THE KINGDOM OF GOD COMES TO EARTH
The kingdom of God is the spiritual realm that manifests the sovereign purpose of our Father everywhere and in every situation, according to the will of God. To know with full assurance that God is sovereign will free us of our concerns about things as they are in this carnal, worldly realm of the present, and will encourage us in our progressive walk in the Spirit to the fullness of Christ. When we fully understand the sovereignty of God, we will then have the faith of God to believe that all things in this darkened and debased world will be fully restored by His power. Also, we will never doubt the purpose of our Father’s call on our lives, nor will we ever doubt His ability to lead us to our ultimate goal in Christ. And if we are called and chosen of our Father as sons of God, our goal in the Spirit is to become manifest sons of God, or fully perfected sons of God. Daily and continually we are being changed by the Spirit into the glorious image and likeness of the pattern Son and the Captain of our salvation, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Whenever the King James Version of the Bible uses the phrase, “the Lord God,” or “O God the Lord,” or some other combination of the names “Lord” and “God” together, it literally means the sovereign Lord Jehovah, Who is the self-Existent or Eternal God, the God who rules and reigns with sovereign power and authority. All that is included in the Name of God includes His character and His authority; His Name describes what He is! In more than three hundred verses of the NIV translation of the Bible, most of them in the book of Ezekiel, the name of God is given as “the Sovereign Lord.” Therefore, when we speak the Name of God with this understanding, including all the variations of His Name, we are declaring the sovereignty of God. And in declaring the sovereignty of our God and Father, we are also expressing His absolute power, authority and omnipotence to do what He has purposed to do from the beginning, unto the ultimate conclusion of His grand purposes for this world and the whole creation.
In one instance, the King James Version gives Ezek. 37:3 as, “And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord God, thou knowest.” The New International Version has this same verse as, “He asked me, `Son of man, can these bones live?’ I said, `O SOVEREIGN LORD, you alone know.” We see a small but significant difference between these verses as they are interpreted in these two translations of the Bible. In this particular case, the verse we used has to do with the resurrection of the body of Christ, or with our transformation, from the body of this death to our new body of the Life and Glory of Christ. Just as certain as it is that God is King and Lord of all, the sovereign ruler and controller of all things, so certain is it also that we shall be changed into the same image and likeness of our blessed elder Brother, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Because God is sovereign, we know also that His will is being done everywhere and in every situation, according to His purpose for this particular time and season in the Spirit. God is not asleep, and He most certainly is fully aware and vigilant regarding all that is taking place in this present world. Our omnipotent and sovereign Father of all knows the end from the beginning, for He planned it all! He personifies wisdom, knowledge and understanding, and by those divine attributes, our Father sovereignly directs the affairs of this world. He may even occasionally allow us to catch a glimpse of His purposes, as they unfold and take place in the earth. The prophet Amos declared, “Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7, NIV). We are truly blessed of our sovereign Lord if we are able to hear His voice, which reveals something of His plans and purposes for this world! His will is being done on earth as it is in heaven! Everything everywhere is proceeding to a grand and glorious conclusion in God, according to our Father’s awesome plan of restoration for this world and the whole creation.
King Nebuchadnezzar was lowered from the human level to the animal level because of his pride. He was made to eat grass like an ox until his understanding and reason returned to him. He was to continue in that lower state “until he acknowledged that the Most High God is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and sets over them anyone he wishes” (Dan. 5:21, NIV). That was a wonderful lesson for a proud king to learn, but it came as a result of a severe time of testing for Nebuchadnezzar. So also does the Lord test and try us until we too will learn that the most High God is a sovereign King, Who rules over the kingdoms of men and puts over those kingdoms anyone he wishes, including the basest of people (Dan. 4:17). If we understand this truth, then we should also know and understand that the rule and reign of the kings and lords in the kingdom of God, or our reign with Christ, is also one of equal power and authority as His. His mind is becoming our mind and His sovereign and omnipotent power and authority are also becoming ours, as we are progressively being changed into His image and likeness. We are becoming what God is in fullness, therefore, our reign is becoming equal in power and authority with the glorious reign of Christ.
In a vision, Daniel saw the son of man, which we believe includes Christ and His body of brother-sons, coming into the power of the kingdom of God. "In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed” (Dan. 7:13-14 NIV). The “one like a son of man,” is the body of Christ or the sons of God, who do only the will of God and reign with Christ. What is true of the kingdom of God during the sovereign reign of Christ, the Head, is just as true and applies just as much to the reign of Christ, the body, which is the reign of the sons of God. The kingdom of God is not diminished by our reign, for the reign of Christ, the body, is equal to the reign of Christ, the Head!
When we consider the abundant promises of God and all He has planned for this world and the whole creation, and compare it with what the world and the creation are now, it may seem like a hopeless scheme that offers no hope of ever being fulfilled when viewed with the carnal mind. But when we look at the sovereign Lord and our God and Father of all, as He really is, then all He has promised becomes a sovereign plan and a supreme purpose that is seen and understood to be something that will be fulfilled and accomplished with the ease and the simplicity of the twinkling of an eye.
Consider what our sovereign Lord has declared He would do! The prophetic word of the Lord emphatically declares that God will restore all things. Everything in and of the earth and the creation that is spoiled and corrupted by sin and man’s rebellious nature shall be restored so thoroughly and so completely that there will not be any resemblance to the old, former things. Isaiah prophesied of the coming Kingdom of God, and the saints who would reign, when he said, “The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing” (Is. 35:1-2). Is this a reference to the same world we live in now? Indeed, it is! And in spite of the darkness of these times and of the present world order, we will believe God’s word with firm and fixed assurance. Daily we will remind ourselves that our sovereign Lord will fulfill all that is written in His prophetic word, and He will do so in His time and in His way. We must know, with full assurance, that nothing is impossible with our God and Father of all!
Everything we see in the literal, natural creation all around us now is the result of the curse. When Adam and Eve sinned and disobeyed the word of the Lord, the whole creation, from the serpent to mankind, was cursed by the Lord. To the serpent, the Lord said, "Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel." (Gen. 3:14-15, NIV). We have no way of knowing what kind of creature the serpent was before the curse, or if it existed at all. After the curse, the serpent became a slim, slithering creature, crawling on its belly and eating dust, just as God said it would. An enmity does indeed exist to this day between the serpent and the woman, and between the offspring of both.
We believe the serpent represents the devil, while the woman
represents God’s people and the true Church. God put enmity between these
two and their offspring that has continued to the present time. The serpent,
or the devil, has been the source of enmity to the seed of the woman and visa-versa.
Yet, the end of the prophetic word foretells the destruction of the serpent
and its seed, for the seed of the woman, which is the remnant called out of
the church, shall conquer the serpent and its seed by crushing its head. As
the elect, who are becoming manifest sons of God, we shall crush the “serpent’s”
head with the “heel” that we are, bringing “him” to
an end. And when its head is crushed, the whole thing, including all of old
Adam’s power and influence, will be destroyed as well. And the only harm
that will come to the seed of the woman, or to us, is that the “heel”
will be bruised. And what or who is the “heel?” It is the holy remnant
of the Lord who are continually walking with the Lord and pleasing Him! We may
get bruised in this final “battle,” but it will be worth it all
just to be the “heel” that crushes the head of that old satanic
“serpent” and “his” evil seed.
They/we shall eliminate the devil and his seed, which is the corrupt, Adamic nature and mind, by crushing the head of that subtle, evil beast (see Ps. 8:6, 91:13, Is. 60:13-14, Mal. 4:3, Lu. 10:19, 1 Cor. 15:25, Eph. 1:22, & Heb. 2:8). Paul wrote, by the Spirit, to tell us, “And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen” (Ro. 16:20). And one of these days that word “shortly” will become more real and tangible, instead of being so theoretical and futuristic, as it has been. We believe this is the Day when this word shall, in truth and in fact, be completely fulfilled in us. The sovereign Lord shall surely bruise Satan under our feet shortly, by crushing the head of that “serpent,” which represents the devil. By that divine act, the serpent, or the devil, and “his” Adamic seed within us (Mt. 13:24-25), will be completely destroyed. That will be the end of the devil and old Adam! Until that deliverance is completely fulfilled, the grace of our Lord will be with us all.
To the woman, Eve, who disobeyed His word, God said, "I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you." (Gen. 3:16, NIV) This also is the result of the curse that God placed upon mankind and the creation. Women suffer pain in childbearing to this day, because of that curse. Also, her desire is for her husband and in some cases he rules over her. But when the sons of God are manifested, the curse will be removed from all mankind and from the whole creation, thus releasing every woman into her true, God-given relationship as sons of God in fullness. Some of this is being fulfilled now as we progress spiritually from immature sons to fully matured and manifested sons of our Father.
We know that Adam, in his original state, was a complete man. But the Lord took the woman, Eve, out of the man, Adam, thus revealing the truth that Adam was once both male and female in one! This tells us that all the reproductive powers and abilities were within the original Adam, as he was in his pristine state. It is possible then, that every man and woman in their restored state will be as Adam was in the beginning: complete and perfect, both male and female in one. The restored man and woman shall become spirit, with a new, glorious body like unto Christ’s. Every person eventually will be transformed and changed into the image and likeness of Christ. What our Father has planned for His creation is glorious and awesome, beyond our present understanding. Therefore, with renewed zeal and dedication, we will press on to our high calling of God in Christ Jesus, anticipating all that shall yet be accomplished in the way of redemption and restoration for the whole creation in the fullness of time, when we are transformed.
To Adam after he had listened to Eve and sinned, the Lord said, "Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return." (Gen. 3:17-19, NIV). Notice all that was cursed in these verses. The ground was cursed, so that anything and everything that grew out of it bore the evidence of the curse of God upon it. What painful toil there is in the business of farming, in spite of the mighty machines that now till the soil and plant and harvest the crops! And the farmer’s labor does not produce a pure and clean crop like the seed that was planted. The curse extended all the way to the harvest, for all the crops are infested with weeds and thistles as soon as the seed is planted, just as God said they would be. Poor, wretched, sinful, dying man; he works by the sweat of his brow to produce food for his lifetime sustenance, and all he gets in the end is to be reduced to the dust of the earth, from which he came, as a result of the curse of God upon Adam and the creation.
But, thank God, there is a remedy, a solution, to this cursed condition. And that answer, that remedy and that solution will not be found in any of man’s carnal relief agencies or government programs. The complete answer, the absolute solution, the total remedy is in the manifestation of the sons of God, and not in any of the programs of man. Of course, we are concerned for the needy of this world, but their needs will never be entirely met by more of the works of man. Carnal man always looks for a carnal solution to the troubles and problems of this world. He will work feverishly in some carnal-minded effort to help the needy. But God alone has the total answer! And God’s answer, His solution, His remedy, for the many needs of mankind now is, always has been and always will be, the manifestation of the sons of God! There will never be a better, more complete or more satisfying solution to man’s troubles and needs than God’s solution! Therefore, we should keep a single eye - an eye with a single-minded focus, with no detractions - on doing things God’s way. For it is only as we do things God’s way that the world and the creation shall be delivered of the curse. Then full redemption and restoration will be totally realized by every man in every nation throughout the whole world, and eventually throughout the whole, vast, boundless creation.
The Apostle Paul set forth God’s plan for the redemption and restoration of all things, when he wrote to say, “The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children (or sons) of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.” (Ro. 8:19-24, NIV)
Why is the creation waiting with eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed? For the simple reason that God has so ordained it that by the manifestation of the sons of God, every created thing shall be delivered of the curse and released into the freedom and victory of the sons of God. In His wisdom and foreknowledge, God has already pre-programed the whole creation to groan and travail for the manifestation of the sons of God, for that is where their hope lies. So also has He preprogramed every true son of God to groan inwardly for their change and their manifestation. That is His plan and His purpose for the sons of God! It is by our manifestation that the whole creation shall be delivered! Therefore, we should earnestly contend for that prize of the high calling of God in Christ that was set before us when we were called of the Father to become manifest sons of God!
Notice that Paul tells us the whole creation is groaning and travailing “as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.” Most certainly spiritual births shall take place in that time of “regeneration,” or “renovation,” when the Son of man shall sit on the throne of His glory (Mt. 19:28). The Emphatic Diaglott, which is an interlinear word for word English translation of the New Testament, translates the word “regeneration” as “the new birth day,” for that is exactly what it is. That will be the great, glad Day of our second birth, when we shall truly be born again of the Spirit to become spirit, just as Jesus said we must to enter the kingdom of God. Most ill-informed Christians try to tell us they are “born again.” But they are not yet “born again,” for they have not yet become spirit. Those who shall be born of the Spirit will indeed become spirit, and will then be given a new body like unto Christ’s body of resurrection Life and Glory.
Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.” (Jo. 3:5-6, NIV) To enter the kingdom of God a person must be born (1) of water, and (2) of the Spirit. To be born of water means to be born of the flesh, for our bodies of this flesh are made up mostly of water. The World Book encyclopedia tells us that about seven-tenths of our body is water. And to be born of the Spirit means we must be transformed from this body of flesh to our new body of Spirit-Life in the kingdom of God. “Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.” And “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor. 15:50). Therefore, we must be transformed and changed into spirit by a spiritual birth before we can possibly enter or inherit the kingdom of our Father (see Jo. 3:5).
When we are changed into the likeness of Christ, we will have access to bodies according to the work we shall accomplish for our Father in His kingdom. For example, if we are sent to the hot, steamy regions of West Africa and then sent of our Father next to Alaska, we will have a body fit for both regions. And it will only take a second to get to either place! Of course, this is only speculation, but if Father should want us to take flight to the literal heavens above and bring a fallen star into heavenly order again, we will have a body that is fit and ready to do that work in the vastness of the literal heavens that surround this earth. Let your mind be stretched by the Spirit to see new things in God, for it is by seeing new things in Him that we are being changed. We are becoming what we see, in the Spirit and by the Spirit!
Indeed, a spiritual birth shall take place to bring forth the sons of God in their manifested, resurrected state, thus showing forth the Life of Christ. Jesus said, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (Jo. 3:6). We have been born of the flesh to become flesh, but we have not yet been born again of the Spirit to become spirit. We are presently in a body of flesh, but we shall become spirit and given a new body like Christ’s when we are born again of the Spirit. After being born of the flesh and becoming flesh, we were impregnated with the Seed of the Life of Christ. We were begotten again of the Spirit unto the lively hope of sonship fulfilled and manifested (1 Pe. 1:3). This took place when our Father apprehended us and called us according to His purpose. The Seed of Christ was then planted within us, beginning our spiritual journey to the fullness of Christ, that we might be born again of the Spirit. The tests and trials of this “life” are preparing us to be born again of the Spirit, thus transforming us into spirit beings with a new body just like Christ’s. Soon we shall be born again of the Spirit to manifest the great glory of the resurrection Life of Christ to every created thing in all the world.
Just as all the sins of the world were placed on Jesus when He went to the cross, so all the problems, sorrows and troubles of man, including creation’s deliverance from the curse, were placed upon the sons of God. The whole creation shall be fully delivered and restored, and redemption fulfilled, at the manifestation of the sons of God. And by that manifestation, the whole creation and everything of it and in it shall be gloriously set free. God has no other plan but this! If you are looking for some other solution, other than God’s, you will be found frittering away your time and resources on carnal, worldly programs of man that are only temporary. God’s way is the permanent way! His sovereign and omnipotent plan is the only one that will work!
The whole creation knows this and that is why they are all groaning and travailing, waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God. God has put this wisdom, this knowledge and this understanding, into the souls of every created thing! In fact, the creation seems to be wiser than some Christians. Christendom has all kinds of plans and programs for this world, and every one of them, without exception, will fail miserably. They seem to sense the utter failure of their carnal-minded programs, so Christian theologians have devised a plan that will circumvent or sidestep their failure. It is their vain hope that God shall literally carry them away up into a beautiful city of angels with streets of gold, located on a planet somewhere in the heavens, where they shall live in peace, rest and joy, while the world that God so loves languishes in pain, suffering and endless torment. That is man’s carnal plan that expresses such defeat and futility! And we may be absolutely certain that it will be a total failure; it will never happen the way most Christians think it will!
Thank God for His plan, for His plan is far superior to all the ridiculous and useless plans of man! Yet, in spite of the superior plans and purposes of our sovereign Lord, many Christians put all their faith, trust and resources into the failing plans of man. But our loving, merciful Father has a people in this Day who are walking with Him in white. They are faithfully doing His perfect will and walking in His footsteps. They are also pleasing Him as they grow spiritually from day to day, to become all that our sovereign Lord has purposed them to be. They shall inherit the fullness of the kingdom of God and shall also release the creation from its bondages to sin, darkness, evil and death. The kingdom of God is coming down from God out of heaven to the earth, beginning the process of creation’s full redemption and restoration.
Ten years ago, I wrote this true story about an experience
I had in Nigeria, West Africa, some forty years ago. Many of you have already
read it! Allow us to tell it again for those who have not. One afternoon the
Lord appeared to me in my room and said to me, “the kingdom of God is
at hand!” As soon as He said that, He immediately turned away and left
the room. Needless to say, I was surprised and amazed by that visitation. As
I thought about it later, I began to doubt that it was of the Lord. Since I
saw no other manifestation of the kingdom, I thought the whole experience should
be questioned. A few days later, as I was walking down a path from our house
to the Bible school where I taught Bible classes, the Lord again got my attention.
This time, as I was walking through the lush, Nigerian bush, I heard the leaves,
the shrubs, the trees, and the plants singing a combined song of praise to the
Lord and of travail for the kingdom of God. I stopped to listen! The sound of
it all was so arresting that my attention was fixed for a few minutes on the
awesome, majestic wonder of that heavenly scene.
The sound was so awe-inspiring, I thought it to be a most heavenly sound. The whole creation all around me came alive with that combined song of praise and travail. In fact, the creation is always singing, groaning and travailing, along with us, as we along with them wait for the redemption of our bodies (see 1 Chron. 16:31-33 & Ro. 8:22). But for those few minutes I was given ears to hear it. As I stood there, transfixed by the wonder of it all, the Lord spoke to me again and said, “Now do you doubt me when I tell you, the kingdom of God is at hand?” I replied, “No, Lord, help me never to doubt your word again.” With that, I ceased hearing the sounds of the creation, everything returned to “normal,” and that heavenly experience ended. I shall never forget those wonderful, transforming experiences! By such experiences, the Lord’s chosen and set apart elect have grown in the Spirit. We have matured now so that such experiences are not needed. His word alone is all we need now! Little by little, we are becoming all that He is!
As a result of those experiences and His word, I was able to see and understand that the whole creation shall be delivered and restored by the sovereign power of our Father. The curse shall be removed from the creation and from every creature, and all shall know the blessed victory and freedom of the sons of God. And what a glorious deliverance and restoration that shall be! Everything from the soil beneath our feet to the heavens above, where there are spiritual clouds of darkness, shall be gloriously restored and made new by our loving, merciful Father. All this shall take place at the manifestation of the sons of God! A “branch” shall come forth out of the root of the stem of Jesse, or out of Christ, to blossom and bud and fill the whole earth with the choice fruit of the kingdom of God. And our manifestation will confirm to all that we have indeed been anointed with the seven Spirits of God. With righteousness and justice we shall judge and reign, for His righteousness and faithfulness will be the girdle of our loins (see Is. 11:1-5).
When the sons of God are manifested and all is restored to Kingdom standards of love, righteousness and peace, no longer will weeds, thorns and thistles infest the ground. No longer will one creature harm or devour another, for there shall be Kingdom peace, harmony and rest among all the creatures and the whole creation. The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard with the kid. The calf and the young lion will be together in peace and harmony. The lion will eat straw like the ox, instead of devouring other animals. And a baby not yet weaned will joyously and harmlessly play on the hole of the once most venomous serpent. Women will no longer suffer in childbirth, and work by the sweat of our brow will be a thing of the past. Then, every person will dwell under their own fig tree, for true, Kingdom prosperity will be the way of life for all. Then, the Love of God shall prevail everywhere, for the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord.
Emily and I have been wondrously blessed with the privilege of visiting other parts of our great nation, as well as Canada and other nations of the world. Here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, as well as in many other places of the world, we can see the handiwork of God. I marvel at the beauty and the vastness of the mountains, and of the rivers, the lakes and the oceans, here and in many other parts of the world. Each area of the world has its own beauty and attraction. But what we see now is the beauty of the earth with the curse still on it all! Whatever will it be like when the curse is removed from this earth, and all is restored to its future, eternal glory, to show forth the peace and harmony of the kingdom of our Father? This will all take place in Father’s time, by His Spirit, at the manifestation of the sons of God!
Then we are told that “a little child shall lead them” (Is. 11:6). And who is this “little child?” It is the small company of the manifest sons of God! They are the overcomers who have prevailed over sin, darkness and death in this world. They are the elect and chosen ones who have climbed this last mountain to become fully matured and manifested sons of their Father! They have become kings and priests of God after the order of Melchisedec, ministering to all with the power of an endless life. They are leading the way for the whole creation into the greater glories and wonders of the kingdom of their Father!
Under the leadership and kingdom reign of this “little child,” there will be no hurt, harm or destruction anywhere in the whole, vast creation. Instead, the whole earth shall be full of the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. The Lord will recover and restore the remnant of His people that are left among the nations. He will gather them all unto Himself, and will make them joyous and fulfilled in the kingdom of God. Then that “root of Jesse,” which is the remnant, or the body of Christ, shall become an ensign for the people. To that “ensign,” or to those enChristed ones, shall the Gentiles, or the nations, seek and his rest shall be glorious. And when the nations come to Christ, through the “ensign” of His people, or by our Christ-Light that has attracted them, they shall all learn and receive the peace and rest of the Kingdom of our Father. Then Kingdom Peace and Godly Rest shall reign in the life of every person in all the world, because of our spiritual growth unto maturity, which we are now walking out, by the Spirit. And may we keep walking in the Spirit and pleasing the Lord, until we become that “ensign,” manifesting the Life, the Glory, the Truth and the Light of Christ!
Then, the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be fully established in the top, or above, all other mountains and governments. Every enemy will be under His feet; they will all be in total and complete subjection to Christ and His resurrected body. The old Adamic mind and nature within every person will be thoroughly swallowed up by His Life that was manifested through us. And when satan and old Adam are destroyed, never to oppress mankind again, many shall go up to the mountain of the Lord and to the house of the God of Jacob. There, He will teach them His ways, and they shall walk in His paths. The pure law of the Lord shall go forth out of Zion, and the clear and unadulterated word of the Lord shall be spread abroad from the new Jerusalem. By the purity of the law of the Lord and His righteous and holy word, the nations shall learn His ways. He will then judge the nations, and will rebuke many people. Then they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Then, one nation will not go to war against another nation, neither shall any of the nations of this world learn war anymore (see Is. 2:1-4, Micah 4:1-4). And all this shall take place when the sons of God are transformed and manifested, and not by any other method, no matter how spiritual it may sound.
What a wonderful Day this is, and what a great opportunity we have as sons of God at this time! John wrote to say, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (1 Jo. 3:2). Most anyone can be a son of God in its primary state! Many now are rejoicing in their sonship, and in the wonderful truths involved. But they seem to stumble at its simplicity and lose interest when it comes to the part that says “and it doth not yet appear what we shall be.” We may be sons of God now, but we have very little information about what we shall be. Yet, we do know for sure that when Christ appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And that is all we need to know!
If we are really serious about our sonship, and are concerned with the corrupt state of the world and the great burdens and needs of humanity and of the creation, we will get more sincere and concerned about our relationship with the Lord. We will earnestly seek Him that we might be prepared to see Christ as He is when He appears. The next phase of the kingdom of God is now at hand! And many of us sense in the Spirit that Christ shall soon appear to transform His eager waiting, believing, expecting and anticipating sons of God! “And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.”
The Kingdom of God Comes In The Person of Christ, The Spirit
The kingdom of God is not a “thing,” or an “it;” the kingdom of God is a Person, along with many other such persons, who are all in the Spirit with the Father (1 Thess. 3:13, Jude 14). The kingdom of God is as big as God is, for God is the Spirit of the kingdom. He is not only the Spirit of the kingdom, He also is the King, the Lord, and the Chief Potentate of His kingdom of all might, power and authority everywhere. If God can be measured, then His kingdom can also be measured. But since we all know that God is immeasurable, then we must also know that His kingdom is that realm or dominion of God that cannot be measured or described by man’s methods and man’s understanding. God and His kingdom are too vast, too large and too incomprehensible for any of us to understand, measure or describe. And it is that indescribable, incomprehensible and immeasurable kingdom of our Father that is coming to the earth. It is God coming to the earth, first in a measure, and ultimately and finally in glorious and complete fullness.
Man, particularly the new creation man, is deeply involved in the affairs of this earth and its future restoration. God’s word has gone forth, telling us, “The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD's: but the earth hath he given to the children of men” (Ps. 115:16). God gave the earth to man, therefore, man, especially and particularly the Christ-Man, must have God’s help to bring this earth into harmony with God and His purposes. Our Father has a plan already in place to help us fulfill His sovereign purposes for this earth, which is in the grip of the curse of sin and death. And it is my firm conviction that our Father is so concerned about His elect and chosen ones and their part in His sovereign plan of redemption and restoration for this world, that HE WILL COME IN PERSON to give us the help we need.
It is by the coming of the Lord that we shall be raised to new Life in the Spirit and transformed into the glorious image and likeness of Christ. By the one, divine, supreme and crowning act of the coming of the Lord, our God shall begin the wonderful process of the restoration of all things! In order to do what needs to be done at this time, which is the beginning of a new Day when the fragrance of the freshness of the new morning is now apparent and is tantalizing us with its heavenly potential, our God and Father of all is giving us the very best in His kingdom; He is giving us of Himself! And what more could our Father give us, than to give us Himself? When our loving and merciful Father purposes to do something outstanding, something awesome and glorious in this earth, to change it and bring forth those new heavens and the new earth, He will not send an angel or some other lesser heavenly being; He will come Himself!
By the coming of the Lord, we shall be changed! And our change will initiate the dawning of the new, kingdom morning in the earth, when everything everywhere will also be changed! As it was in history, so shall it be now and in the future! Whenever the Lord determined to do a new thing in the earth, He came or appeared personally to that person or persons whom He had chosen for that task. The Lord appeared to Abram in the land of the Canaanites, and promised him that his seed would be given that very land (Ge. 12:7). This promise was given to Abram before his name was changed to Abraham, and also before he had any children of his own. The original Hebrew word “ra’ah” is translated “appeared,” and simply means to see, literally or figuratively. Therefore, Abram “saw” the Lord, whether literally or figuratively, and the Lord also spoke to him at that appearing.
That particular appearing of the Lord to Abram, meaning to see, is the type of appearing that is mentioned throughout the Old Testament. In the same way He appeared to Abram, the Lord also appeared to Isaac (Gen. 26:24); to Jacob (Gen. 35:1); to Moses (Ex. 3:16); To Samuel (1 Sam. 3:21); to David (2 Chron. 3:1); and to Solomon (1 Ki. 3:5). They all saw the Lord, as Abram saw Him, but we have no way of knowing whether they saw Him literally or spiritually. I also saw the Lord in the experience I described on page ten, and in the same way these Godly men did. I cannot say if I saw Him literally or spiritually, but as I look back on that experience now, I believe I saw Christ in the Spirit, or spiritually. And what He said changed my life! How the Lord appeared to me did not seem to be important, but the words He spoke - the message He relayed to me then, was most important!
The appearing of the Lord to Jacob seems to have two phases, or two different manifestations of Himself. In Genesis, chapter thirty-five and verse one, the Lord appeared to Jacob in the same way He appeared to Abram. But in the same chapter of Genesis and verse seven, the appearing of the Lord to Jacob is described using another Hebrew word, “galah,” which means to denude, or to reveal. I take that to mean that the Lord denuded Himself, or that He stripped Himself, opened Himself up and revealed Himself to Jacob, in that appearing. In like manner, He may also strip Himself and reveal Himself to us, when He appears to transform us into His image and likeness. Then, we shall truly see Him as He is, and shall become all that He is!
In the New Testament, we are told that Jesus appeared first to Mary Magdalene, when He was risen from the dead (Mk. 16:9). In this case, the word, “appeared,” is from the Greek word, “phaino,” meaning to lighten, shine or show. Therefore, Jesus appeared to Mary as Light, even the Light of Christ. Luke’s account tells us of the appearing of Christ as Light, when he said, “the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering” (Lu. 9:29). What a privilege and blessing it must have been for the disciples, Peter, John and James, to see their Lord in His new body of resurrection Life and Glory! Yet, those three disciples were not changed into the same image and likeness when they did see Him. They remained the same as they were, awaiting another, transforming appearing of their Lord. We shall see Him in a similar way, but we will be changed when we do see Him in the full splendor and glory of His resurrection Life.
After He appeared to Mary Magdalene, Jesus appeared “in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country” (Mk. 16:12). This appearing comes from another, different Greek word, “phaneroo,” meaning to render apparent. And this Greek word is taken from another, “phaneros,” meaning shining, apparent. Then, “afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen” (Mk. 16:14). When the Lord appeared to Mary, He came or appeared as light to lighten, to shine, or to show Himself. When Jesus appeared to the two disciples and the eleven, He appeared (phaneroo) to make Himself apparent to them. His purpose obviously was to reveal Himself to them in His resurrected and transformed state, not to change them, but to let them know that He had triumphed victoriously over hell, death and the grave! His disciples suffered with Jesus during His journey here on earth, and they needed to know that all their sufferings with Him had brought forth a tremendous victory for every man!
On another occasion, the disciples told of the appearing of Jesus to Simon Peter. They said, “The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon” (Lu. 24:34). The word, “appeared,” as used here, means to gaze with wide open eyes, as at something remarkable, and signifies an earnest but more continued inspection. It was His “optanomai” appearing. And I am sure we would all agree that the resurrected and glorified Christ is indeed someone remarkable! He is the wonderful and glorious Person of the Godhead, Who is arrayed in holy garments of light, royalty, majesty and splendor, and is manifesting or showing forth the Life of the Father. Should the Lord appear to us this way, we will want to inspect Him more earnestly. In this appearing of the Lord, Peter was not changed in his body, but surely he was changed spiritually. Peter remained in the same physical state he was in before the Lord appeared. When we see Christ as He is, we shall truly be changed in our bodies. What a wonder it must be to behold Him in all His glory! And indeed, we shall see Him as He is, to become all that He is!
But there is another Greek word used for “appearing” that applies specifically to all those who love His appearing and who are expecting to be changed from this mortal to the glorious likeness of the immortal and incorruptible Christ. “I charge you to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which God will bring about in his own time - God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.” (1 Tim. 6:13-14, NIV)
This is an appearing that is reserved for the sons of God who are doing the will of their Father; it is promised for those who are walking in the Spirit unto their manifestation as sons of God. This passage tells us that no man has seen Him or can see Him in His immortal state, for He lives in an unapproachable Light, which is the Light of the Life of Christ. In the Day of His appearing to transform His elect, Christ will be known as “the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal.” We are told to “keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.” And what was the command Paul was referring to? It was this word: “Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” (1 Tim. 6:12-13, NIV) Fighting the good fight of the faith is spiritual warfare against all errors, doubts, fears and unbelief. It is a constant battle against false doctrines, a lack of commitment to the cause and purpose of Christ and His kingdom, and the constant pressures of the unspiritual attempting to lead us to walk in another direction.
The most important and significant thing we can do now, as we wait for the appearing of Christ to transform us, is to “take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” Let us take hold of Him and His Life, for it is our only hope! It means little to have started this race to His fullness, or to be in the race at all; it means everything to finish this race! As long as we are firmly taking hold of the eternal Life of Christ to which we are called, being changed by the Spirit, and believing it and fully expecting it to take place in our own lives, we will remain in this race to His fullness and will make it all the way to the finish line!
The Greek word used for “appearing” in the above passage (1 Tim. 6:14), is “epiphaneia” and means a manifestation. This word comes from another, meaning, conspicuous, i.e. (figuratively) memorable. And this word comes from yet another word, meaning, to shine upon, i.e. become (literally) visible or (figuratively) known, (from Strong’s Concordance). All these words reveal something of the truth that concerns the appearing of Christ to bring about our glorious transformation. The appearing of Christ to change us will be a manifestation or a revealing of Himself that has rarely taken place before. The Apostle Paul wrote of the appearing of the Lord on one occasion, saying, “he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared (optanomai) to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared (optanomai) to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep” (1 Cor. 15:4-6, NIV).
That appearing of Christ was only a partial victory for mankind.
Some of them were raised to this “life” when they saw Him, but many
died. The appearing of Christ that is of interest to us will completely change
us! It will deliver mankind and the whole creation from the curse of sin and
death! Therefore, we will “take hold of the eternal life to which you
(we) were called.” This is our path to Kingdom Life abundant! Amen!
Paul and Emily Mueller
P O BOX 25055, PORTLAND, OR 97298-0055