Friday, September 27, 2013

THE 3 DIVISIONS WITHIN THE KINGDOM OF GOD

By Helena Lehman of the
Pillar of Enoch Ministry

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For many years, I have contemplated the divisions or categories of service within the Church or Kingdom of God and how they relate to Christ. In each successive study, I have had varying degrees of understanding. But recently, God showed me something that explains the basis for all of the various categories or divisions of service within His Kingdom.

The Kingdom of God is a New Testament concept that is explained with good clarity through Yahshua’s Kingdom Parables. Furthermore, when these Parables are coupled with the design of the Desert Tabernacle and the Temple to Yahweh that once stood in Jerusalem, they tell a powerful allegorical story about what the Kingdom of God is like. Essentially, these show that there are three divisions within the Church of born-again believers that form the Kingdom of God.

Scripture supports the view that the Body of Christ can be viewed as the Temple of Yahweh that houses the Holy Spirit. Here are several passages that show this relationship:
1 Corinthians 3:15-17 - “If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. 16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.”
1 Corinthians 6:18-20 - “Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
2 Corinthians 6:15-18 - “And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them, and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” 17 Therefore: “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you. 18 I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the Lord Almighty.”
These Scriptures show that truly born-again believers are indeed reckoned as the Temple of God because they are filled with the Holy Spirit, AND they are doing God’s Will by living a holy or set-apart life dedicated to loving God. Going hand in hand with loving God, they also love others as Christ loved them, which He did by preaching the Kingdom of God to them!

This leads me to address the other concept that has to be understood to grasp these divisions in the Church. This concept is that our relationship with God is structured around a Kingdom model. Our relationship with God is centered on Christ’s Millennial Kingdom, which is NOT a Republic or a Democracy, but a Constitutional Monarchy such as is seen in the United Kingdom. However, keep in mind that the United Kingdom is ruled over by corrupt elitists who do NOT believe in a coming future Kingdom of God, but erroneously think that they are that Kingdom, just as the Roman Catholic Church does! But they are both soon to be corrected on this issue when Yahshua arrives from Heaven to set up His true Kingdom.

When Yahshua was explaining the Kingdom of God to His disciples, He used the Parable of the Sower (Mark 4:2-9; Matthew 13:3-9) to make it clear that His Kingdom is entered into by understanding the Word of God when it is preached, taking it to heart, and acting upon it so it bears good fruit. He also offered a clear interpretation of that parable immediately after sharing it. Here is the explanation given in the Gospel of Mark:
Mark 4:10-20 - But when He was alone, those around Him with the twelve asked Him about the parable. 11 And He said to them, “To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables, 12 so that ‘Seeing they may see and not perceive, and hearing they may hear and not understand; Lest they should turn, And their sins be forgiven them.’” 13 And He said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables? 14 The sower sows the word. 15 And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts. 16 These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness; 17 and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble. 18 Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, 19 and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. 20 But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.”
Likewise, Yahshua used the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 13:24-30), the Parable of the Wheat and Tares (Matthew 25:14-30), the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats (Matthew 25:31-46), and the Parable of the Minas (Luke 19:11-27) to show that God takes the amount of the good fruit we produce and our relationship with Christ into account when determining our status in His Kingdom.

The following two short parables in the Gospel of Mark also indicate that the Kingdom of God is being achieved by the spreading of the Gospel until the Great Commission has been accomplished. They show that God’s Kingdom will not be fully established until after God’s great harvest of the saved souls whose names are written in the Book of Life, and who are to take part in the several stages of the First Resurrection:
The Parable of the Growing Seed - Mark 4:26-29 - And He said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, 27 and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how. 28 For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. 29 But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”
The Parable of the Mustard Seed - Mark 4:30-32 - Then He said, “To what shall we liken the kingdom of God? Or with what parable shall we picture it? 31 It is like a mustard seed which, when it is sown on the ground, is smaller than all the seeds on earth; 32 but when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all herbs, and shoots out large branches, so that the birds of the air may nest under its shade.”
Besides Yahshua’s Parables, the account of the Last Supper in the Gospel of Luke shows that Yahshua saw the Kingdom of God as a present yet future Kingdom that has not yet arrived fully, though its fulfillment is looked forward to when we take Communion:
Luke 22:15-19 - “Then He said to them, “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; 16 for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” 17 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves; 18 for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” 19 And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”
Though the veil of separation between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place within that Temple was ripped away so that we can approach the throne of God THROUGH Yahshua, we need to be worthy to get into the Holy Place from the Outer Courts first through the process of Sanctification. The closer we get to Yahshua, the more sanctified we become, and the closer we get to His throne. It’s that simple!

As the illustration included with this article shows, this idea of how we earn our placement in the Kingdom of God through sanctification is best understood by using a picture of the Temple to Yahweh that once stood in Jerusalem. The Temple had three main divisions: The Outer Courts, the Holy Place, and the Most Holy Place. As the Temple of God’s Spirit, the Church also shares these three divisions, and election into these divisions is done on the basis of the strength of each person’s individual level of faith and devotion to God, His Son and His Spirit. These three divisions are as follows:
1. THE MOST HOLY PLACE is analogous to the Body of Christ, and to the Bridegroom, which both refer to Yahshua. However, this category also includes saved Jews of the Tribes of Judah and Benjamin and natural Israelites of the other Ten Tribes that love Yahshua and follow Him like the 12 Apostles did. These are Messianic Jews that accept Yahshua as their Messiah. It also includes all of the natural-born children of Israel/Jacob that died looking forward to the coming of the Messiah, and to the establishment of His heavenly city called the New Jerusalem.
2. THE HOLY PLACE is representative of the Bride of Christ, which refers to the most devoted among grafted-in, born again Israelites (i.e. saved Gentiles) who love Yahshua with an intensity that other saved people do not understand or appreciate. These are people that have been touched by God for ministry and called to serve Him in the most intimate and powerful ways.
3. THE INNER AND OUTER COURTS are analogous to the Ten Virgin Handmaidens of the Bride, which refer to saved individuals from among the Gentile Churches, and from among the Lost Israelite nations. These saved believers help the Bride to achieve her goals, but do not have the same degree of devotion to and love for Christ.
Within the third category, the Wise Virgins are those in THE INNER COURT who are born again and help the Bride with great devotion. They are the Bride’s closest friends - those who are willing to lay down their lives to preserve the Bride.
Meanwhile, the Foolish Virgins are those in THE OUTER COURT who rarely help the Bride because they are friends to the world, and unwitting enemies to Christ that work at cross-purposes to His will. These initially weak believers lack humility and disdain repentance, and so will have to learn both through hard work.
These foolish ones will be relegated to the lowest positions in the Millennial Kingdom of Yahshua, although there is truly no “bad” place to be in God’s Kingdom! Just being there is going to be so incredibly wonderful, that I would gladly clean the toilets in the Kingdom for the privilege!
Though we who are justified by our full faith in Yahshua are all one in Him, and there is neither Jew nor Greek in God’s Kingdom, this illustration shows that there is a definite hierarchy within that Kingdom that is based on our level of faith and devotion to Yahshua, which shows our level of Sanctification. Justification saves us from the pit of Hell, but Sanctification is the process by which we draw ever nearer to God, Who uses His Spirit to perfect us in the image of Christ. Therefore, it is a hierarchy that cannot be seen yet! This is because only Yahshua can and will determine who belongs in which category.

It is Yahweh God who calls us to serve Him, and it is the Spirit of God Who empowers us to fulfill our roles within God’s Kingdom. Likewise, it is Yahshua Who will crown each of us in keeping with the level of our service to Him, and Who will assign us our roles in His Kingdom. Praise Yahshua, the One Who fully knows our hearts, and will reward each of us according to our true worth.

Maranatha, My Brothers and Sisters in Christ!

Yahshua is coming VERY, VERY SOON!

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1 comment:

Shalom! Feel free to comment, but please be respectful. God bless!