QUESTIONS FOR BRO. RUYLE ON THE "KINGDOM"
asked by Maurice M. Johnson
June 20, 1949
1. Since you say that "the gospel of the kingdom" (Mk. 1:14; Lu. 9:2) was identical with "the gospel of the grace of God", except that the one was Jewish and national while the other was only personal, will you tell us whether or not the nation, Israel, could have accepted that kingdom?
2. Was the preaching of that Kingdom gospel an offer of that Kingdom and did God know that they would nationally reject that Kingdom that John and Christ and the 12 and the 70 preached as being "at hand"? - Matt. 3:2; 4:17; 10:1-7; 12: 24-28; Lu. 10:9.
3. Was it "the gospel of the Kingdom" that was taken from Israel or the very Kingdom, itself, which you say was the Rom. 14:17 phase of the Kingdom?
4. Did Christ know that Judas was "a son of perdition" and, at the same time, send him out to preach "righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost" (the spiritual phase of the Kingdom of God) or was it not merely the general proclamation of the prophesied Jewish and Palestinian phase of the Kingdom that Judas preached?
5. Were there two kingdoms promised to national Israel, the one promised in 2 Sam. 7:10-16; Psa. 89:4 & 37-38; Isa. 9:6,7; Jer. 33:15-17 and another kingdom that was promised ??? and was offered but not accepted by the nation?
6. What kingdom promises did Christ "confirm" (Rom. 15:8) when He was on earth? You told us that He did perform "kingdom miracles". Did those miracles confuse or confirm?
7. Tuesday night you said: "Of course, they were looking for Christ to establish the literal kingdom and He did not condemn them (Lu. 24:13-31) for believing what they had expressed. And they believed that He was the King and would establish the kingdom. But He rebuked them for not believing all ..."
Now, may I ask WHY did they believe that this "King of the Jews" Who had for three and a half (or more) years performed "kingdom miracles" in immediate connection with the announcement that "The kingdom of heaven is at hand!", why, I say did they take Him at His word and thus understand His work, "kingdom miracles"? Why did they actually believe the messages and credentials ("kingdom miracles") of the 12 apostles and "the kingdom of heaven is at hand" gospel (glad tidings) of the 70 who went ahead of this "KING OF THE JEWS" triumphal march preparing His way by personally, themselves, preaching and working miracles "with power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy" along with the King's majestic guarantee that "nothing shall by any means hurt you" - I say, why didn't those disciples disbelieve all this overwhelming evidence like you do, Homer, and think that it all meant exactly and precisely that NO KINGDOM was actually "nigh at hand but there would bean invisible ("mystery") phase of the kingdom of God that would be within them, that is, hidden in their hearts at or after Pentecost?
8. Do you still contend, as you did in Ft. Worth, that Christ was speaking of the inner, spiritual aspect of the Kingdom of God (the "mystery"), when He said to those impudent, devil-directed Pharisees: "The kingdom of God is within you."?
Lu. 17:21. You know that at Moody Institute you were taught and we all have taught together for twenty or more years that the marginal translation, "in the midst" or "among" was the unmistakable meaning. Even you do not teach that those hypocrites actually then and there had "righteousness, and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" within their Christ-rejecting hearts.
But our Lord Jesus DID declare to them "Behold, THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS WITHIN YOU".
9. The Lord didn't condemn or rebuke the crowd that cried: "HOSANNA; BLESSED IS HE THAT COMETH IN THE NAME OF THE LORD! BLESSED BE THE KINGDOM OF OUR FATHER DAVID THAT COMETH IN THE NAME OF THE LORD: HOSANNA IN THE HIGHEST." - Mark 11:1-21.
Why were they so foolish and deceived, Homer, as to think that this "Son of David" born "in Bethlehem", the city of David; "born King of the Jews"; "the Son given and child born" to "sit on the throne of His father David"; and riding on an ass (so like King Solomon's procession as he rode on "David's mule" to be crowned king, see 7 Kings 1:33-44), 1 say, why were those humble Israelites so foolish as to think all this meant a Jewish Kingdom was actually "at hand" right there in Palestine? Why didn't they clearly understand that this physical Son of David merely represented a "spiritual King"; and the physical Bethlehem, the city of David, represented a spiritual city; and the physical "kingdom miracles" represented only future reigning over spiritual sicknesses, diseases, demons, death, winds, waves, hunger etc.; and why didn't they understand clearly like you do that when that spiritual phase of "the kingdom of heaven" was "taken from them" it would be taken from them before it was given to them for "the Holy Spirit was not yet given"? See Matt. 21:43; Jn. 7:38,39; 16:7-14. Homer, come back to the simple truth.
10. Did the 12 apostles preach "righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" and the death, burial and resurrection of Christ before the time referred to Matt. 16:21-23?
11. Isn't the 2nd chapter of Joel dealing specifically with Israel's condition immediately before "the day of the Lord" and the Lord's "restoring the kingdom to Israel"?
12. Will Christ impose the Davidic kingdom upon an un-repentant remnant nation or a nation that will "bring forth the fruits meet for repentance" as John the Baptist demanded? See Matt. 3:1-12.
1:3. Why do you think John the Baptist came "in the spirit and power of Elijah" (Luke 1:17; Matt. 11:14; 17:1-13; Mk. 9:11,12,13) to "prepare" the people for the kingdom of heaven if, as you teach, the kingdoms are so radically different?
14. If Christ wasn't making an offer of the same kingdom that Elijah is going to herald, wasn't our Lord very confusing in His teaching in Matt. 11:1-14?
15. Did Christ perform those particular "kingdom miracles" that were prophesied in Isa. 35:1-6 before those messengers of John and then intend for John to understand that that prophesied and promised kingdom wasn't there but a mystical, spiritual kingdom that was only "righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit"? (Of course, you know that none of those "gospel of the kingdom preachers" had that form of the kingdom yet, THEMSELVES.)
The fact that Christ did have "the Holy Spirit without measure", of course, does not explain the use of the expression, "kingdom of heaven" nor that "the kingdom of God shall be taken from you".
16. Isn't it really a fact that the only aspect or phase of the kingdom that was or could be "at hand" and "in your midst" (or "within you") was the physical, Davidic kingdom? I refer, of course, to the period before Pentecost.
17. Are the Gentile nations the "a nation" to which the Lord promised to give the kingdom that He was going to take from that generation of Israel, Matt. 21;43? If it was "righteousness and joy and peace in the Holy Ghost" that was taken from Israel and given to penitent Gentiles (Rom. 14:17) then, of course, Gentile nations are that "a nation" of Matt. 21:43.
18. What, if any, is the difference between the "church" of Matt. 16:18 and the "kingdom" of the next verse:?
19. Can you use the "keys of the kingdom of heaven"?
20. Was "the gospel of the kingdom" preached after the apostles began preaching "the grace gospel"?
21. Had the 12 apostles preached "repentance and remission of sins" before the "beginning" referred to in Lu. 24:47? We know that John the Baptist and Christ did.
22. What is the difference between "the gospel of the kingdom" and the "gospel" that was preached to Abraham, or were not Abraham, and all of his "nation" offered spiritual salvation before John the Baptist was led to announce "the kingdom of heaven is at hand"?
23. Will you tell us just how an entire nation could accept "righteousness, and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost"? This question is provoked by your ridiculous teaching that "the gospel of the kingdom" and the "gospel of the grace of God" are exactly the same message, differing only in that the one was spiritual salvation offered the Jews NATIONALLY while the other is spiritual salvation offered individually.
24. Will it be only national spiritual salvation that will be preached when "this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come"? - Matt. 24:14.
25. Will Christ at some future time "deliver up the kingdom (righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost ???) to the Father"? - 1 Cor. 15:24.
26. Last night you gave clear and positive Biblical proof that Christ has already defeated all His enemies. Doesn't that include death? - 2 Tim. 1:10; Rev. 1: 18; Eph. 1:21,22.
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