THE MYSTERIES OF THE KINGDOM
Matthew 13:10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? 11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. 12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. 16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. 17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.
Most religionists think that the purpose of a parable is to make a heavenly, or spiritual matter, simple to understand. They usually describe it as “an earthly story with a heavenly meaning.” It is that, but that is not what our Lord states. He said the purpose of the parable was to hide truth from worldly religionists. One of the disciples asked a very important question concerning the revelation of spiritual things manifested only to those within the kingdom of God, but not to worldlings. Our Lord’s answer was that even though the gospel of the kingdom was to be publicly preached, it would not be perceived by the outward ear. Revelation would only be effectual within the hearts of those who truly loved God. John 14:22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? 23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
The mystery of the kingdom of God is entirely unlike all other mysteries. The Coca-Cola Company guards its formula very securely. The mystery of the ingredients in its product are kept by hiding it securely from the public. But the gospel of the kingdom is to be preached the public! But it uniquely stays hidden, even though it is publicly proclaimed.
And the mysteries of life which are later solved and brought to light are then no more mysteries. The identity of Jack-the-ripper was a mystery for decades. But within our recent years, due to DNA, it was discovered that he was an insane Polish immigrant living in that end of London. So that mystery has ended. But again, the mystery of the kingdom is written openly in our bibles and preached world wide, but it shall continue to remain a spiritual mystery throughout the ages.
Consider these verses concerning the kingdom of God: Luke 17:20 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: 21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. You cannot point to any particular time or location to identify the presence of the kingdom!
John 18:36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. The Lord eased the mind of the Roman governor by stating to him that he does not have ‘fighting servants’ because his kingdom was not of this world!
That will make you rethink the “Crusades.” Those fighters were sent by the Pope to gain possession of a piece of real estate. (the city of Jerusalem). Christ’s ‘soldiers’ sent by him endure hardness, only using spiritual weapons for the spiritual kingdom’s sake. 1 Corinthians 9:7 Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? 2 Timothy 2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
2 Corinthians 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
And the kingdom must only be seen and entered into by the same as was natural life – by a birth! But it is by the birth of the Holy Spirit! John 3:3 Jesus 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. 8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
Also there is but one kingdom of God. No matter that it is sometimes called, “the kingdom of heaven.” For one and the same kingdom it referred to by our Lord using both terms in the following, adjoining verses. Matthew 19:23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. 24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
The nation of Israel had been instructed for thousands of years that a heavenly character would invade their society and bring in God’s kingdom! And the Lord Jesus came stating that he was that person, therefore the time appointed was at hand. Mark 1:14 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. Matthew 12:28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.
He showed by the prophet’s writings that he was the Christ – their Messiah! John’s disciples asked the Lord if he was truly the Messiah! His answer to them was that Isaiah’s prophesy was being fulfilled by him! Matthew 11:3 And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another? 4 Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: 5 The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.
For here is what the prophet said. Isaiah 35:4 Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you. 5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
Also upon the first recorded public reading by our Lord, he open the scriptures and read the first two verses of Isaiah 61. And then he clearly stated, “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. And here is that prophesy of Isaiah which the Lord Jesus stated referred to himself. Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
In fact, he later opened all the scriptures to his disciples proving that he was the Christ. Luke 24:25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: (Not seeing Jesus of Nazareth to be very God is a heart problem.) 26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? 27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
Luke 24:44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. 45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, 46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: 47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
And since all the writings of the Old Testament concern the Lord Jesus, why would he come to destroy that law? Here is his own testimony of both his and his true disciples relationship to the law. Matthew 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
The true believer does not keep the law in order to be saved. The true believer keeps the law because he IS saved! An apple tree does not give apples to become an apple tree! It gives apples because it IS an apple tree. For salvation is most assuredly not “of works,” but it is absolutely “unto good works.” Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
And if you will recall the question of the disciple listed in our column two on page one of this article as to how the Lord would reveal his true to only the true believers, you will remember that the answer was that the Holy Spirit would reveal them to the spiritual ear of those who loved the Lord and his commandments. For it is not to those who do not receive various truths of religion whom the Lord sends strong delusion, but to those who do not received “the love of the truth!” 2 Thessalonians 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
God is love! Therefore everyone who loves as God loves is born of God. 1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. And with God, as love, within our hearts, we will receive the revelations of the Spirit’s manifestations of Christ with our souls.
The gospel is effectually passed on from believer to believer. Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. And that faith only works by love! Galatians 5:6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
And if the love of God is shed into the heart, there will always be repentance. Never has a single soul entered into the kingdom of God without the need of repentance. Both John the Baptist and the Lord Jesus preached repentance as the need of all as the kingdom was at hand. Matthew 3:1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, 2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Luke 13:1 There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? 3 I tell you, Nay: Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
It is God’s goodness which leads one to repentance. And that godly repentance will always clearly manifest itself as distinct from a worldly sorrow. Romans 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? 2 Corinthians 7:9 Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. 10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. 11 For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you,… In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter. Esau’s tears were not from a godly sorrow! For he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears. Hebrews 12:17
Pastor Gene Breed
May 24, 2019