BY JOSEPH SLADEN.
The twelve apostles were commissioned to herald the same Gospel
of the Kingdom which had been previously announced by John the Baptist and the
Lord Himself:- The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand: Matthew
10: 7. So Paul in Rome: he first
called the chief of the Jews together, to whom he expounded and testified the Kingdom of
God (Acts 28: 23); and when some of them disbelieved the message of the Kingdom, he
said:- Be it known unto you that the salvation of God is
sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it (Acts
28: 28). So, speaking to
Gentiles, for two whole years he received into his own
hired house all that came in unto him, preaching
Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh (James. 5: 8). It is the very same expression as was announced (at the beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Mark 1: 1) by the Lord when He said, The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand (Matt. 4: 17).
and the Prophets witnessed until John the Baptist began a new witness - namely,
that of the coming.
It is sometimes stated that the preaching of the Kingdom of
God ceased after the rejection of Christ by Israel as a nation; but we read of
the Lord appointing other seventy to go before his face into every city with a
message still the same - the glad tidings of the near approach of the Kingdom
of God (Luke 10: 9 ff.). So, therefore, then, with this thought, the
disciples travelled with the Lord from Jericho to Jersusalern
- namely, that the Kingdom of God would be immediately manifested - it was. on
this occasion that the Lord spake a parable of the nobleman who went into a far
country to receive for himself a Kingdom and to return; thereby
intimating that the coming Kingdom could
not be manifested till His return to reward his servants according to their
works in his absence, and to destroy his enemies, who refused to submit to his
Kingdom (Luke 19: 12 ff). So at the last
passover He took the cup and gave
thanks and said, Take this and divide it among yourselves, for I say unto you
I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the
From what has been said regarding the Kingdom of God which was proclaimed by both John and the Lord Jesus, and the baptism in water which followed on repentance and confession of sin, by the Lord through His disciples, and by John personally - it seems proved that the Lords conversation with Nicodemus (John 3: 1-11) where He mentioned the Kingdom of God and birth out of water and the Spirit as the entrance into the Kingdom of God, was to acquaint him of the necessity of his believing Johns witness and complying with his Rite of baptism in water in order to enter the Kingdom, the near approach of which had created such a stir in Jerusalem and all Judea.
It, is remarkable that, after His
resurrection and during the forty days, the Lords conversation was of the things pertaining to the
The condition of enthronement with Christ is expressed in His own words sent to the Church by His Apostle: Unto him that OVERCOMETH will I grant to sit with Me in My Throne. So we labour toward making [regenerate] believers overcomers. We seek to teach them to war in order that they may reign. We strive to cause them to overcome in order to share Christs Throne; for he that has been girt by the panoply of God, and has wielded the sword, shall be honoured to stretch out the sceptre of the Most High.
- Evan Roberts.