THE KINGDOM OF GOD TODAY

from
MATTHEW 24

Maurice M Johnson
Los Angeles, California
December 8, 1968


What have you got that you can give quickly, hurriedly, that was a help to you because you believe it honored the Lord Jesus Christ, it honored you, helped you, that I've gone over this morning?

(question from audience)

In 1 Corinthians Paul by inspiration says, "Giving none offense neither to the Jew, nor the Gentile, nor to the church of God." Now when we obey 2 Timothy 2:15 for instance, we "Study to show ourselves approved unto God, a workman ... workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth." And when we rightly divide the Word of Truth it will include of course and necessitate our distinguishing between Jew, Gentile, and church of God as God tells us to distinguish.

What is God doing today with the Jew?  Today, "Henceforth know we no man after the flesh. If any man be in Christ, he's a new creature." We're not trying to work with Jews as such when we're spiritual. We're not trying to work with Gentiles as such. We know that today God is taking the penitent believing Jew and the penitent, I mean his heart's broken, he repents of his sin, penitent Gentile and He makes of the twain one new man so making peace.  And, "In Christ there's neither Jew nor Gentile, male nor female," we're all one in Him.

Then we find out what is God's program for this new man; Ephesians... as I quoted there, Ephesians 2 and so forth, 2 Corinthians 5. What's God's program for the new man? Today to try to help the Jews in Palestine is to confuse God's dispensational issue. To try to have God's program anywhere with the Gentiles, as against the Jews as Hitler did, is a violation of God's dispensational program. Today, God is building on earth, He's building a new man. And that new man, I repeat, is made of saved Jew and saved Gentile, the twain made one in Christ.

"And henceforth know we no man after the flesh, though we have known Christ after the flesh." We've known Him after the flesh, born of a Jewish virgin from the tribe of David, and we knew Him after the flesh, made under the law, and He came not to destroy but to fulfill it. But now He said, "He came to His own," the Jewish nation; "I am not sent," He said when was on earth, "I am not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." And  while He was sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, He functioned as ... as made of a woman, made  under the law.  And He was not recognized outside of the law until He had  fulfilled the law in His 30 year life and offered Himself as King to the Jew. And when they rejected Him and crowned Him with thorns, He turned from the path to the throne and took voluntarily the path to the thorns and died on the cross, not as simply a King but died as the last man, Adam; He died for all our sins.

Now, if I understand what you're specifically kind of ... were getting at or asking about, what is God's program for us today regarding the kingdom. In Romans we're told, "The kingdom of God..." 

Where is it in Romans 6?, "The kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness...

(from audience) Romans 14:17.

That's right. Romans 14:17.

The kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Now in ... thank you, I should have recalled that, in Romans 14, the main subject is what about keeping the various physical ordinances, physical ordinances. And then he comes and said, "The kingdom of God ... for I know ..."

Thank you.

For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Now ... when the disciples said, "Master we've forsaken all to come and follow you the King, and what are we going to get?" And He said, "Fear not, little flock, it's your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. You're going to sit on ... you twelve disciples," He said, "Ye are they which continued with Me during My temptation, and I'll appoint unto you a kingdom, as My Father appointed unto Me, and you'll sit on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel," twelve tribe Israel.

Now, that's not for any member of the church which is Christ's body today. Back in Romans ... oh right here, we just read Romans 14,

The kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Today, the apostle Paul, at the time he wrote Romans, and every spiritual Christian today, is a member of the kingdom in the sense that we're in the King. Turn to Colossians 1, Colossians 1, 1:13. Begin in the middle of the sentence, I mean let's not begin in the middle of the sentence. Tenth verse ... Colossians 1:10,

That you might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness; giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.

Now, when I read that thoughtfully, I think something like this: when Christ was on earth, He was the King, flesh and blood, King of the Jew. And He came unto His own... John 1.  He came unto His own; the Jews.  And said, "I'm not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." He told His disciples, "You go to Israel." And He offered Himself as King. And the twelve disciples offered the kingdom, the gospel of the kingdom, said, "The kingdom is nigh at hand." But later He said, "It will be taken from you and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits."

So the kingdom, with all its kingdom miracles and so forth, has been removed from this earth. In the place of it, shall we say, there are some pilgrims and strangers that are down here from heaven, we're down here from heaven. What are we doing here? Witnessing to the fact that the King was crucified, the King's gone back to glory, and the Father said unto Him, "Sit at My right hand until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool." Then the King will come back and the King will take His throne. Well what will happen to the people who have received Jesus as Messiah, Savior, the Son of God?' Why we have been ... we've been delivered, Colossians 1:13. We've been delivered from the power of darkness and have been translated, translated into the kingdom of God's dear Son.

I'm a member of the kingdom while I'm on earth as a pilgrim and stranger. I'm a member of the kingdom, "The kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit," back in Romans, "righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit." I have the ... life of the King. I have the membership in the kingdom.  I'm a member of the spiritual aspect of the kingdom. But I'm on earth as a pilgrim and stranger. The King is seated in the glory, and He has a group of people down here, He sends them down here, that are members of that spiritual sphere. But we can't function as members of the kingdom down here, we're pilgrims and strangers down here. We're down here, we're going 'round telling people, "I am a stranger here, Within a foreign land, My home is far away, Upon a golden strand. Ambassador to be, "In the realm beyond the sea, I'm here on business, for my King." That a beautiful, beautiful song.

Now, we have been delivered from the power of darkness and have been ... and He ... Christ has translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son. You want to add a question?

(comment from audience)   No. Very enlightening.

Yeah.  We're strangers and pilgrims.  That's one reason I wrote one of those songs that I was going to sing if I got to sing it up at the camp.

"You may look on me with pity, And count me poor and lone, But my Father's King of glory, and I'11 someday share His throne." Iíll sing that someday. Somebody else a word now?

(end of tape)

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