ZADOK PUBLICATIONS MONTHLY NEWSLETTER
Since November 1, 2005, there has been a steady unfolding of truth about the Kingdom of God through this newsletter. Since the gospel writers concurred on many similar themes about the kingdom, those items covered in the previous months will not be reworked. However, their presence stands sentinel over the progression of this study.
February 1, 2006
Further Studies On The Kingdom Of God
Mystery of the Kingdom
Jesus spoke about the "mystery of the Kingdom of God." This mystery was protected by the use of parables and revealed only to those chosen to understand. With this one phrase came exclusion and inclusion, thus creating a spiritual barrier to multitudes and a cause for rejoicing to those within the Kingdom. That barrier still exists. It is the defining attribute for those who walk in the Spirit and receive revelation from Him.
Mark 4:10-12 But when He was alone, those around Him with the twelve asked Him about the parable. And He said to them, 'To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables, so that
Jesus said to His Disciples that they were "given" (NT:1325 Gr. didomi, a term used in the KJV as: adventure, bestow, bring forth, commit, deliver (up), give, grant, hinder, make, minister, number, offer, have power, put, receive, set, shew, smite (with the hand), strike (with the palm of the hand), suffer, take, utter, yield.) to know the mystery.
"Seeing they may see and not perceive,
And hearing they may hear and not understand;
Lest they should turn,
And their sins be forgiven them." '
Kingdom awareness was a constant with Jesus and subsequently with His followers. Kingdom ownership, Kingdom knowledge, and secrets of the Kingdom were open to them. The thirst for "more of the Kingdom," characterized their lives. Their awareness of their own personal citizenship in the Kingdom increased as they "owned the Kingdom."
The Pauline epistles alone stand as evidence of "knowing the mystery of the Kingdom of God." Paul centered his teaching around this "ownership."
1 Corinthians 4:1 Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
Commentators pounce on the word "steward." (Stewards of the mysteries of God) Kai (NT:2532, ) economy/ oikonomous (NT:3623,) mystery/ musteerioon (NT:3466,) God/ Theou (NT:2316), Economists of the divine mysteries. (Adams and Clarke).
Stewards act as a substitute for the person of their master.
"The office of steward was to provide those things which were necessary for the use of a family. And so the office of a minister of the gospel, and a steward of its mysteries, is to dispense such instructions, guidance, counsel, etc., as may be requisite to build up the church of Christ; to make known those sublime truths which are contained in the gospel, but which had not been made known before the revelation of Jesus Christ, and which are, therefore, called 'mysteries (Barnes).'"
"Stewards (Luke 12:42; 1 Peter 4:10) - were not the depositaries, but dispensers of the grace given us ('rightly dividing,' or dispensing it) to others (Jamieson, Faucett & Brown)."
The "mysteries of the Kingdom" should be dispensed as standard fare for pulpit and pew. The profoundly deep underlayment which attends all Scripture should constitute the plowing of all who claim the five fold ministry.
Kingdomites have been "given" the gift of "knowing the mysteries of the Kingdom;" they had best be employed in grasping and dispensing the truths revealed to them. Their interest must be "the Kingdom." To have an ever growing understanding of the "Kingdom," should constantly be his or her priority. Withholding truth from their fellows can never be an option. Creating opportunity for learning and dispensing from the treasury of the Spirit should form the basis for assembly and fellowship. The free-flow of revelation, accompanied by the gifts is the only round table to which the Church must attend.
1 Cor 2:4-7, 13-14 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
Now these passages define what is meant by "possessing the kingdom." This is the premise for walking among believers-it is to speak the mysteries of God! (Many times has the phone rung and some stranger, who has read something that illumined his/her heart, blurted out "Do you know how wonderful it is to discuss these things with someone…I have no one who walks in this, no one with whom to discuss these truths." My answer sympathetically has been, "Yes, I know." ) How can this be?
5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:
7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
Those who are citizens of the Kingdom have the wonderful joy of disseminating that which is "mystery" to the world, but life to the realm. The disciples took into their being this teaching from Jesus and knew that following this instruction came the profound parable of the "Sower and the seed," "the Lamp not hid" and Jesus' description of the patient farmer and the growth of the mustard seed. Kingdom business was/is His business!
It must surely be pointed out that these are not the only mysteries to be dealt with. Antithetic to the "mystery of the Kingdom" is the "mystery of iniquity," which espouses a different kind of kingdom. (One note is to be made about this "mystery:" Just as the disciples were to promote their revelation and act as mediators [stewards] to Kingdom truth, there will arise in the Last Days those who proclaim and promote the anti-christ kingdom, touted as the "mystery of Iniquity." From their depths will flow indescribable evil. Already in the midst of the congregations and throughout Christendom these exponents of the "mystery of Iniquity" have rallied their troops and are distributing their plans.)(*1)
(*1)Rood, Michael John, "The Mystery of Iniquity," Bridge-Logos Press, Florida, 2001)
Returning to Paul, a brief run down of related scriptures will suffice to convey the masterful way he dealt with "knowing the mystery."
The bold faced sections reveal a pattern by which the early church fellowshipped. They came together and shared as fellow-heirs their revelation of the mystery of the Kingdom.
3 How that by revelation He made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,
4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
6 That the Gentiles should be fellow-heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:
7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.
8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;
9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
Anyone should be able to see that Paul took seriously what was "given" him in understanding the "mystery of the Kingdom." He made it the basis of his fellowship and the thrust of his preaching-how different today! How dare someone claim to "preach" or "teach" and fail in this matter!
19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds
2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;
3 In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge
I Tim 3:9
9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.
1 Tim 3:15-16
But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
There is no ministry apart from "Kingdom Ministry." Trailing the Scriptural subject matter of Jesus' actions and travels, after each of His "Kingdom" teachings, will reveal an interesting pattern. In Mark 4:30, just following the teaching of Jesus about the Kingdom of God being like the mustard seed, a number of confrontations took place:
After encountering resistance to His ministry, He "healed a few," "marveled at their unbelief" etc. He then sent out the disciples in pairs, to engage in similar ministry to His own. Counter to modern concepts of "ministry," Jesus wanted His disciples to realize that "Kingdom Ministry" meets resistance. Kingdom Ministry is always about spiritual issues that can be met only with spiritual answers.
- The storm on the sea
- The demon possessed man
- The woman healed of a flow
- The little girl raised from the dead
- Resistance in His own country of His ministry
One should inspect the next sequence.
The promise of seeing the kingdom was fulfilled immediately. Peter, James and John literally saw the Kingdom of God on earth through Jesus' transfiguration.
And He said to them, "Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power."
2 Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and led them up on a high mountain apart by themselves; and He was transfigured before them.
3 His clothes became shining,
At the end of the same chapter (Mark 9:47), Jesus lasered the matter of personal sacrifice. He taught that the pearl of Great Price cost its owner all he had; now the Kingdomite is taught that no sacrifice is too great to attain or maintain the Kingdom. Both cost and sacrifice would be worth it.
Mark 9:47 'And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire.
Noting then the sacrifice involved, Jesus added:
49 "For everyone will be seasoned with fire, and every sacrifice will be seasoned with salt.
Using the altar of the Old Testament as his image, Jesus took the Kingdom to a different level. It costs to enter. Is it not high time for everyone to examine their lives against this Scripture.
50 Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavor, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another."
The primary message of the church must be about Jesus and the Kingdom of God, it must never lose this centricity.
Acts records that the primary message of Paul concerned the "Kingdom of God."
Paul did something here that must be emulated; he removed himself and the disciples from the realms of unbelief. (Recently a lady emailed asking for prayer. She had been maintaining strong faith for her healing, but cried out that her close associate was speaking unbelief and berating her praise and worship--Time to change associates!)
Paul acted correctly to protect his disciples-would to God such protection reigned today!
And he [Paul] went into the synagogue and spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the kingdom of God.
9 But when some were hardened and did not believe, but spoke evil of the Way before the multitude, he departed from them and withdrew the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus.
Paul also addressed the wayward Corinthians in Kingdom terms.
1 Cor 6:9
His message is still true. However, little did he know that his words and teachings would stand alongside Ezekiel, Moses and Jesus. He fathomed though, that the power to propel his words was kingdom power..."Could this be the difference between the First Century church and modern ecclesiology?"
Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,
10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.
11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.
Paul's message remained strong and consistent regarding the Kingdom.
By using the word "inherit," Paul joined his predecessors and by parsing this word one gains access to an important factor about the Kingdom of God.
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,
20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,
21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 gentleness, self-control.
NT: 2816 kleronomeo (klay-ron-om-eh'-o); from NT: 2818; to be an heir to (literally or figuratively): KJV - be heir, (obtain by) inherit (-ance). NT:2818 kleronomos (klay-ron-om'-os); from NT:2819 and the base of NT:3551 (in its original sense of partitioning, i.e. [reflexively] getting by apportionment); a sharer by lot, i.e. inheritor (literally or figuratively); by implication, a possessor.
Further study indicates that "inherit" carries an element of breaking bread.
When Jesus promised not to take the cup until He did so in the Kingdom, He was talking to "inheritors."
Throughout the New Testament the Kingdom was only for those prepared for it.
"Assuredly, I say to you, I will no longer drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God."
Matt 25:34 "Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."
Heb 1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?
Kingdom promises are for Kingdom people! The following Scriptures will serve to prompt the reader to the power of this truth.
Rev 21:7 He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.
John 18:36-37 Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here."
The Kingdom has its roots in the Old Testament:
Matt 20:23 …but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared by My Father.
Matt 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
Col 1:13-14 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.
1 Thess 2:11-12 We exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children, 12 that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.
2 Tim 4:18 And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!
Heb 1:8 But to the Son He says:
'Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your Kingdom.'
Heb 12:27-29 That the things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. 29 For our God is a consuming fire.
James 2:5 Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?
2 Peter 1:10-11 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Rev 12:10 Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, "Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come.
Dan 7:14 Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom,
That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away,
And His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed.
Dan 7:22 Until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom.
The Psalms resonate with verses like these:
Dan 7:27 Then the kingdom and dominion,
And the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven,
Shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High.
His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom.
Ps 145:13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
The Kingdom began with a covenant and thus remains in covenant:
And Your dominion endures throughout all generations.
Ps 103:19 The LORD has established His throne in heaven,
And His kingdom rules over all.
'Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine.
6 And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.'
1 Chron 29:11-12
Yours, O LORD, is the greatness,
The power and the glory,
The victory and the majesty;
For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours;
Yours is the kingdom, O LORD,
And You are exalted as head over all.
12 Both riches and honor come from You,
And You reign over all.
In Your hand is power and might;
In Your hand it is to make great
And to give strength to all.
Next Month, there will be a different study, focusing on Paul's three primary postulates.
Until Next month,
Dr. Cosby R. Oliver, PhD.
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