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THy kingdom come
“The kingdom of Heaven is like a man in search of fine and
precious Pearls, who finding a single Pearl of great price went
and sold all he had and bought it.” Matthew
Comment: In this study the position we have taken is one that most
commentators could agree with; that the terms “Kingdom of
Heaven” and “Kingdom of God” are used interchangeably.
With other points of view we have no argument except to say that
the King and the Kingdom are ‘omnipresent and indivisible’.
2 Corinthians 11:3 “But I fear
lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety
so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in
Religion seems to have a talent for complicating what is supposed
to be simple; in particular those things that Christ always meant
to be straightforward and plain. The message of the Kingdom of Heaven
is one of those subjects. The confusion that now exists surrounding
the true character of the Kingdom has been a complete triumph for
the adversary, the arch-enemy of Christ. It shows how easy it is
for the Church to be corrupted from the simplicity and purity that
There are many interpretations abroad with regard to the nature
and operation of the Kingdom of God. No claim to authority by any
man, or group of men, can be accepted until they have proven it
to be well founded. Simply because someone puts forward their claims
is not sufficient or acceptable, until they can prove their assertion
from an infallible source beyond all doubt. This dissertation is
an attempt to set forth as clearly as possible its true nature,
free of radical interpretations and unfounded claims of which many
abound; some stretch the imagination to astounding lengths.
In matters of doctrine it is of vital importance that the authority
we act upon is one we can without a second thought rely on. The
matter of where, or from whom the church gets its authority, is
undoubtedly of supreme importance. Some advocate that such authority
is vested in the Church. This at once raises questions for our consideration,
namely, which Church? I have been a member of several and none of
them could agree about almost anything. Perhaps we should be asking
ourselves; what is the purpose of the church, its calling, and what
is its constitution and destiny?
God has put some things together that we divide at our own peril.
Chief among them is the “Spirit and the Word”. What
God has put together, let no man put asunder?
The Church which is His body on earth and the kingdom are separate
entities. The Kingdom is timeless and preceded the formation of
Israel and the church. The Angels, although they do not form part
of the Body of Christ are never the less in the Kingdom. Psalm
103:19-22. The Kingdom has always been. The King has always
ruled. The Pharisees were hindering men from entering the kingdom.
God made a covenant with Israel at Sinai making them custodians
of the Kingdom on earth. The Jews although professing allegiance
to it, continually rebelled against it, consequently sharing in
the general rebellion of all mankind. When the King finally came
to them, they refused to acknowledge Him, but set about to reject
Him, and finally kill Him.
The ownership of the Body of Christ (called the church) is the
Every body must have a head for it to live. Christ is the head of
His own body. Some facts are basic and clear; namely, that the Body
belongs to Christ. It is His personal possession. Without Christ
there could be no Body.
That the Body exists at all is only because of three foundational
facts; His Incarnation; His Atoning Death; and His Resurrection,
and to this we add His prophetic announcement, “I will build
my church.” The personal pronoun immediately suggests that
other persons have laid claims to owning churches. This must be
so because in many cases they are traded as one would dispose of
a personal possession.
Moses had one in the wilderness Acts 7:38.
When Jesus came He took one look at it, denounced it, and then He
forsook it. Of all the four Gospels Matthew is the only one that
contains direct reference to the statement made by Christ concerning
building His church. The same is true regarding the local church.
All that is taught in the rest of the New Testament is consistent
with our Lord’s statements. The claims of Holy Scripture and
the Divine authority of their teachings compel our obedience to
and acceptance of them alone. To follow any teaching contradictory
to that taught by Christ and His Apostles is to have the effrontery
to challenge His right to govern what is His.
Christ the head:
The one to whom all things are to be subject has been given headship
over the members of His body. The phrase, “Head over all things
is comprehensive”. The Body in its relation to Christ occupies
the highest position in the Divine counsels for the future. All
things in Heaven and on the earth come under His authority. The
position of the Ecclesia being “in Christ” determines
its association with Him in the exercise of this universal control.
We are “joint heirs with Christ” Rom
8:17. The Body was chosen in Him before the foundation of
the world, and is united to Him in the closest possible manner.
While being under His Headship as His Body, it will also at the
same time to be associated with Him in His power to rule, and thus
He is in the fullest sense, “Head over all things to the Ecclesia
which is His body”.
Opposition to His Headship is treason.
Antagonism to His headship insults the glory of God, and the person
of Christ, so it comes as no surprise to us that the arch-enemy
should set about with all his might, and his most persistent and
ingenious devices, to appose and imitate it. Nor should we be surprised
that although we live in an era when God is calling out from among
the nations a company for His name, to constitute the Body of Christ
that the adversary should seek to obscure, and mock the truths relating
to it. Long before Christ came; Satan was busy making preparation
to paganise the apostate Christendom of the fourth century AD, by
the worldwide spread of Babylonian customs and practices.
The word “Church” is a title invented by the Papacy
to lay claim to all things Christian.
The titles Pastor, Bishop, Church were substituted for; shepherd
overseer elder and congregation in the Latin Vulgate by the Papacy
for the purpose of exercising control over all things temporal as
well as spiritual.
These terms are not found in the Bibles used by the reformers. They
were included in the KJB at the insistence of Papist King James.
To enforce this he had, “Defender of the Faith” inscribed
on the coin of the realm.
These Titles have been in use by religious organizations since
that time for the same reason the Papacy did. They are used to make
their members compliant; and thus easier to control. All that fail
to submit are rejected as rebels, free thinkers. In former times
they burned them at the stake.
The Body is a spiritual edifice. The Apostle Peter uses the metaphors
chosen by the Lord, calling Christ a “living stone”
rejected of men, but “chosen of God”. Then he says of
believers, “ye also, as living stones, are built up a spiritual
house, a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices unto God”
1 Peter 2:21. “All the building
fitly framed together grows into a holy temple in the Lord”.
Believers are builded together for a habitation of God by the Spirit
This apostate church is an institution: The Body of Christ is not.
Quote: “The Apostles did not establish an earthly system,
an organization of churches centralised in an ecclesiastical headquarters
in Jerusalem. They had no such policy, method, or doctrine. What
took place in Jerusalem as recorded in Acts
15 provides no example for us to set up councils to adjudicate
when problems arose. They were not setting a precedent for the future.
The gathering has been referred to by some as an, ‘apostolic
council’. Call it what you may, but the fact is no Apostle
presided over it. They took part in it, James summed it up, an epistle
was addressed in the name of the Apostles, the elders, and the whole
church together (vs. 22) chose delegates. But this gathering did
not set a precedent, it was an incident. The decision far from settled
the matter. Peter caused trouble by acting inconsistently with what
the whole congregation recommended. Gal 2:11-14.
Events at Jerusalem provide no support for the establishment of
a controlling centre for the organization of churches. One will
search in vain and not find one in Acts and the Epistles. The binding
bond was spiritual. Their common life was in Christ through the
indwelling Holy Spirit. There was no such thing as external unity
by way of a federation of churches or ministers. The church is heavenly
in its constitution and organization, its seat of government is
centred in Heaven, where it’s one and only head resides. The
word of God does not countenance any organization or amalgamation
of churches, whether in a locality or the world at large. The plural
‘churches’ is used, when referring to “the churches
of the saints” and, “the churches of the Gentiles”.
Every reproduction of Body Life in any part of the Roman Empire
in Apostolic days came about not by taking a fixed mould, and trying
to pour people into it to reproduce the shape of things that existed
in another place, but it began with “life”, the Holy
Spirit sent from Heaven”. Austin Sparks