WORLD GOSPEL KINGDOM TRACTS

Unlocking the Mystery of Human Life

In order to have the full image of God to express God and to realize the full authority of God to represent God in subduing His enemy, we must have God as life to us. Therefore, in the first two chapters of Genesis, there is not only image and authority, but also life, signified by the Tree of Life. We need to take in the divine life of God for two reasons: positively, so we can express God; negatively, so we can represent God to subdue His enemy. The authority of God is a matter of the Kingdom. Throughout the whole Scriptures there is a line of authority related to the Kingdom.

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

THE KINGDOM IN THE NEW TESTAMENT

 

Scripture Reading: Matthew 3:1-2; 10:7; 16:19a; 4:17, 23; 24:14; John 3:3, 5; Luke 4:43; 9:2a, 60; Acts 1:3; 8:12a; 19:8; 20:25; 28:23b, 31; Romans 14:17; Col. 1:13; 4:11b; 1 Thessalonians 2:12; 2 Thessalonians 1:5b; 2 Timothy 4:18a; Hebrews 12:28a; James 2:5; 2 Pet. 1:3-4, 11; Revelation 1:9a; 12:10a; 11:15

 

According to Genesis Chapter 1, God created man in His own image and gave man His authority to rule over all the created things. In God’s creation, two things are very important to man. One is the divine image, and the other is the divine authority. Man is in the image of God in order to express God, and he– has received God’s authority in order to represent God. We need God’s authority to represent God and to subdue His enemy. God desires for man to subdue the earth, and particularly His enemy, Satan.

 

In order to have the full image of God to express God and to realize the full authority of God to represent God in subduing His enemy, we must have God as life to us. Therefore, in the first two chapters of Genesis, there is not only image and authority, but also life, signified by the Tree of Life. We need to take in the divine life of God for two reasons: positively, so we can express God; negatively, so we can represent God to subdue His enemy. The authority of God is a matter of the Kingdom. Throughout the whole Scriptures there is a line of authority related to the Kingdom.

 

Before God could come into man as life and carry out His purpose, the subtle serpent caused man to fall. Due to the fall, the race of Adam failed God, so he chose another race, that of Noah. That race also failed God, and He chose a third race, the race of Abraham. According to Genesis 12:1-3, God chose Abraham with the intention of having a Kingdom. God promised to make Abraham a great nation. This means He would make of him a Kingdom.

 

What is the Kingdom of God? It simply means the rule or government of God. God must have the Kingdom to exercise His authority in order to fulfill His purpose. This is why in the prayer of the Lord Jesus in Matthew Chapter 6, He prayed something at the very beginning and at the very end concerning the Kingdom. In the beginning of the prayer He says, “Let Your Kingdom come,” and at the end of the prayer He says, “For Yours is the Kingdom.” He prayed concerning the Kingdom because God’s purpose depends so much on the Kingdom. If God does not have a Kingdom in which He can exercise His authority, then He is very limited. Therefore, God chose Abraham and his descendants to be a nation, a Kingdom. This is how the people of Israel came into being. After the Lord brought the people of Israel out of Egypt, He said to them, And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the children of Israel (Exodus 19:6).

 

In the New Testament, when John the Baptist came preaching, his first words were, “Repent, for the Kingdom of the heavens has drawn near” (Matthew 3:2). When the Lord Jesus went out to preach, He said the same thing: “Repent, for the Kingdom of the heavens has drawn near” (Matthew 4:17). When the Lord Jesus sent out the twelve disciples in Luke Chapter 9 and the seventy disciples in Luke Chapter 10, He told them to preach concerning the Kingdom. Eventually, in the last book of the Scriptures, Revelation, we are told that, “The Kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever” (Revelation 11:15). The Lord will rule as a King with all of His overcoming saints. Thus, at the very end of the Scriptures we can see that God eventually will have a Kingdom in which He can exercise His authority to the fullest extent in accomplishing His eternal purpose. Have you ever realized that there is such a line in the Scriptures? It is only through the Kingdom that God can exercise His authority to accomplish His eternal purpose. In nearly every book of the New Testament, from Matthew to Revelation, the Kingdom is covered. The Kingdom is such a great matter in the Bible. After His resurrection, the Lord Jesus spoke with the Apostles for forty days concerning the Kingdom (Acts 1:3). The apostle Paul spent three months in the synagogue at Ephesus disputing and persuading concerning the Kingdom of God (Acts 19:8).

 

Although the Kingdom is covered throughout the New Testament, most Christians have not seen it in an adequate way. For century after century, the churches have not seen it properly. Most books on this matter of the Kingdom say that the Kingdom is simply a dispensation or that it is a sphere, a realm, in which God rules. However, if we regard the Kingdom as merely a dispensation or a realm, our understanding falls far short. The Kingdom is greater, higher, and deeper than this.

 

We need to see the matter of the Kingdom because it is very much related to the inner life and also to the church life. If we would realize and experience the proper church life, we have to see something concerning the Kingdom of the Heavens. Also, if we would experience the inner life in a practical way, we must know something of the Kingdom of the Heavens.

 

REPENT FOR THE KINGDOM

 

The first item in the New Testament preaching was the Kingdom. The first preacher in the New Testament was John the Baptist, and the first word out of his mouth was, “Repent for the Kingdom” (Matthew 3:1-2). It is not merely a matter of being sinful, of going to hell, or of having peace and joy. It is not merely a matter of repenting that we may have salvation. We must repent for the Kingdom!

 

The word repent means to change your mind, to have a change in your way of thinking. It means to change your way of reasoning, to change your concepts, ideas, philosophy, and even your theology. We all need to repent. Repent from your old concepts. Repent from philosophy and systematic theology. Repent from the old Bible knowledge, from the old expositions and interpretations of the Scriptures. We need to change our point of view!

 

Why must we repent for the Kingdom? Because, regardless of the concepts we cling to, we are not for the Kingdom. You may be for education or for religion. You may be for Christianity or for so-called churches. You may be for gospel preaching or for the mission field. You may be for doing good. You may be zealous for the spiritual gifts, or you may be seeking the power of God. [You also may be for doing good and eschewing evil, but sorry to say, you are not for the Kingdom. I do not know what you are for, but I am afraid you may not be for the Kingdom. You must repent! Repent from what you are. Repent from who you are. Repent from where you are. Repent from what you have become. Repent from your confabulated loose talk, gossip, and idle words. Repent from what you are doing. Repent from what you have done and still doing. Repent from your vain thoughts and what you love. Repent from what you have committed and still committing]. Repent from all your concepts. I do not care and God does not care whether your concept is good or bad. [It does not matter if your intentions are good or bad. As long as you are not for the Kingdom all these things make absolutely no difference whether you are right or wrong.]That means nothing. As long as you are not for the Kingdom, you need to repent. We all must repent for the Kingdom! The New Testament is for the Kingdom! When the New Testament age comes, the Kingdom comes. If you are not in the Kingdom, if you are not living for the Kingdom, you need to repent!

 

THE PREACHING OF JESUS

 

John the Baptist began the New Testament preaching by saying, “Repent for the Kingdom” (Matthew 3:2). Then the Lord Jesus came and repeated the preaching of John the Baptist (Matthew 4:17). It is a shame that preachers today do not like to repeat the preaching of others. If one man should preach, “Repent for the Kingdom,” another will preach something new. They do not like to follow others’ preaching. The Lord Jesus, however, became a follower. He followed John the Baptist. The Lord Jesus was not the first one who preached repentance for the Kingdom; He was the second. It is marvelous that the Lord Jesus repeated and continued the preaching of John the Baptist. Surely this shows the importance of the Kingdom. If the preaching of the Kingdom were not so important, then the Lord Jesus would not have repeated it. Because He repeated the preaching of John the Baptist, we have a strong proof that the preaching of the Kingdom was very important!

 

THE PREACHING OF THE DISCIPLES

 

The Lord Jesus called some disciples, not only twelve, but also at least seventy. He sent them out and charged them to preach the Kingdom saying, “The Kingdom of the heavens has drawn near” (Matthew 10:7; Luke 10:1, 9). Not only did the Lord Himself repeat and continue the preaching of the gospel of the Kingdom, but He also charged His disciples to repeat it.

 

According to Luke, a man came saying, “Lord, permit me to go first and bury my father.” The Lord responded, “Let the dead bury the dead” (Luke 9:59-60). The Lord seemed to be saying, “Let the dead ones do the dead things. If you want to be living, you must follow Me and preach the Kingdom of God. Let the dead ones bury the dead, but the living ones must preach the gospel of the Kingdom.” John the Baptist preached the Kingdom, the Lord Jesus preached the Kingdom, and all His disciples were charged to preach the Kingdom. Even such a little disciple as was mentioned in Luke was told to preach the Kingdom. This is wonderful!

 

THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM

 

When the Lord Jesus was preparing to leave His disciples, He prophesied that the gospel of the Kingdom would be preached to the whole inhabited earth and to all nations (Matthew 24:14). Some Bible teachers have taught that the Kingdom is a dispensational matter. They have taught that the Lord came with the Kingdom and presented it to the Jewish people. When they rejected Him, He took back the Kingdom and suspended it until another age. According to their teaching, this is the age of the church and not the age of the Kingdom. The Kingdom has been suspended and will come again one day. When the Lord comes back, He will bring with Him the suspended Kingdom. This kind of teaching is not according to the pure Word of God! According to the Bible, the Kingdom of God has never been suspended! In Matthew 21:43 the Lord Jesus said that the Kingdom of God would be taken from the Jewish people and be given to another people, that is, to the church! This indicates that the Kingdom has never been suspended! If the Kingdom has been suspended, there was no need for the Lord, after His resurrection, to speak to His disciples concerning the Kingdom for forty days (Acts 1:3).  This proves that the Kingdom of God would be the main subject of the apostles’ preaching in their commission that was to come after Pentecost (8:12; 14:22; 19:8; 20:25; 28:23, 31). It is not a material kingdom visible to human sight but a Kingdom of the divine life. It is the spreading of Christ as life to His believers to form a realm in which God rules in His life. When I was young, I took in this teaching, thinking that it was wonderful because I had learned something about the Bible. However, eventually I realized that I was taught incorrectly.

 

[We need to see the crucial matter that the intrinsic essence of the gospel is the Kingdom! The Kingdom of God is a divine sphere for God to work out His plan in His divine economy. The Kingdom of God is a realm where God can exercise His divine authority to accomplish what He intends to do. The Kingdom of God is the ruling, the reigning, of God with all its blessings and enjoyment (Mark 1:15; Colossians 1:13).]

 

[In general God is reigning over the universe, but His reigning is also very particular, in the way of the sense of life. Actually, this aspect of the Kingdom of God is God Himself in Christ as life! The goal of God's salvation is life. God’s way to establish His Kingdom is to impart Himself in Christ into the believers as life! This life will grow until it produces the Kingdom!]

 

[Through the gospel of the Kingdom, God brings the people under the ruling of the heavenly divine authority so that they may become His kingdom people; those who are ruled by His divine authority (Matthew 24:14; Revelation 1:5-6). When we believed in the Lord, we become believers.  Furthermore, if we allow the Lord to grow in us day by day, we can become the members of His Body! The New Testament preaches the gospel in the way of the Kingdom. Why? Because the gospel of the Kingdom is the real gospel! Therefore, to know the gospel requires us to know the Kingdom (Mark 1:14-15; Acts 8:12).]

 

[For if, by the offense of the one [Adam], death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ (Romans 5:17).]

 

[In order for us to know the know the Kingdom, we need to be who are under the ruling of His divine authority that we may reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.]

 

Matthew 24:14 says the “gospel of the Kingdom,” not the gospel of grace or the gospel of salvation. Although many of you have read the book of Matthew several times, you may have never noticed the term the “gospel of the Kingdom.” Yet the Lord Jesus said that this gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached to the inhabited earth. The inhabited earth means every place inhabited by man. The gospel of the Kingdom must be preached to the inhabited earth, to all nations, as a witness. It will not only be preached to the Jews, but to all the nations. In Greek, the word translated “nations” is the same word that is elsewhere translated “Gentiles.” The gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached to all the Gentiles. Hallelujah! Most of us are Gentiles. We are all privileged to hear the gospel of the Kingdom. This gospel must be preached to every corner of the inhabited earth. The Lord has opened up this matter to us so that wherever we go with the recovery of the church, the gospel of the Kingdom will be preached!

 

THE KINGDOM OF GOD AS THE GOSPEL

 

In Luke 4:43 we have another term: the Kingdom of God as the gospel. This verse says that the Lord Jesus and His disciples preached the Kingdom of God as the gospel. Have you ever noticed that the preaching of the Kingdom of God is just the preaching of the gospel? The Kingdom is the gospel of the New Testament. The gospel of the New Testament is the Kingdom!

 

Some may argue that the New Testament speaks of the gospel of life, the gospel of grace, and the gospel of salvation. However, all these are different aspects of the Kingdom. The Kingdom is the center, the hub, and all the other items may be considered as the spokes. All of the spokes are centered on the hub. The gospel of life is for the Kingdom, the gospel of salvation is for the Kingdom, and the gospel of forgiveness is for the Kingdom. All these different aspects of the gospel are for the Kingdom. The Kingdom is the real gospel! Our concept needs to be changed! Formerly, we may have thought that the gospel is the gospel and that the Kingdom is something else. We realized we needed the gospel, but probably relegated the Kingdom to the future. This is absolutely wrong! The Kingdom is the gospel! If you do not know the Kingdom, you do not know the gospel in a full way. If we want to know the gospel in a full way, we must realize that the Kingdom is the all-inclusive gospel! The Lord Jesus and His disciples preached the Kingdom of God as the gospel!

 

BORN AGAIN TO ENTER THE KINGDOM

 

Since Mark in many respects [is] similar to Matthew and Luke, we may pass over it for now and come to the Gospel of John. Let us consider John 3:3, 5. Did the Lord Jesus say, “Except you be born of water and the Spirit you can never see heaven or enter into heaven”? No! Regeneration is not for the purpose of going to heaven, although I was definitely taught this when I was young. I was told that my sinful life was simply not good enough for me to go to heaven, and that entering heaven required me to have a better life. I was told that heaven is bright, with nothing dark; it is holy, with nothing sinful; and it is good, with nothing evil. But I was told that I was evil, dark, and sinful—altogether unqualified to go to heaven. I was told that if I wanted to go to heaven, I needed another life. I needed to be born again. This is still the common concept today. Strictly speaking, regeneration is not for entering heaven; regeneration is for us to enter into the Kingdom.

 

[Moreover, religion loves to talk about going to heaven. This thought of going to heaven is a pagan, heathen thought. In the Western world this thought was invented by gnosticism. In the Orient it came from Hinduism and Buddhism.  All the Chinese who are Buddhist expect to go to the western heaven. This kind of pagan thought was adopted by Catholicism and from Catholicism it spread into Protestantism.]

 

If we want to enter into a certain kind of Kingdom, we need a certain kind of life. If we do not have animal life, we can never enter the animal kingdom. If I could receive a dog’s life and become a dog, I would immediately find myself in the animal kingdom. Likewise, if we do not have the divine life, the life of God, we can never enter the Kingdom of God. If we are to enter the Kingdom of God, we must have the life of God! Therefore, regeneration is for us to enter another Kingdom, the Kingdom of God! This is much more real than a mere dispensation. This is the Kingdom of God which we enter by being born again [through regeneration]!

 

We have pointed out in other publications that John is not only a book of life, but also a book of building. However, it is also a book of the Kingdom. Both life and building are for the Kingdom! Life is for the building, and the building is for the Kingdom!

 

THE KINGDOM IN THE ACTS

 

Some Christians say that after the Lord Jesus was crucified and resurrected, He suspended the Kingdom and that another dispensation, the dispensation of the church, began on the day of Pentecost. In other words, they say the Kingdom was temporarily set aside and the church age began. However, Acts 1:3 says that the Lord Jesus spoke with His disciples concerning the Kingdom for forty days following His resurrection. Furthermore, after Pentecost, Philip preached the Kingdom of God to the Samaritans (Acts 8:12). Also, Acts 19:8 says that the apostle Paul preached the Kingdom of God. In Acts 20:25 Paul told the elders at Ephesus that when he was with them he had preached the Kingdom of God. When Paul was in Rome, he talked to people about the Kingdom of God (Acts 28:23b, 31). In the light of all these references, how could people say that the Kingdom has been suspended?

 

THE KINGDOM IN THE EPISTLES

 

The Kingdom is also revealed in the Epistles. Romans 14:17 says, “For the Kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” According to the context of Romans Chapter 14, the Kingdom is the church life! The reality of the church life is the Kingdom! The Kingdom is not merely a dispensation or a sphere; the Kingdom is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit! The Kingdom of God is something in the Holy Spirit. This is the church life! Later we will see that Romans Chapter 12 tells us about the Body life and that Romans Chapter 14 speaks of the Kingdom life. In Romans, the Kingdom life is simply the reality of the Body life!

 

In 1 Corinthians the Kingdom of God refers to the real church life (4:20; 6:9-10; 15:50). Also, both Galatians and Ephesians tell us the same thing—that the Kingdom in the Spirit is the proper church life (Galatians 5:21; Ephesians 5:5).

 

Now we come to Colossians 1:13: God has “delivered us out of the authority of darkness.” The authority of darkness is the kingdom of Satan. God has delivered us out of the kingdom of Satan and has “transferred us into the Kingdom of the Son of His love.”  Once you were in the kingdom of Satan, but now you can be in the Kingdom of God’s Son through regeneration. Have you been transferred? Forget about yourself and look to the Lord Jesus that you may be transferred fully into the Kingdom of God's Son!

 

Perhaps you have been told that the Kingdom of God will come some day in the future and that today, the age of the church, has nothing to do with the Kingdom. Perhaps you have heard that the church age is now and that the coming age, the millennium, will be the age of the Kingdom. But here in Colossians 1:13 we are told that we have been transferred into the Kingdom! Are you sure that you have been transferred into the Kingdom of God? If today is the church age and the Kingdom has not yet come, how can you be in the Kingdom now? Are you certain that you are in the Kingdom now? I am very concerned that after you put this book down you will start to doubt. You may begin to think that it is too much to say that we are presently in the Kingdom of God. You may look at your wife and think, “Rebellious!” You may look at your husband and say, “No love!” You may look at your children and say, “Too sloppy, too loose!” Whether you believe we are in the Kingdom or not, we have the pure Word. We have Colossians 1:13. How much we need to live in the reality of this divine transferred into the Kingdom of the Son of His love.

 

In Colossians 4:11 Paul tells us something further about the Kingdom. He says that he and his co-workers worked for the Kingdom of God. What are you doing in the city where you are?  Is your work and living under the divine ruling and authority of the Kingdom of God?  [Or is your work and living totally under the power and authority of darkness?]

 

First Thessalonians 2:12 tells us that we have been called into the Kingdom. Christianity talks about being called into heaven, but I cannot find a verse telling us that we have been called into the heavens, but we do have a verse telling us that we have been called by God into His Kingdom and glory. Also, 2 Thessalonians 1:5 says that we are worthy of the Kingdom. In 2 Timothy 4:18 Paul was assured that the Lord would save him into His heavenly Kingdom. This is wonderful! Paul did not say that God would save him into the heavenly mansions, but into the heavenly Kingdom. Then, Hebrews 12:28 says that we have received an unshakable Kingdom. We have received a Kingdom that can never be shaken. James 2:5 says that we are those who love God and that we are heirs of the Kingdom. We shall inherit the Kingdom. This is our hope. Second Peter 1:3 says that His divine power has given us all things pertaining to life and godliness. So we are partakers of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). This is for a rich entrance into the Kingdom (1:11). All things pertaining to life and godliness, even partaking of the divine nature, are for a rich entrance into the Kingdom.

 

THE KINGDOM IN REVELATION

 

Revelation 1:9 says, “I John, your brother and joint partaker in the tribulation and Kingdom.” John knew that he was in the Kingdom. To him, the Kingdom was not merely a future dispensation; he was in the Kingdom already. Therefore, he could say I am “your brother and joint partaker in the...Kingdom.”

 

One day the Kingdom of God will be manifested. That will be the fulfillment of Revelation 12:10. The Kingdom of God will come in full manifestation. The Kingdom of the world will “become the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ” (Revelation 11:15). He will reign as a King forever and ever!

 

Verses and footnotes are taken from Thee Holy Bible Recovery Version and Words of Ministry from Brother Witness Lee, The Kingdom: The Kingdom in the New Testament, Chapter One  and [with personal enlightenment and inspiration]. Both are published by Living Stream Ministry, Anaheim, CA. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

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Updated:  1/1/2020

 

 

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