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Vol.1 No. 3 March 2008
What was Jesus’
What Is the
What is the true Gospel that Jesus preached? Did Paul preach a different gospel to the gentiles? Here, at last, is made plain the truth about the Kingdom of God.
WHY SHOULD there be such perplexity - such confusion - in every phase of life today? It should be the function of religion to point the way. Yet here, too, we find only confusion of tongues - hundreds of religious denominations and sects, in a Babylon of disagreement.
By Brian Knowles: n the first century of our era, Jesus the Messiah –
Yeshua ha Mashiach – came, not merely to posture, but to perform certain duties for which he had been anointed by God the Father. In carrying out his divine commission, Yeshua blessed some and disappointed others. Among those who were at first disappointed, later encouraged, was John the Baptist. John, like most Jews of his day, was looking for the Messiah to come as a conquering King who would deliver Israel from the oppressive boot of the occupying Romans. Jesus made no attempt to accomplish this prophesied task. Instead, he came with good news for the poor, the sick and the demonized. The nature of Jesus’ good news is revealed in an incident fully recorded only by Luke. Next page...
Even in the professing Christian religion of the Western world, we find different sects and denominations preaching a variety of different GOSPELS! Some designate their gospel as "The Gospel of Jesus Christ." WHY HAVE THEY LOST THE ONLY TRUE GOSPEL THAT GOD SENT BY JESUS CHRIST? WHY? How many Gospels are there? Does it make any difference which gospel we believe? (Continued on page 5)
From Page 1: What Was ‘Good News’… Jesus in the synagogue Following his 40-day period of testing at the hands of the devil in the wilderness, Jesus returned to the Galilee "in the power of the Spirit" (Luke 4:14). He taught in the local synagogues each Shabbat, and performed many miracles. As Luke’s account tells us, "Everyone praised him" (Luke 4:15). Later we’ll see why. Following this successful tour, Jesus returned to his hometown, Nazareth, where he apparently wished to visit his family. As was his custom, Jesus participated in the weekly synagogue services (Luke 4:16). There, he was invited to read from the synagogue’s precious Isaiah scroll (v. 17a). Jesus rolled open the megillah (scroll) to a particular passage and began reading. The words he read were, in the minds of his listeners, the very words they one day expected to hear from the Davidic Messiah: "The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor." Jesus, in quoting these verses the way he did, was saying two things: 1) That he was the promised Messiah and 2) That he had come at that time to destroy the work of the devil in people’s lives, to heal the sick, give back to the blind their eyesight, make the lame walk, and so bring good news to the "broken" people of his day and time. To many of the leaders of Judaism, Jesus’ message did not appear to be good news. It didn’t, sadly, relate to their interests. But to those who were healed or delivered, it was the best news they could hear. In Jesus, they experienced redemption, deliverance and freedom from all of their ills and oppressions. Jesus was, in this very Jewish sense, their Savior. He performed in their lives a powerful redemptive work. They experienced the benefits of his Messiahship in concrete, personal ways. This is why the common people praised him wherever he went (Luke 4:15). Where is the King? To other Jews, Jesus failed to fulfill the messianic promise. They anticipated a conquering King – one who would reestablish the prosperity of Israel as a sovereign nation ruled by God. Indeed this was the prophesied role of God’s Anointed One (Mashiach). When Jesus did not fulfill it, many Jews of his day – especially the leaders who had to deal with the Romans – were disappointed. The fact that Jesus did not accomplish this messianic task is still, to this day, one of the major reasons 2 Jews reject Jesus as Messiah. Note for example this statement from Trude Weiss-Rosmarin: "Judaism…maintains that Jesus was not the Messiah for he did not fulfill the Messianic hopes…not one of the Messianic promises was fulfilled through Jesus. He neither established universal peace and social justice for all mankind nor did he redeem Israel and raise the Lord’s mountain as the top of the mountains. As far as the Jews are concerned, their own exile and homelessness and the continuation of war, poverty and injustice are conclusive proof of the fact that Messiah has not yet arrived, for his coming, according to the prophetic promises, will usher in the redemption of Israel from exile and the redemption of all the world from the evils of war, poverty and injustice." Ms. Weiss-Rosmarin penned those words in 1943, during the Holocaust and before Israel was reconstituted in its historic homeland in 1948. If Messiah had been present on the earth, the Holocaust would never have happened. Yet Ms. Weiss-Rosmarin was wrong in saying that Jesus fulfilled "not one of the Messianic promises…" In reality, he fulfilled dozens of them, perhaps hundreds. The apostle Paul, himself an observant Jew and a Pharisee, took great pains to explain to his fellow Jews in Thessalonica how Jesus had in his suffering fulfilled specific messianic texts (Acts 17:2-3). Earlier, in Antioch, he had spoken in a synagogue. Just as Jesus had come with good news, so Paul said to his Jewish audience, "We tell you good news: What God promised our fathers he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus. As it is written in the second Psalm, ‘You are my Son; today I have become your Father.’ The fact that God raised him from the dead, never to decay, is stated in these words, ‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings promised to David.’ So it is stated elsewhere: ‘You will not let your Holy One see decay…’" (Acts 13:3235). Yet Jesus did not then fulfill the one role the leaders of the Jews had hoped he would fulfill, thus their disappointment and rejection of Jesus as Messiah. No one could have dreamed that the Messianic commission would be fulfilled in two stages, separated by millennia of time. Let us now return to our text. The impact of Jesus’ reading When he had finished reading from Isaiah, Jesus carefully rolled up the scroll and handed it back to the chazan (Luke 4:20). As Luke’s account says, "The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him" (v. 20b). They were waiting to hear his commentary on the verses he’d just read.
He made only one simple statement, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing" (v. 21). The effect was electrifying. These people knew their Scriptures. They fully understood the implications of what Jesus was saying. Clearly, he was saying that he was the Messiah. The evidence he offered was that he was fulfilling the messianic promises to heal, to deliver, and to set the captives of ha Satan free. On another occasion, when John the Baptist was in prison, he sent some of his talmidim (disciples or rabbinic students) to inquire of the Lord, "Are you the one who was to come, or should we look for another?" (Luke 7:20). On the basis of the kind of ministry Jesus was conducting, John himself may have wondered if Jesus was truly the Messiah. What proof did Jesus offer John of his Messiahship? "Go back," he told John’s disciples, "and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me" (Luke 7:22). If you were blind, deaf, or dead, the fact that Jesus "cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind" was incredibly good news! But to those who were expecting the Messiah to come as a conquering king, he was a great disappointment; thus the blessing upon those who were not offended by him to the point of falling out of faith. Judgment comes later On yet another occasion, Jesus had explained that at that time he had not come to judge the world, "As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it. There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day. For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say" (John 12:47-50). The final judgment of the world is reserved for the end time. It did not occur in the first century of our era. God, in his mercy, has created an interim period during which the world is being given an opportunity to hear the good news about Jesus the Messiah, to respond to it with repentance, and to experience in the present the "powers of the world to come" (Hebrews 6:5) – that is, healing, deliverance and empowerment from God (Acts 1:8). God is not a respecter of persons. When he comes to judge the world, all of us will be judged by the same moral standard, whether Jew or gentile (circumcised, Noachide or 3
pagan). The judgment of the world will be carried out during after the Messiah returns to fulfill the second half of his commission: "…and the day of vengeance of our God" (Isaiah 61:2b).
"Gracious words"? In Luke 4:22, the NIV translation reads, "All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. ‘Isn’t this Joseph’s son?’ they asked." According to Dr. Robert Lindsey, a noted synoptic scholar, this verse, as translated, misses the meaning of the people’s reaction to Jesus’ preaching. The actual thought here is something like "We all know Joseph and he is a good man. How can his son get so big-headed as to think he is the Messiah himself? Maybe he has performed some miracles not far from us, but does that make him the Messiah?" For Dr. Lindsey, the key to understanding this section is found in the Greek "words of grace" translated in our English versions as "gracious words" in verse 22 (NIV & NKJV). If we translate these words back to Hebrew, according to Lindsey, we have divrei chesed. Wrote Lindsey; "This expression could easily be understood by a Greek writer translating to Greek as ‘words of grace.’ But the word ‘chesed’ in Hebrew can also mean ‘a wicked thing’ or a ‘disgrace.’ In Leviticus 20:17 we read, for instance, "If a man takes his sister…and they remove their clothes and see each other naked, it is a wicked thing (chesed hu)." Lindsey also cites Proverbs 14:34 where the text says, "sin is a reproach (chesed) to any people." In Luke 4:22, therefore, the words translated "gracious words" could also be translated "words of disgrace" or "words of apostasy." In the NIV, the first words in verse 22 are translated "All spoke well of him…" Dr. Lindsey believed that this rendering also misses the intended meaning. The Greek word translated "spoke well" is martureo. In Greek this normally has the meaning of "testifying in favor" of someone. But when you translated it back into Hebrew, it means exactly the opposite – to testify against. An example is found in I Kings 21:10: "to bear witness against him…" Dr. Lindsey therefore believed that the meaning of Luke 4:22 could actually be "And all of them spoke critically of
him and were astonished at the words of apostasy coming out of his mouth." This then would better explain the reaction of the synagogue members at the end of this story: "So all those in the synagogue were, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, and rose up and thrust Him out of the city; and they led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw him down over the cliff" (Luke 4:28-29 NKJV). Of course, between verses 22 and 26, Jesus said other things that could have been viewed as provocative. Though he had performed miracles throughout the Galilee, Jesus was not appreciated for who and what he was by his own people. Though he had grown up in the synagogue in Nazareth, familiarity with him and his family had bred contempt. To perform his messianic work of healing and deliverance, he had to be accepted as God’s Anointed, but "…no prophet is accepted in his own country" (Luke 4:24b). Where there is a climate of doubt, skepticism and unbelief, miraculous works are stifled (cf. Matthew 13:58 & 17:20). So it was in Nazareth. Jesus had come to his own village with good news. He told them, in effect, "I’ve got good news! I am the Davidic Messiah – the prophesied Anointed One of God. I’m here to heal, to deliver from all forms of bondage, and to do a redemptive work! I am here to undo the work of the devil in people’s lives!" Had they believed him, they could have gotten in on it. Jesus could have done many mighty works among them. Yet they resisted him, viewing him instead as a blasphemer. In Luke 4:25,26, Jesus is recorded as using the example of the widow of Zarephath, near Sidon, who because of her acceptance of God’s prophet, Elijah, was the sole recipient of God’s gracious gifts (I Kings 17:17 ff.). Many other widows apparently rejected God’s servant, and were therefore passed over for God’s blessing (Luke 4:26). Jesus, as was his custom, used a second example ("two or three witnesses"), that of Naaman the Syrian. Naaman lived in the time of Elijah’s successor, Elisha. Of all the lepers in the land at the time, only Naaman was made clean through Elisha because he alone accepted him as God’s prophet (II Kings 5). The lessons of this story Luke’s account of Jesus’ experience among his own brethren in a synagogue in which he had grown up contains many lessons for us today. For one thing, it helps us to understand the nature of the "Gospel" or good news Jesus brought. Jesus’ good news was that he was God’s Messiah. He had just defeated the devil in a face-to-face confrontation lasting 40 agonizing 4
days. Now Jesus could deliver people from the destructive works of the devil. Now he could set the captives free, give sight to the blind, heal the lame, and deliver people from the satanic strongholds in their lives. All they had to do was believe that he was who he was. They merely had to accept him as God’s Anointed. But, as in the days of Elijah and Elisha, only a tiny minority in his home synagogue – mainly his own mother, brothers and sisters (Acts 1:14) – really grasped just Who was in their midst. The rest saw him as an impostor, a fake, and an egomaniac with a Messiah complex. To them, he was just "Joseph’s kid." Consequently, the unbelievers became his enemies and cut themselves off from the blessings he had been willing to freely give them. When God does send a true servant, it is vital that we recognize him for what he is. Jesus, Elijah and Elisha were all rejected by those who could have been most helped. Jesus still has good news for the world, but who will accept it? God’s Messiah is still there to heal, to deliver, and to bless. Who will truly believe that He is God’s Anointed One and that He will return to complete his divine commission? This time, there will be no doubt about who and what he is! As Jesus said to the apostle John, "Behold, I come as a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed" (Revelation 16:15). Jesus was here speaking of spiritual readiness. His words to John echo his earlier message to all of his disciples (Matthew 24:36-51). King Jesus, the conquering Messiah of God, must find his servants acting like they were his servants when he returns! We must be found carrying forward the same good news Jesus preached. We must be filled with belief and confidence in our Lord. We have been collectively commissioned to continue preaching the same good news Jesus preached. And when we do, the same Jesus will perform the same kind of miracles of healing and deliverance to back it up. He told his first apostles, "As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons" (Matthew 10:7-8. Note also Luke 9:1-6). The sovereign rule of God – the Kingdom of God – is breaking out wherever people will accept Jesus as their Savior, the Anointed One of God. To the degree that people believe and claim the promises of God, they are reaping the blessings of the kingdom. God hasn’t changed. He will heal and deliver today as He did in Jesus’ day – so long as we accept those He has sent as his servants. The original apostles operated in the power of the Spirit of God. As Paul wrote to the Corinthians, "My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might
not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power" (I Corinthians 2:4-5). The power of God’s Spirit is still available to the Church today (Acts 1:8; Matthew 28:20) – but we have to be willing to access it. The Church, as the Body of Christ, still has good news for a dying, darkened world, but we have to get out there and preach it. We have to believe that when we
use the name of Jesus, and when his anointing of our work in his name kicks in, people will be healed, demons will be cast out, and in some cases, the dead may be raised. This is the work of the advancing kingdom of God. It is a redemptive, healing work. It is a restorative work. It is a work of setting back in place the divine order of things. Like our Lord, we must be "about our Father’s business."
From Page 1: What is the TRUE GOSPEL?
Listen to the answer of the eternal God, as inspired in Paul's letter to the Galatians - the first chapter, the eighth verse: "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed." And it is made a double curse! For the next verse says, "So say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed." WHY, then, has the world lost sight of that Gospel? WHY do people believe different gospels today? This is an astounding, incredible situation! It ought to shake you out of passive indifference. YOUR eternity is at stake! This is not an inconsequential, unimportant matter! Jesus Christ said it is necessary to BELIEVE THE GOSPEL to be saved! Yet the many - the hundreds of millions today do not know what that Gospel is! Again, His parting commission to His apostles, being sent out as His ministers to build His Church, was this: "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel" (Mark 16:15). They were to preach THE GOSPEL. Jesus then said, "He that BELIEVETH and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned" (verse 16). Notice! Jesus said, "He that BELIEVETH." Believeth what? Why, BELIEVETH that which they PREACHED, of course - THE GOSPEL! Not a gospel. Not any gospel. THE Gospel!
On the authority of Jesus Christ, it is necessary to believe THAT PRECISE, IDENTICAL GOSPEL in order to be saved! And to BELIEVE the true Gospel, we must first come to KNOW what it is! Now with whom, and from where, and to whom, did the true Gospel originate? With Christ? No, not with Christ! The message sent from heaven God the Father had promised to send a messenger into this world from heaven, bearing a message from HIM - God the FATHER! God had promised that in Malachi 3:1: "Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me [and that messenger, as explained in Mark 1:2, was John the Baptist, preparing the way before Jesus Christ]: and the LORD, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, EVEN THE MESSENGER OF THE COVENANT, whom ye delight in." The very first sermon by which God had the Gospel preached to gentiles, when Peter was sent to the house of the gentile Cornelius, recorded in the 10th chapter of the book of Acts, gives us very explicit directions for locating the one and only TRUE GOSPEL. Open your own Bible! I want you to read this with your own eyes! This is what the inspired Peter said, as recorded in Acts 10:36-37: "The word which GOD sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:) That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached." Which Gospel did Jesus preach? Notice carefully these points:
WITH WHOM did this message this Gospel - originate? Peter said: "The word which GOD sent." TO WHOM did God send it? Peter said "unto the children of Israel." Although now, 10 years later, this same Gospel was being opened up to gentiles of ALL nations, originally it was sent to the CHILDREN OF ISRAEL, and it was sent by GOD the FATHER. It did not originate with Jesus Christ, nor with Peter, nor with the apostle Paul. It was sent by God the Father of Jesus Christ! BY WHOM was it sent? Who was the divine Messenger who brought and preached the message? Peter said "by Jesus Christ." Jesus Christ was the divine MESSENGER. Malachi called Him the Messenger of the COVENANT. That message, then, is the NEW covenant message, for Moses was the mediator of the old covenant, and Jesus Christ of the NEW, as affirmed by many scriptures. This message, then, is the NEW TESTAMENT GOSPEL. Now, WHERE was it first preached? To what geographical location shall we look for its beginning? Peter said it "began from Galilee." Yes, GALILEE, then, is the place where it was first preached. Not Jerusalem! Galilee! WHEN did Jesus begin to preach this particular Gospel in Galilee? Peter said "after the baptism which John preached." The true GOSPEL of the NEW covenant, then, did not begin with John the Baptist. It began after John had completed his baptismal ministry. Now these very definite directions lead us directly to the first chapter of Mark. The first verse tells us this is the record of the BEGINNING of the
Gospel of Jesus Christ. Then it relates the baptizing ministry of John, preaching, NOT the Gospel, but "the baptism of repentance," which prepares the way for the GOSPEL that the living God sent by Jesus Christ (verse 4). And then we come to verses 14 and 15: "Now after that John was put in prison" - there is the exact TIME for the beginning of the preaching of the TRUE GOSPEL - "JESUS" - there is the divine Messenger BY whom God sent it - "came into GALILEE" - THE PRECISE GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION. So we now have the TIME, the Israelites residing there TO WHOM God sent the message, the PLACE and the MESSENGER - so whatever we find Jesus preaching here IS THE ONE AND ONLY TRUE GOSPEL. And what do we read? "Jesus came into Galilee, PREACHING THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the KINGDOM OF GOD is at hand: REPENT YE, and BELIEVE THE GOSPEL." Notice, Jesus said, "Believe THE GOSPEL"! WHAT Gospel? The one He was proclaiming - "the gospel of the kingdom of God." But, one may ask, don't we need to believe on Jesus? Of course. Other scriptures teach that. But at this particular time Jesus said we must believe Him - believe what He said believe the Gospel of the Kingdom of God! Some believed on Jesus, but did not believe Jesus - did not believe what He SAID (John 7:31, 8:30-31, 46). What about the Gospel of Jesus Christ? But if the one and only TRUE Gospel is the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, what about the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Is that a false gospel? Not at all. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the Gospel He brought as God's Messenger - the Gospel He proclaimed is the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is NOT man's gospel ABOUT the PERSON of Christ. It is CHRIST'S Gospel - the Gospel Jesus PREACHED - the Gospel GOD SENT by Him, and therefore it is also called, in Scripture, the Gospel of God. The Gospel of God is God's Gospel - His message - His good news that He sent by Jesus. Also the Gospel of Jesus Christ is Christ's Gospel - the Gospel Christ brought from God - the Gospel He proclaimed. We hear a great deal today of the gospel of MEN about the PERSON of Jesus Christ - confining the message solely to the things ABOUT Jesus. As a result, millions believe on Christ who do not BELIEVE CHRIST! But Jesus' Gospel IS HIS MESSAGE! And yet it was not only His, but His FATHER'S who sent Him, as He Himself said. In John 12:49-50, Jesus said: "I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, HE gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that HIS commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak." Yes, the Father SENT Jesus bearing a message, which is the good news of THE KINGDOM OF GOD. Jesus is God's Spokesman - the WORD that was made flesh and lived, and taught, on this earth! In John 14:24 Jesus said, "The word which ye hear is NOT MINE, but the Father's which sent me." And, descriptive of the religion of the Old Testament and the GOSPEL of the NEW, it is written in Luke 16:16, "The law and the prophets were UNTIL JOHN: since that time the KINGDOM OF GOD is preached." What is the Kingdom of God? And yet there are some in this modern day of religious confusion who believe the Gospel of the KINGDOM OF GOD is not for this age - this New Testament time of grace. They reject and therefore do not BELIEVE the true Gospel as Jesus commanded and thereby reject the very conditions
to SALVATION, saying the Gospel of the KINGDOM is a gospel for some future age yet to come. But as the apostle Paul said to the Thessalonians, I would not have you to be IGNORANT of the very Gospel that alone can bring us eternal life! There was a definite TIME for the beginning of the Gospel - since John. The law and the prophets were UNTIL John. Since John's special preparatory ministry, the KINGDOM OF God is preached. There was a definite TIME for this true New Testament Gospel to begin. And after John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, saying, "The TIME is fulfilled," and preaching the Gospel. And so now, WHAT is that Gospel? The English word gospel comes from the word godspel, and means GOOD NEWS. Daily, we read the NEWS of world happenings - mostly BAD news! We live in a troubled, chaotic world. And the very BEST news you can hear in this day, or any other, is the GOOD NEWS of the KINGDOM OF GOD. But what is a KINGDOM? Primarily, it is a GOVERNMENT - a NATION and the GOVERNMENT that rules it. And especially in this biblical sense, there is the DUAL sense of the NATION, including all its subjects or citizens, and the GOVERNMENT by which it is ruled. Again in BIBLE usage, a kingdom is often a family from a single parent grown into a NATION. Four things are necessary to constitute a KINGDOM: 1) the TERRITORY, with its specific location and definite boundary lines, with 2) a KING or supreme ruler or governing agent, ruling over 3) SUBJECTS or citizens within that territorial jurisdiction, with 4) LAWS and a form of GOVERNMENT. If we leave out any one of these vital requisites, we do not have, and cannot BELIEVE, the true GOSPEL for this time. We must know whether the Kingdom of God is here NOW, or coming later; whether its territory is THE EARTH, or up in heaven; whether it is a literal kingdom of human mortals, or a
kingdom of immortals; whether it is literal or figurative, real or unreal. And on many of these things, a great many people are ALL MIXED up! But now what about the Gospel of GRACE - the Gospel of SALVATION? Born into the Kingdom Notice, when Nicodemus came to Jesus secretly, as recorded in John the third chapter, Jesus said to him: "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be BORN AGAIN, he cannot see the KINGDOM OF GOD" (verse 3). Jesus was proclaiming the KINGDOM OF GOD - explaining a most important phase of it. As Paul wrote to the church at Corinth in I Corinthians 15:50, flesh and blood - that is, a mortal human - cannot enter INto the Kingdom of God. The Church, then, cannot be the Kingdom of God, for it is composed of flesh-and-blood mortals. It is not, either, an ethereal something "set up in the hearts of men." Jesus went on to show Nicodemus that we who are born of the flesh ARE flesh - just mortal flesh and blood. We were BORN that way - HUMAN MORTAL. But it is possible for us to be BORN AGAIN - next time, not as a mortal flesh-and-blood baby, but born of the SPIRIT. Then we shall be spirit composed of spirit! Now in the fourth chapter of John we read that God is a SPIRIT (verse 24). The Kingdom of GOD is composed of those BORN of GOD. And as I have explained previously, God is not a single person, but the Hebrew word for God, Elohim, portrays God as a FAMILY of persons - a single family, or kingdom, but composed of MORE than one person. We have the mineral kingdom, the plant kingdom, the animal kingdom. The Bible reveals an angel kingdom, created by God and composed of spirit, not matter. And then, high above all, is the very CREATING Kingdom - the God Kingdom, or, in other words, THE KINGDOM OF GOD!
God is REPRODUCING HIMSELF! God created man in GOD'S IMAGE, so that man may become impregnated, BEGOTTEN and, by a resurrection, be BORN as an immortal, SPIRIT-COMPOSED person in the KINGDOM OF GOD. The apostle Paul made very plain to the Corinthians that while mortal flesh and blood cannot inherit, or enter into, the Kingdom of God, that through the resurrection of those BEGOTTEN BY THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD during this mortal life, this MORTAL then puts on IMMORTALITY, and we, like the very God Himself, become IMMORTAL, INCORRUPTIBLE, actually, literally, BORN of God's Spirit INTO the very God FAMILY. Conditions of entering Now, HOW may we enter into that glorious KINGDOM? Jesus came preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, and saying "REPENT" and "BELIEVE THE GOSPEL." Just TWO things we do - REPENT and BELIEVE. We must BELIEVE the Gospel, and that means also believing on JESUS CHRIST, the KING of the Kingdom of God, and coming KING of kings over all the families of the earth. It means believing in Him as personal SAVIOR, as High Priest now and as coming KING. But to repent is to completely CHANGE THE MIND in respect to SIN, and "sin is the transgression of the LAW" (I John 3:4) - the law of GOD by which God RULES the Kingdom. It means a total, complete CHANGE OF MIND AND OF LIFE. It means we REPENT of transgressing the rule, the will, the laws, of GOD. What did Jesus say to the young man who asked Him HOW to inherit eternal life? He said, "IF thou wilt enter into life, KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS" (Matt. 19:17). He went on to show that He referred to the TEN COMMANDMENTS, God's great SPIRITUAL LAW, summing up, in principle, the WHOLE duty of righteous living. It is a WAY OF LIFE, and a way contrary to human nature and to the ways and customs of this world! It is
the basic spiritual law and way of life of the KINGDOM OF GOD - the WAY to peace of mind, to world peace, to happiness, prosperity and JOY - the WAY to eternal life. Kingdom of God to be preached TODAY Yes, JESUS proclaimed and taught the GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD. But did He command His ministers, in BUILDING HIS CHURCH, to preach this same Gospel? Quickly let us notice the Scriptures. Luke 9:1-2: "Then he called his twelve disciples together... And he sent them to PREACH THE KINGDOM OF GOD." Luke 10:1-2,9: "After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come. "Therefore said he unto them... heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The KINGDOM OF GOD is come nigh unto you." In Jesus' prayer, so commonly called the "Lord's Prayer," He prayed, "THY KINGDOM COME" - then it wasn't here yet, and it isn't here yet, today but He taught us to pray for it to COME, for His KINGDOM and that ALONE shall bring PEACE and HAPPINESS to this sin-sick, warweary earth! "Thy kingdom COME. THY WILL BE DONE in earth, as it is in heaven" (Matt. 6:10). The FATHER'S WILL. What Gospel did the early evangelists preach, in first sending out the FAITH ONCE DELIVERED? How did the early Church carry out the commission? Notice PHILIP preaching at Samaria! Acts 8:12: "But when they BELIEVED Philip preaching the things concerning THE KINGDOM OF GOD, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women." Philip preached the things concerning THE KINGDOM OF GOD. Paul? Acts 20:25, 21: "I have gone preaching THE KINGDOM OF GOD... Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward
God, and FAITH toward our Lord Jesus Christ." And notice the Gospel Paul preached to GENTILES, after he had turned completely away from the Jews. Acts 28:30-31: "And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto
him, Preaching THE KINGDOM OF GOD, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ." And, lastly, WHAT GOSPEL did Jesus say should be preached TODAY? Matthew 24:14, speaking of the PRESENT: "And this GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM shall be preached in
ALL THE WORLD for a witness" - for a WITNESS - "unto ALL NATIONS; and then shall the END come" - the end of this AGE. By Herbert W. Armstrong, (1892-1986)
reprint from Good News
A Tale of
In his letter to the Christian assemblies in Galatia, the apostle Paul uses an interesting expression: “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen” (Galatians 1:2, NIV). The wording of this verse gives rise to several natural questions: Why did the Galatian believers need to be rescued from an “age”? How can an age be called “evil”? What was behind Paul’s use of this language? Word Meanings The word “age” here – translated “world” in the KJV -- comes from the Greek word aion. The basic meaning is “time” or “age.” “Age” is therefore a more appropriate translation than “world.” In Paul’s usage here, it means a specific segment of time as contrasted with another segment. This is indicated by the use of the word “present.” Why does Paul call the present age “evil”? The word “evil” is translated from the Greek poneros. The word has a range of meanings, depending upon usage. For example, in the physical sense, it can mean “in poor condition, sick.” Or it can mean “painful, virulent or serious” as in Revelation 16:2. Other meanings are “bad,” “spoiled” or “worthless” (cf. Matthew 7:17 ff.). It can refer to a wicked or evil-intentioned person – an evil-doer (Matthew 5:45). In Galatians 1:2, Paul seems to be using the word in an ethical sense: “wicked,” or “evil.” New Testament scholar James D.G. Dunn explains the language here: “So too ‘the present evil age’ presupposes the Jewish apocalyptic schema which saw world history as divided into two ages, the present age and the world to come, and the present age as one dominated by evil, in contrast to the glories of the future age” (The Epistle to the Galatians, p. 36). To the extent that we are caught up in the spirit of the times, we are sucked into the darkness – into the evil. As Dunn points out: “Paul certainly had no doubts that the present age was marked by corruptibility, superficiality, folly, and blindness…or that humankind as heirs of Adam were caught under the reign of sin and death (Romans v.12-21; I Cor. xv.20-2).” Ours is an age in which “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). In our time: “God looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. Everyone has turned away, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one” (Psalm 8
53:2-3). In context, the Psalmist is speaking of Israel (verse 6), but the principle is universal. The apostle John, writing to the Church generally, says, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us…If we claim we have not sinned, we make him [God] out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives” (I John 1:8-10). So ours in an age in which “all have sinned”: it is therefore an evil time. The effects of evil are omnipresent. The Biblical writers have used a variety of images to describe the present evil age: more on that later. Jesus himself referred on occasion to the two ages as understood by Judaism. In his teaching about blasphemy against the Holy Spirit he said, “Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come” (Matthew 12:32). In another place, Jesus is talking about the reward those who have left loved ones to follow him. He says, “I tell you the truth, no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields – and with them persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life” (Mark 10:29-30). Here we see the age to come associated with eternal life. On another occasion, Jesus is answering a question from the Sadducees, who did not believe there would be a resurrection. They tried to trick him by asking a hypothetical question about whose wife a woman who had had multiple marriages would
be in the resurrection (Luke 20:27-33). Jesus’ reply again reflects his belief in the “two age” model: “Jesus replied, ‘The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are considered worthy of taking part in that age and in the resurrection of the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, and they can no longer die, or they are like the angels. They are God’s children, since they are the children of the resurrection” (Luke 20:34-36). Now Jesus explains how some will come to have eternal life – through a resurrection. Two Ages in Paul’s Writings We have already seen that Paul refers to the present age as “evil” (Galatians 1:4). For Paul, this is the age of mortality and physical death (I Corinthians 15:20-22). It is “in Adam” that our mortality is assured. As the unknown writer of Hebrews wrote: “It is appointed unto men once to die...” (Hebrews 9:27a). Yet, after this death, there is another time – another “age” in which judgment will occur (vs.27b). In Paul’s view, the vaunted wisdom of this age – even at its zenith – is mere foolishness in contrast to the wisdom of God: “Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?” (I Corinthians 1:20). The world’s “wisdom” often leads away from God instead of toward Him. Even today, our children may enter our “great” universities as Christians and graduate as atheists or agnostics. A few verses later, Paul returns to the idea of this world’s relative foolishness: “We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age who are coming to nothing. No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before the world began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (I Corinthians 2:6-8). Ours is an age of folly when it comes to the things of God. It takes humility to grasp such spiritual wisdom. Spiritually speaking, the world languishes in a state of blindness (II Corinthians 4:4). The light of the Gospel is unable to penetrate the darkness that characterizes the age. This is the age of the “first Adam.” It is a time that is experiencing the “reign of death” as a result of sin: “…so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 5:21). Because all have sinned (Romans 3:23), all are subject to the “wages of sin” which is death (Romans 6:23). In this age, sin reigns by consigning all of us to eternal damnation. The natural state of mankind in this age is “dead in sins” (Ephesians 2:5). In the age to come, the grace of God will kick in and those who have accepted Christ in this time will be resurrected to eternal life. It will be the age of the “Second Adam” – the one who never sinned. Two Ages in Jewish Literature Jesus and Paul’s model of the two ages is also found and confirmed throughout Jewish literature. Two apocalyptic works feature it: 4 Ezra and 2 Baruch. Both of these works were written following the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 AD, but the thinking reflected in them is the natural outworking of a long tradition that may have its beginnings in the book of Daniel (Chapters II & VII). In the Qumran documents, we find references to the present age as “the time of wickedness” (CD VI:10, 14; XII:23; XV:7 etc.). We read of battles between “the sons of darkness” and the “sons of light.” Paul certainly shared the view that the world exists in a state of darkness: Romans 13:12; Ephesians 5:8, 1l; 6:12; Colossians 1:13. The apostle Peter viewed Christians as “a people” separated out of the darkness of this age and introduced to spiritual light: “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (I Peter 2:9). 9
This age is an age of darkness in which sin and death reign supreme over the human realm. The antidote to the toxin of sin is divine grace, freely offered and gratefully received. The age to come will be an age of spiritual light, a Messianic age in which the wisdom of this sorry world will vaporize and God’s Torah (Instruction) will usher forth from Zion. For those of us who have been called, this is our day of salvation. It is a time to preach the good news that the condition of darkness and death will not last forever. God has sent his Anointed One into the darkness to bring it light. He is light, life and freedom for a world in bondage to sin. The age to come will be the Messianic Age, the time of the Second Adam (I Corinthians 15:45). Jesus is a “lifegiving Spirit.” When his redemptive work is done: “…then the saying that is written will come true: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is our victory? Where, O death, is your sting?’” (I Corinthians 15:54-55).
At some point, this present evil age will come to an end and a new age will dawn. Life, as it unfolds on this planet, is truly “a tale of two ages.” Written by Brian Knowles
Be ye fishers of men. You catch them
and He’ll clean them. I am only one. But still, am one. I cannot do everything but I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do –Edward Everett Hale
If you want to work for the kingdom
of God, and to bring it, and enter into it, there is just one condition to be first accepted. You must enter into it as children, or not at all—John Ruskin
"So shall it be at the end of the world [Greek: "consummation of the age"]: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, "And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth" (Matthew 13:47-50). The Parable of the Sower also shows a division will be made between the "children of the wicked one" and the "children of the Kingdom." When His disciples came to Him privately, following His delivery of this lengthy parable, they asked: "Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. "He answered and said unto them, He that sows the good seed is the Son of man; "The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one. "The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. "As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. "The Son of man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all the things that offend, and them which do iniquity; "And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth" (Matthew 13:36-42). From the joy of first receiving the knowledge of the Kingdom (as in the treasure in the field or the pearl of great price), Jesus progresses through the fact of rejection by some, of separation in the judgment and of punishment for those who will not repent and "enter into the joy" of their Lord. (Continued next page…) Jesus' message was a mixture of "good news and bad news," in a sense. He very strongly warned of the penalties for rejection, as well as spoke of the joys, happiness and rewards for acceptance of His message. Because Jesus knew many people supposed He would immediately set up His Kingdom, he spoke the Parable of the Nobleman who "…went into a far country to receive for himself the kingdom, and to return." In this lengthy parable (Luke 19:12-27), Jesus showed the rewards for overcoming. Ten men were given one pound (a unit of money) apiece. Only three of the 10 ever return; one gained tenfold, another fivefold, and the third kept his pound wrapped in a napkin. The first one received from his master "authority over ten cities." The second received "authority over five cities." And the pound was stripped away from the third because he did nothing with it. It was given to the one with 10. No mention is made of the other seven. Are they included in the statement, "But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me" (Luke 19:27)?
Jesus described what His Kingdom was like by parable after parable. He showed His disciples the universality of His coming Kingdom, showed how it would finally fill the whole earth, just like the figurative stone mentioned in Daniel 2:34, 35. He said, "The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal until the whole was leavened" (Matthew 13:33). That the Kingdom permeates the whole "lump" in this parable shows the global nature of God's coming Kingdom. In showing the priceless value of the way into the Kingdom, Jesus said, "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man has found, he hides, and for joy thereof goes and sells all that he has, and buys that field" (Matthew 13:44). In the parable that follows, Jesus mentioned the "pearl of great price," which again illustrates the value of the Kingdom. To show that there is judgment coming; that a separation will occur between "the children of the Kingdom" and the ones that are to be "cast into outer darkness," He said: "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: "which, when it was full, they threw it ashore and sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.
In this parable Jesus shows how entrance into the Kingdom and receiving the rewards over and above salvation (for both the first and the second man enter into the kingdom, but with different responsibilities) is a lifelong process. As in the Parable of the Talents (another denomination of money), Jesus shows people being rewarded according to what they do with what they have. Each is given a reward proportionate to the degree of his overcoming, his increase. God judges us according
to our "own several abilities." Thus, one who does not have as much natural talent or ability is not required to produce as much. One who has much natural talent and ability is required to produce more. Each one begins equal in the amount of money given, but different people overcome in different degrees and are rewarded accordingly. In these and other parables, Jesus is illustrating the governmental aspects of His Kingdom. He was showing it is to be global in effect; it has to do with rulership; and when His Kingdom is finally set up there will be judgment against those who have rejected it. Many scriptures emphasize the universality of God's coming world rule and the potential of humankind to inherit that Kingdom (see Revelation 2:26, 3:21). But these scriptures do not cancel out the many scriptures already cited (and there are dozens more) concerning the message about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Is God’s Kingdom Inside You?
Is God’s Kingdom inside each Christian? Jesus said it is, didn’t He? Jesus told the Pharisees, “And when He was demanded of the Pharisees, when the Kingdom of God should come, He answered them and said, The Kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the Kingdom of God is within you,” Luke 17:20-21. James Strong’s first translation of the Greek word for within, entos [G1787] is inside. But entos is derived from en [G1722] which Dr. Strong identifies first as “A primary preposition denoting (fixed) position (in place, time or state).” It is this translation that many modern versions use to describe Jesus’ words. The Contemporary English Version states, “God’s Kingdom is here with you.” The International Standard Version and The Bible in Basic English both say, “the Kingdom of God is among you.” Several others state, “the Kingdom of God is in your midst” (Darby, LITV, MKJV, RSV). And the popular NIV, although it uses the preposition within, includes a footnote stating, ‘or among’. Bible prophecy is often dual, having a historical fulfillment, and future fulfillment. We see the historical prophecy of God’s Kingdom when John the Baptist cried out, Repent ye, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand Matthew 3:2. This was great news to the Jewish people who had been burdened by Roman law. But John did not say it is here; simply that it was at hand. John called it the Kingdom of heaven, realizing it was not an earthly Kingdom, as Jesus later said, My Kingdom is not of this world John 18:36. He also realized the King would not be an earthly king, but would be sent from heaven. While John preached about the Kingdom of Heaven, the King was still in the wings, waiting to be revealed to the public. When the time came for His entrance on stage, Jesus was able to state, the Kingdom of God is within you. Was Jesus inside the Pharisees He was talking with? They knew He wasn’t: He was standing there with them. He was, as shown above, in their midst. It was His way of saying, I am the King you’ve been waiting for.
But Jesus went back to heaven. The King was gone. Now what? During His three and a half years of ministering on earth, Jesus’ commission was to preach about the Kingdom of God (Luke 4:43). Why did He need to preach about it if it was already among the people? Recall that Bible prophecy often has a future fulfillment. The message of the gospels is that the King will return, not as an infant in a manger, but in great power and glory (Matthew 25:3134). He will be the King over all earthly kings, and the Lord over all earthly lords (Revelation 19:11-16). At that time, the future fulfillment of the Kingdom of God will take place, and it won’t only be the Jews who will be released from centuries of tyranny Satan’s despots laid on them. The entire world will be released from Satan’s control. Until that time, what must we be doing? Jesus commanded His disciples, and Christians today, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature, Mark 16:15. The gospel? What gospel? The gospel is the good news of the coming Kingdom of God (Luke 4:43, 22:18). /by Leslie A. Turvey Do what you can to further God’s Kingdom, and support those who are doing what you can’t. author Unknown
The Simplicity of the Christian Message
The point and purpose of Christianity has tradition. There is general agreement only Christian life: a Christian must love and serve known of the ultimate purpose and goal which those who follow Him. Contemporary has abandoned the purpose of the faith which message -- the Gospel about the Kingdom of been buried under a mass of theological about the ethical demands of the present his neighbor. But almost nothing at all is Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah, intended for religion, which claims the name of Christ, is clearly spelled out by Jesus in His Gospel God (Luke 4:43, etc.).
In the purpose of the faith proclaimed by Jesus lies the very reason for our existence as individuals. The key to our personal future and that of humanity at large is found in Jesus' Gospel Message about the Kingdom of God. This is simply the Message of the Good News that God, in the person of His Son and Agent, Christ, the promised Messiah, intends to establish just government and universal peace on earth and to grant immortality to those who love Him. The future of the earth, and of the whole universe, is related to the future of the individual believer in this way: The Kingdom which will be established on earth when Jesus returns to the earth will be administered by those to whom God grants immortality. The scheme implied by the Good News of the Kingdom is the very opposite of complex. The mind of a child is required to grasp it. Jesus said: "Unless you reorient your life and become like little children, you will certainly not enter the Kingdom of God." To understand the Christian message, words must be taken as any child would take them -- in their natural and normal sense. The Kingdom of God, about which Jesus spoke constantly, is thus a real Kingdom, a divine government on earth, to be administered by Christ and the Saints, with a renewed Jerusalem as its capital. Luke 19:11 should be taken as a key to the whole New Testament: "Because Jesus was near to Jerusalem, they thought that the Kingdom of God was going to appear immediately." This verse gives us the clue to the meaning of the principal theme of all that Jesus taught. He was expecting to establish the Kingdom as a worldwide rule on earth. Much of what goes by the name of theology is no more than an exercise in the evasion of the plain meaning of words, an excuse for unbelief. The churches have abandoned hope in the Kingdom which Jesus promised would be inaugurated at His return. It is obvious that the Kingdom has not yet been established. It will be manifested on earth at the (second) Coming of the Messiah in glory. For this Christians are to pray: "Thy Kingdom come!" In answer to the very reasonable question as to what His followers might expect to receive in the Coming Age of the Kingdom, Jesus promised the disciples positions of rulership with Him in the coming Kingdom (Mat. 19:28; Luke 22:28). This promise was extended to the whole church (1 Cor. 6:2; 2 Tim. 2:12; Rev. 5:10; 3:21; 2:26; 20:1-4). It was the natural confirmation and clarification of the promise made to Abraham, the Father of the faithful, that he would one day possess the world (Rom. 4:13). The Kingdom will have Jerusalem as its capital, as foreseen by all the O.T. prophets, and it will be established by a spectacular divine intervention (Ps. 2), when the process of universal disarmament (Isa. 2) leading to total world peace will begin. The vision of the world at peace under the government of the Messiah is read annually at Christmas, but few believe it. They have been persuaded that the promises of universal divine government do not mean what they say. (See, for example, Isaiah 9:6-7; 11:1-9; Zechariah 14:9; Micah 4:7.) The reason for this is twofold. People have been taught from childhood that the reward of Christianity offered in the Bible is to depart to a realm "beyond the skies" as a disembodied soul/spirit. Such a notion is completely without foundation in the
Scriptures and must be banished from the thinking process before any progress in understanding the New Testament can be made. The dead according to the Bible are at present all dead, not alive in another place! They are waiting to be resurrected from the dead! They will then inherit the earth, i.e. the Kingdom of God on earth (Matt. 5:5; Rev. 5:10). Secondly, it has not been realized that the "everlasting life" promised by the NT properly means "the Life of the Coming Age." This is a well-known expression used by Jesus and His contemporaries; the restoration of this definition of the goal of Christianity allows us to understand that the object of the Christian life is not to disappear at the moment of death to another world: It is to participate through a future resurrection from the dead in the Future Age, the Age of the establishment on earth of the Kingdom of God. It is everywhere taught in Scripture that the faithful dead are now "sleeping," unconscious in the grave, awaiting the resurrection to occur at the Coming of Jesus (Dan. 12:2; John 5:28, 29). All the faithful will then share with Christ in the promised Kingdom. In the light of this simple scheme, the New Testament can be read with complete understanding, for the facts noted here represent the presupposition held by the NT writers. The challenge to the reader is one of belief. Jesus' first recorded utterance in Mark's Gospel is a command to repent (i.e. reorient one's mind and life) and believe the Good News about the Kingdom! (Mark 1:15) It was when potential converts believed the Good News (Gospel) Message about the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ that they were baptized into the faith (Acts 8:12). This is the process by which we are to be initiated into the faith. The Gospel of the Kingdom thus confronts each of us as individuals at the moment he receives the proclamation of it by Jesus or the New Testament Evangelists. Thereafter, his response to the Divine Message is all-important for salvation: A warning about the danger of ignoring the invitation to the Kingdom of God was given by Jesus: "When anyone hears the message about the Kingdom (Mat. 13:19) and does not understand it, the devil comes and snatches away the Message which was sown in his heart so that he may not believe and be saved" (Luke 8:12). by Anthony Buzzard
My Mind to me a Kingdom Is
My mind to me a kingdom is, Such present joys therein I find, That it excels all other bliss That earth affords or grows by kind: Tho much I want which most would have, Yet still my mind forbids to crave. Content to live, this is my stay; I seek no more than may suffice; I press to bear no haughty sway; Look, what I lack my mind supplies: Lo, thus I triumph like a king, Content with that my mind doth bring. Some have too much, yet still do crave; I little have, and seek no more. They are but poor, tho much they have, And I am rich with little store: They poor, I rich; they beg, I give; They lack, I leave; they pine, I live. My wealth is health and perfect ease; My conscience clear, my chief defense; I neither seek by bribes to please, Nor by deceit to breed offense: Thus do I live; thus will I die; Would all did so as well as I!
by Edward Dyer, d. 1607
All truth passes through three stages: First, it is ridiculed; second, it is violently opposed; and third, it is accepted as self-evident and was always believed to be the thing to do. by Arthur Schopenhauer
A Gospel Without a Future
An identifiable malaise has struck the theological enterprise. It has to do with the content of the Gospel itself. From the Jesus Seminar to evangelical tracts a common failure to define Jesus by his Kingdom message is evident. Theology at all levels continues to express its unease over the eschatological, Jewish Jesus who preached a Gospel about a coming Kingdom and judgment. Members of the much-publicized "Jesus Seminar" have determined by vote that most of what Jesus is reported to have said in the Gospels never actually passed from his lips. Rather, his over-enthusiastic biographers attributed to him their own ideas and turned him into the bearer of Good News about the coming Kingdom. The real Jesus of history — so these scholars say — should be thought of in the category of wisdom-teacher, a figure much too calm and collected to have said anything alarmist or apocalyptic. Evangelicals pride themselves on their firm grasp of the essentials of the Gospel of Jesus. But an examination of their writings shows that to a man they steer away from the awkward fact that Jesus preached as Gospel much more than a message about his death and resurrection. The statistics look like this: There are 25 chapters of Gospel preaching (Matt. 3-15; Mark 1-7; Luke 4-8), during which Jesus and the Apostles take the Gospel to the public, in which not a single word is said of the death and resurrection of Jesus. The Gospel, on this evidence, stands at that stage without the inclusion of any fact about the sacrificial death and subsequent resurrection of Jesus. The case can be made even more impressively if we add that throughout Jesus’ entire historical ministry the disciples, even when told, did not understand what was entailed in the death and resurrection of Jesus (see Luke 18:31-34). It follows then that the Gospel was at first a message about the coming Kingdom of God (97% of the Synoptic Kingdom texts plainly have to do with the inauguration of the Kingdom at the Parousia) and not about the death and resurrection of Jesus. These latter facts were added, after they happened, to the existing substratum of the Kingdom Gospel. Thus in Acts 8:12 the content of the Gospel put to the convert was "the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ." While the Jesus Seminar tames the eschatological, Kingdom-oriented Jesus by the use of the critical axe and 14 the consequent murder of Jesus’ Gospel of the apocalytic Kingdom texts, evangelicals who cannot espouse the "scholars’" technique of denying the sacred documents arrive at a similar result by a different method. They decide to define the Gospel of salvation on a carefully worked selective basis. By setting together certain isolated texts, mostly from the letters of Paul, or from one of Peter’s sermons in Acts (2:22-29), they ignore the massive quantity of Gospel-data provided by the accounts of the life and teaching of Jesus. Thus Paul is made to appear the real author of the Gospel and the significance of Jesus is reduced to his death and resurrection. Jesus came, says a popular evangelist in a widely distributed tract, "to do three days work — to die, to be buried and to be raised." But this is obviously not true. It is a serious misrepresentation of the Savior’s own sense of his purpose. He declared in Luke 4:43 that he had come to "preach the Gospel about the Kingdom of God: that is the reason why I was commissioned." It was even possible for Jesus to say, before the crucifixion, that he had "completed the work" which the Father had assigned him (John 17:4). This work was the transmission of the Father’s Gospel-Word to the disciples who were now charged to preserve and pass it on to others (John 17:6, 8, 20). It ought not to be possible to claim the Great Commission as one’s marching orders and then to propagate a Gospel shorn of its most fundamental element — the Kingdom of God. But this appears to be what evangelicals have done. No sooner have they read Matthew 28:19, 20, the Great Commission, than they leap to their favorite verses in Romans and Galatians, forgetting that Paul in his letters assumes a lot of Gospel information already held by his audience, for whom he was not presenting the Gospel for the first time. A much sounder procedure would be to consult Luke’s account of what Message Paul brought to the unconverted world — and here the testimony is more than clear. Paul, faithfully carrying out the mandate of the Great Commission to take the very Kingdom Gospel-words of Jesus to all nations, proceeded to enter the synagogue and continually speak out boldly, "reasoning, arguing and persuading about the Kingdom of God" (Acts 19:8). Summarizing his life’s work for the Ephesian elders Paul recalled that he had everywhere urged repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus (Acts 20:21). He then supplied a concise
definition of what this means. It was a solemn testifying to the "Gospel of the grace of God," in other words "the proclamation of the Kingdom" (Acts 20:24, 25). In an effort to impress upon the world forever the nature of Paul’s Gospel work, Luke leaves us with a final portrait of Paul and his typical preaching of salvation. Paul "solemnly testified about the Kingdom of God and tried to persuade them about Jesus," using the text of the Hebrew Bible, "from dawn till dusk" (Acts 28:23). The very same Kingdom Gospel of salvation was then taken to the Gentiles where Paul expected better results. We leave him in Rome "heralding the Kingdom of God and teaching concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all openness, unhindered" (Acts 28:31). Paul, then, did not just rehearse a few of his own sayings from the epistles in order to convey the saving Message. He deliberately imitated the Gospel preaching of the historical Jesus in fulfillment of the Great Commission. In fact, just as Jesus had "welcomed the people and begun speaking about the Kingdom of God" (Luke 9:11), Paul "welcomed all who came to him and heralded the Gospel of the Kingdom" (Acts 28:30, 31). The same cannot be said of modern evangelists who have dropped the phrase "Gospel of the Kingdom" from their vocabularies. There is a very great danger that major elements of the Gospel can be eliminated if we rely on condensed statements from Paul’s epistles. The method is flawed and the Gospel is distorted. Elements of the Gospel which do not fit into the "received" account of the Gospel ("what we have always preached") are quietly ignored and discarded. As if to anticipate the catastrophic loss of Jesus’ own Gospel Matthew, when he uses the noun "Gospel" (evangellion), always qualifies and defines it as the "Gospel about the Kingdom" (Matt. 4:23; 9:35; 24:14). In a verse designed before all others to lay out the quintessential Gospel, Mark records that Jesus urged the public to "Repent and believe the Gospel of the Kingdom" (Mark 1:14, 15). This is a programmatic summary of the Christian faith as
Jesus perceived it. Luke records from the lips of Jesus that the Gospel concerns the Kingdom of God. It is this Message which summarizes the Son’s preaching career (Luke 4:43; 16:16; cp. Acts 8:12; 28:23, 31). The "Roman Road," which falls for the trap of thinking that Paul’s Gospel message can be gleaned from a few verses in the epistles, should be scrapped and replaced by "the Jesus’ method" of evangelism, the announcement of the very Hebrew-based Gospel of the Kingdom coming. This, of course, will involve a much overdue rediscovery of the Hebrew prophets of Israel, for whose hope Paul, the Christian, was on trial (Acts 24:14; 26:6-8). God’s Gospel is the Gospel of the Kingdom (Mark 1:14, 15). Condensed, shorthand references to "the Gospel" need to be related always to the "parent" definition of the Gospel provided by the early chapters of the synoptic Gospels. But that is an area of Scripture which evangelicals and the Jesus Seminar dismiss, the latter by critical excision and the former by an uncanny avoidance of the plain, simple and obvious. It seems most odd to raise the banner of the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19, 20 where Jesus says "Preach my Gospel" to everyone, Jew and Gentile, and then to skip the beginning of the teaching of Jesus entirely and take a gospel from individual verses in Paul, neglecting the critically important Gospel definition provided by Paul (in Acts 20:25). If the Christian church is serious about following Jesus and teaching everything he commanded, it would be common sense and sound theological method to turn over one page from Matthew 28:19, 20 and seek out the very first command of Jesus: "Repent and believe God’s Gospel about the Kingdom" — a message which at that stage contained not a word about the death and resurrection of Jesus, added later. Let Jesus’ Gospel of the Kingdom be "A." Let the sacrificial death and resurrection be "B." What business do evangelicals have substituting a part for the whole, separating "A" from "B" instead of adding "B" to "A" (as in Acts 8:12), and then starting with "A"?/Anthony Buzzard
Mixing Religion And Patriotism
The early Christians abhorred and attacked this mixture of the religious and the patriotic. They detested any State religion that forced back God’s rule; they loathed all religiosity influenced by the politics of the moment, and fought against any veneration of the existing power structure. This included any political system with a religious emphasis. These were to be regarded as the inheritance of Babylon, the works of sin and demonism. They were nothing short of the devil’s state and the service of Satan. It was therefore inevitable that in return the state would accuse these people of high treason, of being the enemies of civilization.
Source: “The Early Christian” edited by Eberhard Arnold
The Kingdom of God
At this stage in my life, I am no longer trying to solve the world’s knottiest theological problems. I’ll leave that to younger, more confident people who truly believe they can accomplish what theologians have not been able to achieve for the last two millennia. These days I’m into basics. Of course I realize that one man’s basics are another man’s heresy. The point is; I have to work out my own salvation with fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12). I am accountable to the Lord for what I believe, conclude, teach and practice. When I stand before the judgment seat of God, I’ll be alone. I won’t be able to take “the Eichmann clause” – i.e. “I was only following orders.” I’ll be utterly on my own; hence the fear and trembling. My Bible tells me that the first thing I ought to be doing is seeking the kingdom of God and God’s righteousness – whatever that means (Matthew 6:33). Dr. Roy Blizzard and David Bivin, teachers in whom I have confidence, write “the concept of ‘kingdom’ is perhaps the most important spiritual concept in the New Testament.’ If it’s that important, and if the Lord said I ought to be seeking it first, I’d better learn what it means. (Understanding the Difficult Words of Jesus by David Bivin and Roy Blizzard, p. 64.) “Kingdom” in Jesus’ Usage As the same authors also write, “In English or Greek, ‘kingdom’ is never verbal. It is something static, something to do with territory” (ibid.) That’s what I long believed. I was always taught that there were four prerequisites for a kingdom: a king, subjects, laws and territory. Since Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world,” I believed that the absence of territory meant that the kingdom was exclusively future. Only when Messiah takes over the kingdoms of this world will the kingdom be here on earth. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Kingdom is both now and future. Bivin and Blizzard continue to explain: “…in Hebrew, ‘kingdom’ is active, it is action. It is God ruling in the lives of men. Those who are ruled by God are the Kingdom of God” (ibid.). They continue: “’Kingdom’ is also the demonstration of God’s rule through miracles, signs, and wonders. Wherever the power of God is demonstrated, there is His ‘Kingdom.’ ‘Kingdom’ as the demonstration of God’s power is echoed every week in the Sabbath prayers in the synagogue: ‘Your sons saw Your Kingdom as You split the Red Sea before Moses.’ How can one see God’s Kingdom? It is only possible when ‘kingdom’ is correctly understood as something which is verbal and not static. We see God’s Kingdom when we see him in action. In the same way, people saw the Kingdom when they saw Jesus in action. This is what Jesus meant when he said: ‘But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you’ (Luke 11:20)”(ibid.). To place the Kingdom of God exclusively in the future is to miss utterly the point of many of Jesus’ teachings. It is a fundamental theological error. Jesus used the term “kingdom” to describe those who followed him. Jesus taught His talmidim (disciples) to demonstrate the kingdom wherever they ministered. He instructed, “Whenever you enter a town and you are accepted…heal the sick of that town and tell them, ‘The Kingdom of God is here!’ (Luke 10:8-9).” Bivin and Blizzard continue to explain: “It is necessary to paraphrase the disciples’ proclamation (just three words in Hebrew) in order to maintain its force in English: ‘You have seen God in action. Through us God is now ruling here. Satan has been defeated. The miracles you have just witnessed are proof of it.’ The disciples words were verified by the miracles God performed” (ibid. pp. 54-65). When we understand the Kingdom of God as something that is manifested in the present as well as in the future, many of the teachings of Jesus are cast in a different light. His “kingdom parables,” of which there are many, must be viewed in the light of Hebraic, rather than English or Greek, usage. After all, Jesus was a Jew who spoke Hebrew to his disciples. And while there is a futuristic element to the Kingdom, the main thrust concerns the present. For the Church, the Kingdom is now. That’s why the author of Hebrews could talk about the Church experiencing in the present the “powers of the coming age” now (Hebrews 6:5). That’s also why Paul could write, “My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power” (I Corinthians
2:4). Paul didn’t just throw words at people; he demonstrated the reality of the Kingdom of God by doing the same things Jesus did when he preached the Gospel. That’s why it was sometimes called “The Gospel of the Kingdom of God.” When the Gospel, truly preached, breaks into the darkness of this world it sets up a power encounter with opposing spiritual forces. The Gospel is the antidote to the spiritual poison that is sickening this “present evil world.” Satan doesn’t appreciate the administration of that “medicine.” He fights back. When a soul is won for the Kingdom of God, it is lost to his kingdom. Paul puts it vividly when he writes of the Church, “For he [God] has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves” (Colossians 1:13). We are now subjects of that divine Kingdom. That’s why we can be called “ambassadors for Christ” (II Corinthians 5:20). We represent his Kingdom in the midst of the present darkness. We go forth into a world overcome by spiritual sickness armed with his message, his power, and his love. We are part of the God’s “kingdom of light” (Colossians 1:12). As the “light of the world” we find ourselves engaging the forces of darkness. It is these “power encounters” that result in miraculous healings, deliverances and even occasional resurrections. As kingdom subjects, we are helping our King, Jesus Christ, redeem the world. We are his assistants in preaching the Gospel, healing the sick and evicting the demons that have established strongholds in people’s lives. We are light, driving back the darkness that engulfs this world. To preach the true Gospel is to set up a clash of kingdoms. It is to lift the veil of deception that Satan has cast over the world (Revelation 12:9). It is to say to a hopeless world, lost in sin, “There is hope. God is here for you. God loves you. God wishes to make you whole, and to heal all of the damage that Satan has done. God has no desire that anyone should ultimately perish or that any should remain sick. He has made a way to save you and that way is Jesus Christ. Accept him, and your life will turn around. Accept and obey him and you’ll receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Repent of your old way of life and turn to a new one – a godly one.” In turning to God, we may discover that we were more entangled in the Satanic web than we had realized. Like a fly trying to escape the deadly grip of a spider’s web, we may realize that we need access to supernatural power to break free. Such power is available in the form of God’s Holy Spirit. When we seek to obey God, God grants us his Spirit as empowerment to do so (Acts 5:32). The early Church was filled with such power (Acts 1:8). The modern Church is a mixed bag. Because we have not understood the nature of the Kingdom of God, we have not always had access to the power that manifests it. We have preached a powerless Gospel. Instead of operating in Kingdom power, we have pushed the Kingdom far into the future. It is time that the Church came to understand the truth about the Kingdom of God./by Brian Knowles
Sharing the Good News!
Some have the idea that all you have to do to save the lost is build a building or put out a sign and the lost will flock in to be saved. But that is not how it happens. Christians are called to share their faith in hope with others, becoming disciples, and in turn bringing in others to a relationship with the Lord. We are all called to serve in sharing our faith to the world as ambassadors, and as lights to a dark world, in all we say and do. Each of us can expect to be rewarded according to our works here, now in this life. Read the parable of the talents in Luke 19:11-26. We need a sense of urgency in our lives, for we now live in the last days. We came into the world without anything, and we will leave the world without anything, yet we can build up treasures in heaven that can never be taken away. Psalm 51:13 I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will be converted to you. Ezekiel 3:18-19; 33:8-9 When I say to the wicked, you will surely die and you do not warn him, or speak to warn the wicked to change his way to save his life; the wicked will die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wicked way, he will die in his iniquity, and you will have delivered your soul. Matthew 5:17-19 (Jesus said) Whoever will break the least of the 17 commandments and teach men to do so, he will be the least in the kingdom of heaven. But who ever will do and teach them, that same person will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. Mark 16:15-16 Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believes and is baptized will be saved, but he that does not believe will be damned. John 15:2-5 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.... Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for
without me ye can do nothing. John 15:6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. Romans 10:14-15 How then will they call on him that they have not believed? And how will they believe in him whom they have not heard of? And how will they hear without a preacher? And how will they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! 1 Corithians 9:7-18 Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock? Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also? For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope. If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things? If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ. Do
ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel. But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void. For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me. What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel. 1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore beloved brethren be steadfast, unmovable, always alive in the work of the Lord, for your labor is not in vain. 2 Timothy 4:2-5 Preach the word, be urgent in good season, in bad season; chasten, reprimand, urge with longsuffering and doctrine ... be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, doing the work of an Evangelist, making full evidence of your ministry. James 5:19-20 Brethren if any of you err from the truth, and someone converts him, let him know, that he which converts the sinner from the err
of his way will save a soul from death, and hide a multitude of sins. Read the parable in Luke 12:42 regarding who is a wise and faithful steward. We are also instructed in l Peter 3:15 and 4:11 to always be ready to give answer, and let it be from the oracles of God. We all can share the Good News in some way, be it in personal contacts, mailing out pamphlets, via the internet, or other ways. What way would you feel most comfortable with? Do it! Remember that the church (the body of believers) has many tasks, but only one mission. Matthew 28: 19-20 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen. While doing it, let us not forget the following insightful admonition from apostle Paul: Colossians 4:5-6 Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
That’s Not My Job!
This is a story about four people; Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry with that, because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done. Anonymous
THE GREATEST CAREER OPPORTUNITY OF ALL TIME —
Stop and listen! We have some spectacularly good news for you and your family. Some time in the future, Jesus of Nazareth is going to become the world’s first successful super-ruler. He will totally reorganize human society, and produce the peace on earth which we all want. Under Jesus’ government, there will be no more wars, no more famine; no more murder, rape or theft; no more alcoholism and depression; no more divorce, and no more poverty. Does this sound too good to be true? God, the Creator of all things, has personally promised that a Golden Age for all mankind will come. He has been promising it since He first placed man on our earth. The arrival of that era of glorious peace and prosperity is guaranteed. What you have just been told is the heart of the Christian Gospel. Very probably you have not heard it before. Nearly 2,000 years ago, Jesus came to announce the dramatically important good news concerning the future divine government on earth. He is coming back to take up His office as world super-ruler — and He is now recruiting men and women to assist Him in the administration of His coming Kingdom. He wants you to be a ruler in that Kingdom. What a tragedy if you were to allow this greatest of all career opportunities to pass you by. You can so easily neglect the information you have just been given. But don’t do it. Do yourself and your family a favor. Check up on the facts. We might just have given you the greatest piece of Truth you have ever heard! There was a time when we did not know that Jesus wants to train men and women now for positions in the world government of the coming New Age on earth. When we found out, our lives were radically changed. We want to share with you what we have discovered about the Christian Gospel — the Good News about God’s coming world government. If you will contact us at the address below, we will point you to the source of our information. You will then be able to find out for yourself that what we have been saying is true. Don’t delay. Don’t brush us aside. Remember, God wants you to help administer a world government with His Son Jesus, when He comes back. There could be no greater honor. It is high time for you to be preparing, with God’s help, for that position of responsibility. Your training will entail tests and trials to ensure that your character and integrity are beyond suspicion. God does not intend to allow corrupt rulership to continue anywhere on earth once His Son comes into office. Act now! Find out more about the Christian Good News. Peace is coming. And you can help to bring it about.
If you do not wish God’s Kingdom, don’t pray for it. But If you do, you must do more than pray for it; you must work for it. –John Ruskin
From the Publisher:
Dear friends: This is the third issue of the Mustard Seed Newsletter, bringing with it the most urgent subject of the time, the Good News of Jesus the Christ. Perhaps this is not the first time you have heard about some “good news” talked about, maybe you have heard it dozens or possibly hundreds of times. But what really is it? Do you have a say over it—would you care to know? With the myriads of competing religions, denominations and churches out there trying to show you what this ‘good news’ is all about, it would be utterly confusing and discouraging, let alone grasp the REAL message—the true and lasting good behind the tidings that it brings! We hope that the theme for this month’s issue, written by seasoned writers within the churches of God community, will provide you fresh insight and urgency on this subject. The Holy Scriptures enjoins all of us to search as the Bereans did (Acts 17:11) and prove all things and to hold fast to that which is good (I Thes. 5:21). It is our earnest prayer that through the essays offered here, you will find the help and understanding you need. And may our God give us not only the courage to heed its many challenges but to also find ways of doing
Who Are We?
The Mustard Seed Newsletter is published free by The Mustard Seed Evangelistic Association –an affiliated association that has committed itself to the publishing of the Gospel that Jesus Christ preached and as recorded for us in the Holy Scriptures. This goal is to be within the framework of the Commission set forth to His believers and followers to "go and make disciples of all nations ... teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you" (Matthew 28:19-20). It is our hope that the Mustard Seed and its future publications will become a resource and vehicle for our readers to come to know and understand and true meaning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ—the Kingdom of God. You are invited to join us in this exciting and marvelous work!
"The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches."
For your question and/or comment, email us at email@example.com/ Raul deAsis Hipe/Publisher
it, thereby fulfilling the Commission in our circle of influence and opportunity! For your questions and additional materials, please feel free to communicate with us—there is no cost or follow-up. Sincerely, Raul deAsis Hipe
I will stand my watch And set myself on the rampart, And watch to see what He will say to me, And what I will answer when I am reproved. Then the LORD answered me and said: “Write the vision And make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it.” Habakkuk 2:1-2
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