ARTICLES

ARTICLES

The King & His Kingdom

The Good News Of The King & His Kingdom

If you think that the “good news” of the “gospel” is exclusively (only) about the King and not about His kingdom, then you have been fooled.

Some teach that the “good news” (gospel) is only exclusively the “Death, Burial, and Resurrection” (DBR) of Jesus (1 Cor 15:1-4). We do not deny that this is a bedrock principle of the gospel or “good news” that God has brought to man. However, we do deny that this is all of the good news and that it excludes any other teaching or Bible doctrine. We can see clearly in scripture that the “gospel” also includes the good news of the kingdom of God and not exclusively the good news about the King Jesus Christ alone.

We read in Matthew 4:23 “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.”

This is repeated again in Matthew 9:35 “And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.”

In Mark 1:14-15, it says “Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.”

Clearly to believe the gospel is to believe the good news (gospel) of the kingdom of God as well.

We believe in the King, Jesus the Christ, and we believe in His kingdom (Matthew 16:18-19), the church of Christ. When discussing the preaching of Philip in Acts 8, we see him preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ. When preaching the things concerning the kingdom, we find that he preached baptism. That is implicitly shown from verses 12 and 13 of chapter 8. They obeyed what they were taught.

Acts 8:12-13 “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.13 Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done”
The verse shows clearly that they were baptized because they believed the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ. When we look at the teachings of Jesus, then we see that He emphasized the kingdom.

He taught people to be born again to enter that kingdom (John 3:3, 5). “3Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” …… 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

This is precisely what they did when they were baptized - they were born again.

This same type of expression is given in Colossians 1:13-14 which says, “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:”

It is clear that when we obey the gospel of Christ so that we may gain entrance into the kingdom, God saves us. Today, when we are born again, (baptized into Christ Galatians 3:27), we are “delivered … from the power of darkness” (our sins are washed away, Acts 22:16) and “we are translated into the kingdom of his dear Son.”

Our sins are removed like a cancerous tumor is removed during surgery. Just as Colossians 2:11-13 states, “In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;”

The body of the sins of the flesh are removed by a spiritual surgery, the circumcision of Christ, when we are buried with Christ in baptism and risen with him through faith. This is an operation that God performs as we respond to his commands in faith to be buried with him in baptism. It is after this surgery of God that our sins and trespasses are removed and forgiven. It is God that performs this spiritual surgery on the soul and it is also God who translates us into the kingdom of his dear Son. Acts 2:47 shows that the Lord is the one who adds us to the saved when we respond in obedience to his gospel message of salvation. God translates us into his kingdom, his church, when we submit to his will in obedience to His gospel message of salvation. This is why John could say that he was in the kingdom of God in Revelation 1:9. John had obeyed the gospel message of salvation and had submitted to Christ and His will. Therefore, he had been translated from darkness into the kingdom of his dear Son by the blood of Christ. When he was saved and his sins forgiven, then he was translated into that kingdom, the church of our Lord (Acts 2:38, 41, 47).

Preaching the “good news” of the kingdom of God includes preaching its arrival and terms of entrance into that kingdom. There is no reason why we must only accept the “MAN” Christ Jesus and not His “PLAN”. How can you truly accept Christ and reject His words or His authority? You cannot (Luke 6:46). We believe and teach that we must accept the “MAN” Christ Jesus and His “PLAN” which is issued from the divine man Christ Jesus.

True faith in the “MAN” accepts not only the PERSON of Christ (His deity & sonship - 2 John 1:7-8), but also the TEACHINGS (or DOCTRINE - 2 John 1:6-11) that come from the Christ.

The “good news” of the “gospel” is not exclusively only about the King Jesus Christ or His Death, Burial, and Resurrection alone. The “good news” (glad tidings) also includes those things concerning the kingdom of God (Acts 8:12), including the coming of the kingdom (Daniel 2:44), the establishment of that kingdom (Matthew 16:18-19; Mark 9:1; Luke 24:45-49; Acts 1:4-8; Acts 2:33,38,41,47), and the terms of entrance into that kingdom (John 3:3,5, 16, 22-23; Col 1:13-14).

Are you really accepting Christ as Lord and Master if you refuse to accept his word as authority? How can you say you are submissive to the Master if you refuse to submit to His will or His Word or His plan (Matthew 7:21-23)?

Define “His word”
That is a good question. “His word” from the article is in direct reference to Jesus Christ and His word. However, this would imply also God’s word, since Jesus is divine. Specifically in the article, the two times “His word(s)” are
mentioned have a direct correlation to Jesus Christ. Therefore, this will be what I will answer.

Biblical authority resides in Christ who has all authority (Matt 28:18-20) and who is the head of the church (Eph. 5:25). The head has provided direct and full revelation (Jn. 14-16) to his apostles and prophets (Eph. 3:2-6) through the Holy Spirit. Paul teaches that if we want to know the mind of God, then we must read what those who have been inspired by the Holy Spirit have written. We today do not receive a direct operation of the Holy Spirit nor do we receive direct revelation from God by the Holy Spirit. Rather, we have the sword of the Spirit, the word of God (Eph. 6), which equips up unto all good works (II Tim. 3:16-17) and provides us with all things that pertain to life and godliness (II Peter 1:3). When we read it, we may know the will of Almighty God.

Faith comes by hearing the word of God (Rom 10:17). If our faith is not based upon the word of God, then it is not truth faith. Heb. 11:6 teaches that faith is required in order to please God. However, if our faith is not in accordance with the word of God, then it does not please God. All of this has a bearing upon biblical authority. The Holy Scriptures provide the authority for the church, especially for the government of the body of Christ.

Eph. 4:11 teaches that apostles and prophets, were all part of God’s plan. Today we do not have apostles since no one living today can meet the qualification of an apostle. (Acts 1:22). Those apostles served their divine purpose, as did the prophets.

The prophets and prophecy were also temporarily used during the infancy of the church. Paul through the Holy Spirit teaches us that the spiritual gifts given during the first century were temporary. I Cor. 12 gives us those gifts and I Cor. 13:8-ff teaches us that prophecy would not continue. It teaches that the prophecy was limited in that it only gave parts of God’s word at a time. Whereas the complete written revelation of God would come and there would no longer be a need for partial verbal revelation. Praise God, we have the completed written revelation of Almighty God.

We today still have evangelist who are making full proof of their ministry. Those who evangelize and share the gospel of Christ with others are doing this work. II Tim 4:2-5

Pastors (Elders) today are appointed by those whom they serve according to God’s qualifications set forth in Holy Writ (I Tim 3; Titus 1; I Peter 5; Heb 13). They are known in the Bible as Elders, Bishops, the Presbytery, Pastors, Shepherds, and Overseers. They are known more commonly today as Elders. The Eldership answers directly to the head of the church, Jesus Christ. They do this by following the head’s mandates found in his guidebook, the Bible. They do not have authority to create new doctrine. They exercise authority in matters of expediency and also in matters of fellowship as they shepherd the flock.

Teachers are a vital part of the functioning body of Christ. Teachers only provide insight to the biblical text by using sound hermeneutical principles. They do not deviate to the left or right, but follow the word in biblical balance. They follow sound, reasonable, and logical biblical hermeneutics.

Deacons may be appointed to facilitate the work of God delegated to them by the Eldership. Those Deacons are required to meet certain qualifications also found in the New Testament (I Tim 3:8-13). They provide a valuable service today for the work of God in the body of Christ.

The word of God is complete (I Cor 13:8-ff), and lacking no truth of which is necessary for our salvation. Jude 3 teaches that the faith has already been once and for all delivered unto the saints. Therefore, we are not waiting for another new revelation from God or some new teaching or doctrine. All has been revealed and recorded for our faith and guidance (Jn 20:30-31). I believe in the verbal plenary inspiration of the Bible.

The Holy Spirit communicates to us today through the complete written revelation of God found in the 66 books of the Bible. It is due to the work of the Holy Spirit that we have preserved for us “all truth” (Jn 16:13). The Holy Spirit guided the apostles into all truth and they wrote it down so we can read it (Eph 3:3-5).

The Bible does not teach that the Holy Spirit gives us direct knowledge outside of the written word. The Bible does not teach that the Holy Spirit gives some special individuals a special understanding or enlightenment. The Bible, given by the Holy Spirit, teaches us to study to show ourselves approved unto God (II Tim 2:15). It doesn’t teach us to pray for direct knowledge, but teaches us to study the word to understand what the will of the Lord is.

If the Holy Spirit was communicating directly to man today, there would be no division or new doctrines but complete agreement with the one teaching delivered by the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately, we do not see such unity based upon direct working of the Holy Spirit. That is because the Holy Spirit is not working in that way today.

The Holy Spirit wants us to be united in the same mind and same judgment (I Cor 1:10) based upon what was already delivered once and for all to the saints (Jude 3). We should be united in the one gospel (Gal 1:6-10) and in the doctrine of Christ (II Jn 9-11). The Holy Spirit (Acts 1:1-2) gave the apostles divine inspired truth (John 14:26; John 16:13) and they wrote that message down for us today by revelation of God. Acts 1:1-2 “The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,2 Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:”
Jesus through the Holy Ghost gave commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen. When we follow the teachings of the holy apostles and prophets, then we are following the teachings of God & the Christ Jesus.
John 12:48-50 “48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.49 For 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.50 And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.”
During the New Testament times of the 1st century, God’s Word was passed through the Christ (Jesus the Son of God) and then passed through the Holy Spirit of God to the apostles and prophets. God’s word has been preserved and recorded (written) for us today, so that we may know the will of Almighty God. Therefore, God’s word, His word, is found within the pages of the 66 books of the Bible. If we want to know God’s will for our life today, then we read and study the 27 books of the New Testament where the teachings of the Good News, the gospel of the King and His Kingdom, are found. Christ came to bring us a better Testament, a better covenant built upon better promises (Hebrews 8:6). Christ’s blood is the blood of the New Testament (Matthew 26:28), which we remember (I Cor 11:25). We today will be judged by the teachings found in this New Testament or Covenant. However, we study all of God’s word since the whole Bible, both Old and New Testaments, are inspired teachings of God (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

What is “His word”? That is a good question.
You may reject the word of Christ by rejecting the “words in red”, so to speak. These are the direct words of the Christ. But you can also reject the word of Christ by rejecting the words of the holy apos
tles and prophets, since they too recorded the teachings of Christ by inspiration and were guided into all truth by the Holy Spirit. We must not reject the authority of Christ (Matthew 28:18) nor the inspired servants of the Savior (I Cor 14:37).
Jesus said in Matthew 7:21 “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” We must be sure to “do” the will of the Father. God’s will is the Testament we have today given by inspiration of God. Praise God we do not have to wonder what His word is.