Pinecrest Bible Training Center

John 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone.

Beginning in 2008 the vision and bible school that God so graciously gave Wade Taylor beginning in 1968 came to an abrupt end, falling into the ground and dying.-

We now wait for God to raise up and bring forth His seed of promise in another, that the vision fail not.

Winter 2002
The Kingdom of God
Nancy Corlett

The central teaching of Jesus was the establishment of God's Kingdom. From the beginning (Matt. 4:17), Jesus spoke primarily of the Kingdom of God. He began the Sermon on the Mount (the Beatitudes) with the Kingdom (Matt. 5:3). Jesus spoke of the Kingdom throughout his ministry.

Scripture never really defines the Kingdom, but through a series of parables and other teachings we have something better: a graphic word-picture painted by the Master Himself. Often we think of a kingdom as a geographical area, but it is the authority of the sovereign that makes a kingdom.

As early as Exodus 19:6, the Lord speaks of making His people a “kingdom of priests,” which is quoted in Rev 1:6. A priest represents God to men, and men to God. I Peter 2 speaks of all believers as being “a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices.” (verse 5), and “a royal priesthood to shew forth the praises of him who hath called you.” (verse 9).

This means not only with our lips, but in our lives. The Amplified says, “display the virtues and perfections of Him ...” The sacrifices of the Christian are spiritual sacrifices. Jesus made the once-and-for-all sacrifice of Atonement. But we are to make the “sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving” (Psa. 107:22, Jer.33:11, Heb. 13:15), to “present our bodies a living sacrifice” (Rom. 12:1), to “lay down our lives for the brethren” (I John 3:16, Heb. 13:16).

Notice that this depends on our obedience (Exodus19:5). We may see ourselves as “the land” over which He is Absolute Ruler. There are no constitutional monarchies or majority votes in God's Kingdom. Those are necessary in the natural realm as a safe-guard to the abuses made by fallen men, but our Lord's reign needs no such check-and-balance.

Jesus made it clear that He is bringing something new. He says that the least in this Kingdom is greater than John the Baptist. He emphasized that “the Kingdom of God is within you,” and that it will apply to the entire world.

Jesus said that “The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” (Matt. 4:17) and Luke 4:43 quotes Him as saying “I must preach the kingdom of God.” He promises that some in His audience will see within their lifetime the Kingdom (Luke 9:27). And this will be with power (Mark 9:1). In these, Jesus is referring to Himself, the very embodiment of all that the kingdom represents, and based on His perfect obedience to the Father. In Luke 16:16, He says “The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth in.”

Jesus also tells us to pray “Thy kingdom come.” It is here, but it is also to come. It is here in Him and to the extent that His people are “conformed to His Image.” It is future in that it is not complete in us, and it is a long way from being fully established “on earth as it is heaven,” when Jesus will be truly “King of kings and Lord of lords.”

The difference between Salvation and the Kingdom is that the former is what He did for us, taking care of our fundamental problem, and coming out to meet us where we are, in order to take us to where we belong. And, the Kingdom is where we belong. They overlap because the “outworking of our salvation” - coming into the reality of all He bought for us - involves our entering the kingdom, taking the kingdom, and occupying the kingdom. But they are not completely identical.

Matthew 13 is probably the most concise summary of the Kingdom, although there are many other references. Through a series of seven parables, from the planting of seeds to the harvest (although He changes the metaphor to fish) He tells us several things about the Kingdom: Much depends on receptivity; separation of the wheat and tares is not our job, but must await God's timing and method; the most glorious thing can grow from the tiniest thing (a word here, a deed there); leaven, used elsewhere in a negative sense, is used positively here to tell us that a small hidden thing can have a big influence; this hidden thing must be sought earnestly and will be found by those who persevere; there will be a final judgment and separation. It is a concise summary of past, present, and future - what He did, what He is doing, and what He will do!

The Kingdom of God is part of the sovereign, free gift. Yet we must choose it, and we must “press in” (Luke 16:16). Matt. 11:12 says it is taken by force. This “territory” has been too long held by the enemy, and we must wrest it from him.

It is to come in power (Mark 9:1, Romans 1:16), the power “to will and to do” (Phil 2:13). When we read all the related scriptures, we discover that Jesus came not only to be the perfect example, but also to enable us to follow His example.

This enablement is the unique aspect of the Christian Gospel.



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