INTO THE KINGDOM
they therefore were come together, they asked of Him, saying, Lord, wilt Thou at
this time restore the Kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6).
is the last resurrection appearance of Jesus before His ascension.
At this time Jesus discussed with His disciples the coming of the Holy
Spirit and gave them instructions about waiting in Jerusalem.
He gave them some idea of what would accompany their experience of
receiving the Holy Ghost. They
would receive power.
During His three and a half years of ministry, Jesus attempted to turn
the minds and hearts of the disciples to spiritual things, and graduate them
from constant expectation of external and natural happenings.
The earthly kingship idea of Messiah was prominent among the Jews.
They expected that when Messiah came he would defeat Israel’s
oppressors and immediately go to Jerusalem and sit on David’s throne.
The people would inaugurate him as king of Israel, and Israel would soon
become the one world kingdom. They
had good reasons for believing this idea, because they believed the prophets of
the Old Testament.
tried to overcome their concept that the restoration of the kingdom was to be a
literal affair. He tried to
transfer their vision from the literal to the spiritual.
He tried to make them see something other than a visible kingdom. He kept proclaiming that there was an invisible Kingdom of
the heavenlies wherein is found life and reality.
It was natural for them, however, to look for a literal, restored kingdom
in the earthlies, for with their natural minds that is how they perceived the
promises of the prophets of old. Isaiah,
Jeremiah, and other prophets had left an impression upon the people of Israel
that the Messiah for whom they looked was going to come and establish a literal
kingdom of a visible government in the earth.
example, turn to Isaiah, chapter nine, and read.
Do so as though you were an Israelite looking for Messiah, as though your
nation had been overthrown by the foreign armies of Babylon, Assyria, or Rome.
You are in subjection to a foreign power, and you are listening to your
prophets prophesy. They are
proclaiming that because Israel sinned, because they kept not the law of the
Lord, because they went a whoring after other gods and did abomination before
the Lord, God sent the foreign government to destroy their land and their holy
city and temple, and carry them away into captivity.
Suppose yourself sitting among the Israelites, listening to Isaiah
prophesy, weeping because your nation had sinned and God had brought the
judgment of your enemies upon you. You
long for the time when you can go back and see Jerusalem’s walls erected
again, and the temple of Yahweh glittering once more in its glory upon mount
yourself in the position of one of those citizens of Israel listening to the
Word of God coming to them from their prophet, gazing at Jerusalem in rubble,
under the hand and dominion of a foreign, heathen government.
Just imagine yourself listening to the prophet speaking to you the words
recorded in Isaiah chapter nine. “For
unto us (Israelites) a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the
government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful,
Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the
throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with
judgment and justice from henceforth even for ever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this” (Isa. 9:6-7).
This is the Word of God through the prophet, to the people of Israel.
If you can, place yourself back there listening, as a people whose land,
government and throne have just been devastated by foreign armies. Now God promises you a king, a Messiah. He promises that when he comes he is going to re-establish
the throne of David, which to them was a very natural and literal throne in a
physical and visible city on earth. This
Messiah will restore the kingdom to Israel and bring in an age of peace and
blessing. He is going to sit on
David’s throne and kingdom to rule it, to establish it in judgment and
justice. You are now bursting with
the bright hope of the glorious kingdom of David!
And you have a promise from
the prophet Isaiah that it is going to come to pass. And the scene is repeated again and again through the
prophets Jeremiah, Daniel, Zachariah, Ezra, and others.
Jews in the days of Jesus were still looking for the Messiah that Isaiah,
Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Ezra, Haggai and Malachi had promised.
Each one of those prophets
gave them the idea that this Messiah, when he came, would be a temporal,
external, visible king. A king that
would militarily defeat their enemies, go up to Jerusalem and ascend mount Zion,
rebuild the palace as well as the temple and the walls, and sit again on the
throne of David re-established there. Putting
oneself in their place before Jesus came, one can understand that with their
natural minds they had real reason to believe that this earthly kingdom would
come to pass. Their prophets had
made it clear that this was what they could expect.
Jews could not see the spiritual reality to which the prophetic utterance
pointed since they did not have spiritual insight.
They could see only with their literal, individual, human approach and
perspective. They could see only
the promise of the visible kingdom they supposed the prophets were prophesying
about. It seems that this was still
in the mind of the old prophet Simeon when Jesus was brought into the temple in
Jerusalem as a babe. Even the words of the aged prophetess Anna and the angel, if
taken in the letter of the Word context, reflect the hope of a literal kingdom
established in Israel, in Palestine. Thus
one can see and understand why the disciples, also, in spite of Jesus trying to
transfer their hope from that which is natural to that which is spiritual, from
an earthly Kingdom of God to a spiritual Kingdom, held tenaciously to the
visible, temporal idea. You can
understand why they, not being quickened by the Spirit, and without spiritual
perception, could still be in expectation of a literal kingdom
established upon the earth.
primary reason for Peter turning away from the Lord, denying Him, and the other
disciples scattering into the night, was because the Messiah they had followed
for more than three years was not fulfilling what they thought Isaiah and the
prophets said he would do. He was
not conquering Rome. He was not
seizing power. He was not
They became confused. They
supposed that this Man was supposed to take David’s throne in Jerusalem.
Instead of taking David’s throne, He is letting Pilate sentence Him to
death upon a cross. All the disciples trusted in the words of the prophets and
cherished the hope of the restored
kingdom of Israel. The disciples
were confused and frustrated because they had no spiritual perception yet.
They had been born of the flesh, but not born of the Spirit.
They had been born of man, but not born of God.
They had been birthed from the earth, but not birthed from above.
They could understand natural words with natural minds, but were unable
to understand spiritual words with spiritual minds.
They, like Nicodemus, could understand earthly
things, but had no understanding of heavenly
is the Kingdom of God?
It is a goal — a
quest set before us toward which we daily press — the
goal of entering into a completely different realm; a different civilization; a
higher order; different form of government;
a realm governed by God.
The Kingdom is a heavenly thing, for it is the Kingdom of Heaven, the
subject of God’s heavenly counsels. The
Old Testament prophecies made known His earthly counsels.
They concerned natural men, physical nations, geographical locations,
carnal warfare, territorial conquests, literal thrones, outward rituals and
ceremonies, national laws, temples of stone and gold and cedar wood, animal
sacrifices, priestly vestments, feast days, etc., etc.
This is of great importance, showing how completely the Kingdom lies beyond
the outer world. It has a
different origin; it is revealed at a different time; it cherishes a different
hope; it is entered by a different birth; it belongs to a different sphere.
After the glowing commendation of the faith, inheritance, and exploits of
the Old Testament saints and heroes, in Hebrews chapter 11 we are distinctly
told that all these “received not the promise, God having provided some better
thing for us, that without us they should not be made perfect.”
Does not our Lord tell us that “among them that are born of women there
hath not arisen a greater than John the Baptist: yet he that is the least in the
Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he”? The
Kingdom of Heaven is the spiritual realm
of which Christ is the Head and King. The
true Church is the metropolis of the
Kingdom, the sons of God are the throne,
the center of order and government in the Kingdom.
Hawtin wrote of this realm: “May the blessed Holy Spirit open the eyes of our
understanding that we may see that beyond the veil of flesh is the realm of God.
There men and women, having passed through the binding, blinding veil of
the flesh, pass out into the open sunlight of God’s precious revelation.
There they begin to see things as He sees them and to understand them as
He understands them. In that realm beyond the veil of our human flesh we come to
know God as He knows us. Here we
begin to walk no longer in the light of the sun and the moon, or in the light of
the natural mind, but we now walk in the light of the Shekinah, the light of the
Holy Spirit, who has come forth from the Father into the world to dwell, not with
men, but in them. The way we
once thought of God and understood the things that belong to His realm becomes
foreign to us. Then we thought that
God was such an one as ourselves, but now we see His purpose is to make us like
the realm of the flesh we walk, not only in a new realm, but in an entirely new
mind. It is the mind
of Christ. Here in this
heavenly realm we begin to think as God thinks, to see as He sees, to comprehend
as He comprehends, and to desire as He desires.
Here we become citizens of a new world, a new country, even an heavenly
country. Here old things are
passing away and all things become new. We
cannot have a renewed mind while we live and walk after the desires of the flesh
and the carnal mind. That is where
the prosperity doctrine has led millions
astray. They have set their
affections not on things above, but on
possessing the things of the earth, and unbeknown to themselves, while they
demand everything that appeals to the natural man, their desires for the
treasures of the Spirit begin to fade away.
enumerating his abundance of natural things and natural gifts, talents and
accomplishments, all of which belong to this realm of flesh and blood, the
apostle Paul declared that he counted them all on the level of dung, and that is
exactly what they are. Men and women who glory in the natural and the abundance of
earthly things will be found sleeping when the trumpet sounds.
Our Father in heaven has made provision for us whereby we may live above
the world as true citizens of the heavenly realm.
In this realm of the Spirit we have a new heart and a new mind.
We have new eyes to see the invisible, new ears to hear the inaudible.
Here in this world we communicate only with words that are spoken, but
those of us who have walked at all in the Spirit have found that the Spirit of
God speaks to us very definitely without the use of spoken or written words so
that we know what He said and what His rebukes and instructions were.
In this realm beyond the veil of the flesh, in this heavenly country and
new citizenship, we begin to know His voice as we never knew it from the far off
country of the flesh. It is a new
realm, a new era, a new country and a new citizenship.
Those who walk here have a new attitude. This is the realm of life eternal, and I am convinced that
neither life nor death nor principality nor power nor things present nor things
to come can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord”
Hurnard relates the transformation that came to her life at the discovery of
this higher reality. “Little by little everything in my circumstances altered.
It was as though I had really moved into another country — a
heavenly one, where I was surrounded by things that I found more delightful than
anything that I had experienced in the past.
Even more wonderful than that, I actually began to feel as though there
were angels and heavenly beings coming and going all the time, and, for a very
matter-of-fact and practical person like myself, this was a most wonderful and
awesome experience. All sorts of spiritual influences and inspirations were given
to me which seemed to ‘open the eyes of my understanding’, so that I seemed
to have been born into a new world and
universe altogether, or to have escaped from the prison-house world of what my
physical senses could perceive, into a vast and glorious world perceivable only
through newly developing spiritual senses.
Not through psychic senses, which enable people to see what is going on
naturally elsewhere in the world, or what is going to happen in the future, but
through spiritual understanding of truths which had been hidden to me until then
which now began to reveal a world of REALITIES and experiences and contact with
higher powers, such as I had never before envisaged”
us go back some two millenniums to the venerable city of the great King.
It is night. A citizen is
stealing along the street furtively, keeping to the shadows.
Having gained admission into the house where a certain itinerant teacher
is staying, the visitor says to Him, “Rabbi, we know that Thou art a teacher
come from God: for no man can do these miracles that Thou doest, except God be
with him.” It was really a brave
and daring thing for this night visitor to do.
On the one hand, he was a distinguished citizen, an ecclesiastical
authority among the Jews, a member of the renowned Sanhedrin, the Supreme Court
of Israel. On the other hand, the
teacher whom he had come to consult, although famous for certain healings and
teachings, was only an untitled rabbi from Nazareth in provincial Galilee.
first words of the new teacher are, however, astounding.
The words spoken by Jesus to Nicodemus are freighted with divine
significance, for in that interview the Lord revealed foundation truths
concerning the Kingdom of God. Instead
of deferentially receiving him, Jesus said to him, “Verily, verily, I say unto
thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.”
What an unexpected, stunning affront to this exemplary Pharisee, this
honorable member of the Sanhedrin, this professional expert in Israel!
The Kingdom of God was a term with which he had been familiar since
childhood. He believed that by
virtue of his own birthright as a Jew he was already a member of that Kingdom.
And now this itinerant carpenter-teacher from despised Nazareth dares
tell this distinguished Pharisee in his very face that unless he is born
again, born from above, he will not ever see the Kingdom of God! Astounded
and confused, he asks, defensively, “How can a man be born when he is old?
Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?”
But the new rabbi, in no way offended by his visitor’s stupid question,
proceeds to repeat, with increasing detail and emphasis, the terms of entrance
into the Kingdom of God. “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.”
the unborn twins Jack and Jill debating whether there is life after the womb.
Their small, dark world has been unusually active lately, and both Jack
and Jill realize that their days in the womb are numbered. But while Jill argues that there is much more to existence
than their life in the womb, Jack refuses to believe in something he has never
seen. Then suddenly their world
begins to collapse. They feel a
tug, intense pressure. There is
pain for the first time ever. Jack
holds on; Jill slips. Her head is
pushed harder and harder into a dark tunnel.
There is pain, more pressure. It’s
happening, thinks Jack, this is the end. And
while he holds on for dear life, he sees a piercing light and hears Jill’s
final cry. Then silence. But while Jack weeps for his sister, Jill lies safely in the
arms of her mother. She has been
welcomed into a new family and a whole new world — a
world of dazzling light, vast distances, and great opportunities.
And Jill wishes she could tell Jack that there is indeed life beyond the
womb and that it’s better than anything imaginable. But she can’t; Jack will have to see for himself.
IT IS BIRTH THAT BRINGS THE NEW IDENTITY AND THE NEW WORLD.
human life begins at the moment of conception, but at that point in time it is
not truly a person, it bears little resemblance to the man or woman it will one
day become. At the time of
conception the embryo looks more like a fish than a human being.
Many important changes take place as the child develops in the womb over
the gestation period of nine months. The
formation period ends with the onset of childbirth.
When the baby is ready, a change in the chemistry of the mother’s body
causes the contractions that bring the birth to begin.
Continual and intensifying contractions finally thrust the baby out into
a new world. The attending
physician cuts the umbilical cord and severs the connection between mother and
child. The infant’s lusty cries
broadcast the news of a new person arriving in the world.
Think of the great changes that must take place in the infant at the
moment of birth. In an instant,
after hours of struggle, from a liquid environment, he is now surrounded by air.
From total darkness, he is now flooded with light.
From a world of confinement and silence, he is now brought into a world
of freedom and communication. He
must begin to breathe immediately. No
longer will he get nourishment from his mother’s blood; he must begin to eat.
There is everything to learn, and the learning starts immediately and
never ends. It is exciting,
the great and wonderful plan of God, the birth experience determines a human
being, for it is by birth that the previously unborn fetus takes on its identity as an
independently living, breathing, human being.
Can we not see that identity
begins with birth? The nature of
our birth, and its reality, determines who we will become.
Our pedigree and genealogy is of utmost importance.
Your life is a unique creation of God.
You are a special creature in all of God’s vast universe.
It is at birth that the certificate is issued whereby the child is
registered as a citizen of his or her country and the world. It is at
birth that a name is given to the child, establishing for all of his life his
individual identity. In like
manner, the birth experience determines the identity of a son of God who
possesses the life of Christ. Jesus
did not tell Nicodemus, “Ye must be conceived
again,” although there is truth in that, too.
He said, “Ye must be born
again.” It is a mystery to us
all, but the fact remains that God has ordained that a wonderful transformation
takes place by birth. It is at
birth that the child is given the “breath of life” thus becoming a “living
soul.” All through the Bible
birth was the event that established the identity of
the child and his or her position in the family as a son or a daughter.
Inheritance, protection under the law, legal matters of all kinds, and
pedigree were all reckoned from birth. Conception
determined none of these things under the law — only
birth. How wonderful and
significant are the blessings and benefits that accrue by birth!
a mighty transformation there must be in a man’s life, in his nature, in his
character, in his state of being, in his desires, in his attitudes, in his
behavior, in his understanding, in his goals and objectives before he can truly
say, “I am not of the world. I
have a new birth. I am born into
another Kingdom. I belong to
another King. I am in the midst of
the world with all its crookedness and sin and sorrow and limitation and pain
and death, but I do not belong to it.” I
wonder if you can get that.
hear of the new birth and we think we understand it.
Faintly we hear the truths of sonship and imagine we are already sons of
God. We have seen through a glass darkly, but face to face we
behold all things as they are. The
mists that have hung like shrouds upon the distant majestic peaks are fleeing
away before the rising sun of righteousness that we may know as we are known.
In the true and eloquent words of another: “Believers of all ages have
sold themselves woefully short on all the great promises of God.
We have been content to say that every believer was born
again and needed but to wait until some distant day when he would fly away
to heaven either by death or by rapture. I
remember seeing this sign vividly portrayed by the public highway: Except a man
be born again, he CANNOT GO TO HEAVEN. That
statement, I fear, has been the sum and substance of Christian belief, but we
have missed the true meaning of the truth given to Nicodemus so long ago.
To be born from above is to be BORN FROM A HIGHER REALM.
Spirit is higher than flesh even though both should grow together in one
body. To be born of the flesh is
one thing, for there you are born into a NATURAL REALM capable only of partaking
of NATURAL THINGS. But to be BORN
OF THE SPIRIT is to be born into a new and higher realm where the ETERNAL THINGS
are CLEARLY SEEN before us even as natural things are seen by the natural man.
Without birth from above it is IMPOSSIBLE to see the kingdom of God, for
natural men have not been given the power to see spiritual things.
realm of the new birth is the realm of sonship. It is
the realm where Jesus Christ, the Son of God, lived
and moved and had His being.
Not that He was born again, for He had never sinned nor died and needed
not the regeneration of ordinary men. But
He lived and moved in the REALM OF
SONSHIP full and complete. He lived
and moved in the REALM OF THE KINGDOM and opened up the way for us to
enter in. As Moses led Israel to
Kadesh Barnea where they could actually see the promised land but through
unbelief turned back to the wilderness, so Jesus led the whole world to a sort
of spiritual Kadesh Barnea where the glory of the Kingdom came into full view
only to be lost sight of in a spiritual wilderness in which we have wandered for
almost two thousand years. Jesus
Christ, the Son of God, lived in a realm above and beyond ordinary men, for
while we have lived as sons of men, He lived as the Son of God.
While we have been from beneath, He was from
above. While our kingdoms have
been of the earth, He was not from hence. While
this is undeniably true to any honest man, yet, praise be to the eternal purpose
of God, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, became the Son of man that we who were
born sons of men might become sons of God”
new birth, sons of God — these
are all terms with which most Christians are familiar.
The beautiful analogy is accepted by everyone.
But all this means to the average Christian is that he conjures up the
nice spiritual feeling of thinking of himself “as if” he were a “real”
Son of God, as Jesus was and is. The
average Christian has absolutely no idea of the transcendental implications
of this new birth into the family of God.
Most think of being a child of God as sort of an “honorary” title
conferred on them by an indulgent God who accepts them as “little adopted
human children” to whom He plans to give as their reward for accepting His
gift of eternal life a beautiful park, a celestial playground called
“heaven.” This heaven is
designed for them to enjoy for eternity, playing, loafing, running, shouting,
rejoicing, visiting, playing harps, waving palm branches, and doing whatever
other harmless and sinless thing their hearts may desire.
let us understand what it really means to actually be BORN into the very family
of GOD. I prefer to turn the phrase
“the family of God” around, in order to better grasp its significance.
Instead of saying that we are born into the family of God, it is just as
correct to say that we are born into the GOD FAMILY!
I may say, by way of illustration, that I was by natural birth born into
the family of Eby. But this also
means that I was born into the EBY FAMILY.
It is merely two ways of stating the same fact.
I am of the EBY KIND. I AM
EBY. Not only are men born into the
family of God, they are born into the GOD FAMILY — the
family that is God.
Not only are we birthed into the Kingdom of God, we are birthed into the
GOD KINGDOM — the
Kingdom which is God.
We are of the GOD KIND. And
startling as it may be, this GOD KINGDOM, or GOD FAMILY, is the ELOHIM of the
scriptures! And to be born into
THIS FAMILY means that we have the potential to become ALL THAT HE IS!
new birth is nothing less than the birth of a God-being, the birth of a
Christ-creature, who becomes “Christ IN YOU the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27).
There is no new birth outside of the actual birthing of an actual Spirit
Being who becomes the “inner man,” the new “me.”
It is my spirit quickened by His
Spirit, God birthing of His own divine life into me thus making me alive
from the dead, a new creature on the Celestial Plane.
So many Christians glibly talk about a born again “experience,” or a
“change of heart,” being wholly ignorant as to what must transpire to effect
this change, to implement this reality. Our
Lord said, “Ye must be BORN,” not now of the flesh, but of the Spirit. Religionists, both then and now, are incapable of grasping
this greatest of all truths and its astounding implications.
And so they fail to understand that as a woman gives birth to a son,
bringing an actual child into the world as a living, breathing personality with
an individual identity, nature, mind and will, so does GOD GIVE BIRTH,
delivering out of His own loins the offspring of Himself, of His own kind, of
the divine nature, of the GOD SPECIES, to grow up into the fullness of His own
is exactly what the apostle John was explaining when he wrote, “He came unto
His own and His own received Him not. But
as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become sons of God, even to
them that believe on His name, which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of
the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
This is a divine reality, but is also a parable, illustration or analogy.
It is the picture of a babe, who has been conceived, developed in the
darkness of a womb until the fullness of time, and then born into the light of
the world. The members of its body
are fully developed. A matured
child is born into the world, the exact replica of its parents.
That is the parable. Whenever
the word “born” is used it presupposes the whole analogy of conception,
months of waiting for the life to develop, and the final thrust of the new being
into a new world. The new birth is
nothing less than the birth of an actual divine, heavenly Being, a son of the
Father, who is as ageless and deathless as is his immortal Parent, differing
only in development and rank.
wonderful are these things! They are far beyond our expression or the ability of the most
eloquent to describe! It is a
marvelous fact that the very life of God is communicated to the believing heart
via the new birth. But what is the
life of God? It is the content of
God and God Himself. All that is in
God and all that God Himself is are in the life of God.
All the fullness of the Godhead is hidden in the life of God.
The nature of God is contained in the life of God, and His wisdom,
knowledge, will, power, and glory. Every
facet of what God is and can do, is included in the life of God.
With any kind of living thing, all that it is rests within its life.
All of its capabilities and functions issue out of its life, and all of
its outward activities and expressions originate from its life.
It is that kind of living thing because it has that kind of life.
Its being rests in its life. God
is the supreme living Being, and all that He is, of course, is in His life.
All that He is — whether
truth, holiness, light or love — is
derived from His life. All His
expressions — whether
goodness, righteousness, mercy or forgiveness — are
derived from His life. All His
divine capabilities, powers and actions are inherent in His life.
The reason that He is such a glorious and powerful God is that He has
such a glorious and powerful life. Hence,
His being God rests in His life. And
all that is in the life is transmitted
through the seed of that life and reproduced in the offspring of that life.
Think of it!
am impressed to share the following from the writings of the late Douglas
Wilson. “Not long ago we were
reading from chapter twelve of Hebrews concerning the true sons and the bastard.
We had often meditated on the fact that the child known as a bastard could
in no wise help or change the circumstances of his birth.
We knew well there was a stigma attached to the child, under the Old
Testament especially. We were never
quite able to reconcile all that we were told concerning such children, until
just recently the Lord put a thought in our minds that settled the whole
question. We quote now from Hebrews
12:5-10. ‘And you have forgotten
the exhortation which speaketh to you as unto children, My son, despise not thou
the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him; for whom the
Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth.
If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son
is he whom the father chasteneth not? But
if ye be without chastisement whereof all (sons) are partakers, then
are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore
we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence;
shall we not much rather be in subjection to the father of spirits
and live? For they verily for a few
days chastened us after their own pleasure; but He FOR OUR PROFIT, that we MIGHT
BE PARTAKERS OF HIS HOLINESS.’
the above quotation we find two kinds of sons.
At least in one sense of the word they are sons.
There is the son that receives chastening of the Lord, and there is the
bastard son that does not. In one
sense of the word, the bastard, or as some translations put it, the spurious
son, is as much a son as the true son. It
can make no difference whether the spurious son knows who his father is or not,
HE HAS ONE, just the same as the legitimate son.
In some cases it is the very same father.
We have come to see there is something in this and related passages that
we need to understand. Let us first
examine some reasons why children are brought into the world. We must remember always that the child itself has absolutely
nothing to say about being brought into this life. It has nothing to say about its color, nationality, place of
birth, sex, or anything else. We
may say that at least some of these things are determined by the laws of nature,
but we would rather say they are determined by the laws of God working ALL
things according to the counsel of His own will, and that applies to all people.
first and basic reason for the birth of children is for the preservation and
increase of humanity. Humanity has
no other way of perpetuating itself except through the birth of children.
Whatever other reasons there may be, and there are several, they will all
rest upon this basic one, the inherent instinct for self-preservation in humans.
The savage in the jungle, or the highly educated and refined person in
the highest strata of society, must return to this basic principle in order to
perpetuate himself and the rest of the human race.
suppose that the greatest natural reason for bringing children into the world is because they
are desired and wanted for themselves. The
love of husband and wife, combined with the father and mother nature, is
designed and given to humanity to cause them to want and desire to bring
children into being, simply because they DO LOVE AND DESIRE THEM.
The principal desire in the lives of parents is to have a family, to
provide well for that family, and to see that each member of that family is
initiated into his or her life with the best possible preparation and advantage
that the family can provide. Some
children are very fortunate and blessed, for they enter into a loving family
circle and have parents who desire the best for them.
The atmosphere is conducive to the best development of the children, and
in that love and care there runs the vein of discipline, wisely administered to
cause the children to develop into the kind of men and women that are a credit
to the community, the nation, and the world.
group of children are brought into the world through ignorance.
Many of these children are unwanted and the care they receive is minimal.
Sometimes they are abandoned or given away.
In one segment of this class we find those who are born into this world
only because of the sexual desire of the parents, often unmarried, and these
children are unplanned for and unwanted. These
are illegitimate children, humanly speaking, the children without a true father
and often deserted by the mother. Some
of them are resented or even hated and they become the shame of the family into
which they are born. The stigma of
their illegitimate birth follows them continually.
These children are the victims of the uncontrolled passions of their
parents and these are children that are born entirely WITHOUT A PURPOSE.
These children are often looked down upon by society and yet, they CAN IN
NO WISE HELP THEIR CONDITION OR THEIR BIRTH.
let us look at the group we are most concerned with.
In this last group we want to consider those children who ARE BORN FOR A
PURPOSE. Their birth is not in any sense “accidental.”
The conception and birth are the result of planning by the parents to
bring a child into the world to accomplish a certain purpose.
There is the knowledge of a need, a work that must be done, and the child
is deliberately brought into the world to do that specific thing.
Even before the birth, the child may be given by the parent over to that
work, as Samuel was given to the Lord by Hannah, and all efforts are made to
bring that child to the very highest capabilities to accomplish this purpose.
THIS IS A CHILD BORN FOR A PURPOSE and trained for it.
SUCH HAVE BEEN THE KINGS OF NATIONS AND THE PRIESTS OF THE ORDER OF
AARON. Such ones stand out from
others and their lives are different than the lives of their fellows. Some know from their early childhood that they are destined
for a major role in the life of this world.
These are children BORN FOR A PURPOSE even in the flesh.
let us see something about the CHILDREN OF GOD.
How loosely we have used that term!
Any church member or religious person calls himself a child of God.
Yet we can observe that there is ABSOLUTELY NO SPIRITUAL PURPOSE IN THEIR
LIVES. We find multitudes of
religious children, brought forth in one manner or another, filling the
churches, but we can discern no spiritual purpose or destiny in their lives.
They believe they are saved from hell and the devil and someday will fly
away to heaven, but now they have nothing to do but go to church, obey the
church rules, and wait for the coming of the Lord.
And in heaven they will have nothing to do, no responsibility, no
constructive ministry, no outreach to creation, just eternity to dance, sing and
shout — an
eternal ‘party’. Yet these have
no conception of eternity, nor yet of the great plans and wonderful purposes of
God for His creation. They are
children BORN ENTIRELY WITHOUT A PURPOSE, or in the language of this article,
they are bastard children.
children cannot help their condition, neither can they do anything about it.
The church system that was responsible for bringing them forth, took no
forethought as to why they would bring these children into being. In all probability it was to increase the population of the
church and benefit the church budget. But
for the most part they ‘just happened.’ What we missed in the past, but are now beginning to see, is
that the true child of God IS A CHILD BORN FOR A PURPOSE, and trained to the
highest degree of ability to fulfill that purpose.
We emphasize again that even the bastard has a father, but he is a child
born without a ‘father purpose.’ He
is just brought into the world to make out the best he can.
He receives no chastening (training) for any specific purpose, but just
grows up into whatever may come his way. But
behold the wonder, the thrill, the glory, the expectancy of a CHILD BORN TO
FULFILL A PURPOSE! A true son,
fulfilling the purpose of the Father’s heart in the great work that is yet to
be done throughout the ages to come.
think of Jesus the Christ in this particular.
Surely none will deny that JESUS WAS A SON BORN FOR A PURPOSE.
He was the Lamb of God SLAIN FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD.
He came to fulfill the words of all the holy prophets who prophesied of
His coming. He came to reveal the
glory of the Father to the world. He
gave Himself by the eternal
Spirit to fulfill the purpose of God in the work of redemption and
recreation of the world. God has a plan. He
always has had a plan, even from before the beginning. And just as God had a Lamb, a Firstborn, a Forerunner, a
Captain of our salvation, from the beginning, BORN FOR THE PURPOSE of fulfilling
His mission on our behalf, so does God have other sons BORN FOR THE PURPOSE OF
GOD in their mission and work.
Just as Jesus learned obedience by the things He suffered, so do all the
other sons learn obedience by the same means, for there is a world to come that
will be under the jurisdiction of those sons as Kings and Priests, and they must
we can begin to see this passage about bastards and sons in a far different
light than ever before. Now we see the bastard, not as one condemned forever from the
presence of God, but simply as one BORN WITHOUT
A PURPOSE, yet one who in due time will be cared for by those sons BORN FOR
A PURPOSE. Surely this makes a
division in God’s people, it
elevates some above the rest, but is that not how it is in all the world and in
all of nature? ALL CANNOT BE KINGS
AND PRIESTS, anymore than all in our nation can be President or in the
government. But there does rest
upon the Kings and Priests a great and awesome responsibility, and for that
responsibility the sons MUST BE CHASTENED, having already been BORN FOR A
PURPOSE. Please keep always in mind
that this chastening is training for the place prepared for the son”
IN THE KINGDOM
is almost impossible to imagine what it would mean to be a man without a native
land or home, destined to wander from place to place throughout life with
neither rights nor privileges of citizenship.
Sir Walter Scott alludes to the lonely frustration of such a predicament
in the immortal words of his Lay of the
“Breathes there the man with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said, —
This is my own, my native land!
Whose heart hath ne’er within him burn’d,
As home his footsteps he hath turn’d,
From wandering on a foreign strand!”
this depicts the worth of the country a man claims for his own, I know of
nothing more wonderful than discovering one’s citizenship in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Pride of citizenship in a
nation is wholly justifiable under the administration of men.
With the Roman Empire, everyone living in territory controlled by Rome
was considered part of “the Roman
Empire,” whether they were a slave or a citizen.
But only free-born men were naturally citizens.
It was a cherished thing to be a citizen
of Rome. The apostle Paul sometimes
used his Roman citizenship as a badge of credibility and power (Acts 22:25-29).
But how much more glorious it is to find citizenship in the everlasting
and incorruptible Kingdom of God! The
name of the man who has been born of God, appears therefore, in the census of
the heavenlies. His home or
citizenship is in heaven, even though
he lives outwardly upon the earth.
is at this present time a Kingdom scattered abroad over all the face of the
earth; mixed and mingled among the peoples of all the kingdoms of the world: a people
who are separate and apart from all the other kingdoms. They are not recognized by the world as a kingdom, they have
no formal consulates in Rome, London, Paris or Moscow and no ambassador at the
United Nations. They have no
boundary lines separating their territory from any of the other nations of the
world, and they do not have a visible king as some other nations have.
They are the Kingdom of God on earth, scattered all over the earth among
all the peoples of the world. God
calls them, “A chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a
peculiar people” (I Pet. 2:9).
are a people who have been drawn out of the other nations of the world, redeemed
by the blood of Jesus out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation
and filled with the divine nature and Holy Spirit of God.
These have been born again,
giving them a new identity, a new life, a new allegiance, a new hope, a new
destiny, and a new heritage. They
are citizens of a new land, a heavenly country, and their King lives and rules
within their hearts and minds and bodies. The
world does not know them as a nation, for it cannot see their birth certificate,
their true manhood, their land or their King.
Wherever they are in this world they are strangers and pilgrims in a
strange land. They were once
citizens of the nations of the world, but being now born of God they have a new
parentage and have been translated out of the kingdom of the darkness of this
world into the Kingdom of the Son of God. They
were one time in the flesh, without Christ, alienated from the Commonwealth of
Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, and without God or hope in
we have today a great and glorious Nation — a
Nation of Kings and Priests unto God, scattered abroad over all the whole earth,
in and among the nations of the earth, in and among the kingdoms of the world,
but not any part of those kingdoms. While
they are maintaining their separation from the world, they are growing up into
Christ, so that when He shall appear, they shall be like Him and come into their
full inheritance. They are
constantly being changed, and as time goes on, they shall put off more and more
of the things of the old world they
have left, until they become matured sons of God in the Kingdom of their Father.
But they are strategically placed among all the peoples and kindreds and
tongues and nations for a divine purpose — there
shall be a conquest of all these territories until the kingdoms of this
world become the kingdoms of our Lord,
and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and forever!
God will give the nations to His sons as their inheritance and the
uttermost parts of the earth as their possession and they shall rule them with a
rod of iron (Ps. 2:7-9). The stage
is now being set for this glorious victory, and all nations shall come and
worship before the Lord. The Lord
shall be King over all the earth and all kindreds shall serve Him.
His throne shall be manifested through His sons and His authority shall
be over all. The Holy Spirit has
witnessed through all His holy prophets in every city and every place throughout
the past generation that THE TIME IS AT HAND.
The sons of God are ready to be manifested, the purpose for which the
body of the Christ has been so meticulously prepared is ready to be revealed
before the face of all nations, and God will do His strange new work to deliver
creation from the bondage of corruption, from the tyranny of sin and sorrow and
pain and death.
beloved, do you not sense in the depths of your ransomed spirit a sense of
divine destiny — that
you were indeed BORN FOR A PURPOSE? Have
you heard the sound of the trumpet thundering out the message: YE SHALL BE UNTO
ME A KINGDOM OF PRIESTS! God
doesn’t need Kings and Priests in heaven, although that is the realm from
whence they rule. HE NEEDS KINGS
AND PRIESTS ON EARTH. “And they
shall reign over the earth” (Rev. 5:10).
The nations of them that are saved shall walk in the light of this
divine government (Rev. 21:24). Truly
we have received the call to sonship, to kingship, to priesthood, and the plan
of God overwhelms my spirit and my soul rejoices in His unfailing purpose!
WE HAVE BEEN BORN FOR THIS!
To be continued... J. PRESTON EBY