Song 8:5 π Mt. 6:10 π Mt. 7:21 π Mt. 7:22-23 π Mt. 24:4 π Mt. 24:12-13 π Mk. 6:31 π Jn. 1:1-5 π Jn. 1:14 π Jn. 7:17 π Jn. 14:6 π Acts 4:12 π Rom. 8:9 π 1 Cor. 3:12 π 1 Cor. 5:10 π 1 Cor. 11:3 π 1 Cor. 15:20-28 π 2 Cor. 6:16-7:1 π Gal. 1:8-9 π Gal. 5:22-23 π Eph. 1:10 π Phlp. 2:9-11 π Col. 1:15-18 π Col. 2:9-10 π 2 Ths. 2:3 π 2 Ths. 2:9-10 π 2 Ths. 2:11 π Heb. 1:2-4 π Heb. 2:6-9 π Jas. 2:20-26 π 2 Pet. 3:16 π 1 Jn. 3:8 π 1 Jn. 3:10-14 π Jude 4 π Rev. 2:6 π Rev. 2:15 π Rev. 12:7-12
“I am the way, the truth, and the life,” said Jesus. “No one comes to the Father except through Me.” ( Jn. 14:6; top )
“Nor is there salvation found in any other [name than the name of Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ], for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” ( Acts 4:12; top )
“[God’s ultimate purpose is] that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth…” ( Eph. 1:10; top )
“[Christ] is the image [likeness] of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him [Christ] all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominion or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He [Christ] is before all things, and in Him all things consist [are held together]. And He is the head of the body, the ekklesia, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He [Christ] may have the preeminence.” ( Col. 1:15-18; top )
“For in [Christ] dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.” ( Col. 2:9-10; top )
“Therefore God also has highly exalted [Christ Jesus] and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord [Master, King, Absolute Ruler], to the glory of God the Father.” ( Phlp. 2:9-11; top )
“[God] has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His [God’s] person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.” ( Heb. 1:2-4; top )
“‘What is man that You [God] are mindful of him, or the son of man that You take care of him? You made him [man] a little lower than the angels; You crowned him with glory and honor, and set him over the works of Your hands. You have put all things in subjection under His feet.’ For in that He put all in subjection under [man], He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him [man]. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor [at the right hand of the Majesty on high], that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.” ( Heb. 2:6-9; top )
“In the beginning was the Word [pre-incarnate Christ Jesus], and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. …And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. ( Jn. 1:1-5 , 14; top )
“But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. For ‘He has put all things under His feet.’ But when He say ‘all things are put under Him,’ it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted. Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that god may be all in all.” ( 1 Cor. 15:20-28; top )
From these Scriptures, let us construct a list of just what Jesus Christ is. He is:
- The only way or method of approaching God.
- The only name by which we may attain to eternal salvation.
- The focal point of everything in heaven and earth.
- God’s first Son who looks, acts and lives exactly like the Father.
- A participant in the creation of the world – both physical and spiritual – and the recipient and therefore owner of all created things.
- The authority and power who upholds all things and holds all things together.
- The Head – the Absolute Monarch – over those people who have believed on His name and obediently responded to His call to come out of darkness, evil and sin.
- The container of all that is God, the Head over every other spiritual or physical authority, whether human, angelic or demonic.
- The source of personal and individual completeness and fulfillment, satisfaction and maturity for all who will enter in and obediently partake of His nature.
- The name before which every created being will bow and acknowledge Him as King and Lord, the ultimate Absolute Monarch, the Most High God.
- The Spoken Message from God to men that expresses all that God has to say to men.
- The first human to experience ultimate and eternal resurrection thus attaining to His place of honor in God.
- The only necessary sacrifice to put an end to sin and death.
- The Light by which men may see the darkness which holds them imprisoned.
- The Vine or Root by which all who belong to Him will experience resurrection when He returns.
These fifteen descriptions of the nature of Christ clearly demonstrates just how special, unique, transcendent and wonderful He is. This is the essence and nature of the King, Christ Jesus. Is it any wonder that this kind of King was widely received in the Greek and Roman world of the first and second centuries?
But incredibly, some two thousand years later, the “church” – that institutionalized organization that calls itself, in varying degrees, after His name – has lost the gospel of the kingdom of God whose Head is Christ. Instead, the “church” offers a cheap “grace” that enables one to spend eternity in “heaven” (some warm, fuzzy, nebulous place of sublime ease and comfort) if the participant will just acknowledge Jesus, pray, read the Bible and routinely attend “church” the rest of their lives, making regular financial contributions to the “pastor’s” salary, of course.
No! No! No! A thousand times, No!!! Jesus did not preach the gospel of the “church” where the “pastor” and staff are the lords over the people who remain passively silent in their absolute and complete submission to the institutionalized system. In fact, Jesus mentioned His Church (which, by the way, He also said that He would build) only three times in the New Testament – two of those times are in one verse! Jesus preached the gospel of the kingdom, telling everyone that the kingdom of God was near at hand because He, the King, had come to overthrow the rebellious works of the devil which had plunged the world into chaos, emptiness and darkness. ( 1 Jn. 3:8; top )
The gospel of the kingdom is not welcome at “church.” There are heretical sects and divisions which use Scripture to denounce what they derisively call “Lordship Theology.” (see 2 Pet. 3:16 , Jude 4 ) These adhere to a “faith alone” philosophy that cannot be found in a well-rounded reading of the Scriptures and which results only in spiritual death. (see Jas. 2:20-26 ) One’s faith must be accompanied by obedience or else that one abides in (lives in, remains in) death. (see 1 Jn. 3:10-14; top ) There is no real fellowship (unity, commonality) with God if we do not receive Christ as King and Lord over our lives.
This gospel of the kingdom will never work in an institutionalized “church” setting because the “pastor,” by definition of his position of power, prestige and preeminence, is a Nicolaitan rebel against God. (see Rev. 2:6 , 15 ) He competes against the true Head and King, Christ Jesus, so that he can be the one to tell the people how they should live and breathe and have their being. What an abomination! That “pastor” who has some genuine call of God on his life should fall on his face before God and cry out for enlightenment and revelation – before his life is over and his turn at the judgment seat of Christ shows him that all his labors have been wood, hay or stubble ( 1 Cor. 3:12 ) or worse, lawlessness (doing what was right in his own eyes) which requires the true Lord and King to say, “Depart from Me – I never knew you.” ( Mt. 7:22-23; top )
The gospel of the kingdom is unacceptable to the “church” (including all those groups who intentionally or inadvertently absorb or mimic the institutional pattern as unfortunately too many house “churches” have done) precisely because it is uncontrollable. The Holy Spirit of Christ, as gracious and humble as He is, will not submit to the whims, opinions and rulings of mere men. Where some man is lord and king (under whatever title he assumes – “pastor,” “elder,” “deacon,” “apostle,” “prophet,” “evangelist,” “teacher,” “preacher,” “minister,” “reverend,” “priest,” “father,” “pope,” – whatever title is actually used to demonstrate this man’s special-ness, uniqueness and superiority over the common crowd is immaterial), the Holy Spirit will quietly withdraw Himself and call the real disciples of Christ off to a quiet place away from the noisy crowds and hustling, bustling religious strivings that men call “church” and “ministry.” (see Mk. 6:31 ) Where Christ is truly King there is neither place nor need for a second head over the people of Christ. (see 1 Cor. 11:3 ) And only those who come up out of this quiet place (what many now call their “wilderness experience”) leaning entirely on the Beloved (see Song 8:5 ) are prepared to endure the chaos, confusion, lawlessness, rebellion and rampant evil that will characterize the last days before Christ’s return. ( Mt. 24:12-13 , 2 Ths. 2:9-10 , Rev. 12:7-12; top )
The kingdom of God is defined by Christ in His instructions as to how His disciples should pray. Jesus said to pray, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth just as in heaven.” ( Mt. 6:10 ) God’s kingdom exists wherever His will is sought and done. Seeking His will is the only protection against deceptive teachings (see Jn. 7:17 ) – and deception is the primary sign of the imminent return of the King. ( Mt. 24:4 , 2 Ths. 2:3 , 11 ) Only those who actually do the will of God will be permitted to enter His kingdom when He does return. ( Mt. 7:21; top )
The gospel of the “church” – by which so many become “churched” and go to “church” instead of being the Church (Greek ekklesia - the called out people of Christ’s kingdom of light) – is a different gospel than Christ’s gospel of the kingdom of God. Those who subscribe to this different gospel cannot hope to be received as sons of God and heirs with Christ in the true kingdom of God. (see Gal. 1:8-9 ) Only those who separate themselves from all forms of “Christian” idolatry and who purify themselves of all filthiness of the flesh and spirit and who produce the fruit of the Spirit get to be and actually are the sons of God. ( 2 Cor. 6:16-7:1 , 1 Cor. 5:10 , Gal. 5:22-23 , Rom. 8:9; top )
Let he who has ears hear.
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