Fred R. Coulter—September 24, 2010

computer - Video | pdfIcon - PDF | Audio | [Up]

Track 1: or Download

Greetings, brethren! Welcome to day two of the Feast of Tabernacles, 2010! We know the Holy Days start out with the Passover, Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, Trumpets, Atonement and then the Feast of Tabernacles. And the way the sequence of events show in Revelation is that before the Feast of Tabernacles begins Satan is bound. But let’s ask the questions:

  • What is the Kingdom of God?
  • And, of course, we know when it’s coming!
  • Who will be there?
  • Who won’t be there?
  • What will we do?

And all of that has to do with what we’re doing in keeping the Feast of Tabernacles—it helps us learn. We learn by doing. And if we obey, we learn by obeying. Just like we’ve seen, if we do the will of the Father we’ll understand. Likewise with this!

Now, there’s a special blessing that comes to no one else but those that God has called. Let’s come to Matthew 13 and let’s see what that special blessing is. When you start out in the Bible in Genesis, with Adam and Eve, we don’t know how much God taught them about His plan, but you come down through time, and through the Bible you find that God begins to add a little here, a little there—when we get to the Prophets; when we get to the Psalms—and yet, it’s incomplete. So, when we come to the teachings of Jesus He adds a great deal to it, to the knowledge and understanding of the plan of God—the Gospel of the New Testament—and the Kingdom of God. In the book of Matthew it’s called the Kingdom of Heaven, because that is the kingdom that comes from heaven.

Here in Matt. 13 we find something that is very, very important for us to understand: God has given us knowledge He hasn’t revealed to other people. The world does not know! And even if you ask ‘religious’ people and even those who claim to be ‘Christians’: What is God doing? What is His plan? They won’t know what the Bible says. They may know a few things about the Bible, but they really don’t understand. Like everything else we learn by doing; we learn by obeying.

When Jesus was teaching, His disciples didn’t understand many of the parables that He was speaking, and after giving the Parable of the Sower, the disciples came and said, ‘Why do You speak to them in parables?’ Let’s see His answer and let’s see how this applies; and let’s see how we can go through the Scriptures and answer the questions that I have asked. We will see how important it is to have the New Testament so we can understand the Old Testament. That’s the key. That’s why the New Testament is greater than the Old Testament. The New Testament interprets the Old Testament. None of the timing that we understand concerning the Holy Days and the plan of God—though the Holy Days were given clear back to the children of Israel as we know, back there in Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy and Numbers. Even though they had the Holy Days, they didn’t know the meaning of them. All they had was just the letter of the law, the keeping of the Holy Days.

Matthew 13:10: “And His disciples came to Him and asked, ‘Why do You speak to them in parables?’ And He answered and said to them, ‘Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven…” (vs 10-11)—‘mysteries’ can also be secret. In the world today there are two mysteries or two secrets:

  1. the Kingdom of Heaven or Kingdom of God
  2. the mystery of lawlessness, which governs this world, as ruled over by Satan the devil

So, it’s given to us, and even the disciples were only able to go so far. And, of course, think about how many of the ‘mysteries’ or secrets of the Kingdom of God we know because of the book of Revelation. Just consider how many people who will be in the Kingdom of God do not have the knowledge that we have.

“…‘Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but to them it has not been given…. [God’s not giving it to the world. These are the pearls of understanding and wisdom which Jesus said, ‘Don’t cast your pearls before swine.’] (notice v 12, because this becomes a very important point in understanding): …For whoever has understanding, to him more shall be given, and he shall have an abundance…’” (vs 11-12)—because we’re to be constantly

  • growing in grace and knowledge
  • growing in understanding
  • growing in the Spirit of God
  • growing in the knowledge of the Word of God

The Word of God is inspired by the mind of God, Who is eternal. There are lessons that continually come out of the Scriptures that we are to learn, because God has made it that way. So as we study more and pray more and yield to God and walk in His way, we’ll be given more understanding. And then there is also the promise that God gave to Daniel when He told him that everything was ‘closed and sealed until the time of the end.’ But He says, at the time of the end, ‘the wise shall understand.’

So, a lot of the understanding that we have is just because we’re in the time leading up to the end of the world; so therefore, we can have more understanding because we can read the prophecies and look out and see what’s happening in the world, see what’s happening spiritually, see what’s happening with the churches—and we understand.

Here’s another principle that’s very important to realize: “…but whoever does not have understanding, even what he has shall be taken away from him” (v 12). Now, we’ve seen that with people who leave the Church of God, and we can see that in the Protestant world—can’t we? A hundred years ago they had a whole lot more knowledge—the Protestants did—concerning the Word of God, because they actually believed in keeping all the commandments, except the one of Sabbath, and kept Sunday.And I think it’s a phenomenal thing to understand—and that’s why we have it here as one of the appendices in the Bible—Rome’s Challenge to the Protestants—written in 1893. If you go back and you look at what has happened to the Protestants since that time, because of that warning, systematically the Protestants have been losing it, losing it, losing it—true to what Jesus said.

So He says, v 13: “‘For this reason I speak to them in parables, because seeing, they see not; and hearing, they hear not; neither do they understand…. [That’s why Jesus said—how many times?—‘the one who has an ear, let him hear’—and ‘hear’ means to act upon.] …And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, which says, “In hearing you shall hear, and in no way understand; and in seeing you shall see, and in no way perceive; for the heart of this people has grown fat, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and should hear with their ears, and should understand with their hearts, and should be converted, and I should heal them”’” (vs 13-15). Now, that’s quite a statement. We’ll talk a little bit more about that on the Last Great Day.

How is God going to solve all these problems? Well, it’s going to be the Kingdom of God! And the Kingdom of God cannot come until all the saints have been trained and made ready.

Now, let’s come to Ephesians, the first chapter. Paul wrote about the Kingdom of God. It’s important for us to understand that. And he also expands upon that we will know the secret or the mystery of God—and that is really a tremendous thing, brethren! God is taking you into His confidence, has revealed knowledge to you and to all of us that the rest of the world does not know. Here’s a living principle just as sure as the sun rises and sets, those who apply themselves will be given more knowledge and understanding, provided that they do it God’s way. Those who do not won’t understand. Here in Eph. 1 we find some very interesting things.

Ephesians 1:6—concerning our calling and being able to be in the Kingdom of God and being predestined to being His sons and daughters: “To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He has made us objects of His grace in the Beloved Son; in Whom we have redemption through His blood, even the remission of sins, according to the riches of His grace, which He has made to abound toward us in all wisdom and intelligence…” (vs 6-8). We’re not to be dumb people. There was a minister one time that said, ‘You’re all a bunch of dumb sheep.’ Well, some people said ‘we many be dumb sheep but God doesn’t expect us to remain dumb.’

“…all wisdom and intelligence; having made known to us the mystery [secret] of His own will… [Think about that! God has given to us the secret of His own will—His plan! That all revolves around the Kingdom of God.] …according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Himself… [that’s something to really contemplate—isn’t it?] …that in theDivine plan for the fulfilling of the times, He might bring all things together in Christ, both the things in the heavens and the things upon the earth; yes, in Him, in Whom we also have obtained an inheritance… [key thing; we’ll talk about the inheritance, because how do we get into the Kingdom of God and what does it consist of? It all becomes very important and it’s all encompassed in the word inheritance.] …having been predestinated… [once we receive the Holy Spirit of God] …according to His purpose… [we’re to know that and we’re to understand that] …Who is working out all things according to the counsel of His own will; that we might be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in the Christ” (vs 8-12). Now, that’s quite a thing—isn’t it? Yes, it is!

Ephesians 3:6—talks about His eternal kingdom, yes, indeed! “That the Gentiles might be joint heirs, and a joint body, and joint partakers of His promise in Christ through the Gospel… [and the Gospel is called The Gospel of the Kingdom of God. ‘Gospel’ means the good news or ‘Gods-spell as it were the message of God’s Kingdom.] …of which I became a servant according to the gift of the grace of God, which was given to me through the inner working of His power. To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, was this grace given, that I might preach the Gospel among the Gentiles—even the unsearchable riches of Christ” (vs 6-8). So, we can contemplate:

  • What is going to be like to be a spirit being?
  • What is going to be like to have glory and honor?
  • What is going to be like to rule and reign with Christ?

That’s all part of it, brethren. That’s why we need to keep our minds and our eyes and our hearts focused on that.

“…the unsearchable riches of Christ; and that I might enlighten all as to what is the fellowship of the mystery that has been hidden from the ages in God, Who created all things by Jesus Christ… [Now revealed! As Paul said here ‘not revealed or told to ages past’ except for a few of the prophets who were able to get a glimmer of what was coming, because of the Spirit of Christ that was in them. Isn’t that an amazing thing?] …what is the fellowship of the mystery that has been hidden from the ages in God, Who created all things by Jesus Christ; so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the Church to the principalities and the powers in the heavenly places, according to His eternal purpose, which He has wrought in Christ Jesus our Lord” (vs 8-11). That’s quite a thing—isn’t it? The purpose of God, that we may know it! The eternal purpose, and that’s all revealed through His Holy Days! And it’s all about the Kingdom of God!

Now, let’s come to the book of Titus, and let’s see that God proposed this in Himself before the ages of time. And remember that Jesus symbolically was as good as slain from the foundation of the world, because of what man would do. God’s plan to save mankind is fantastic, and the Feast of Tabernacles has a great deal to do with the greatest harvest of God up to that point.

Titus 1:1: “Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect and the knowledge of the Truth that is according to Godliness; in the hope of eternal life, which God Who cannot lie promised before the ages of time… [God will fulfill His will, and He’s doing that] …but revealed in its own set time in the proclamation of His Word… [through the New Testament to give us the understanding of the whole Bible] …with which I was entrusted according to the commandment of God our Savior” (vs 1-3). That’s quite a thing!

Let’s go back and let’s see some of the things concerning the Kingdom of God. Psalm 145 talks about the Kingdom of God; it’s an everlasting kingdom. Psalm 145:8: “The LORD is gracious and full of compassion; slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. The LORD is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works…. [and will eventually be given to the whole world] …All Your works shall praise You, O LORD; and Your saints shall bless You. They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom and talk of Your power… [This is what we are to do. That’s what the Gospel of the Kingdom of God is all about.] …To make known to the sons of men His mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of His kingdom…. [Because all the kingdoms of this world do not belong to God now, but they will when Christ returns] …Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and Your dominion endures throughout all generations” (vs 8-13). God is in charge of everything! And He’s going to make sure that His plan is carried out. He’s going to make sure concerning it.

This message was given even to King Nebuchadnezzar. When Nebuchadnezzar wanted to know the vision that was given to him and none of the astrologers, none of the religious leaders, and none of the soothsayers of his day could tell him; but Daniel could tell him. Daniel told him because the king said to all of his counselors and when he told him, ‘I had a dream.’ And they said, ‘Tell us the dream.’ Nebuchadnezzar said, ‘No, I want you to tell me the dream and the interpretation of it.’ Now, that’s a tall order—isn’t it? ‘And if you don’t, I’m going to execute the whole lot of you.’ Finally, they pleaded with Daniel and God gave to Daniel the understanding and Daniel was brought before the king to tell what the vision was and to give the interpretation of it.

What he saw was this vision: A man with a head of gold; then silver and brass and iron and feet of iron and clay. That was a symbol all of the kingdoms of this world leading down to the coming of the Kingdom of God. So Daniel was able to tell King Nebuchadnezzar the interpretation of it. Let’s see what he says here concerning the last part, because this is where we are living today.

Daniel 2:44: “‘And in the days of these kings, the God of heaven shall set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed…. [that’s why in the book of Revelation we have the vision of ‘the new heaven and the new earth’—right? Quite a thing! Yes!] …And the kingdom shall not be left to other people… [only those that God brings into it] ..but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.’” Just like it said there in Psa. 145, ‘Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. It shall stand forever.’

Now, notice this guarantee. This is why it’s important to understand that all of God’s plans are going to work out His way. We can understand certain things up to a certain point. But then there comes a point when we don’t understand, because things are not working out that maybe they thought they would. But the truth of the matter is they are always working out according to the plans of God. This is why we always have to adjust our thinking to God’s thinking. We also have to interpret and understand the events according to the promises that are given that it will come to pass.

Verse 45: “‘Because you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold, the great God has made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter. And the dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure.’…. [that’s all he was given. Then we have the other visions and things that Daniel received that go along and parallel these things, showing way off into the future the coming Kingdom of God.

Let’s look at the end of this. Let’s come to where this is finished. They could not do that in Daniel’s day. They could not do it during the days of the kings of Israel and Judah. They couldn’t do it during the days of the apostles. Not until the book of Revelation was written, and even then, because they did not understand the vast scope of what it’s going to be at the end-time with the final kingdom of men; and they did not understand the things that we understand today with all the technology and all of things that are going on and everything that has taken place. They could not grasp or understand some of the prophecies like the one the mark of the beast—what is the mark of beast? They couldn’t know. They couldn’t understand it. And you go back and read some of the interpretations, even going back as early as 50-60 years ago, they still didn’t understand it, and there are still some people who believe that the mark of the beast is Sunday-keeping.

Well, that’s not true. You’ve seen with the sermons that we have given, and seen what’s going to come on, and see how it’s going to come about. No one could ever grasp that there would be such a thing as electronic money. No one could grasp that people could be controlled if you would just put an apparatus in/on their hand or forehead. So they couldn’t answer the question.

We see the end of the matter, when the Kingdom of God comes. Here is where the fulfillment of what Daniel gave King Nebuchadnezzar is going to take place. Revelation 11:15: “Then the seventh angel sounded his trumpet; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and His Christ, and He shall reign into the ages of eternity.’” So, it’s an everlasting kingdom; it’s going to go on forever and ever! What we’ve been called into, brethren, is a fantastic thing. God has made known to us what His plan is

  • through His Word
  • through His Spirit
  • through the timing of letting it be known

But here’s when it’s going to be fulfilled. The world is not going to be happy: “And the twenty-four elders, who sit before God on their thrones, fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying, ‘We give You thanks, O Lord God almighty, Who is, and Who was, and Who is to come; for You have taken to Yourself Your great power, and have reigned. For the nations were… [delighted, threw down all of their arms raised up their hands to heaven and said, ‘O God, forgive us!’ NO! They don’t want that!] …For the nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, and the time for the dead to be judged, and to give reward to Your servants the prophets, and to the saints, and to all those who fear Your name, the small and the great; and to destroy those who destroy the earth’” (vs 16-18). That’s when it’s going to be setup, and we’re going to have a part in doing it, brethren. Yes! So, it is an eternal kingdom!

Who is going to be in it? A lot of people want to be in it! How do we get in? Some people think that they're going to usher the Kingdom of God by their will and their power and by their might and by their works. That’s why on the Homeland Security list all of those who believe in the return of Jesus Christ and believe in the millennial reign of Christ are on the suspicious list. We are a threat to them. because they don’t want to lose their power. Well, Christ is going to take it all away.

  • Who’s going to enter into the Kingdom of God?
  • How are you going to enter in?

We’ll tie that together then with the inheritance. Let’s first of all come to 2-Peter, the first chapter, and let’s see what we’re told here. What Peter has written here will give us understanding.

2-Peter 1:10: “For this reason, brethren, be even more diligent to make your calling and election sure… [showing how that we’ve been promised the blessing of receiving the Divine nature. No human being is going to enter into and become a ruling part of the Kingdom of God. It’s not going to happen that way.] (We have to): …make your calling and election sure; because if you are doing these things, you will never fall at any time. For in this way, you will be richly granted an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ” (vs 10-11).

  • How do we enter into it?
  • What has to happen to us?

Let’s come to 1-Corinthians, the fifteenth chapter, and let’s see what the Apostle Paul wrote. The whole New Testament is talking about

  • the Kingdom of God
  • the rule of God
  • the Gospel of the Kingdom

And what was the first thing that Jesus said after John was cast into prison. He came into Galilee and said, ‘Repent, and believe the Gospel.’ And that’s the Gospel of the Kingdom of God—right? Yes!

1-Corinthians 15:50: “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God… [So you only enter into it as a spirit being, and you inherit it because God grants it to you.] …nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I show you a mystery… [part of the mystery or secret of God!] …we shall not all fall asleep, but we shall all be changed… [In order to enter into the Kingdom of God, you have to be changed. And this change comes—as we saw in Rev. 11—at the last trumpet.] …in an instant, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (vs 50-52). That’s something—isn’t it? We’ve covered some of this when we came to the Feast of Pentecost, because that pictures the first resurrection.

Let’s go back here to v 42—concerning the glory of the stars and the moon and all of that: “So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory…. [What’s it going to be like to have a glorified, spirit body? Think about that for a minute! We know the description of Jesus Christ that John gave (Rev. 1) that his countenance shined like the sun in its full strength, and His eyes as a flame of fire!] …It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory…” (vs 42-43).

Think what it’s like to be able to have a spirit body that shines, that glows, that radiates! Remember what John wrote about Jesus when he saw Him in His resurrected form, in glory, His countenance ‘shined like the sun in its full strength’; and His eyes were like ‘flames of fire’; and His feet as if they ‘burned in fine brass.’ Think what it’s going to be like to have glory! And it also says here: “…It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power….” (v 43).

  • No more weakness of the flesh!
  • No more sickness!
  • No more disease!
  • No more death!

It’s an eternal kingdom; it’s an everlasting kingdom, and we’re going to rule and reign with Christ! It’s going to go on into the ages of eternity. We need to consider more than just saving ourselves and wanting eternal life, that God has for us the greatest and most spectacular thing beyond our most vivid imagination and description that we can read of here in the Bible.

Verse 44: “It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body…. [We’ll be composed of spirit!] …There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body; accordingly, it is written, ‘The first man, Adam, became a living soul; the last Adam became an ever-living Spirit.’ However, the spiritual was not first, but the natural—then the spiritual. The first man is of the earth—made of dust. The second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the one made of dust, so also areall those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly one, so also are all those who are heavenly” (vs 44-48). At that time we will be heavenly.

Notice this promise. What I want you to do is grab your arm, hit yourself on the chest, verify that you have a physical body. Know that you have the Spirit of God. Now, v 49: “And as we have borne the image of the one made of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly one.” We’ll be spiritual, brethren. Our bodies will be transformed to be make like His glorious body.

Now, let’s look and see Christ was the first to inherit. Let’s come to Hebrews, the first chapter; let’s see what a tremendous thing that this is concerning Christ and how it will be for us, and that we have an inheritance.

Track 2: or Download

Let’s see about Christ. Christ is the firstborn from the dead—we covered that already concerning His resurrection, but let’s see concerning the kingdom; let’s see the greatness of Christ. This will help us to understand how marvelous it is going to be to rule and reign with Christ, to be a son or daughter of God the Father, and to inherit the Kingdom of God and to rule with Jesus Christ—not only when the kingdom comes to the earth, but on into the ages of eternity, because it’s an everlasting kingdom. Think about that! Notice what Paul was inspired to write:

Hebrews 1:1: “God, Who spoke to the fathers at different times in the past and in many ways by the prophets, has spoken to us in these last days by His Son… [personal Spokesman from God. Remember the Gospel of John, the first chapter, ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.’] (Here it’s defined even a little bit more): …Whom He has appointed heir of all things, by Whom also He made the worlds; Who, being the brightness of His glory…” (vs 1-2). God the Father’s glory! Isn’t that something! Have you even thought we are going to see God the Father in His glory? We’re going to see Him face-to-face. We are His children, and that’s the inheritance that we have to look forward to: a spiritual existence and a spiritual job and a spiritual rule forever!

“Who, being the brightness of His glory and the exact image of His person… [having the same character of God] …and upholding all things by the word of His own power… [Remember what Jesus said to the apostles (Matt. 28)? He said, ‘All power in heaven and earth has been given to Me.’ Isn’t that something? He sat down on the right hand of God.] …when He had by Himself purged our sins… [that’s why it’s only through Christ and that’s why all counterfeit Christianity, all religions of this world don’t count; they are meaningless! They are satanic! They are not of God.] …sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high; having been made so much greater than any of the angels, inasmuch as He has inherited a name exceedingly superior to them…. [And we’re going to have a new name, too. In order to enter into the Kingdom of God we’re going to have to be resurrected; we’re going to have to be spirit beings.] …For to which of the angels did He ever say, ‘You are My Son; this day I have begotten You’? And again, ‘I will be a Father to Him, and He will be a Son to Me’?” (vs 3-5). And we’re going to see that He is the firstborn among many brethren.

Hebrews 2:9—again, talking about Jesus and what He did to make it possible for us to enter into the Kingdom of God; to make it possible for us to become spirit beings. “But we see Jesus, Who was made a little lower than the angels, crowned with glory and honor on account of suffering the death… [the death through the sins of all human beings; the death of God manifested in the flesh] …in order that by the grace of God He Himself might taste death for everyone; because it was fitting for Him, for Whom all things were created, and by Whom all things exist, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Author of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both He Who is sanctifying and those who are sanctified are all of one; for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren” (vs 9-11).

When we receive eternal life and are presented to God the Father: “Saying, ‘I will declare Your name to My brethren; in the midst of the Church I will sing praise to You.’ And again, ‘I will be trusting in Him.’ And again, ‘Behold, I and the children whom God has given Me’” (vs 12-13). That’s quite something—isn’t it? We’re to be the very children of God.

Now, Paul also wrote in Romans, the eighth chapter, concerning the inheritance. This becomes really very important for us to understand, brethren. This is quite a chapter. I want you understand, in going through these things, how much that the whole focus of the New Testament is on the Kingdom of God, eternal life through Christ, ruling with Christ and living on into eternity as the very sons and daughters of God the Father.

Romans 8:14: “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God. Now you have not received a spirit of bondage again unto fear, but you have received the Spirit of sonship, whereby we call out, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit itself bears witness conjointly with our own spirit, testifying that we are the children of God…. [that’s the mystery of God, that we are going to be His children. And think about this when you think about the beginning of your life as a little speck of dust, so to speak.] …Now if we are children, we are also heirs… [because we have to inherit the Kingdom of God; we have to enter it as a spirit being.] …—truly, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if indeed we suffer together with Him, so that we may also be glorified together with Him” (vs 14-17). Just as He is; we will see Him as He is! That’s something! I want you to understand that!

Notice what it say here concerning Christ, v 28: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose, because those whom He did foreknow, He also predestinated to be conformed to the image of His own Son, that He might bethe firstborn among many brethren” (vs 28-29). There it talks about our inheritance. That’s quite a thing—isn’t it?—when we really understand that.

Let’s see what Peter said about this, and let’s see how Peter was preaching exactly the same thing as Paul was preaching. 2-Peter 1:3 [transcriber’s correction]: “According as His Divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life… [eternal life] …and Godliness, through the knowledge of Him Who called us by His own glory and virtue”

1-Peter 1:2: “Who have been chosen according to the predetermined knowledge of God the Father, by sanctification through the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied to you. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who, according to His abundant mercy, has begotten us again unto a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead; unto an inheritance… [We are going to own part of the Kingdom of God. An inheritance is something you have, you own—joint heirs with Christ! We have something similar to this: husband and wife, joint heirs, joint tenants, they hold property together—right? Yes! That’s exactly what it means here. We are going to own part of whatever God gives us to own in the Kingdom of God.] …incorruptible and undefiled and unfading, reserved in heaven for us…” (vs 2-4). He’s [Christ] going to bring it with Him when He comes; and all that’s necessary for us to be in the Kingdom of God and to rule and reign with Christ.

Let’s come here to Acts 20 and see what Paul said in his parting words to the elders from Ephesus, whom he called down to Miletus to see him before he left, because this was the last time that he was going to see them. He knew the difficulties that lie ahead in what he was doing.

Acts 20:22-24: “And now behold, I am bound in the spirit, and am going to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall happen to me there; except that the Holy Spirit fully testifies in every city, saying that bonds and tribulations await me. But I myself do not take any of these things into account, nor do I hold my life dear to myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to fully testify the Gospel of the grace of God…. [All of this is all through the grace of God.] (Notice how he ties this in with the Kingdom of God): And now behold, I know that you all, among whom I have gone about proclaiming the Kingdom of God, will see my face no more” (vs 22-25). That’s what he taught, that’s what he preached, and that’s the whole Gospel—the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.

Let’s see who will be there, because not everyone is going to be there; not everyone is going to make it. And we find that right at the beginning of the ministry of Jesus Christ He begins defining who is going to be in the Kingdom of God or, as Matthew writes: the Kingdom of Heaven. Here shows the character qualifications that we need. That’s important for us to realize—right?

Matthew 5:1: “But seeing the multitudes, He went up into the mountain; and when He sat down, His disciples came to Him. And He opened His mouth and taught them, saying, ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven’” (vs 1-3). Not the mighty, not the high-minded, but

  • those who are ‘poor in spirit’
  • those who are humble
  • those who are contrite
  • those who love God
  • those who obey Him
  • those who serve Him

All of those things will be added on here.

“‘…Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted…. [there’s a whole lot for us to mourn about in the world around us today and what is coming down the pike.] …Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth’” (vs 4-5). So, we first of all inherit the earth and then the universe. So how’s that for something? Think about that! Think about all of the strivings of men and going after the power of politics and the strife that’s going on in governments and the strife that goes on in towns and cities and states and homes—everyone wanting power! Well, they’re not going to be there unless they repent. There will be a lot to mourn about. “The meek shall inherit the earth.”

“‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled’” (v 6). Brethren, that’s what we need to be doing: hungering and thirsting after

  • the righteousness of God
  • the Truth of God
  • the Word of God

“‘Blessed are the merciful, for they shall find mercy…. [As we go through and read these things, let’s understand that this also sets out a brief summation of all of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Isn’t that something when we realize that?] …Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God…. [And let’s have peace in our lives, brethren, and have peace among ourselves.] …Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven” (vs 7-10)

Notice he says

  • “Kingdom of Heaven” (v 3)
  • “inherit the earth” (v 4)
  • “sons of God” (v 9)
  • “inherit the Kingdom of God” (v 10)

All right there just in this very short part of Matt. 5 we have all the summary of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And this tells us who’s going to be there.

Let’s see how this ties in with Psalm 15—the question was asked: ‘Who’s going to dwell in Your tabernacle, Lord?’ So, here’s a prophecy of it; part of the answer and then Christ gives more of the answer. Psalm 15:1: “LORD, who shall dwell in Your tabernacle? Who shall dwell upon Your Holy hill?…. [Notice, it’s going to require the character; it’s going to require the overcoming]: …He who walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart… [That shows total conversion—doesn’t it?] …He does not slander with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor… [And what did Jesus say when He got done with the Sermon on the Mount? He said, ‘This is the Law and the Prophets’—right? Yes! Here’s part of it right here.] …in whose eyes a vile person is despised, but he honors those who fear the LORD; he who swears to his own hurt and does not change it; he who has not put out his money at usury, nor has he taken a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things shall never be moved” (vs 1-5).

There’s just a glimpse of it. You can take all of these beatitudes in Matt. 5 and go right down and see the references in the center column reference [of your Bible] and you can see that all of these things were prophesied of in the Old Testament, spoken of and repeated again in the New Testament. That’s the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.

Matthew 5:11: “‘Blessed are you when they shall reproach you, and shall persecute you, and shall falsely say every wicked thing against you, for My sake…. [That’s the tactic of Satan the devil. Don’t worry about it.] …Rejoice and be filled with joy, for great is your reward in heaven… [which Christ is going to bring with Him as the Apostle Peter said] …for in this same manner they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (vs 11-12). Quite a thing! Who’s going to be there?

Let’s look at another parable—Matthew, the 25th chapter—who’s going to be in the Kingdom of God? He tells us over and over again. This also tells us when the Kingdom of God is going to be established on the earth. All of those human beings who survived through the Great Tribulation and enter into the Millennial reign of the Kingdom of God of Christ and the saints, they are not going to be in the Kingdom of God as spirit beings, they will be under the Kingdom of God. In that sense they will be in it only in the sense that the Kingdom of God is reigning on earth. They likewise have to grow and change; they have to overcome so that they can enter into the Kingdom of God.

Matthew 25:31: “Now when the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the Holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory; and He shall gather before Him all the nations; and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And He shall set the sheep at His right hand, but the goats at His left. Then shall the King say to those at His right hand, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world’” (vs 31-34). That’s something to understand! God’s plan is going to be carried out, but here it is all the way through who is going to be there, who is not going to be there.

Let’s look at some of those who won’t be there; let’s see some of the qualifications for it; let’s see how we are to live our lives now so that we can be there and we’ll see how those who disqualify themselves will not be there. Verse 35: “‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you took Me in; I was naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ Then shall the righteous answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and fed You? or thirsty, and gave You a drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and took You in? or naked, and clothed You? And when did we see You sick, or in prison, and came to You?’ And answering, the King shall say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, inasmuch as you have done it to one of the least of these My brethren, you have done it to Me’” (vs 35-40). It shows

  • conversion
  • character
  • love
  • serving
  • helping
  • reflecting the mind of Christ
  • reflecting the Truth of God

Now, notice what He says to those who won’t be there: “Then shall He also say to those on the left, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire, which has been prepared for the devil and his angels…. [then He repeats the same thing]: For I was hungry, and you did not give Me anything to eat; I was thirsty, and you did not give Me anything to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not take Me in; I was naked, and you did not clothe Me; I was sick, and in prison, and you did not come to visit Me.’ Then they also shall answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and we did not minister to You?’ Then shall He answer them, saying, ‘Truly I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, neither did you do it to Me.’ And they shall go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life” (vs 41-46).

Now, let’s look at another parable of Jesus to answer the question: Who will not be there? What I want you to understand is how much that the Gospels tell us about

  • who is going to be in the Kingdom of God
  • who is not going to be in the Kingdom
  • how we get there
  • how we receive the inheritance

and so forth.

Matthew 21:33: “Hear another parable: There was a certain man, a master of a house, who planted a vineyard, and put a fence around it, and dug a winepress in it, and built a tower, and then leased it to husbandmen and left the country. Now when the season of the fruits was drawing near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen to receive his fruits. But the husbandmen took his servants and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another” (vs 33-35). That’s exactly what has happened to all of those who have preached the Word of God down through time:

  • they’ve been rejected
  • they’ve been stoned
  • they’ve been sawn asunder

for preaching the Truth

  • they’ve died from being beheaded
  • they’ve been persecuted and chased from city to city
  • they’ve had the Inquisition against them during the Dark and Middle Ages

—all of those who kept the Sabbath and believed in God and rejected the power of the ecclesiastical reign of Rome. All killed for their faith in Christ. Yet claiming, ‘Yes, we’re the ones, we’ll tell you how to get into the Kingdom of Heaven.’

Verse 36: “Again he sent other servants, more than the first time; and they did the same thing to them Then at last he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will have respect for my son.’ But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, ‘This is the heir; come, let us murder him and gain possession of his inheritance.’ Then they took him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and murdered him” (vs 36-39). Christ is talking to the scribes and Pharisees.

He asked them this question, v 40: “Therefore, when the lord of the vineyard shall come, what will he do to those husbandmen? They said to Him, ‘Evil men! He will utterly destroy them, and he will lease his vineyard to other husbandmen, who will render to him the fruits in their seasons.’ Jesus said to them, ‘Have you never read in the Scriptures, “The Stone that the builders rejected, this has become the head of the corner. This was from the Lord, and it is wonderful in our eyes”? Because of this, I say to you… [Now notice who won’t be there]: …‘the Kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and it shall be given to a nation that produces the fruits of it. And the one who falls on this Stone shall be broken; but on whomever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.’ Now after hearing His parables, the chief priests and the Pharisees knew that He was speaking about them. And they sought to arrest Him…” (vs 40-46)—to kill Him; to do exactly as this parable said. So they won’t be there. How much of an opportunity they might have in the second resurrection, that’s God’s judgment.

Let’s come to Revelation 20 and we’ll finish here by seeing what we’re going to do. Here we’re going to find we’re going to rule and reign with Christ.

Revelation 20:6: “Blessed and Holy is the one who has part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power. But they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.”

That’s what the Feast of Tabernacles pictures: The Millennial reign of the Kingdom of God on this earth, with Jesus Christ returning to the earth, the saints resurrected and given spiritual life, spiritual responsibilities and we’re going to rule and reign with Christ and bring peace to this whole earth.Something that mankind has never been able to do.

Scriptural references:

  1. Matthew 13:10-15
  2. Ephesians 1:6-12
  3. Ephesians 3:6-11
  4. Titus 1:1-3
  5. Psalm 145:8-13
  6. Daniel 2:44-45
  7. Revelation 11:15-18
  8. 2 Peter 1:10-11
  9. 1 Corinthians 15:50-52, 42-49
  10. Hebrews 1:1-5
  11. Hebrews 2:9-13
  12. Romans 8:14-17, 28-29
  13. 2 Peter 1:3
  14. 1 Peter 1:2-4
  15. Acts 20:22-25
  16. Matthew 5:1-10
  17. Psalm 15:1-5
  18. Matthew 5:11-12
  19. Matthew 25:31-46
  20. Matthew 21:33-46
  21. Revelation 20:6

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Psalm 145
  • Revelation 1
  • Matthew 28

BOOKS