ZADOK PUBLICATIONS MONTHLY NEWSLETTER
January 1, 2006
A Study On The Kingdom Of God Outside The Book Of Luke
For the past two months, the study of the kingdom of God has concentrated on the Gospel of Luke. Only the Luke passages were considered. From the heart of Luke poured the greatest concentration of Kingdom doctrine in the entire Bible. He taught that Jesus preached the gospel of the Kingdom of God only. Every miracle, each Holy Ghost inspired action, every confrontation with established religion, every session with His Disciples sprang from the foundation of "The Kingdom of God." His "Gospel of the Kingdom" is still the only gospel. His view of the "Kingdom" is still the ONLY Biblical view. His teachings about the "Kingdom" comprise the total bank of knowledge revealed to mankind about "Kingdom matters." Just as He is the revelation of the mercy and grace of God, He also is the total revelation of the Kingdom of God. He is inseparable from the "Kingdom" and the "Kingdom is inseparable from Him." The matter of inseparability must be strongly emphasized. In other words, one cannot have Jesus without affirming and preaching the "Kingdom of God." John's Gospel profoundly stated this fact.
John only has two references that use the combination, "Kingdom of God" (John 3:3 and 3: 5, 6). Both link Jesus and the Kingdom:
Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit,
he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
The Rabbi's of redefinition have been seeking during these Last Days to separate Jesus and His Kingdom: preaching to receive Jesus while speaking nothing of His Kingdom. Impossible! The Antichrist doctrine is about kingdom. The mark of the last days reflect the despised mark of a beast's kingdom versus the mark of the Lord's kingdom. As Luke pointed out, the temptation was about kingdom, the crucifixion was about kingdom and the last instruction to the Disciples was about kingdom (Acts 1:3). How important then is this understanding?-it is the definitive line drawn in the sands of orthodoxy for the Twenty-first Century. It divides everything into "His Kingdom" and "that other kingdom." All the New Testament writers concentrated on the establishment of the Kingdom of God through Jesus. To them, it was a "given."
John 3:5-6 NKJV
Paul even defined his ministry along the lines of the "Kingdom."
For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who serves Christ (Messiah) in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men.
Romans 14:17-18 NKJV
I will know, not the word of those who are puffed up, but the power. For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power.
The gauge of the Kingdom is in its power. ITS POWER is not defined correctly in modern circles. What goes for "power" today is actually "public draw." To draw a crowd and "lift and an offering" is the modern substitute. Never in history has there been a greater differentiation between the "puffed" and the "powerful" than today. By attempting to redefine the kingdom to concur with the Warrenite "image" created as a "successful" church and ministry, they then attempt to align all other matters of faith and worship with their "image."
1 Cor 4:19-20 NKJV
Simply being a "Christian" in good standing with the "covered authority" of a local body does not meet Paul's criterion for kingdom citizenry.
So that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure, which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you
may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer.
Paul and his predecessors did not preach an automatic inclusion into the Kingdom which is so solicitous in modern theology. The painless, effortless theology of the liberationists does not have Biblical roots.
2 Thess 1:4-5 NKJV
Strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, 'We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.'
The great error of the preachers of modern ecclesiology is that their "light has become darkness." They are somewhat unaware of the amount of darkness which they have assimilated, for they have led churches and even home groups to a place where "strong doctrine" is intolerable, unappreciated and castigated.
Acts 14:22 NKJV
A Review of Matthew's Teachings:
Any treatment of the Kingdom of God must concentrate on Jesus' message. He is the "Kingdom Man Revealed." All ministries must be defined through Him. He only ministered through the Holy Ghost and within the seal of the Kingdom.
Matthew 6 addresses the Light/Darkness issue head on. Tantamount to understanding the problem of today's religious community is this issue. Any assessment of the modern pulpit must begin around this forum.
Matthew declared openly, IT MATTERS IN WHOSE KINGDOM ONE SERVES.
One must be reminded that Matthew ministered among the most religiously dedicated community in the ancient world. His hearers were the most proficient Bible scholars in the history of the world. Few today would equal their rank, number and scope. They practiced diligently their religion. They were surrounded by Biblical prophecy, Temple teaching and a society founded on doctrinal belief. However, they had just crucified the giver of Light.
It was from such ranks the new believers matriculated. Therefore, the new believer became the targeted recipients of Matthew's writings.
If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
(Why did the Spirit prompt Matthew to warn about the light within? He and Jesus knew the light by which one is guided inwardly defines all judgments about spiritual and temporal concerns.)
Matt 6:23 NKJV
What good is it to hear prophecy from a darkened soul? How reliable is the preaching of a darkened being? How trustworthy is the theology of one whose inner man has accepted the "enlightenment" of current doctrines and agendas? Paul called it "flesh."
This dimmed light has made Jesus Day Jews of modern Christians. Beginning with the issue of which "light" one embraces, Matthew and Jesus laid an axe to the root of the problem, for mammon is more than a money monger.
No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
These words of Jesus which continued through chapter 7 also addressed several principles of "Kingdom life." One must be cognizant of this major underlying truth: it is the "Gospel of the Kingdom" which the world is promised to be preached in the Last Days. How different it is to the message of missionaries and religious moguls on the whole.
Matt 6:24 NKJV
In the Kingdom, the first consideration is loyalty to that kingdom, service to that kingdom and love for that kingdom! All the ministries of the world must stand before the judgment of Matthew 6:24.
One must keep in mind that Jesus is building early on the foundation of His ministry as well as the ministry all those who claim Him. Matthew 6:25 laid down one of the first principles of His Kingdom: one must never live in His kingdom in the same manner one would live in the world-ordered kingdom.
Foremost, within the Kingdom of God is kingdom provision. The reference to Gentiles in this passage is a reference to "unredeemed man," a concept fully understood by Jews in Matthew's constituency. Gentiles represented rebellious men, unschooled in righteousness; they were considered foolish men outside Covenant. Herein, the chief
matter to be addressed is the "covenant of kingdom."
Be different from the lost unredeemed world:
Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life.
Provision is in the Kingdom:
Matt. 6:25 NKJV
For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
Matt. 6:25 NKJV
How much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
Matt 7:11 NKJV
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Protect the Kingdom:
Matt. 6:33 NKJV
Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but
inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits.
Stay Included in the Kingdom:
Matt 7:15-16 NKJV
'Not everyone who says to Me, "Lord, Lord," shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, "Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?" And then I will declare to them, "I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!"'
(One must notice that the "kingdom of heaven" and the "kingdom of God" are addressed as a unit. Passages using these terms are interchangeable and mutually inclusive.)
Matt 7:21-23 NKJV
Build on the Kingdom Foundations:
For it was founded on the rock.
(Because of space and the need for more brevity, one must read the entire passage in light of the Kingdom.)
Matt 7:25-26 NKJV
Kingdom themes continued through the book of Matthew in rapid pace. Jesus always confronted the Jew's doctrinal errors by defining Kingdom. It is the same today and there is no longer time for dalliance. Jesus exercised His baptism in the Spirit by receiving Divine understanding of His listener's hearts. (O' that this discernment would return to the church! The book of Acts would then return!)
But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: "Every kingdom
divided against itself is brought to desolation."
Yashua then plunged into the power of the Kingdom. He clearly defined the difference between the "kingdom" THEY (Scribes and Pharisees) served and the "Kingdom of God." Their kingdom would come to nothing. His Kingdom would remain.
Matt 12:25 NKJV
But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you.
All ministry is ministry by the Spirit of God within the Kingdom of God and will bring His kingdom near. Since God will not share His glory with any man, this is the only method of Kingdom Ministry. It is blasphemy against Jesus and the Spirit to minister any other way. No one today is willing to preach the entirety of this passage.
Matt 12:28 NKJV
On the heels of this word came a pervasive teaching: blasphemy defined. It is to declare a ministry to be from God, when clearly it is not. This is blasphemy! Grave danger faces current movements and machines operating under the guise of "being led by the Spirit." Let them all be judged by the measure set forth in Matthew's passage.
'Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.'
Jesus' work is/was through the Spirit. All real kingdom work is through the Spirit. It is blasphemous to work man's works and attribute it to the Spirit. It is blasphemy to claim the presence of the Spirit, when He is not present. It is blasphemy to declare membership in the kingdom and not work through the Spirit. No longer let the melody float through a rebellious body, "There's a Sweet Sweet Spirit in this place and I know it is the Spirit of the Lord." Blasphemy! Where the Spirit has no control---He is not present! No longer let it be said by some urbane wayward committee, board or pastor: "The Spirit has led us to do thus and so"---and in the same breath say,"Everyone who disagrees with this is outside God's will."
Matt 12:31-32 NKJV
Keeping in mind the early Matthew passage about God and mammon, Jesus referenced wealth and kingdom service.
Then Jesus said to His disciples, "Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.
The stronger one's identity is formed by those things outside the kingdom, the slimmer the chance of being inside the kingdom.
Matt 19:23 NKJV
And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, "Who then can be saved?" But Jesus looked at them and said to them, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Then Peter answered and said to Him, "See, we have left all and followed You. Therefore what shall we have?" So Jesus said to them, "Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name's sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.
Regard for station and power is man's way of appraising success. Closely following Him is God's way of appraising success. Sociologically speaking, wealth and success equal power. Jesus is speaking about the power of the kingdom not being vested in anything or anyone but Him. How then, can modern spokespersons for religion use the sociological formula to appraise the church? Have they not read this passage?
Matt 19:24-30 NKJV
Closely aligned to this passage is another passage.
Jesus said to them, "Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him; but tax collectors and harlots believed him; and when you saw it, you did not afterward relent and believe him.
Had Jesus been seeking a large freewill love offering from those he addressed, He would have stayed completely away from this passage, which is precisely the reason no one takes this as their text on Sunday. The unrelenting collector of taxes, who made himself immune to the pleas and excuses, lies and deceptions, the wiggling gerrymandering of a population which regularly attended Divine Worship, qualified himself for earlier entrance to the Kingdom than those who practiced rigorous piety. The maligned harlot castigated by all and used by many, who had heard every plaintiff's story of "wives who did not understand" and knew the way's of men "to exploit before being exploited," was qualified for earlier entrance than the highest religious leadership in the establishment. Tax collectors and harlots heard the message of John and REPENTED!
Matt 21:31-32 NKJV
The Kingdom of God is based on repentance. Preaching it can only come from those IN the "way of righteousness," herein is the great problem of modern clergy and modern believers. Repentance is neither preached nor practiced in today's church. A dearth of those IN the way of righteousness exists. If any pastor is in good relationship with his denomination, it is an absolute guarantee there has had to be compromise to maintain that standing. (Show me a man who preaches great repentance and calls for it in his church or assembly, and I will show you a man with no mega church.)
Addressing the most Biblically fluent people on the earth, Jesus asked the question which should be the scripture of bold print emphasis in every convention and at every pastor's conference.
"Have you never read in the Scriptures:
Therefore in this passage meant, "Based on the premise of the forgoing statement." Jesus is the chief cornerstone for a kingdom which bases all its linearity and weight upon Him. The plumb line of judgment in ancient construction was the cornerstone. In Spiritual construction, it remains the same.
'The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone.
This was the LORD's doing,
And it is marvelous in our eyes'?
"Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it. And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder."
Now when the chief priests and Pharisees heard His parables, they perceived that He was speaking of them. But when they sought to lay hands on Him, they feared the multitudes, because they took Him for a prophet.
Jesus ripped the very heart out of the ecclesiastical system that surrounded him. Their whole hope and reason was based on the Messiah's coming and bringing His government. It would be a Jewish kingdom, a Hebrew nation, formed by a ruler who no longer misunderstood their purpose for being. With one fiat Jesus said, "The kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it." The loss of the kingdom meant their belief system was rejected and their hopes dashed against the rock of offense and stumbling. No body of people was more kingdom oriented than the Jews. The Old Testament spoke of little else.
Matt 21:42-46 NKJV
Those Isaiah passages oft quoted during the past season were kingdom passages,
For unto us a Child is born,
Following verse seven, a strong indictment against Jacob was verbalized. Who can quote these beautiful passages out of context and hope for meaning? A chronicle followed which lay open the wound unto death, revealing the corruption which would cause it. It was so then; It is so NOW!
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
The LORD sent a word against Jacob,
And it has fallen on Israel.
Isaiah 9:6-8 NKJV
The last event on earth will be a kingdom event. The Jews missed Jesus because they were looking for a mighty King to come and solve all their problems and reign over the governments of the world. Instead, He came as a baby, grew up and preached among those surrounding Him with their blind theology. Today, the same issue arises. A people are gauging their construct of the Last Days on a rapture theology promoted by a fiction writer. Man craves a chart; Jesus craved the Spirit and His Father!
Little has changed from Jesus' first appearance and His second. From those "self directed fools" the Kingdom was wrenched and given to another. Weepingly, they sought to revive themselves and struggled to build a presence upon the earth, but the kingdom was taken from them.
Alas, 2006 will see the re-enactment of the kingdom being wrenched from the hands that have done it harm!
Because of the length of this study, the newsletter for February 1, 2006 will continue with the subject of the Kingdom of God in Mark and others. Hopefully, you will review the November and December editions of the newsletter and seek to keep this teaching fresh from month to month. Thank you for reading and your continued prayer.
Until Next month,
Dr. Cosby R. Oliver, PhD.
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