in reference to harmony with God. It has become clear to me that this principle of the Kingdom is related primarily to harmony with God. Blessed are the peacemakers those who have within themselves entered into peace with God, and have launched upon a mission to bring all men into that same harmony with God. When men can be brought into harmony with the Father, concern about their relationship with one another becomes unnecessary, for the peace of God out of the heavenly realm flows into them and through them, bringing peace on earth, goodwill to men!
Yes, our Lord Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace. He came to bring peace. Peace is alien to earth. When sin entered, peace fled. The moment that sin entered man removed himself from harmony with God, and peace fled. Adam and Eve themselves were at strife with God and each other, so that their firstborn son had the spirit of the devil and was a murderer from the beginning. He slew his own brother. The second Man, the last Adam, was the Lord from heaven. When He was once rejected, in the days of His flesh, His disciples, with indignation, besought Him to command fire to come down from heaven and destroy those wicked people. His answer comes down to us through the ages: Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy mens lives, but to save them (Lk. 9:55-56). The firstborn son of Adam was a murderer, but the firstborn Son of God was a Saviour. One was the peace breaker shedding his brothers blood, the other was the peacemaker shedding His own blood that He might make peace with God. Yet the Christ had power to destroy mens lives, if He had the will. When He stood there with the cross in full view, He said to His persecutors that it was in His power to call twelve legions of angels. If that heavenly host which hovered about that Son could have once made itself manifest, oh, how they would have swept that doomed city, that accursed conclave of false priests, and those wretched, blind and filthy-minded heathen soldiers! How the breath of those heavenly angels could have swept the life out of them and swept them down into hell and the grave. But that is not Gods way in redemption. That is not the mission of the Son of God nor of the sons of God.
For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by Him and for Him: and He is before all things, and by Him all things consist. And, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to RECONCILE ALL THINGS UNTO HIMSELF, by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath He reconciled (Col. 1:16-17,20-21). And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to US the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given unto US the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ (the representatives of His Kingdom), as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christs stead, be ye reconciled to God (II Cor. 5:18-20).
Here we see the great truth that reconciliation is first and foremost unto God. And it is utterly impossible for any man or any creature on earth or in heaven to exclude himself from this most precious provision the reconciliation of all unto God. Before the reader can shut himself, or any other man or being out from the application of this grace, he must prove that he does not belong to earth, for all things in earth are reconciled; he must prove that he does not belong to heaven, for all things in the heavens are reconciled; he must prove that he does not belong to the all things that are created, because all created things are reconciled; and since he has no identification with any of the all things created, the all things in earth, and the all things in heaven, therefore he is excluded from being reconciled! This he cannot do. Every foot of this earth and every man upon this earth belongs to Christ, for the earth is the Lords and the fullness thereof: the world, and they that dwell therein. On that wonderful day when God created all things in earth and in heaven He also said, Let us make man in our image, and after our likeness. God made every man and Christ tasted death for every man, and therefore every foot of the earth and every man on the earth belongs to Christ my Lord, first by right of creation, and second by right of redemption.
Far too many Christians testify like this: Thank God Im saved, sanctified, and baptized in heavens sweet Holy Ghost but its too bad for the rest of you people. Thank God He laid His hand on me, so I believed and am on my way to heaven but it is going to be hell for the rest of you. Come quickly, Lord Jesus, and take me out of this sin-cursed world, and let it go to the devil. Few people, even if they had the authority, would condemn anyone, even their worst enemy, to a burning, scorching, tormenting, eternal hell. Yet they expect God to do it! Some, as we have spoken of the good consolation and everlasting hope we have for all men, have said, wistfully, I wish it were true. But sadly they confessed that their own sense of hope and mercy obviously exceeded that of Gods. Other folk would never be satisfied for God to judge the world in a way that would bring the world back to Himself. Their attitude is, if men have spurned Gods love, if they have lived in sin, if they have done wickedly, if they have drawn their last breath blaspheming His name, or even if they have carelessly neglected so great a salvation, then let them burn in hell they deserve it! And these so-called followers of the Lamb of God who died to take away the SIN OF THE WORLD would personally join in shoveling the coal and seeing to it that they get everything they deserve and perhaps a little bit more! I have no hesitation whatever in saying that people who hold that attitude are not Christians at all. They are devils.
brings harmony and peace. And having made peace
by the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile
all things unto Himself. God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself. The
distinguishing characteristic of a son of
God is that he is a peacemaker above all
are we to be peacemakers? We are peacemakers, first of all, by being at
peace with God. We
cannot make peace; we cannot assist in ministering Gods peace, unless we are
ourselves at peace. If
I am to be an ambassador for the
The Lord is trusting His sons with the job of seeing to it that the lost men and women of the world and out of all ages know that God has reconciled them unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them. The Christians in the church systems today cannot fulfill this awesome task, because they are still imputing mens sins unto them. When they say, You are headed straight for eternal hell, they are imputing mens sins unto them. When they shun men because of their evil or wickedness, they are imputing mens sins unto them. When they say a person who died without Christ is eternally doomed, they are imputing mens sins unto them. Every time we think judgmental thoughts against people for their sins and errors, we impute their sins unto them. The sons of God are not sent to threaten men with damnation if they do not receive Jesus there are plenty of Gods immature, mis-guided, deceived, naive little children who are doing that! The sons are sent with the message that all men and the whole world are reconciled to God on Gods part, and to convince them, not that they are going to hell, but that they should be reconciled to God within themselves. The church world has a ministry of threatening men and coercing them by fear of hell-fire; the sons of God are the sons of peace and love and mercy who speak the word of reconciliation into mens lives by the Spirit.
Now, as representatives, as ambassadors of Jesus Christ and His eternal Kingdom, you and I are to minister this reconciliation to the world. The debt of sin has been paid in full. The books are balanced so far as God is concerned. Divine righteousness is theirs also, when they will finally lay down their rebellion and surrender, believing Gods word of love, and accepting the life He offers them in exchange for their death. As Ray Prinzing once said, Not charging them with guilt, to heap upon them loads of condemnation, but simply giving them the GOOD WORD, namely, that God loves them, forgives them, and is ready to receive them back to Himself. All is well, come home forsake your wayward course, the Father waits to receive you. No word of condemnation, not imputing a list of sins against you, but a word of hope, of grace, of love. And the sons will never give up, for Gods heart of infinite love will never give up. He will seek the sheep as far as they have strayed, and carry them home. Jesus did the work, and now God is making His appeal through us. God shall make a full and lasting peace with the world through His sons, His peacemakers. Blessed are those through whom God brings the world to peace with Himself! That is the ultimate of the ministry of the sons of God. The ministry of Jesus is a pattern picture of the ministry of the sons. Amazing grace! Stupendous and glorious plan! What a ministry!
final principle in this preamble to the Constitution of the Kingdom is the eighth. Blessed
are they that are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the kingdom of
heaven (Mat. 5:10). Sometimes we take a mistaken attitude toward the blessedness
that comes from fulfilling these principles of the
did not evaluate things the way we evaluate them. We measure success and blessedness by the
effectiveness of our ministry. We use the worlds system in determining
blessedness. Jesus used the divine instrument of measure divine evaluation
of what constitutes blessedness. Blessedness, He asserts in this case, is
experienced by those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, and the
means right-ness. To be persecuted for righteousness sake
is to be persecuted for that which is right. But even then it doesnt involve just
any kind of right-ness! A
person may be persecuted because they are politically
right, that is, on the right side of some political issue, but that certainly would
not qualify them as a possessor of the
People, including professed Christians, are persecuted for various reasons. Sometimes the cause of persecution is ignorance. But Jesus does not promise, Blessed are they that are persecuted for ignorance, any more than, Blessed are they that are persecuted for wrong doing. I have met a great number of people through the years who are filled with self pity because they are being persecuted for their Christian walk, when the fact is they are being persecuted for saying or doing unwise, ignorant, outlandish, ridiculous, bizarre or stupid things in the name of the Lord. They have supposed that they were doing righteously and being led by the Spirit, but they were misguided or deceived and made a display of themselves to the public through ignorance. They have suffered tremendous persecution because of it, and dont realize that they were acting out of the carnal mind and have therefore been persecuted for foolishness sake. It is obvious that if we are ignorantly performing foolish things that are bringing undue persecution, we experience no blessedness in it! The blessedness that Jesus promised is not in manifestations of spiritual immaturity and ignorance, or in demonstrations of the flesh by those who think God is speaking out of every rock and tree and happening, and speak in riddles and do weird things, or in displays of excessive emotional feelings in the soulish realm of their nature. Persecution for the righteousness of the Kingdom is on a plane higher than all this!
The reward for
sonship persecution is BLESSEDNESS! Blessed are they that are persecuted for righteousness
what is this blessedness? Ah, the blessedness is just this: for
theirs is the
Well has George Hawtin written: I would to God that all Gods elect might see that everything everywhere is working tirelessly and endlessly to produce sonship in those who are the called according to His purpose. Everywhere! Everything! Temptations, tears, heartaches, unfaithful friends and brethren, loss of property, loss of business, perils, hateful neighbors, fiery furnaces, dens of lions, rugged crosses, and isles of exile! All things! All things! All things, too numerous to mention, are working for the good of Gods elect, and are adding, though unseen now, an exceeding and eternal weight of glory to us.
who have endured our share of the persecutions of Christ shall be abundantly blessed of
the Lord to receive our inheritance in the
Mueller bears wonderful witness to this same blessed truth in the following testimony. To
be persecuted for righteousness sake gives one the right and privilege to inherit
who are persecuted for righteousness sake, shall inherit the kingdom. Jesus
clearly qualified the type of persecution that would gain us an inheritance into the
was persecuted by the world because He was of another Spirit, even the Spirit of His
was not of this world, and neither are we! The world hated Him, and we can expect to be
treated as He was. The
servant is not greater than his lord. Our Lord was persecuted for righteousness
sake, and we shall be also. They treat us the way they do for His names
sake, for they do not know our Father, who sent us on this mission for the
Being persecuted for His names sake brings rewards undreamed of. Persecution for righteousness sake identifies us with Christ. The sufferings of Christ that we have gone through made us one with Him and linked us with Him in Fathers eternal purposes. And now we are one with Christ united and identified with Him in the eternal purposes of His kingdom. Because of our union and identification with Christ, the world shall surely hear us when we speak forth His anointed word. Jesus said, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also (Jn. 15:20). Think of that! Just as people of the world kept the sayings of Jesus, so also shall they keep our sayings. They will respect the word we speak! The persecutions and trials that we endured have removed from us all personal, egotistical and exalted ideas and carnal desires. We are being set free of old Adam that we might fully glorify the Lord. When the Lord has finished His work in us, He shall say of us as He did of His first Son, This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him (Mat. 17:5). The authority and power of Gods word spoken by one of Fathers anointed sons may be beyond the scope of our present understanding, but God shall bring it to pass. If the world kept the sayings of Jesus Christ, the first manifested Son, they will keep our sayings also, for we are also sons of God and members of the same purified and anointed Christ body end quote.
THE PRINCIPLES OF THE KINGDOM
addition to the eight beatitudes we have considered over the past months, there are almost
three whole chapters and one hundred and seven verses in this Constitution of the
these are the marks of sonship. All these
are the principles of the
In reading the Sermon on the Mount we must learn to distinguish between the letter of the command and the spirit of truth that it expresses. For even of Christs own words it is true the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. I do not mean that we are to so spiritualize these laws of the Kingdom as to make them of none effect. I do not mean that we are to so etherealize our Lords commands as to get rid of the obvious, practical applications. What I mean is, we must make allowance, for instance, for Jesus methods of teaching. The Eastern mind loved the parabolic and proverbial form of speech. He was fond of stating his truth in bold, picturesque, illustrative and metaphorical ways. Our Lord was typically Eastern in this respect. He opened His mouth in parables, and without a parable spake He not unto them. In this sermon His teaching is again and again in proverbial form. Only by that wisdom that comes down from above are the sons of God able to separate the spiritual principle from the literary form in which it is expressed. Jesus was not giving us maxims to which we are to give slavish obedience, but sets forth principles that we must apply and walk out under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. He did not come to give a second and more minute external law, but to create a disposition, a spirit, a new attitude and state of being which should be the law of nature within ourselves.
Let me illustrate what I mean by taking just a few precepts out of the Sermon on the Mount for our reverent consideration. Take first that staggering precept about turning the other cheek. Whosoever smiteth thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. Now what kind of a spineless individual would do a thing like that! I think many of us would be like the little boy in the Sunday School class. His teacher had been teaching the class some of the teachings of Jesus, and she said to Johnny, Johnny, what would you do if Tommy slapped you on the right cheek? Teacher, said Johnny, I would turn the other cheek. Then after pausing and thinking for a moment he added, But, boy, if he hit that one, I would beat the daylights out of him! We have our rights, you know, and we are pretty good at sticking up for our rights. If we think the mechanic has cheated us on the repairs on our car, we would like to tell him so. If we havent had the service we think we should have had, we are tempted to raise our voice and give them a piece of our mind. We at least reduce the amount of our tip or leave no tip at all! That is natural. But sons of God are not natural! We are ordained to be spiritual. And spiritual is not some religious exercise or worshipful appearance, it is simply expressing the nature of the Spirit. It is just as spiritual to keep our cool under pressure as it is to sing in the Spirit or prophesy yea, even more so!
Although there are times for literally turning the other cheek, Jesus was speaking of a spiritual reality that transcends the physical act. He did not give a literal obedience to the precept Himself! When He was smitten on the face in the High Priests hall, He did not turn the other cheek, He gently but firmly rebuked the smiter for his injustice and violence. And besides, a literal obedience would sometimes defeat the very object at which Christ was aiming. To do this literally to an angry man would in some instances so infuriate him that it would bring even harsher recriminations against you. The letter in this case killeth. We must get at the spirit of the command, and the spirit is just this: that we must meet rage and violence not with rage and violence, but with meekness, compassion, and forgiveness. Retaliation and revenge are the practice of the world forgiveness even until seventy times seven is the practice of the sons of God.
these things are against human nature. It is impossible for the natural man to do
these things! Oh,
we might try, but trying isnt good enough in the Kingdom. Even if
we did walk out these things, just because Jesus said we should, it would still be a
forced action out of a sense of duty, and not because we felt like doing them. Though
outwardly we may obey, inwardly we would rebel against them. Unless
our obedience emanates from our nature, it isnt Kingdom
that why Jesus said, Except your righteousness exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no
wise enter into the
Take the next precept which says, Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. As it stands it sounds almost like an order to indulge in indiscriminate charity. Now indiscriminate charity when it is indulged in is not a blessing to men, but a curse. If you give to every one who would bum off of you, you turn people into economic leeches. It is a direct encouragement of sloth and irresponsibility. It disintegrates the character; it degrades more than it helps and delivers. The apostle Paul tells us that if a man will not work, neither shall he eat. The spirit of what Jesus is telling us is that we must have the spirit of self-sacrificing generosity! As a son of God I cannot turn a deaf ear to any cry of need. It does not follow that we shall give money to every beggar who stops us on the street, or to every supposedly homeless person holding a sign at the intersection. By so doing we may be only confirming in idleness men who ought to be compelled to work, or giving another bottle of liquid damnation to a man already drinking himself to death. We simply impoverish ourselves to injure others. That is not what Christ meant!
We do not give even to every brother in Christ who asks our help. Solicitations arrive in the mail almost daily to help this person and that, to support this ministry and the other, to give to this and that cause. If we gave to everyone that asks what an array of worldly methods and spurious ministries and deceitful causes we would be supporting! Sons of God are led by the Spirit even in their giving. How much better to seek the Lord about what we should give, and to whom, and receive His guidance by the Spirit, than merely to dole out money to every one who presents a need! Where we know need to be urgent and real, our help will always be forthcoming, even if it is an unspeakable sacrifice. A loving heart and a ready hand, guided by the Holy Spirit of wisdom and understanding, are the marks of the son of God. And sometimes we give even when no one has said anything about a need, simply because the Spirit of the Lord speaks to us to give. HE knows every need, and just how He will meet the need. We become His channels of blessing. This is the way of the Kingdom!
let us look at another principle. And if any man will sue thee at the law
and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. And if any man shall compel you to go a mile,
go with him two. Of
this principle George Wylie wrote, This is a reference to a custom in the East, and
which we saw in
We think we have done pretty good when we have done some of the things commanded us, let alone all things. If we only do the things required of us, and that which is our duty to do, we are still unprofitable servants. If we are to be the sons of God, we have to go way beyond what is required of us, if we are to be profitable unto God. He that does only what is required is a servant, not a son. He has no initiative of his own, he is not a ruler in the kingdom, he has no authority to act unilaterally, he merely obeys orders and does what is required. What this really means is, that what we do is not really that important, and doesnt count for that much. What really matters is what we are, who we are becoming, not what we do by commandment. When the spirit of the Sermon on the Mount gets down into our deepest heart as the law of being, then the Kingdom of God operates within us in the realm of sonship end quote.
one more example. Lay
not up for yourselves treasure upon the earth. It reads like a prohibition of thrift and
provision for the future. Taken literally, it would seem to forbid the
farmer to store his harvest in the autumn for the coming winter; it would seem to put the
seal of its approval on those who squander their money as soon as they get it, who spend
up to their means and perhaps beyond it; it would seem to say that one should not make any
provision for a rainy day, one should not pay into Social Security or any pension
fund, one should not invest in properties, stocks, bonds, or make any provision for
security or retirement. But
that is not what Jesus meant! What Jesus is saying in the Spirit is that
our hearts should be entirely emancipated from the love of wealth that our care
should be not so much about our balances at the bank as about our standing in the
are understanding by the carnal mind if we read this as if Jesus were encouraging
irresponsibility; what He is bidding us do is to put first things first, to seek first the
cannot cease striving to lay up treasures on earth until we come to the point of absolute trust in our heavenly Father. He will provide! If He
does not provide by natural means He will provide by supernatural means. Testimonies
to Gods unfailing faithfulness could be written by millions of saints throughout the
our own family we have seen the car battery charged by the power of God when the ignition
key had been left on overnight and the battery was absolutely dead. There was
need to be in a meeting that Sunday morning and with prayer the impulse came to go out and
try it one more time. The
car started immediately and the battery was better
than before! Lorain
and I drove many miles through the Ozark mountains in the late night darkness and early
morning with no gas in the tank, only praying that God would get us to our destination, as
there were no gas stations open in that wilderness at that hour of the night. We have
had so many miraculous provisions that to us it is no longer a question of whether the
Lord will provide merely when and how! This is merely a small sampling of life in
has more clearly and eloquently articulated the power and glory of this blessed dimension
of Kingdom reality than George Hawtin when he wrote: We can see and point out some
very important examples of Christs heavenly citizenship which show us as nothing
else can that all the time of His earthly ministry He lived and moved on the plane of a son of God. He lived
in a higher realm. He lived
in the realm He preached about, even the realm of the
have only superficially touched this realm of the
And so I might go on illustrating but enough has already been said. The first thing to be done is to disentangle Christs spiritual meaning from the form of its verbal expression. The difficulties about the practicability of the Sermon on the Mount arise from a carnal and too literalistic interpretation of its principles. These principles are not exact rules they embody divine nature. It is the spiritual principle we must get at and blessed is the man or woman who does! These words are the mere husk, the eternal truth they contain is the kernel. The letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life!
THE KEYS OF THE 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 (Mat. 16:19).
With the words of this passage in view, let us suppose that a king of incredible wealth decides to do something wonderfully beneficent for his people something no other king has ever done. He decides to take all the wealth he has amassed and share it fully with each and every subject of his kingdom. There are great treasures, vast sums of money, gold, silver, precious stones, houses, lands, huge warehouses full of grain and rations of various kinds, and a multitude of other commodities. Why all this generosity? Because the king is good, he has a pure spirit and a loving heart, and justice is the essence of his character. He wants his people to be happy, to know joy, to prosper and experience the best of what life has to offer. He wants them to live on his own level of wealth and abundance.
Of course, there must be a means, a method for the distribution of all these blessings and benefits. Certain rules have to be established, and specific guidelines put in place. For instance, the king must appoint a select company of men to have the oversight over the distribution of his wealth. These men must be completely trustworthy honest, unselfish, faithful, industrious, skilled, conscientious and efficient. They must have only the will of the king and the best interests of the people at heart.
One bright morning you are called with a chosen group of men to appear before the king. A background check has been done on each one and only those who have met the rigid qualifications have been selected. To you, the king says to these men, I entrust the keys of my kingdom. It is obvious that you understand my heart and share my purpose. Take these and do what you should. My palace is available to you twenty-four hours a day, and all my houses, warehouses, treasuries, and gates will open and lock by these keys I give you. The future success of this venture rests with you. Now, I must be about other important matters!
What an honor! What a responsibility!
What would you do? Would you use the keys carelessly, selfishly, or dishonestly? Would you brag to everyone you meet that you are one of the select persons in the kingdom who has the final say as to who gets what and who doesnt? Would you walk about haughtily with an air of superiority because you have privileged access to the realms of riches of the king? Would you conceal the full intent of the king to share his wealth with every man, from the pauper to the prince, and prevent certain individuals who appear unworthy, or whom you dont like, from getting their fair share? Or would you let everyone know of the kings benevolence, while at the same time protecting the interests of the king by making known and enforcing the few stipulations and procedures he established? I do not doubt for one moment that the king would be interested in whether or not the people were receiving and enjoying his gift! Should some people refuse to believe his generosity, they must be convinced, because it is the decree of the king that they have their part in his kingdom. If they dont know the proper protocol for receiving the gift, they must be instructed. If they have neither the wisdom nor the ability to properly use the gift, they should be taught, or someone appointed to administer the gift on their behalf. That all this is accomplished is of vital interest to the king but the importance and power attributed to you, the holder of the keys, would be far less significant to him.
this illustration lies the divine secret to the keys of the
understand me, Peter, the Lord seemed to be saying, you are someone to whom I
can entrust the keys of my Kingdom! What a day of days it must have been for
Peter, who had already seen so much beyond what other men had seen, to now be given the
keys of the
beyond this what was Jesus intent in
giving the keys of the
sun is now setting on the church age with its ministry of apostles, prophets, evangelists,
pastors and teachers. The
transcendent glory of that brighter and greater age when the body of Christ has been
brought to its fullness in the manifestation
of the sons of God is even now dawning upon
know this, not by claiming a scripture or by embracing a doctrine, but because the Holy
Ghost has powerfully spoken and testified of it among vast numbers of the Lords
elect in recent years. It
is a revelation come down from heaven and proclaimed in the power of the
who cannot see the change in dispensations, nor the implications of it, have not heard
from God. The
present work of the Spirit has to do with the
has prepared His holy remnant, who are all sons of God, those whom He has formed for His
purposes and called to sonship for such an hour as this. Our
Father has made us what He wants us to be, and that is what we are. He has
called us, separated us unto Himself, laid His hand upon us, broken us to pieces, purged
and purified us out of the world and out of the religious systems of men, in the furnace
of affliction, and led us in the strange paths of His dealings, that He might raise us up
by the power of His Spirit and make us a blessing unto all the ends of the earth. We now
desire to do all the will of our Father in the earth! Our expectation is to use the keys
is now time for the apostles of the Kingdom to be sent forth. These
apostles of the Kingdom are the firstfruits company. In these firstfruits the foundations of the
Kingdom are being laid. It
is to these to the elect
remnant of the Lord that the first
dominion or reign of the
shall again be a true witness of God in the earth when the holy sons of God fully possess
the keys of the
RECEIVING THE KEYS
When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremiahs, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven (Mat. 16:13-17).
was it that Peter suddenly realized who Jesus was? He got a revelation from the Father that
Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God! He received a revelation of who this Christ was. If there
is one thing in the world that you and I and all men everywhere need to know it is who this Christ is. Without a
revelation of who the Christ is we will never attain anything in God. But one
cannot receive a revelation of who the Christ is without getting something else to go with
me show you what that something else is. Thou art Peter (Petro, small
rock, fragment), and upon this rock (
It was upon this revelation of who the Christ is that Jesus said to Peter, And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. A key is an instrument that closes or opens something which without that key cannot be closed or opened. Spiritually, it may be a word that opens a hidden mystery which cannot be otherwise discovered, or a power by which a state or condition or circumstance may be revealed, dealt with, or changed, which could not otherwise be effected. Jesus spoke of keys several times. To the astonished John on the isle of Patmos He declared, I have the keys of hell and of death (Rev. 1:18). To John there came One who announced Himself as the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last. At His girdle hung the keys of Hades and of death. Ah, the enemy usurped control over mankind, ruling with fear, and bringing creation into bondage to the whole dreadful realm of death. Death was the adversarys trump card, his final victory. He beguiled man into sin, and sin when it is finished, bringeth for death (James 1:15). After all the beguilement, which the adversary has exercised with ruthless working and deception, causing man to become perverted and corrupt, sinking into the quagmire of fear, sorrow, and hopelessness, the final result was death with its habitation in Hades.
When Jesus came into the world in the humiliation of the Incarnation, He started on a route of conquest that took Him through the lonely years prior to His introduction at the muddy waters of Jordan, where the bony prophetic finger of John the Baptist was pointed at Him and those significant words were uttered, Behold, the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world (Jn. 1:29). For some thirty-three and a half years He overcame and lived an impeccable life so that it was said of Him that He was tempted in all points like as we, yet without sin (Heb. 4:15).
flawless life was followed by a decisive death. He went to Calvary to endure inexplicable and
incomparable suffering: suffering of which we can only have a hint; suffering we can only
look at curiously with a sob in our throats; suffering veiled in the mystery of the
bearing of sin: suffering surrounded by torn rocks and a sun that refused to shine, and an
earth that writhed in agony. As He hung there alone, God reached down His
giant fist and gathered the accumulated sins of men and placed them upon Him. In the
awful agony of
And then He arose the conquering Christ! What a marvelous turn of events! He took control of the situation as with one exultant shout He grasped the keys of death and hell from him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; stripped away the power of death, burst asunder the bars of hell, stalked boldly out in eternal triumph over all the dread powers of that unseen realm, entered back into His body in the garden tomb, passed through the walls of rock as water passes through a filter, ascended up far above all heavens, stepped up to the Fathers throne, and presented the tokens of His redemption. The Father said, Sit down, Son, at my right hand until all your enemies are made your footstool!
two hundred years ago the world was in chaos because The Scourge of the Earth
(we know him as Napoleon Bonaparte) almost conquered the world. Everything
fell before him. The
British feared that soon their homeland would be invaded by the troops of
is a great hero whose name is Jesus. On a hill outside the city wall of
Jesus has the keys; He proved that He has the keys of both death and hell, for He unlocked both and arose Victor. Death could not hold its prey! Hell could not hold its captive! Oh Christ! Thou Son of the living God! Thou art the resurrection and the life. Thou wast alive. Thou wast dead. And, behold, Thou art alive forevermore and in Thy nail-pierced hand dost hold in triumph the keys of hell and death. Oh, death, where is thy sting! Oh, grave, where is thy victory! Oh gates of hell, thou shalt not prevail, thou shalt one day be empty, for the Redeemer of Israel and the Saviour of the world holds in His triumphant hand thy key.
Who now has the key of death? OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. Who now has the key to hell? OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. Praise God, no one passes through the gates of either of those two, hell or death, except the Lord open or close those gates. The devil has no authority there. And now Jesus proclaims, FEAR NOT I have the keys of death and of hell. Think about it! What reason do we have to not fear? He was dead, but behold, He is the living One. He is living for the ages of the ages. And this ever living One HAS THE KEYS. We commonly think of keys being used to lock or unlock doors, but there is another sense in which the word key is used. Many times when we say that we have the key to a thing, we mean that we have the solution to a problem. Jesus was saying to John and to us all that HE HAS THE SOLUTION TO THE UNSEEN WORLD. He has all the problems connected with it unraveled and solved. He had worked out the problem for Himself, overcame in it, and now stands to proclaim to all men everywhere the GREAT EMANCIPATION. Through His death and resurrection, Christ took away from the adversary his power of death, and from hell its power of containment. No longer can negation claim the final victory over any man CHRIST HAS THE KEY, and shall ultimately bring every man into the fullness of His life. Christ has the power to redeem, and He has the keys of death and hell.
only does the firstborn among many brethren possess the keys of death and hell, but He
shares them with His OVERCOMING ONES IN WHOM IS INWROUGHT THE TRIUMPH OF HIS LIFE. Jesus
said to Peter, Thou art Peter, and upon this rock shall I build my church; and the
GATES OF HELL SHALL NOT PREVAIL AGAINST IT (Mat. 16:18). The gates
of hell have not prevailed against our Lord Jesus Christ, and they shall not
prevail against His Church. What are the gates of hell? Gates are
used either to bar entrance or prevent exit. What does it mean that the gates of hell
shall not prevail against Christs Church? I used to erroneously imagine the conflict
between the Church and Satan as a game of cat and mouse. Satan was
the cat and the Church was the mouse! Satan was big and powerful the Church was
small and weak, always on the defensive. But thats not what that passage means! Far from
picture instead is of a VICTORIOUS CHURCH laying siege to hell and breaking down its gates
to release its prisoners! The Lord Jesus Christ Himself is the example
and prototype! The
key of hell gives Christ and His sons the spiritual power to open the door of
Hades to set every captive free. Death is literal and spiritual death, and
includes the second death, for in the
end there shall be no more death first death,
second death, any death! And the key of death gives the Christ company
power and authority to conquer all death in every man. What joy shall be ours when we fully possess the keys of the
also declared that He has the key of David. There was
a day when God called a man by the name of Eliakim to rule Judah, and the Lord said of
him, And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall
open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open (Is. 22:22). The key
of the house of David speaks of the divinely-invested power and authority given to Eliakim
to rule and reign over the house of
is interesting to note that God told Eliakim that He would lay the key of the house of
David upon his shoulder. The Hebrew word translated shoulder
in this passage indicates the area where burdens are placed. When a
man like Eliakim is commissioned by the Lord to reign over an earthly government or
kingdom, none can deny that such responsibility is indeed a burden. One has
only to consider how quickly our recent presidents of the
Another aspect of keys is revealed when Jesus reproved the Jewish leaders, saying, Woe unto you, lawyers, for ye have taken away the key of knowledge (Lk. 11:52). This they had done by killing the prophets and traditionalizing their teachings, for to them had been revealed the mysteries of God. As it is written, Surely Yahweh will do nothing, but He revealeth His secrets to His servants the prophets (Amos 3:7). To the acknowledgment of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Col. 2:1-3). These hidden treasures are made known by the Holy Spirit in the power of inspiration, revelation, and spiritual understanding. The key of knowledge opens the door of spiritual perception by which we understand by the Spirit the true and spiritual meaning of all things that are written in the scriptures. If our understanding of the things of God is on a literal and carnal level, then this blessed key of knowledge has been taken away. Woe unto all who see only the letter of the Word!
Keys what blessings,
benefits and opportunities they open up! Who would not like to be given the keys to a
new Lexus or Rolls Royce! You will notice that every key is formed with
a series of notches. The purpose of those notches is that when you insert the key into the
lock they turn some things there which you cannot see, called tumblers. A key
that doesnt have the notches that correspond to the tumblers wont open the
is why a key will generally open only one door. My car key will not unlock my house, neither
will my house key open my Post Office box. If you are given the keys of the
USING THE KEYS
keys of the Kingdom provide us with all the authority and power of the
The message is clear whatever a son of God binds on earth must have already been bound in the heavens. Whatever you bind in the outward world must already be bound in the spirit world. It is impossible to bind something on earth that is loosed in the spirit realm! If it is not loosed in the spirit realm you will never have enough power to loose it in the physical world! How much do we know about what has been loosed in the spirit realm? Only with the mind of Christ can one know what the Spirit of God has bound or loosed from the heavenly realm, and therefore only by the glorious mind of Christ can we, like the firstborn Son, do only those things that we see the Father doing. The heavens must be opened to us so that we can clearly see the will and purpose of God on earth from that high realm of divine wisdom and understanding. I am not talking about learning a set of scriptures or a doctrine, but I speak of seeing and knowing by the Spirit the will and purpose the Father in every situation.
This is what Jesus meant when He said, I do only those things I see my Father do. As I hear, so I speak. The Father shall show me greater things. Jesus saw by eyes of spirit into the spiritual world of His Father and there He saw what His Father in heaven was doing. He perceived by the spirit the plans and purposes and will of the Father and then acted upon what He saw. And that is why Jesus had 100% perfect results! When He saw the Father healing a blind man, He touched the eyes of that blind man and he received his sight. When He saw His Father feeding the multitude, He multiplied bread and fish. When the Father showed Him Lazarus alive and well coming out of the dark tomb of death, He went and raised Him from the dead. Jesus had 100% faith and 100% results because He only bound and loosed things in the earth realm that He saw and knew were already bound or loosed in the spiritual world.
You see, beloved, contrary to popular thinking,
Jesus did not heal every sick person He met, He did not cast out every devil that passed
before Him, nor did He stop every funeral procession in
if this would have been in one of our modern healing meetings the preacher would have
shouted, Glory to God! The power of God is here, the Lord is present
to heal all who are sick, and he would have immediately gone throughout all of
Solomons porch and laid hands on everything that moved or didnt move. And do
you know how many would have been healed? Only the paralyzed man would have been
the rest would have gone home in the same condition they arrived, because in the heavens only one man was being loosed that day. Jesus saw
the Father healing this one man and He made His way there and did exactly what He saw His
Father doing no more and no
an obedient Son He healed the one man and walked away. Jesus had the keys of the
How often do we pray for things that are not Gods will? How often do we speak things that we think are good and profitable and worthy, but about which we have no personal word or direction from the Lord? Many years ago I heard Oral Roberts confess that he considered his ministry successful if only one person in five who passed through his healing lines received a touch from God. What a confession! It means that he was praying for five people, but the Father was healing only one. It is obvious that he neither saw nor knew what the Father was doing, therefore he tried to loose five people on earth for every one that had been loosed in heaven. How much time and energy we waste trying to do things the Father isnt doing! And Im not condemning Oral Roberts were all just as guilty.
you say, it
is Gods will to heal everyone! The truth is, beloved, He doesnt heal everyone. Evangelists and pastors may try to
loose every person they minister to. But how many of us have healed every sick
person we have prayed for? How many of us have had every demon we
adjured to leave to come out? How many of us have had every prayer we
prayed answered? I
do not believe I will be contradicted when I say
not one of us! Is it not because we failed to see what the Father was doing? We
thought we had a blank check to write in anything we wanted, not realizing that God has a time and
away for everything and everyone. We must
know what God is doing today, right now. When we
truly understand these three things His will, His
purpose and His timing, we will speak His words and not one
word we speak will fall to the ground! Everything we touch will turn into a miracle!
had 100% results just because He never wasted time and energy ministering to those He knew
the Father was not ministering to. He did only what He saw
His Father doing! He
carried within Himself the keys of the
you know that if you are praying to stop something that in Gods plan has to happen,
youre wasting your breath? The disciples of Jesus, when He spoke to them
of how He must go to
friend Franklin Fitzjerrel told about an event in the state of
sometimes ask us to pray for folks, situations, or nations that are under the dealing hand
of God. It
is time for Gods elect to clearly understand that we cannot always pray for
everything people request prayer for. Ah, we will pray, but sometimes not the way
people would desire, but according to what we sense in the spirit. If God is
purging, correcting, breaking, refining, teaching, or judging a person and has thrust them
into the fires of tribulation and the waters of trouble, putting them under pressure of
His making, how can we beseech God to save them out of it and abort His necessary work? It is
impossible to loose on earth what is bound in heaven! Furthermore, it is spiritually irresponsible
to try and do so. It
is mutiny, yea, treason against the
is only when we know by the spirit what Gods purpose is, it is only when we see by the spirit what the Father is doing, it is only when we hear from the spirit the counsel of Gods voice, that we can go
forth and do the works of God. Those works may be small or great, visible or
invisible, but we will be found doing our Fathers will in the earth. When some
Kingdom purpose is wrought, first in heaven and then on earth, it is completed and
finished, it is totally fulfilled, and the glory of God is manifested in the earth! The will
of God is then done on earth as it has already been decreed and fulfilled in the heavens! What
power and authority shall be ours when we have fully received the keys of the
Peter perceived who the Christ really was, Jesus told him, Flesh and blood hath not
revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. Ah,
herein lie the keys of the
That loved one for whose salvation you have been praying I tell you he or she will be saved! You can count on it. God has an appointed time and a prescribed order to deal with that one and bring him or her to His salvation. That appointed time could be today, tomorrow, or in another age. Only by the spirit can we know. Only God can teach us these things. Ah, yes, do pray for them! Do not hesitate, do not fail to do so, do not faint, never give up! for prayer is a vital part of the redemptive and restorative processes of God. But seek God at the same instant for that holy understanding by which you can know WHEN HIS HOUR HAS ARRIVED so that you can cooperate in wisdom with Him to do your part, if indeed you have a part, in bringing it to pass. Only then can you loose on earth what has already been loosed in heaven!
Within the living revelation of the Spirit of God is found THE KEYS OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN! Keys are of no use unless we use them. And if we mis-use them we will get into trouble. Instead of trying to save, bless and deliver the whole creation today, or even your own family, wait humbly before God in holy submission to hear His voice, to know His ways, to understand His will and to see His works. Then go forth and speak and do those things that you have heard and seen of your Father in the secret place. As you go you will hold in your hands the keys of the Kingdom!
I will close this message by sharing the following words of godly instruction from the pen of our beloved brother Paul Mueller. Luke tells the story of a certain centurion who had a servant who was dear to him. The centurions servant was sick unto death. When he heard about Jesus, the centurion sent word through the elders of the Jews, beseeching Jesus to heal his servant. So Jesus started to go to the centurions house. But when the centurion heard that Jesus was coming, he sent his friends to tell Jesus, Lord, trouble not thyself: for I am not worthy that thou shouldest enter under my roof: wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a WORD, and my servant shall be healed. For I also am a man set under authority, having under me soldiers, and I say unto one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it (Lk. 7:2-8).
This centurion understood the power and
authority that belonged to Jesus the Christ. This story shows the power and authority of
We are living in a greater and more glorious
Day than did the centurion. We are living in the great Day of the
When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And they that were sent, found the servant whole that had been sick (Lk. 7:9-10). The servant that once was sick unto death was now healed and made whole by the power of God. But how was that power manifested? Obviously, Jesus did not go to the centurions house. But did Jesus pray the prayer of faith? Did He speak a word commanding the sickness to leave that servant? There is no record that Jesus said or did anything! When He heard the centurions plea for help, Jesus Christ saw the Father doing that work in the Spirit, and lo, it was done. Just a thought in harmony with the Fathers will, sent on the winds of the Spirit, is all it took to heal that servant. And that is all that is necessary to bring deliverance to the groaning creation, and bring forth the new earth. Just a thought or a word in harmony with the Fathers will, sent on the winds of the Spirit, is all that is necessary to change us from the earthbound worms that we are into that glorious body, bearing the image and likeness of Christ. As sons of God, we can see and hear in the Spirit. And so we await our transformation end quote.
OF THE KINGDOM
who read these lines can confess with me that the mighty seed of the Kingdom, which is
Christ, has been sowed within our hearts by the Holy Spirit. That
Kingdom seed is daily growing within us and is bringing forth the increase of Christ the
Lord in our experience. The
Paul knew of a blessed plane of existence, a glorious sphere of life, known as the liberty of the sons of God (Rom. 8:21). He knew that there was another and better realm entirely beyond the earthly realm where men dwell and toil under the unrelenting spell of natural things, and beneath the weight of sorrow, limitation, fear, sin and death. It is the realm where men are delivered from the bondage of this passing world, and are translated into a heavenly land of life and immortality in the spirit. The moment God is given the throne of our life and is glorified in His sons, at that very moment, straightway, we begin to dwell in God and glorification begins its work in us. It is not where we dwell in the natural that counts, but where our spirit dwells. If our dwelling place is in God, then we begin to live out of the power of God which is the atmosphere of this new world. Where grace is needed for any trial, we steadfastly draw upon His grace. Where peace or joy is needed, it must flow forth from Him, for peace and joy are the fruit of His Spirit within. Where life and health are needed, we draw upon the life and power of the resurrection, which He is, and which through Him dwells within us, that the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead should quicken our mortal body by His Spirit that dwelleth in us.
know that Christ Himself from His riches in glory is the supplier of all our need. Here in
this blessed land of the
my opinion whatever we may have to go through now is less than nothing compared with the
magnificent future God has in store for us. The whole creation is on tiptoe to see the
wonderful sight of the sons of God coming
into their own. The
world of creation cannot as yet see reality, not because it chooses to be blind, but
because in Gods purpose it has been so limited yet it has been
given hope. And
the hope is that in the end the whole of
created life will be rescued from the
tyranny of change and decay, and have its share in that magnificent liberty WHICH CAN ONLY BELONG TO THE SONS OF GOD! It is
plain to anyone with eyes to see that at the present time all created life groans in a
sort of universal travail. And it is plain, too, that we who have a
foretaste of the Spirit are in a state of painful tension, while we wait for that
redemption of our bodies which will mean that we have realized our full sonship
(Rom. 8:18-23, J. B. Phillips). ALL CREATION SHALL HAVE ITS SHARE IN THE
We are sometimes confused about this idea of freedom and liberty. To some it means no limitations, nor restrictions, no holds anything goes! I have met men who thought that because they were free from the law that they could therefore indulge their flesh and do any perverse or licentious thing their carnal heart desired. But there are two sides of liberty! The apostle Paul reveals these two sides of liberty in Romans 6:14-18. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
is a freedom from and there is a freedom unto. Should I drive on a highway where there is no
speed limit I am free from the law, free from any legal
how fast I can drive. Am
I then free to drive as fast as I wish? Should I then on bald tires and a wet road
travel at 120 miles an hour simply because there is no speed limit? By no
I am free from the legal restraint of the speed limit, I am now limited by a number of
other factors road conditions,
visibility, safety and how fast the car will go. There is no absolute freedom anywhere in the
freedom could not be a liberty that guarantees ones rights or secures ones happiness it would be anarchy.
people live without any form of government it is called anarchy. Some
people believe that all forms of government are unnecessary. They are
called anarchists, and what they believe
is called anarchism. An anarchist says
that government or any kind of control does more harm than good. He
believes that people will cooperate with each other and behave themselves without rules of
any kind. Anarchism
is as old as history. The
Stoics, a group of philosophers in ancient
a citizen of this country I am aware that there are boundaries, there are restrictions and
must pay taxes. There
are speed limits and stoplights. If I am a felon I cannot run for the office
of president. Zoning
laws do not permit me to build just any kind of house or put up a business just any place
I choose. THE
happens when we go beyond the bounds of our liberty? It is called trespassing. As you
have walked along some street or road have you not come upon a No Trespassing
have all the liberty you can want to walk all around that property. You can
stand just outside that property line and enjoy yourself to the fullest. But the
moment you step over the property line you have trespassed.
so it is in the
SOULISH VS. SPIRITUAL
is important to be able to distinguish between things that differ, for appearances are not
to be relied upon. Things
which seem to be alike may yet be opposite of each other. A serpent
may be like a stick, and a stone like an egg; but they are far from being the same. Like may
be very unlike. Especially
is this the case in spiritual things, and without this understanding properly applied it
is impossible to discern the righteousness, peace, joy and power of the
Every man is both soul and spirit, and each has its own set of expressions and powers. Only the two-edged sword of the Spirit, which is the living word of God, is able to divide and separate soul and spirit distinguishing between what is the expression of the soul and what is the manifestation of the spirit. In this discernment between soul and spirit a man will need the mind of Christ, or he will soon deceive his own heart. I do not hesitate to tell you that many are already mistaken, and will never discern their delusion till they lift up their eyes unto God on bended knee, with a broken heart, and a contrite spirit, to humbly and earnestly seek that wisdom which comes only from the heart of God.
holds a very dominant position in the
As we look upon the sad earth today, it is plain for every eye to see that, flowing from the corrupt minds of the corrupt rulers of every corrupt government on earth, taught in the schools, practiced in business and in the courts and propagated on every hand, we find the evil fruit of death manifesting itself in lies, deceit, oppression, cheating, injustice, variance, murders, adultery, uncleanness, drunkenness, perversion, idolatry, heresies, bigotry, crookedness and sin of every kind. Everywhere on the planet, in every nation under heaven, mankind is being overwhelmed by its evil until the earth is filled with violence and the thoughts and imaginations of mens hearts are only evil continually. Only with the mind of the Spirit may we imagine a world ruled by a government such as is prophesied in the ninety-sixth Psalm, Say among the heathen that the Lord Reigneth: the world also shall be established that it shall not be moved: He shall judge the people righteously. Let the heavens rejoice, and the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fullness thereof. Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice before the Lord: for He cometh, for He cometh to judge the earth: He shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with His truth (Ps. 96:10-13). Isaiah adds his prophetic voice, speaking of the many-membered Christ of God, And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him...and shall make Him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and He shall not judge after the sight of His eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of His ears: but with righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth...and righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins, and faithfulness the girdle of His reins (Isa. 11:2-5).
THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE KINGDOM
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 (Mat. 5:20). The righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees consists in following rules and regulations that seek to govern actions in every conceivable circumstance of life. The Kingdom requires a righteousness that exceeds that and is not founded on any rules or regulations imposed from the outside. It must be a righteousness of heart and nature. What is righteousness? Is it obeying every little law, dotting your is and crossing your T's? Is it when you avoid every temptation to sin that comes your way, and live an absolutely flawless life, pure in every thought and deed? In my opinion that is a very negative definition of righteousness!
If you want a positive definition, look at the Gospel the GOOD NEWS! Scrutinizing everybody's life to make sure they dont make one single mistake is definitely not good news! It genders fear, intimidation, and condemnation. Dont look at what you shouldnt do, look at what you should do! If you are so busy doing what you should, you wont have the time, energy, money, or will to do what you shouldnt. Righteousness is having the attitudes of Jesus. How full He was of mercy, love, compassion, kindness, goodness, forgiveness and graciousness! Righteousness is saying, What can I do to make a difference? How can I help, lift, encourage, heal, restore, and bless mankind? How can I make the world a better and more beautiful place around me? How can I practice righteousness?
Kingdom of God is not meat and drink, it is not a matter of whether you eat pork or drink
wine, it is not a matter of whether you take communion on Sunday, it is not external
religion at all; it is not outward laws, forms, rituals, traditions or observances; its
not what you take off your face, what you take off your ears, what you take off from
around your neck; its not clothes, make-up, or jewelry; and its not diet. Then,
what is it? Religion is man trying his best to please God. Do you
know something? That
is exactly what religion was trying to do in Jesus day! It was
trying its very best to please God! But
except your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, except your
righteousness goes beyond all your sincere and earnest efforts to please God, you will in no wise enter into
In Isaiah 45:19 we read, I the Lord speak righteousness, I declare things that are right. God is righteous. That means He is always right, He is never wrong. That is what righteousness is it is right-ness. God is always right in everything He says and does. He never makes a mistake. Sometimes we wonder why God does things the way He does, and we may sometimes question why; but He is never wrong, He is always right. He cannot be wrong because He is absolute righteousness. He acts out of divine wisdom, knowledge, understanding, goodness and love. What a wonderful God! What a marvelous Being to be able to trust in, to have as our God and King, and to commit everything to Him, knowing He can never be wrong, He cannot make a mistake, and all of His doings stream from His loving concern, from His inscrutable wisdom, and His divine ability to do always and only what is best for us. THIS IS THE RIGHTEOUSNESS HE IS ASKING US TO SEEK. THIS IS THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF HIS KINGDOM. THIS IS THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF HIS THRONE. THIS IS THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF EVERY SON OF GOD WHO SHALL REIGN WITH CHRIST IN HIS KINGDOM! What a goal God has set before us! We must be like Him in all of our ways that, precious friend of mine, is righteousness!
Why should men doubt the wisdom and love of God? How dare they place a question mark after His beneficence? Sometimes mens doubts have arisen because they have listened to the ambiguous oracles of nature, rather than the revelation of God in Christ Jesus. Nature impresses men with the awful mystery, power and sovereignty of God. The storm with its jagged lightnings and rolling thunders, the proud mountains with their dizzy heights mantled in snow, the heaving bosom of the ocean with its foam-crested waves, yes, and the tiny violet on the hillside these eloquently proclaim a God of infinite power, wisdom and riches; but they do not convince the unconverted heart of Gods infinite love. The forces in nature that sometimes work for our good often turn about and seem to work for our ruin and destruction. The sunlight that warms our fields to produce the golden harvests also beats down unmercifully upon the earth and produces a dust bowl making thousands homeless and hungry. The warm rains that help to germinate the seed that has been sown sometimes come in ruinous abundance, producing floods in whose wake are destruction, disease, despair and death. How apparently contradictory! Possibly in the midst of some tragedy you, too, are asking the question, Is God loving? Is God just? Is God righteous? Why does God permit war? you ask. If He is a loving God, if He is all-righteous, why does He permit the roar of bombers and the barking of guns to silence the joyous laughter of innocent children? If God is a God of love and righteousness, why does He not stop it all?
We do not have the answer to many of the dark questions of life, for our vision is so limited, and unlike God, we cannot see the end from the beginning. Ah! If only we could see the end Gods glorious end, then we would understand all the whys and wherefores and how even all these things WORKED TOGETHER FOR OUR GOOD. We do not have the answer to many of the dark questions of life because we cannot fully understand the wonderful interplay of Gods justice, chastisement, training, and mercy. We only know that man has sinned, the whole planet is in rebellion, mankind continually rejects the ways of the Lord and spurns the love of God, and sin takes its awful toll, and all of nature is thrown into chaos in the process. The ambiguous testimony of nature alone cannot supply you with an adequate answer. Only those elect saints who are spiritually enlightened can discern the love and wisdom and righteousness of God, even in the adverse and fearful demonstrations of nature, in the cruel and violent actions of men, and in the terrible judgment that stalks through the earth. Ah, let us turn from these oracles with their double and confusing answers and turn to the only LIVING DEMONSTRATION of the loving, wise, and righteous nature of God a demonstration that all the ages have not been able to contradict, namely, the great fact of the incarnation; the deathless, eternally glorious fact that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them: and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation...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 Cor. 5:19-21). Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son...beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and HIS LOVE IS PERFECTED IN US (I Jn. 4:10-12). Can words make it any plainer that Gods love in Christ is given to pass into us and to become our life? We shall then love God as He loved us. And we shall then love the world with the same love which God in Christ revealed upon the cross! This, my beloved, is righteousness! This is the righteousness, the right-ness, that exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees! This is the righteousness by which God shall judge the world through His sons! Hallelujah!
The righteousness of the Kingdom, therefore, can be experienced only by the man who has submitted to the rule of God by the indwelling spirit of holiness, and who has therefore experienced the nature and powers of Gods Kingdom authority. It is by the power of the inward reign of the spirit of HIS LIFE that the righteousness of the Kingdom is to be attained! And contrary to what many preachers preach and most Christians think, righteousness is not first of all soul winning, preaching, prophesying, speaking in tongues, healing, casting out devils, establishing churches, doing good works, nor any of the thousand and one other things mistakenly imagined to be fruit. Righteousness is, first and foremost, a state of being. Righteousness is, above all else, a nature. Righteousness is not merely what a person does, but what he is. It follows, however, that there is a doing of righteousness which springs from the being of righteousness.
I have already pointed out that righteousness is RIGHT BEING...right living, right attitude, right desire, right motive, right actions, a total rightness in all things according to Gods standard and as an expression of Gods nature. That is what God is righteous, right. We are exhorted in the Word to seek and receive this same attribute. And to be right doesnt mean that all our doctrines must be absolutely correct, or that we dress in a particular fashion, or that we dont smoke, drink or cuss, or that we observe certain religious traditions! It means that you think, know, and act like God! When you receive a new spirit, or right spirit, or Holy Spirit, you are destined to right being and right doing; you are destined to righteousness. David prayed, Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me (Ps. 51:10). Ah, that is what we want! The right spirit. That is righteousness! Right being and right doing are attainable on this earth right now because of the right spirit. Who is the right spirit? Christ is the right spirit, a new spirit, the Holy Spirit, Gods Spirit, the spirit of righteousness.
gospel that Jesus preached was the gospel of the Kingdom. He
announced that He had come to found a Kingdom; He claimed the title of King for Himself;
and in the Sermon on the Mount He gave us the laws, the principles, the very constitution of that Kingdom. Well, what kind of a Kingdom is it? Across
millenniums of time the answer of the great apostle Paul rings clear: The
Let one thing be abundantly clear it is not just
righteousness by mans standard, not external obedience to law, not outward
conformity to societys norms, not observance of religions demands, not mere
human goodness. There
is more than one kind of righteousness. Paul says, For they being ignorant of Gods righteousness, and going about to
establish their own righteousness, have
not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God (Rom. 10:3). I tell
you the truth when I say that most of the righteousness taught by the church
system is a righteousness imposed and exacted by the traditions of the elders and by the
commandments of men. It
has nothing to do with the righteousness of God, being rather the religious mans own righteousness. It is the
same old righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees accommodated to Christianity. The
righteousness of the Kingdom is found only in
the Holy Ghost. And
it is found there today, right now, for the
OF THE KINGDOM
The miracle of what God has done through Jesus Christ ravishes my heart. I am enthralled beyond measure that He has translated me out of the kingdom of darkness, and is clothing me with the fullness of the Son of God. Daily I am putting on the Lord Jesus Christ who is my robe of righteousness and my house from heaven, the new man, the spiritual body, and the new building of God, eternal in the heavens. Just as the life within a lamb produces its covering of wool, so does the life of Christ within each son of God create the garments of our full salvation. We put on the robe of Christs righteousness, not by putting it on from outside of ourselves, by our own self-efforts and good works, but by the working and power of His life within.
Some time ago Jody Dragoo shared with me a beautiful experience the Lord gave him in vision in which he saw the glory of the robe of righteousness as the spiritual body of the new man. The following is his account of this manifestation. The events that I now share are none other than the sons and daughters of God coming into their own, having overcome through the blood of the Lamb and having put on the incorruptible, immortal, and resurrected body of the Lord Jesus Christ.
was about 7:00 oclock one morning when I awoke to get ready for work. I didnt
stay awake long as the next thing I knew I found myself in a foreign land. The name
of the land was not revealed, but it may have been in
After he spoke of the greatest need of the village being rain, immediately my hands and arms raised upwards toward the Father. It was at this point that I began to notice my garment. I was wearing a white robe with a small belt around the waist. There were no wrinkles or spots within the robe, and no sand on it. The robe kept out the effects of the climate and I felt no heat at all. As for my feet, I dont recall them as touching the ground at any time. One aspect of this robe that has deeply impressed me is the fact that it felt different from the clothes or robes we normally wear. With the clothes we usually wear we can feel the separation from our body. Furthermore, the fact that we have to change them daily, testifies to us that they are not really a part of our being. They are only temporary coverings until the permanent garment is put on. This robe, however, was part of my being. It was inseparable from my body. There was no sense of division or separateness. Is this not the picture of the corruptible putting on the incorruptible, the mortal putting on the immortal the putting on the Lord Jesus Christ who is formed within us! Is this not but the fulfillment of Romans 8:23 in regard to the complete redemption of the body? The sons and daughters of God clothed with the incorruptible, immortal, resurrected body of Christ, covered with the glory of God! And these go forth ministering from that incorruptible realm of pure spirit, delivering creation from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the sons of God.
From this we should understand that putting on the robe the incorruptible, immortal glory of God is actually our union with the robe, making us complete, perfect, and lacking nothing! It is interesting to note that the robe comes forth from the inner working of the Father Himself. It is He who weaves each and every strand into a whole, complete unit. It is brought forth from within as the Lord Jesus Christ is formed within us, revealed in fuller detail day by day. This is the Fathers work, and it is beautiful to behold! The robe is out of our innermost being and part of our entire being.
The next thing I noticed was my thought processes and how they worked. The mind seemed to operate on a completely different realm from what we are accustomed to. This reveals that the mind of Christ was in full operation. This is the new mind and heart promised by the Father. The mind that was in Christ Jesus was the mind of the Father. And it was this mind that was in operation within me. This is the renewed mind of which Paul spoke. It is this mind that the Father is perfecting within His sons and daughters. And it is this mind that sought the Father for rain for a dry village!
As I raised my hands upward and intercession for the people began, the Father was seen in a large white cloud which began producing rain clouds. Almost immediately these clouds began pouring rain down upon the village. It was rain in abundance that watered the ground and filled their wells. I cant say what the words I spoke were, but they had so much power and authority in them that the elements themselves were brought to obedience. As the rains came, the man who guided me through the village had an astonished look upon his face. He asked, How did you do this? It was at this point that I awoke.
As I have continued to meditate on this it has begun to transform my attitude, my understanding, my life, and all that is within me. It has become strong meat in times of testing. The scripture which states that it does not yet appear what we shall be, comes to mind in reference to this dream and witnesses to my spirit about the things shortly to come to pass. How beautiful it is when the Father pulls back some of the veil and shows us these things! To see the ministry of the sons and daughters of God coming into their own, being clothed with the glory of God, and delivering creation from the bondage of sin and death is wonderful to behold. I will never forget the robe which He revealed, and how it was part of my being, and covered and protected all of my being. Ah, the sons and daughters with the mind of Christ shall lack nothing! end quote.
POWER WITHOUT RIGHTEOUSNESS
I the Lord speak righteousness, I declare things that are right (Isa. 45:19). God is righteous. That means He is always right. He is never wrong. That is what righteousness is it is rightness. God is always right in everything He says and does. He never makes a mistake. He cannot be wrong because He is absolute righteousness. Gods rightness is not based on a set of laws or a code of ethics, but is rooted within His very nature. He acts out of divine wisdom, infinite knowledge and understanding, unbounded goodness and unconditional love. Righteousness is right attitude, right desire, right motive, right living, right actions, a total rightness in all things according to Gods standard and as the expression of Gods nature. The sons of God are called, set apart, taught, processed and transformed to be like Him in all of our ways that, precious friend of mine, is righteousness! This is the righteousness that we hunger and thirst after! This is the righteousness that we now seek! This is the righteousness by which the sons of God shall judge the world! When you receive the spirit of sonship you receive the right spirit, or Holy Spirit, and you are destined to right being and right doing; you are destined to righteousness. Christ is the right spirit, the spirit of righteousness. What a goal God has set before us! What a calling!
is the first and foremost stone in the foundation of Gods Kingdom. We can
only qualify to rule and reign with Christ in His Kingdom as we thoroughly understand and
gladly embrace the great truth that the throne is established by righteousness
(Prov. 16:12). Unto
the Son He saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is
the scepter of Thy kingdom (Heb. 1:8). The
Only with the mind of the Spirit may we imagine a world ruled by a government such as is prophesied in the ninety-sixth Psalm: Say among the heathen that the Lord reigneth: the world also shall be established that it shall not be moved: He shall judge the people righteously. Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fullness thereof. Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the forest rejoice before the Lord: for He cometh, for He cometh to judge the earth: He shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with His truth (Ps. 96:10-13). God shall indeed judge the whole world in righteousness, and this He shall do through His sonship company. It is of this many-membered Christ, Gods glorious Christ, Head and body, that the prophet speaks when he says, And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him...and shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: but with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth...and righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins (Isa. 11:2-5).
well-known ministers have gone down the tubes during the last fifty years because the
righteousness of the
From time to time I meet these folk who call
themselves sons of God. They
can discern what God is doing in this hour, they see beautiful revelation truths. They can
thrill your heart with the message they preach. They understand the deep mysteries of
The one who preaches and teaches, but does not partake of what he gives forth, who testifies to one thing and lives another, has little or no influence when he attempts to share with others the life of Christ. None judge our relationship with God by our knowledge of the Bible, by our revelations, experiences, or our testimonies. The Christ life must be walked out in our lives, manifested in our daily walk in the home, on our block, at the job, and before those who see us the most.
In the wonderful Song of Solomon the Shulamites beloved says to her, How beautiful are thy feet with shoes, O princes daughter! (S. of S. 7:1). The word for feet is in the Hebrew PAAMAH meaning not only feet but also steps or footsteps. It comes from the word PAAM which means to impel or agitate; to move. Ferrar Fenton translates, How fine your steps are in your slippers! Goodspeed renders, How beautiful are your steps in sandals, O rapturous maiden! Another translation says, How beautiful your steps have become in your sandals, O willing daughter! Steps indicate action which is taking place. It is not a matter of the beauty of her feet, but of her steps, or her walk. This is the beauty of her action and her movement. Praise God, He is beautifying the steps of His chosen ones as He enables them more and more to walk out in the external realm the living word that He has planted deep within the inner man. It requires the quickening and sanctifying power of HIS LIFE WITHIN, and the enduement of the Holy Spirit in the mind of Christ to enable us to BE OUR MESSAGE, our whole life surrendered to manifest that message, a state of being that proclaims the truth as we walk whether we ever utter a word or not. We praise God for the teaching and preaching of the word of the Kingdom by faithful ministries, this is an aspect of Gods working, but remember, dear ones, God must not only anoint our ear to hear and our mouth to speak, but He must anoint our feet to so walk out the life of the Kingdom that every action, every deed, every expression, all that we are becomes a declaration of HIM, manifesting HIM, revealing HIM.
the problem has been that throughout long ages men have sought the power of
Let us now take heed to the exhortation of Jesus,
the pattern Son. But
seek ye first the
The righteousness of the Kingdom is neither a moral
standard nor a code of ethics. Gods righteousness is JESUS CHRIST. Apart
from the inworking of His holy nature and His beautiful character all our righteousnesses
are as filthy rags and putrefying sores. Christ is made unto us righteousness (I Cor.
1:30) and we are made the righteousness of God in Him (II Cor. 5:21). When we
talk about the righteousness of the
Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness...he staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith giving glory to God; and being fully persuaded that, what He had promised, He was well able to perform. Therefore it was imputed unto him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; but for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on Him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead (Rom. 4:3,20-24). So by believing in Yahweh who raised our Lord from the dead we have righteousness imputed unto us. It is wonderful to have our sins forgiven and not imputed against us any more, and to have the righteousness of God reckoned to us by faith! But having righteousness imputed to us doesnt MAKE US RIGHTEOUS. We are only counted as righteous for His sake. We can have His righteousness imputed to us and still be very unrighteous in our nature, thoughts and actions, doing many things wrong, and few things right.
God loves all His little children unto whom He has imputed the righteousness of Christ by faith. And they are His no matter how they are living today. But He doesnt want to leave us in this unrighteous state! He wants to make us righteous! He want to impart His righteousness to us, not just impute it. 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 Cor. 5:21). There is a world of difference between being counted righteous and being made righteousness. Every son of God is to possess and become the righteousness of God, to be righteous as He is righteous, to be holy as He is holy. Who wouldnt want to become this righteousness? Who would not desire to always be right in all we think, in all we say and in all we do to never again think anything wrong or have any wrong ideas, desires or motives; but to always be right in everything. What a blessed state! Impossible? Not at all! It is what God has planned for us and is working on in us. Of this very truth the Psalmist wrote when he said, He leadeth me in paths of righteousness for His names (natures) sake. He leads me in the paths that will bring me to this glorious state. Blessed be the Lord!
Salvation begins with imputed righteousness. Most Christians, however, stop right there and never press on in God to know the blessedness of imparted righteousness. Imputed righteousness is like money charged to your account in the bank. But imparted righteousness is like money paid out of the account into your hands. Imputed righteousness is potential righteousness, whereas imparted righteousness is actual righteousness. You can know the joy of sins forgiven and the wonder of being a child of God with imputed righteousness, but only by the INWARD POWER OF IMPARTED RIGHTEOUSNESS can one be brought into the image of Jesus Christ, which is the image of God. What is imparted righteousness? Our beloved brother Peter explains the wonderful process, saying, Besides this...ADD TO YOUR FAITH virtue, and to virtue knowledge, and to knowledge self-control, and to self-control patience, and to patience godliness, and to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things be in you and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ...for so an entrance shall be ministered to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (II Pet. 1:5-11).
Why does he say, Add to your faith? Peter is telling us that once we have believed, we are at the point of beginning in righteousness. Imputed righteousness is enough to save us from hell, but it is not sufficient to give us an abundant entranc