The Pilgrim's Messenger
"Have a pattern of sound words which you hear from me, in faith and love
which are in Christ Jesus."--11 Timothy 1:13
Published Monthly By W. B. SCREWS, Glennville, Georgia
Twenty-five Cents a Year
|Volume XXX|| |
Entered at the postoffice at Glennville, Ga., as second-class matter.
THE KINGDOM OF GOD
The kingdom of God is found wherever the rule of God is. The writer of the Psalms says "His kingdom rules over all". There are different phases of His kingdom. The kingdom of the heavens, which is the kingdom that Israel shall have in the future, is declared to be the kingdom of God. Yet there are other phases of this kingdom.
The kingdom of Israel shall be a political one. Yet in Luke 17:21, Christ speaks of a kingdom which is clearly not political, when He said, "The kingdom of God is inside of you".
Many of our teachers say, "We don't preach the kingdom; that is for Israel in the future". This is incorrect. The kingdom of the HEAVENS is for Israel, but there is a phase of the kingdom of GOD that is very much for us.
It is noteworthy that Christ said to the PHARISEES, "The kingdom of God is inside of you". Pharisees were unbelievers. The phase of the kingdom of which Christ spoke in this instance, is in EVERYBODY---believer and unbeliever.
The rule of God is in every person. There came a time when God manifested to me that His kingdom was in me. He did not go out and fight a war of conquest, and take some of the devil's territory away from him and appropriate it to Himself. God has no more right to the heart and life of one who does not belong to Him, than does a king on earth have a right to acquire territory by conquest. God is honorable, and if there is one person anywhere who does not belong to Him, He will never bother with that person. But there is no one who does not belong to Him. "All souls are Mine, He says.
His kingdom is inside of every person on earth. There God rules. Every life is subject to His regulation. In love He provides for the welfare of each one. There is not a moment when He is not providing for their living and their usefulness and their happiness.
His universal provision is round about each one. He has made man in His image and as His likeness. In Gen. 1, we see man as spirit. It is as spirit that he is in God's image, for God has no physical shape. Only spirit can be in the image of spirit. Because man is like God in some respect he can think and plan. The bird has never improved on making a nest. But man has greatly improved on HIS habitation. It is as spirit that man can sway over other creatures. Weakest of all, in comparison to size he is the strongest, because He is spirit.
In Gen. 2 we see man as body. As spirit and as body he is out of God. While man, as spirit, is in the image and likeness of God, as body he is in the image that God designed to later make the body of the Lord Jesus Christ. God did so in the fullness of time, and Christ lived His earthly life in the image of us, as to body, while He was, and is, the Image of God, as to spirit. Christ is now in a glorified body, and so shall we be, when we are clothed upon with our house which is out of heaven, II Cor. 5:2. We now bear the image of the earthy; then we shall bear the image of the heavenly.
The Lamb has been in a slain state, in God's reckoning, from the downcasting of the world. This enables God to see us, now, as in His image, in spite of the missing of the mark on the part of man. He loves us, and His kingdom is in us. We may be ignorant of this fact, and, while this ignorance affects us, it does not affect God.
There came a time in my life when God "activated" His kingdom within me, and then the kingdom became righteousness, peace and joy in holy spirit, Rom. 14:17. He did not put His kingdom in me at that time---it was already in me, else He would have had no right to take over my life and tell me to serve Him and His Christ. God is not engaged in conquest. He is claiming and using that which is His own.
But He did not wait until He activated His kingdom in me, to begin His rule. His government of my life was largely a secret, so far as my knowledge of it was concerned, but He was providing for my welfare, just the same.
Now He has provision by which I am conscious of His governing, and of His beneficent provision for me.
First, He gave to me the spirit of Christ, and this made me Christ's as I was already God's, Rom. 8:9. This gave to me a different quality of life---my spirit became life through righteousness. It was already life through creation.
Second He placed in me the spirit which roused Jesus Christ from among the dead, and this spirit, (which is a rousing spirit), "vivifies" my mortal body so that it can respond to Him in every respect, Rom. 8:11.
This response includes using every power and blessing that He has put in me in connection with His kingdom.
He is continually creating new cells for the renewing of my body. He has created the power of thought, and has declared that as I think, so am I. Negative thought can cause the cells to become diseased. But affirmative thought can preserve these cells in a healthy condition, so that even if I have diseased ones from former thoughts, my body will become healthy when the sick ones are thrown off---for affirmative thought, coupled with faith and love and prayer, can keep the new ones healthy, so that, in course of time, my body will be composed altogether of those that are not diseased. "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine". Why not try this medicine, instead of that which is dispensed by druggists and doctors.
The mortal body can respond to the demands of the spirit, and thus we can serve God by serving our fellows in the name of Christ Our hands, our tongue, our feet, our eyes, every function of the body can respond and do works of love and mercy, because the spirit that roused Jesus from among the dead is in us.
"The law of the Lord is flawless", Ps. 19. This has no reference to the law of Moses. It is the principle by which God operates in the universe, and in His kingdom which is within us. Like the law of friendship, for instance. To have friends, we must show ourselves to be friendly. On the law of increase. "There is that scattereth and yet increases; there is that withholds more than is proper, and yet it tends towards poverty", says he word of God. Or the law of faith. Whatever we ask for, believing we have it, we shall have it, says Christ. We do have it, for God fills our every need.
It is ours. But faith must be exercised in order to get it, and enjoy it. And faith casts out doubt, pessimism, hatred, fault-finding, and includes cheerfulness, hopefulness, a determination to accept what good is in store for us.
An artist become wedded to beauty, so that he might imbibe its spirit, and thus portray it on canvas. We, as saints, must become wedded to life in all its loveliness so that we might show it in our every move and thought. When we work at it hard as the successful artist works at his job, then we, too, will be living a successful life, and will be getting all the benefit from the fact that the kingdom of God is within us. But if we are more concerned about governing and controlling others, than we are about God controlling us, we are apt to get only a meager portion of the benefits of the kingdom. If it is the kingdom of God, it is a kingdom of LOVE. Hatred, backbiting, fault-finding, trying to be ruler in the kingdom instead of letting God be ruler---these are out of tune with the kingdom.
When we enter into communion of love with each other, and with the very essence of life---it is then that we know His kingdom is one of the most perfect sweetness.
We are living in the administration of grace. This means kindness, helpfulness, graciousness. The latter word, "graciousness" means that we are not to try to decide whether or not a person deserves favors. Grace is doing good to those who do not deserve it.
Why not bestow love on everyone? None of us deserves the good that comes to us from God every day. Why should we require that others shall be worthy of our helpfulness, before we bestow it?
When LOVE, the very substance of life, the creative principle of everything, flows through our whole being, spiritual, emotional mental, and physical, it creates a world of lovliness for us, and this renews, revitalizes, and brings joy and harmony to everything and everyone it touches.
With a word of mankind at grips through hatred, let those who love God and His Christ be devoted and dedicated to the bringing lof love and joy and helpfulness into the lives of those about them.
The kingdom of God is inside of us. Things that I have put into this editiorial are hard to believe. Mankind has become too materialistic to depend much on the unseen powers God has given to us. In case of sickness, we want to use some remedy that we can see, forgetting that the greatest forces are the unseen ones. The kingdom of God in us in unseen. It cannot be seen. But the governing of God through His kingdom within, is ample for our welfare, if we but depend on Him to administer them through the laws or principles through which He works.
I want the reader to know that the all-conquering spirit is in him, and to accept this postion of sonship, which indicates a special likeness to the Father. In this way he may manifest life, love, peace, harmony, strength and joy.