Kingdom of God in the Gospels #3

Fred R. Coulter—October 6, 2009

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Let's pick up where we left off in Matthew, but this time go forward a little bit to Matt. 7, because it tells us some very important things that we need to understand. When we read the closing remarks of Jesus, we are to teach all nations everything that He commanded them. We have it all right here in the Gospels.

The Gospels are fundamental, because that brings us from the Old Testament to the Gospels; and the Gospels then, as we already covered, is the central part of the Bible in its original order. There are seven divisions, with the Gospels being the fourth. So that means there are three divisions before and three divisions after the Gospels and Acts. The words of Jesus Christ are to be taught. That's what the Apostles did, and God inspired them to expand beyond that.

Here we have an entirely different situation compared to the Old Testament with the temple and everybody having to come to Jerusalem. Now we are able to have access to God the Father and Jesus Christ in heaven above. So, in our lives in growing and overcoming and the things that we need and the things that God wants us to have, He wants us to pray to Him, He wants us to seek Him, and He wants us to also seek that which is right.

Matthew 7:7—Christ says: "Ask, and it shall be given to you. Seek, and you shall find. Knock, and it shall be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it shall be opened" (vs 7-8).

Today there is great hungering and thirsting for the Word of God, because the most asked question on the Google search is: God, Are You there? Do You know I exist? Two-million hits a day. Well, we're going to do something about that.

This is what Jesus is saying here. You want to know about God, you seek Him; but you seek Him His way! and you seek Him with repentance!and you seek Him through the Word of God, which is the Truth of God.

So, He goes on showing how much God cares for us and loves us by continuing with this little parable:

Verse 9: "Or what man is there of you who, if his son shall ask for bread, will give him a stone?…. [of course not; you'll give him food, something to eat] …And if he shall ask for a fish, will give him a serpent?" (vs 9-10). Of course not!

Notice what He says about human nature—and because the biggest problem and difficulty in understanding the Bible, and understanding true Christianity, and understanding about overcoming, changing and growing, is the perception of self. The perception of self is: we're good people; we may have a little sin here and there, but I'm honest. Well, I may lie a little here or there. People do not understand that the Bible shows that the human mind 'is deceitful above all things'; and it is an enemy of God, 'enmity toward God, not subject to the Law of God and neither indeed can be.'

This is why Jesus says in v 11: "Therefore, if you, being evil…"

Who was He talking to? His disciples! By that time there were other people who found where they were and came up and were listening. He called His disciples 'evil.' Think on that for just a minute!

"…know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father Who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him?" (v 11).

Yes, God will give it. He will give it for our good, for our benefit. He's not going to do like Satan does: heap it all upon you all at once and you become spoiled and selfish and narcissistic, and you have no care for anyone else. That's the way the world is.

Notice the summary of it here, v 12: "Therefore, everything that you would have men do to you, so also do to them; for this is the Law and the Prophets."

It all goes back to the Law. Now Jesus is saying it's rooted in the Law and the Prophets, and now it goes beyond that. It goes beyond to what is in your mind and what is in your heart. If you're going to enter into the Kingdom of God, it's not going to be just an easy matter that you 'unzipper' your heart and say, 'Lord, come into my heart.'

No, because v 13 tells us: "Enter in through the narrow gate… [not a lot of budge, not a lot wiggle room] …for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter through it."

That's the way of the world. We are to come out of this world spiritually! That's all the teachings of what Jesus is giving here. Now He makes it abundantly clear by describing it even a little bit more.

Verse 14: "For narrow is the gate and difficult is the way that leads to life…"—not just physical life; eternal life! because you have to answer the call of God. You have to repent and be baptized and receive the Holy Spirit of God.

"…and few are those who find it" (v 14). We'll see this just a minute through the parable of the sower. Few will find it!

Now, here's a very interesting thing that follows right along with that. Why does He give the warning?:

Verse 15?: "But beware of false prophets…" Why? Because false prophets are going to come and try and show you an easy way to eternal life, which is not of God.

Satan is always there, Johnny-on-the-spot, to say 'you can figure this out better than God.' That goes clear back to Adam and Eve.

"…who come to you in sheep's clothing… [look like the real thing!] …for within they are ravening wolves" (v 15).

They may not appear that way to you, because they are going to offer an easy way, a broad way. 'All you have to do is believe in Jesus and everything will be all right. All you need to do is repeat this prayer and let Jesus in your heart.' Nothing about repentance! Nothing about baptism!

Let's put it this way: very little about repentance, nothing about baptism, and then you're saved! Once you're saved, everything is fine. Where's the difficulty then? The false prophets come and there are more lies that come from the pulpit than any other place!

Verse 16: "You shall know them by their fruits. They do not gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles, do they? In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a corrupt tree produces evil fruit. A good tree cannot produce evil fruit, nor can a corrupt tree produce good fruit" (vs 16-18).

  • If you have a corrupted gospel, how can it produce the fruit of God?
  • If you never receive the Holy Spirit of God, how can you produce the fruits of the Spirit?
  • You cannot do it!

This is what He's telling us here!

Verse 19: "Every tree that is not producing good fruit is cut down and is cast into the fire. Therefore, you shall assuredly know them by their fruits" (vs 19-20). When we are trying to judge something, we judge it by the fruits:

  • what is said
  • what is done
  • what is the result
  • Does it conform with the teachings of Jesus?
  • Does it conform with the teachings of the Bible?

If it doesn't, stay away! Jesus said that 'there are going to many, many come to Me and say:

Lord, Lord:

  • Did we not prophesy in Your name?
  • Did we not cast out demons in Your name?
  • Did we not perform many wonderful works or many works of power in Your name?

God, You've got to recognize me! I did this for You, Jesus'

Jesus is going to say, 'I never knew you. Depart from Me, you who work lawlessness.' It gets right back to where we started: 'Don't think I've come to abolish the Law.' Anyone who thinks that is a lawless person.

Now notice how important all the teachings of Jesus are, especially to eternal life. There's a correct way, there's a right way, which is the 'straight and narrow way and few there are that find that.' There's the 'broad way'; there's the easy way. Look at all the debt problems that we have today. Speak of the 'easy way.'

When the money was rolling and the credit was there and people had money just coming out of their ears, their homes were rising in value and they were borrowing more and more; and had three, four, five, six—I've heard of people having as many as 20—credit cards. You go out and you buy this and you buy that and you buy the other, and you borrow against your house, and you live 'high on the hog'—it's the easy way to go.

Where are they today? We'll read it. Economic rains came and the floods came and the wind blew and they lost their homes, their boats, their cars and their credit cards. The 'broad' easy way leads to destruction! Here's what Jesus said. This applies spiritually and the principle to anything that you do:

Verse 26: "And everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not practice them…"

Study through all four of the Gospels; it's important that you know what Jesus has taught. That's why, after the Feast, I would like you to study through all four of the Gospels, and understand the words of Christ. Ask yourself: Do I practice the words of Christ?

He also told those false prophets. Only those who are going to practice the will of the Father in heaven and everything that Jesus taught is the will of the Father, because He did not say anything that wasn't from God. Practicing them means we live them as a way of life!

Verse 24: "Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine and practices them, I will compare him to a wise man, who built his house upon the rock; and the rain came down, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; but it did not fall, for it was founded upon the rock" (vs 24-25)—that Rock is Christ!

This is what we really need to know and understand. I think sometimes we get so carried away with doctrines in the New Testament, the teachings of the Apostle Paul, the controversies between law and grace and all of that sort of thing that we forget the words of Christ. We forget that the words of Christ are those that bring us the understanding of how we attain to the Kingdom of God.

He's talking in a broad principle here: v 26: "'And everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not practice them shall be compared to a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand; and the rain came down, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell, and great was the fall of it.' Now it came to pass that when Jesus had finished these words, the multitudes were amazed at His teaching; for He taught them as oneWho had authority, and not as the scribes" (vs 26-29).

This is very important for us to understand. The words of Christ lay the foundation as to how we get into the Kingdom of God. It's not going to be as the world thinks, or as lot of people who are religious think.

Matthew 11:25: "At that time Jesus answered and said, 'I praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent, and have revealed them to babes."

The wise and intelligent are not willing to submit to the words of Christ. They don't realize that these are greater than all of their thoughts, and greater than all of their philosophies, and greater than their theories and their hypocrisies and whatever that they come up with because they are so wise.

Verse 26: "Yes, Father, for it was well pleasing in Your sight to do this. All things were delivered to Me by My Father…" (vs 26-27).

That's why it says in Heb. 1 that 'He upholds the universe by the will of His power.' All things were delivered to Him by the Father.

"…and no one knows the Son except the Father… [that is true; no one truly knows Jesus as the Father knows Jesus] …neither does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son personally chooses to reveal Him'" (v 27).

So, the miracle of everything is that we understand what we understand because God has made it possible! We have access to the Father because Christ has brought us to the understanding of it. God Himself and Christ have led us to repentance, and They have built a relationship with us. This relationship will be going through the 'straight and the narrow way' unto eternal life!

This is why He says, v 28: "Come to Me, all you who labor and are overly burdened, and I will give you rest"—because you've become mentally sound, emotionally stable and physically well!

  • He gives you rest from the pulls and the works of the flesh
  • He gives you rest from the consequences of sin
  • He gives you peace of mind of knowing His way
  • God loves you
  • God has called you
  • God is for you
  • God desires you

Verse 29: "Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me…" That's why we're going through the Gospels during the Feast of Tabernacles, because this is going to help show us and lead us in the way that we need to know and to learn from Christ.

"…for I am meek and lowly in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light" (vs 29-30)—because it's free from sin! That's quite something!

Not like the world' remember, as Jesus said, 'The world cannot receive these things.' But we can! So, here's the parable of the sower. This is what happens. Everywhere there's a Bible, the Word has been sown! Everywhere people want to know about Christ, some seed has been sown! When the Truth goes out, when the Gospel goes out, when the understanding of these things go out, it affects different people in different ways. We have the parable of the sower.

Matthew 13:19—the sower is Christ; the seed is the Word of God: "When anyone hears the Word of the Kingdom…"

Today we can say Christ is going return from heaven, shake the heavens, shake the earth, shake the land, the sea and everything that there is, and everyone's going to know that He is returning! You're a terrorist! You're against the government!

As a matter of fact, did you know that we're on the terrorist list because we believe:

  • the Bible
  • in the return of Christ
  • He's going to replace all governments all governments of this world are rooted in Satan the devil

But there's one thing that we do not advocate, which is we do not advocate violence or to take up arms to bring about the Kingdom of God. because Christ will do it Himself! When we're resurrected, we will help Him.

Verse 19: "When anyone hears the Word of the Kingdom and does not understand it, the wicked one comes…" Satan is right there! Right on the spot—'Johnny-on-the-spot'!

Just like it was at the last Passover of Jesus: Judas was there and Satan was there. Remember, as soon as Jesus gave him the sop, Satan entered into Judas and he went and betrayed Jesus. So likewise, if anyone really hears the Word of God, a trial is going to come from Satan the devil.

"…the wicked one comes and snatches away that which was sown in his heart. This is the one who was sown by the way" (v 19). Just a fleeting interest! Then when he finds out some of the things that are really required, oh man, I can't handle that!

Verse 20: "Now the one who was sown upon the rocky places is the one who hears the Word and immediately receives it with joy; but because he has no root in himself, he does not endure; for when tribulation or persecution arises because of the Word, he is quickly offended" (vs 20-21)—in God! Haven't we seen all these things take place? Yes!

Verse 22: "And the one who was sown among the thorns is the one who hears the Word, but the cares of this life and the deceitfulness of riches choke the Word, and it becomes unfruitful."

That church wants ten percent of my money and more. Well, that's God's tithe. Oh, I can't work on Saturday anymore. How am I going to make money? What are my friends going to think of me? How am I going to make money with this? I've got to sell my stocks in the casinos! I have to sell my stocks in the abortion clinics!

"…choke the Word, and it becomes unfruitful."

Verse 23—us!: "But the one who was sown on good ground, this is the one who hears the Word and understands, who indeed brings forth fruit and produces…" Why? Because:

  • you practicethe Word of God
  • you practicethe will of the Father in heaven above
  • you practice the commandments and laws and everything that God tells us to do

"…one a hundredfold, another sixtyfold and another thirtyfold" (vs 23-24)—which is very interesting because all grains have even numbers of rows of seeds!

Let's read the blessing that is given to those who desire it; that is those who

  • love God
  • repent
  • have received the Holy Spirit of God
  • are willing to want the teachings of Christ

Let's notice that these are the teachings of the Kingdom of God, which the world cannot receive.

Verse 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). Think about what a responsibility that is! God has given it to you. Stop and think for a minute:

  • How much do you know about the Kingdom of God?
  • How much do you know about the will of God?
  • How much do you know about the plan of God?

If you pray and study and grow in grace and knowledge, you know a lot! That's why we've written the books that we've written; and published the Bible that we have published. Because this Bible—The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version—is a Bible designed specifically for people who have been bound up in worldly Christianity and want to know the way out! That's why we have the commentaries and the appendices that we have in it. That's why they are there, and that's why you also need to read them. That's why it's part of the Bible. These things are necessary to help you understand the Bible:

  • to know what the Bible is
  • when it was written
  • who wrote it
  • when it was canonized
  • how it is put together—Old Testament/New Testament
    • How come this is the only Bible ever published of all the billions and billions of Bibles in the world?
    • How come it's the only one in the original order and can be rightly called The Original Bible Restored?
    • What are the teachings Jesus taught?
    • What are the teachings of the New Testament Church?
    • What Does It Mean to Be "Born Again"?
    • What Does it Mean to Be "Born of God"?
    • Summary of Proofs that God is not a Trinity

 note that Rome' Challenge to the Protestants and is now in booklet form}

This Bible is designed to be a one-package—you have to apply yourself to it though—to show you how to come out of the throws of pagan Christianity in the world. Now, coupled with this are the books:

  • Occult Holidays or God's Holy Days, Which?
  • A Harmony of the Gospels
  • God's Plan for Mankind
  • The Seven General Epistles
  • Lord, What Should I Do?

Those all add to it, to show how people can return to God! That's the whole basis of it!

So, it's been given to us to understand "'…the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but to them it has not been given" (v 11).

The world won't know!. We are to become more and more enlightened and we are to become more and more knowledgeable, and we are to understand more and more of the Word of God while the world dwells in darkness and is in the hands and power of Satan the devil! There's going to be a greater and greater contrast between those who are true Christians and those who are not.

Notice what else Jesus said. That's why it's important in the end-time that:

  • we work
  • that we study
  • that we pray
  • that we apply ourselves

because so much has been given to us! Jesus said, 'To who much has been given, much will be required.'

Verse 12: "For whoever has understanding, to him more shall be given, and he shall have an abundance…"

That's what we want, brethren. But with that abundance, let's not become 'rich and increased with goods.' Let's not become Laodicean in heart and mind and attitude. But always be urgent about the way of God, the Word of God and what He has given to us. We will have an abundance!

"…but whoever does not have understanding, even what he has shall be taken away from him" (v 12).

Let me just be frank, brethren, we have seen that happen with a lot of brethren. You look down through the time that we've been in the Church, and you think about:

  • Where did this one go?
  • Where did that one go?
  • Where did they go?
  • Whatever happened to them?

Once you start leaving it, that what you have will be taken from you!

Verse 13—Jesus said: "For this reason I speak to them in parables, because seeing, they see not; and hearing, they hear not… [they don't pay attention] …neither do they understand"—because they don't want to!

"…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… [self-complacent in their own way and smug in their own understanding] …and their ears are dull of hearing… ['Oh, that's hard preaching, weren't you a little hard on that person?'] …and their eyes they have closed…'" (vs 13-15).

How many parts of the Bible have 'Christians' in this world closed their eyes to? That's why they can't understand it:

  • the Jews have closed their eyes to Christ
  • the Protestants have closed their eyes to the Old Testament
  • the Catholics have replaced everything with their own tradition with a little sprinkling of the Bible mixed in so they sound 'Christian'

 Take all the other religions of the world, see where they fit into the spectrum on this!

Now here's quite a statement, because God is not calling the world. He has called us and that's why we're here keeping the Feast of Tabernacles, which means that we have a greater responsibility laid upon us because:

  • we know the things concerning the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven
  • we know the things concerning the mysteries of eternal life
  • we know the secret of a relationship between God the Father and Jesus Christ and us
  • we know that the world has been deceived by Satan the devil

Think of all the things that you know and understand! Be thankful for them. Use the knowledge and truth that you understand, and the Spirit of God that He has given you!

"…lest they should see with their eyes… [God is not going to call them at this time] …and should hear with their ears, and should understand with their hearts, and should be converted, and I should heal them" (v 15).

Now think about that! Jesus is saying directly—just like He did in Matt. 7—the majority of people will not hear! But we know!

Verse 16: "'But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear."

The next verse becomes very important for us to realize, and it ought to be one of those things that give us a sense of awe, wonder and fear that God has blessed us with this even beyond what the apostles were given. Do you know that we understand more about the return of Christ than Paul and Peter? John gave the book of Revelation—he wrote it, God gave it to him—and we understand it and John did not understand it, though he wrote it. Think about all that has been given to us! This is why Satan likes to come along and take it away—rip it out of our hearts; rip it out of our minds; get us all involved in things in the world.

Verse 17: "For truly I say to you, many prophets and righteous men…"

We know more than all the prophets of old. So don't get lifted up! That's not because of us or because of you. That's because of Christ! That's because He gave the promise that in the time of the end, the 'wise shall understand.' And other places say because God will give us the understanding! That's why we need to hold onto it.

"…have desired to see what you see, and have not seen; and to hear what you hear, and have not heard'" (v 17).

Then He went on to explain the parable. Think about:

  • what we've been given
  • what God has given to us
  • what we are doing and how we are doing it

in keeping the Feast of Tabernacles and all the Feasts of God, how important those things are!

Let's comprehend what Jesus said. Let's take this as a challenge and study through Matthew, Mark, Luke and John between now and Passover; and see how many things you can study and learn concerning the Kingdom of God and how you ought to live.

Let's continue on in the book of Luke and we'll see some more things concerning entering into the Kingdom of God. Jesus identifies some who will be in the Kingdom of God. Remember, the Gospels are the transition from all the prophecies in the Old Testament, which brings us to how they are all going to be fulfilled. He doesn't tell us how all of them are going to be fulfilled, but how some of them are, and it's the transition between the two. Then later, He inspired His apostles to write even more.

Luke 13:23: "And one said to Him, 'Lord, are those who are being saved few?'…."

Notice the way that Jesus answered questions. Sometimes He doesn't answer it directly, but He tells you the process on how to get there. He's not going to say, 'You're not coming in, but he is; and you're not coming in, but she is.'

"…Then He said to them, 'Strive with your whole being to enter in through the narrow gate; for many, I say to you, will seek to enter in, but shall not be able" (vs 23-24). Why? Because:

  • they don't have the garments
  • they haven't repented
  • they haven't built their lives on the Word of Christ

Verse 25: "Once the Master of the house has risen up and has shut the door… [so there's a time when salvation will not be available] …and you begin to stand outside the door and knock, saying, 'Lord, Lord, open to us'; then shall He answer and say to you, 'I do not know you or where you are from.' And you shall begin to say, 'We ate and drank in Your presence, and You have taught in our streets.' And He shall say, 'I tell you, I do not know you or where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of unrighteousness'" (vs 25-27).

That shows that committing the unpardonable sin is going to lead to a lot of problems!

Verse 28: "There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the Kingdom of God, but you yourselves are cast out."

Now we can put this in terms of today's terminology: 'Didn't I attend the Feast of Tabernacles? Didn't I keep the Passover? Didn't I listen to your ministers?'

And Jesus will say, 'But you never really believed!' That's why it's important: Do we really, truly believe?

Verse 29: "Then they shall come from the east and the west, and from the north and the south, and shall sit down in the Kingdom of God…. [that's at the resurrection] …And behold, there are the last who shall be first, and the first who shall be last'" (vs 29-30).

That's quite a parable about the Kingdom of God! It gives us an awful lot to think about. Our responsibilities that we have, because we've been given the knowledge. The calling that has been given to us so we can understand these things. How it has to be God's way—no other way by God's way—because it's going the Kingdom of God and not our kingdom.

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Luke 14—here's something that we really need to grasp and understand. Jesus was at a lunch in one of the Pharisees' house and then someone stood up and said 'Blessed is the one who shall eat bread in the Kingdom of God.'

Luke 14:15: "Then one of those who sat at the table with Him, after hearing these things, said to Him, 'Blessed is the one who shall eat bread in the Kingdom of God.' But He [Christ] said to him, 'A certain man made a great supper, and invited many. And he sent his servants at suppertime to say to those who had been invited, "Come, for everything is now ready"'" (vs 15-17).

Verse 18: "But everyone with one consent began to excuse himself. The first said to him, 'I have bought a field, and I need to go out to see it; I beg you to have me excused.' And another said, 'I have bought five pairs of oxen, and I am going to try them out; I beg you to have me excused.' And another said, 'I have married a wife, and because of this I am unable to come.' And that servant came and reported these things to his lord. Then the master of the house was angry; and he said to his servant, 'Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind'" (vs 18-21).

Verse 22: "And the servant said, 'Sir, it has been done as you commanded, and there is still room.' Then the lord said to the servant, 'Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, so that my house may be filled. For I tell you, not one of those men who were invited shall taste of my supper'" (vs 22-24).

That's a parable of Judea and Jerusalem during the days of Christ, leading up to the destruction in 70A.D. They didn't listen! They wouldn't hear! Oh, there were some Jews who did. There were a good many of them that did. But compared to the overall population, there were very few indeed! Jesus knew that the scribes and the Pharisees wouldn't. He knew that the priests wouldn't. They wouldn't accept Him, because they were looking for a king. Even the people wanted to make Him king. We'll see that in just a little bit and see what Jesus told them.

But here with this, after speaking to the Pharisees and all of those 'dignitaries' at lunch, then He left.

Verse 25: "And great multitudes were going with Him; and He turned and said to them."

Here's something we've always got to keep in mind, and that is counting the cost! Jesus laid it out right here:

Verse 26: "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brothers and sisters, and, in addition, his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not carry his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple" (vs 26-27)

Then He says you've got to sit down and count the cost. So, we always need to remember: Nothing, no one, no person should become you and Christ at any time! Whatever God asks us to do, we are to do! because that's the teachings of Jesus in the Gospels. And He's teaching us how then to attain to the Kingdom of God!

Let's look at another parable—Luke 19:11: "Now as they were listening to these things, He went on to speak a parable, because He was near Jerusalem, and they thought that the Kingdom of God was going to appear immediately."

A lot of them did because, as we started out, they read the prophecies. Well, He's going to rule in the Kingdom. He's going to sit on the throne of David. It's going to be in Jerusalem. Look as this wonderful man, He's got to be the One.

Verse 12: "Therefore, He said, 'A certain nobleman set out to a distant country to receive a kingdom for himself, and to return. And after calling ten of his servants, he gave to them ten pounds, and said to them, "Trade until I come back"'" (vs 12-13).

He gave them a mission statement to do, and they had to exercise their free choice to do it. But, according to His will, of course!

Verse 14: "But his citizens hated him and sent an ambassador after him, saying, 'We are not willing to have this man reign over us.' And it came to pass that when he returned after receiving the kingdom, he directed that those servants to whom he had given the money be called to him, in order that he might know what each one had gained by trading. And the first one came up, saying, 'Lord, your pound has produced ten pounds.' Then he said to him, 'Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities'" (vs 14-17).

This is also telling us that those who attain to the Kingdom of God are going to have authority, authority to rule! He also told the disciples when they wanted to know what reward they were going to have, He said, 'You're going to sit on 12 thrones, judging the 12 tribes of Israel.' That also showed that they would be there.

Verse 18: "And the second one came, saying, 'Lord, your pound has made five pounds.' Then he also said to this one, 'And you be over five cities.' But another came, saying, 'Lord, behold your pound, which I kept laid up in a handkerchief. For I was afraid of you, because you are a harsh man. You take up what you did not lay down, and you reap what you did not sow'" (vs 18-21).

Verse 22: "Then he said to him, 'Out of your own mouth I will judge you, you wicked servant! You knew that I am a harsh man, taking up what I did not lay down and reaping what I did not sow. Then why didn't you deposit my money in the bank, so that at my coming I might have received it with interest?'" (vs 22-23).

Those who are sloughful and lazy and will not produce, and will not build that house on the rock, and those who find every excuse not to do the will of God, here's what's going to happen:

Verse 24: "And he said to those who were standing by, 'Take the pound from him, and give it to the one who has ten pounds.' (And they said to him, 'Lord, he has ten pounds.') For I tell you that to everyone who has, more shall be given; but the one who does not have, even what he has shall be taken from him" (vs 24-26).

There are going to be a lot of surprises at the resurrection! That's why you have to:

  • know the Word of God
  • know the Truth of God
  • use the Truth of God
  • build on the Truth of God
  • let it be in your heart and mind, and everything that you do

so that you become totally converted, so that you can be part of the one who gained ten pounds, and part of the ones who gain five pounds. Not the ones who just took it and laid it up in a napkin and expected to be given eternal life.

Verse 27: "Moreover, bring my enemies, those who were not willing for me to reign over them, and slay them here before me."

Now that's pretty harsh! But they are the enemies. God judges by the fruits and the fruits are determined by His Word. His Word tells us what we need to do. That's why it's important that we understand the Word of God, we rightly divide the Word of God, and we use it in the way that is proper; then we won't have to worry about that.

Now let's see that by the time that is came toward the end of Jesus' ministry, many were expecting the Messiah. Because of all the miracles that Jesus was doing: the healing of the sick; the raising of the dead; especially the raising of Lazarus, from the dead—that was an amazing, amazing thing! But all along they were expecting the Messiah to come.

So, let's look at an incident that happened before His final entrance into Jerusalem. This was several years before that. This was after He fed the 5,000. The people wanted to know where He was, and they were ready to seize Him and set Him up as king.

John 6:13—after the disciples: "…gathered them together, filling twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves, which were left over by those who had eaten. Now when the men saw the miracle that Jesus had done, they said, 'Of a truth, this is the Prophet… [the people in His day really understood] …Who was to come into the world.' Because Jesus perceived that they were about to come and seize Him, so that they might make Him king… [because they were looking for the Messiah] …He withdrew again to a mountain by Himself alone" (vs 13-15).

Then He walked across the sea, appeared to His disciples and, v 22: "On the next day, the multitude standing on the other side of the sea, who had observed that no other small ship was there besides the one into which the disciples had entered, and that Jesus had not gone into the small ship with His disciples, but that His disciples had departed alone" (vs 22-23). They wanted to find Him!

Verse 24: "Accordingly, when the multitude saw that Jesus was not there, nor His disciples, they also went in the ships and came to Capernaum, looking for Jesus. And after finding Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, 'Rabbi, when did You come here?' Jesus answered them and said… [notice He didn't answer the question]: 'Truly, truly I say to you, you do not seek Me because you saw the miracles, but because you ate the bread and were satisfied. Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures unto eternal life, which the Son of man shall give to you; for Him has God the Father sealed'" (vs 24-27).

Verse 28: "Therefore, they said to Him, 'What shall we do, in order that we ourselves may do the works of God?'" A lot of people want that! They want to know, 'what should I do?' It's all right here in the Book! That's what you should do!

Verse 29: "Jesus answered and said to them, 'This is the work of God: that you believe in Him Whom He has sent'"—must believe in Jesus!

That is the true work of God and it comes from inside; and it is not just a quality of looking and seeing and analyzing as they did when they saw Jesus. But it's a quality of faith and belief from the inside, so that you may attain to the Kingdom of God. Not to make Him king.

Let's also see as He was ready to enter into the city, and notice what they said.

John 12:12: "On the next day, a great crowd of people who had come for the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming into Jerusalem, took branches from palm trees and went out to meet Him, and were shouting, 'Hosanna! Blessed is He Who comes in the name of the Lord, the King of Israel'" (vs 12-13).

Yes, He's coming! He's coming to Jerusalem. He's going to come to the scribes and the Pharisees in the temple and they are going to anoint Him the Messiah and we are going to have peace; we're going to be saved from our enemies. That's not what happened!

Verse 14: "Now, after finding a young donkey, Jesus sat upon it, exactly as it is written: 'Fear not, daughter of Sion. Behold, your King comes, sitting on a colt of a donkey'" (vs 14-15).

So the Pharisees got all upset and said, v 19: "…'Look the whole world's going after Him.'" What are we going to do? They said it in their hearts that they were going to kill him! That's quite a thing!

Jesus could have set up His Kingdom then, but that wasn't the way or the time or how it's going to be done! Here's one thing for sure, that you find only in the Gospels: How Jesus is going to return! He ascended into heaven, but here He tells us how He's going to return. We've seen this before. It's not going to be like you're seeing Him coming into Jerusalem on a donkey. It's not going to be because the people accept Him. It's not going to be because some people are just worshiping and adoring Him because He fed the 5,000; He fed the 4,000; He healed the sick; He raised the dead. No, that wasn't when He was going to set up the Kingdom.

First He tells us there's a Great Tribulation coming, and we know we are getting closer to that every single day. So, here's the warning that comes and how we are to know that Jesus is going to return and set up the Kingdom of God.

Matthew 24:23: "Then if anyone says to you, 'Behold, here is the Christ'…" Because there's and antichrist coming, and the antichrist is going to be a man, and he's going to be proclaimed 'God in the flesh.' He's going to have 'dominion over all languages, nations, kindreds and people.'

That's why Jesus said: "…or, 'He is there,' do not believe it…. [yet, people will] …For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and they shall present great signs and wonders, in order to deceive, if possible, even the elect. Behold, I have foretold it to you. Therefore, if they say to you, "Come and see! He is in the wilderness"; do not go forth. "Come and see! He is in the secret chambers"; do not believe it'" (vs 23-26). Because He Himself said how it's going to happen!

I covered this in a recent sermon, how that He's going to shake the heavens, shake the earth, roll back the heavens as a scroll. All of that's prophesied in the Old Testament. But it's brought together in the New, in the book of Revelation.

Verse 27: "For as the light of day…" It's going to come from heaven! It's not going to come from the earth. It's going to be Christ Himself returning. It's not going to be a man coming.

"…which comes forth from the east and shines as far as the west, so also shall the coming of the Son of man be'" (v 27).

That's how it's going to be. Not going to be any other way. This is important for us to realize. Christ alone is going to bring the Kingdom and then He's going to resurrect the saints.

Verse 29: "'But immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven…" (vs 29-30).

Not someone on the earth, not a man, but Christ, coming with the power of the Father in full glory and splendor!

"…and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming upon the clouds of heaven with power and great glory" (v 30).

He also gives this to us so we will know it isn't going to happen until the resurrection. We are not going to see until the resurrection.

Verse 31: "And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet; and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."

Then He gives indications how these things will happen; v 32: "Now, learn this parable from the fig tree when its branches have already become tender, and it puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near."

This is telling us this tree is, in parable, showing the events that are happening at the end-time. This is not the generation in which Jesus was living. When it says 'this generation' it's referring to the generation when this fig tree is putting forth its leaves.

"…In like manner also, when you see all these things…'" (vs 32-33). You've got to have all of them, not only everything that He has said, but:

  • everything that's in the prophets relating to the events leading up to the return of Jesus Christ
  • everything that's in the Gospels leading up to it
  • everything that is in the epistles leading up to it

It all has to be together!

Verse 34: "Truly I say to you, this generation… [when all of these things are there] …shall in no wise pass away until all these things have taken place. The heaven and the earth shall pass away, but My words shall never pass away" (vs 34-35).

What we need to do in waiting for the Kingdom of God is very important, because here we are at a time in our history where around the world never has there been more trouble. Never have we had a time when all nations are on the brink of bankruptcy! That's going to have a tremendous impact on what's going to happen in the future. These things are going to lead to the false kingdom of Satan the devil! So, here's what we are to do; He tells us:

Verse 36: "But concerning that day, and the hour, no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only."

We can come to some pretty close guesses, but even at that, we cannot know beyond what the prophecies and the Word of God tell us. So, He gives us a warning:

Verse 37: "Now as it was in the days of Noah…"—when they were so corrupt and everyone's imagination was evil from his youth up. We're seeing that today as never before! It's coming! It's coming!

"…so shall it also be at the coming of the Son of man. For as in the days that were before the Flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark; and they were not aware until the Flood came…'" (vs 37-39).

God had a special 'surprise' for them that deceived them into thinking right at the last week that Noah was stupid and foolish and insane. That was because Noah and all the animals and his family were sealed in the ark for one week before it started to rain. So I imagine; I've thought of this:

  • What if you had television cameras out there?
  • What if you had news reporters all around?

Yeah, we've seen this guy building this ark for all these years and his sons with him. And you know, about three days ago the strangest thing happened. Two of certain animals came, and then of other animals there were seven pair. And they all went into the ark! And look, they've been there six days and nothing has happened! Now, let's talk to the important person over here: What do you think?

'Well, I think this is a good indication that Noah was a little 'touched' up here and he certainly was a false prophet because look, the ark is built, the animals are in there, and they're all in there and all sealed up and it hasn't started to rain. No rain! Look, six days and not a drop has fallen! I don't think that that was accurate.'

Wait one more day!

They were unaware "…until the Flood came and took them all away; so shall it also be at the coming of the Son of man'" (v 39). Yes, indeed!

They're not going to believe it! Because, in understanding prophecy, we can know that regardless of how bad things get right now, in order for the other prophecies to be fulfilled, there's got to be a coming out of this economic problem that we have and then the beast will be ushered in, not before.

Verse 42: "Watch, therefore, because you do not know in what hour your Lord is coming…." We can carry that out in two things:

  • the literal return of Christ
  • the end of your life

You don't know when it's coming! If you die in the faith the next thing you're going to know is you're going to be taken by the angels up to the Sea of Glass, and you're going to know it's the return of Christ. But in the meantime, we've got to be watching.

  • watch the things that take place in the world
  • watch our lives
  • watch how we conduct ourselves
  • watch everything so that we realize that it's going to come when God knows that it will come

Verse 43: "'But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have been watching, and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore, you also be ready. For the Son of man is coming at a time that you do not think" (vs 43-44).

How many times have we lived through this cycle, only to see the Words of Christ are true?

Verse 45: "Who then is the faithful and wise servant whom his lord has set over his household, to give them food in due season?"

  • Are you faithful?
  • Are you wise?

Verse 46: "Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he comes shall find so doing." Always:

  • doing the will of God
  • loving God
  • serving God
  • keeping His commandments
  • keeping His Feast days
  • keeping His Sabbath Day
  • being faithful in everything that God has given to us to be faithful in and to do what is right

Verse 47: "Truly I say to you, he will set him over all his property…. [the others, they're going to suffer] …But if that evil servant shall say in his heart, 'My lord delays his coming'" (vs 47-48).

Here's the lesson: You're not going to speed it up; you're not going to slow it down. It's coming at the exact time that God the Father and Jesus Christ have determined! We can analyze the events, but we don't know. If we begin saying, 'He's delaying His coming'

Verse 49: "And shall begin to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken."

Go out in the world, do what the world does; physically/spiritually—have we not seen that? We saw a whole Church of God disintegrate from this very thing! What did a lot of people do? 'Oh well, I guess that was never right' and they go out in the world, eat and drink with the drunken. Wait! It's going to come, it's going to happen! They're just going to be like the mockers, gathered around the ark before it started to rain. It's going to come to them.

Verse 50: "The lord of that servant will come in a day that he does not expect, and in an hour that he does not know. And he shall cut him asunder and shall appoint his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (vs 50-51).

Then what do we have? Two more parables here in Matt. 25! As you study through the Gospels about the Kingdom of God, there's a lot. Every Gospel is full! There are many lessons that you can learn. I could probably do a series of 35 or 40 sermons going through it. But what I wanted to do during the Feast was take the time to show that the Gospels are the connection between the Old and the New Testament.

  • it's all about Christ, the Son of God, the Son of man
  • it's all about His teachings
  • it's all about how the Kingdom of God is going to come
  • it's all about what we need to do to prepare for it

I hope that you avail yourself of that study and apply yourself to it and I'm sure that you'll learn a whole lot.

Scriptural References:

  • Matthew 7:7-20, 26, 24-29
  • Matthew 11:25-30
  • Matthew 13:19-23, 10-24
  • Luke 13:23-30
  • Luke 14:15-27
  • Luke 19:11-27
  • John 6:13-15, 22-29
  • John 12:12-15
  • Matthew 24:23-27, 29-39, 42-51

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Hebrews 1
  • Mathew 25

Also referenced:

Books and booklets by Fred R. Coulter:

  • Rome' Challenge to the Protestants
  • Occult Holidays or God's Holy Days, Which?
  • A Harmony of the Gospels
  • God's Plan for Mankind Revealed by His Sabbath and Holy Days
  • The Seven General Epistles
  • Lord, What Should I Do?

Transcribed: 7-27-09
Reformatted/Corrected: 6/2020