This is a short message on what I call realized millennialism, which is a topic for several books. Usually I give messages that are devotional not doctrinal, as the Spirit inspires me. Now I felt a green light from the Spirit to give this message, but not a green light to open it up on the thread for a free-for-all arguing session. Understand that I stand responsible to God for what I write, and I have definitely vetted this with the Holy Spirit. If I write an error, I answer to God…not the readership. If the reader wants to proceed, you are welcome to write me an email if you feel this message is in error. I will simply block anyone who wants to thrash around & argue on the thread. If the message speaks to your heart, feel welcome to share your testimony. Now basic to this message is the understanding that there are two Kingdoms…the God’s Kingdom of Life & Satan’s Kingdom of Death.
ANSWERS TO PROBLEMS. The value of this message is that realized millennialism clarifies a whole series of difficulties Christians suffer from. One reason I quit attending the Baptist church was the scripturally wrong teaching I heard, “I’m saved, it doesn’t matter what I do.” But some of the opposing viewpts. also missed the mark in the other direction. The concept that what we do for God doesn’t count, because all our righteousness is just filthy rags…misses the point of what God Almighty can do with us. It was really clear to me why the Holy Spirit used Paul, a deep thinker under inspiration, to touch on some theologically difficult teachings in Romans. Realizing our position in Christ in the Kingdom, helps us realize that the congregation of believers is not a hospital but a barracks for spiritual warriors.(cf. ROM 6:13) Another area of contention & confusion is the millennial reign of Christ. Again, the Holy Spirit inspired me to realize that everyone was arguing about the future, & not realizing the significance of the Kingdom in the here & now. It was like Harry Chapin’s song “Cat’s in the Cradle” where it says: “When you comin’ home Dad? I don’t know when but we’ll get together then; You know we’ll have a good time then…” So many of us go through life, thinking that we’ll have a good time in the future…everything is always around the corner, never now. But that is contrary to scripture. So consider the following Scriptures:
WE ARE ALREADY KINGDOM PARTAKERS. “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the Kingdom of his dear Son.”(A) We become full blown citizens of the heavenly Kingdom.(B) Or as one verse calls it “fellow-citizens…of the household of God”.(C) This citizenship entitles us to all our needs according to Christ’s riches.(D) “Grace…be multiplied to you…as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue…given…exceeding great…promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”(E)
Earlier in the gospels, one notes Yahshua teaching some parables about the Kingdom, and at Mark 10:14-15, he says that one has to enter the Kingdom of God as a little child. While the ultimate fulfillment of the Kingdom of God is not here, if one has the receptiveness of a child & accepts what is given, the disciple can enter the Kingdom of God. In fact, when you enter the Kingdom you are God’s child (F), as an adopted child.(G) The conclusion is that we are made full-fledged citizens of God’s Kingdom now, even though there are many prophecies of how the future Kingdom of God will have greater manifestations. Thus the Kingdom of God goes from glory to greater glory. It has the natural growth of something alive. And we too shall go from glory to glory.(H) “…as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” (I)
In fact, the glory will be retroactive…in the same fashion that a trip to Hawaii or climbing a mountain is remembered 20 years afterwards for its highlights & accomplishments. The scars of spiritual warfare will look different as we look back from later glory. I expect we will later say, “We were always in heaven”….and those in hell, will say, “We were always in hell.” Good & evil when full grown, are retrospective. Heaven will make up for our suffering, by working backwards and will turn even agony into glory. And later the consequences of sin for those in hell will even blot out the brief pleasure of sin.
EMANCIPATION. In the book of Romans, it sometimes refers to the Kingdom of God as Grace, while the Kingdom of Death is Law. The Word says we are “dead to sin”…by that it means the law cannot touch us! We in the Kingdom are no longer under the law, but under grace. Sin is no longer our master. The Father of sin & lies is no longer our lord. Allow me to give an analogy. Black slaves were freed by the Emancipation Proclamation…so the legal position of all blacks was that they were free. But not all experienced that freedom…perhaps they still feared the old “massa”. Perhaps the old master reduced them to being effectively slaves again. In spite of our legal position before God as freemen, free of the servitude of sin, as God’s Word in Romans explains, we can still place ourselves back into that servitude. But we don’t have to. The Word says, “Don’t let sin reign!” God tells Paul, “…I now send you, to open their eyes and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God…” (J) “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.”(K) “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”(L) Why?? Because he has no authority over you–unless you give it to him. We are legally no longer under the slavery to sin, but it can be difficult for old slaves to realize their new status, their new citizenship as freeman under grace.
GOD WANTS YOU FREE. “Do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.”(M) One of the worst teachings prevalent in Christendom is that Christians can’t be influenced by demons. Dear brothers & sisters, Why are we instructed to put on the armor of God, if Satan can’t touch us??? So stand firm!(N) On the flip side, if you sin, have you lost your citizenship?? No. If you travel to Mexico, do you cease to be an American? Did the prodigal son who disobeyed his father, squandered his inheritance, ran with the pigs, cease to be a son?? No. Even though he disobeyed, he was still a son, and the father welcomed him back. Sin is no longer ruling us. Grace is in charge. Christ gave the story of the Prodigal son, so we would know the heart of God. The Father is not looking over our shoulder threatening to disown us if we disobey. Paul (led by the Spirit of God) teaches about the assurance of salvation in ROM 5, but under the Spirit’s direction he properly anticipates two problems from teaching the assurance of salvation: first) some Christians will go back to sinning saying it doesn’t matter what I do, and second) people will get mixed up about the purpose of the law. So ROM 6 is spent breaking it down that we should not go back into bondage to demons and slaves to sin. ROM 7 explains the purpose of the law. A proper understanding of ROM 6 (which is misunderstood in countless ways) allows us to understand 1 JN 3:9: “Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin…” We are under grace, not the law. We don’t commit sin–in the sense of living in it…we are a stranger to that Kingdom. You will not become a Mexican by visiting Mexico. We live in the “Kingdom of Grace” (O). If you really want to renounce your citizenship, God gives you that freewill choice, like Judas did.
“For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”(P) “Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil; for the kingdom of God is not food and drink, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, for he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men.”(Q) We are to fight the fight of faith. But why? The Lord says, “Be ye holy, for I am holy.”(R) So we are holy, for God’s sake. The churches often have it all backwards. Church goers are all focused on themselves and looking good for themselves. We live for His glory! We are His ambassadors & representatives. So this whole emphasis on not sinning so we look good & are happy…is missing the bigger picture. Our concern is God’s glory. That is why Job could say, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust Him.”(S) Job was not focused on his personal happiness, but the glory of God. We are soldiers & reps of God’s kingdom. We don’t want to let Him down. Again our position in the Kingdom, that we already have, needs to be realized. The churches create pew sitters, who lack an appreciation for their status in Christ.
SUMMATION. You brothers & sisters are in Christ, in the Kingdom he rules, and you are not subject to the penalties of the law…but are under grace. That is your position in the Kingdom. You do not have to subject yourself to a foreign ruler–and become slaves to sin. You can stand, and with the authority that has been given you, Satan has to flee. You can enjoy the presence of the Holy Spirit, & the joy the Spirit brings is a sign of your Kingdom citizenship. Available to you are all the rest of the benefits of the Kingdom–its medical benefits, its social benefits, its wisdom and so forth. It is not something you have to wait for in some far off future Kingdom.
(A) COL 1:12-13 (B) PHIL 3:20 (C) EPH 2:19 (D) PHIL 4:19 (E) 2 PTR 1:2-4 (F) JN 1:12 (G) EPH 1:5 (H) 2 COR 3:18 (I) 1 COR 2:9 (J) ACTS 26:17b-18 (K) ROM 6:14 (L) JAS 4:7 (M) GAL 5:1 (N) EPH 6:14 (O) the rule of the law v. grace are contrasted in ROM 6:14 & 15; & the throne of Grace mentioned at HEB 4:16 (P) JN 1:17 (Q) ROM 14:16-18 (R) 1 PTR 1:16 (S) JOB 13:15