Received the following question the other day and reached into “Man Thinking” for the reply. Great book & available at the Bookstore. From Vancouver: Can you explain Romans 14:17. “For the Kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”
We are constantly being met with the statement: “The Kingdom of God is spiritual. It is all to be explained in the realm of Christian virtues and spiritual experience.” The above text is quoted to support this view, and by it our critics hope to show that the Kingdom is righteousness; the Kingdom is peace; the Kingdom is joy in the Holy Ghost.
In order to understand a statement like this it is well to study the kind of language and the method of reasoning. A well-known example will best illustrate, and such a text is found in John’s Epistle, “God is Love”. (1 John 4:16) Does John mean that God is simply a virtue? Love. Is that what God is? Certainly not, for God is a spirit; God is Spirit.
Love is one of the characteristics or attributes of God, and it is equally true to say that God is Justice; God is Truth; God is Mercy; God is Power. In essence God is Spirit; but in character God is Love. In the text we are considering the method of reasoning is precisely similar.
The Kingdom of God when restored and functioning will be a real, literal, material Kingdom on the earth, with territory, throne, people, laws and government, but its characteristics will be righteousness, peace, joy in the Holy Ghost, and many other blessed Christian attributes.
This is the clear meaning of Saint Paul’s statement, for elsewhere he expresses the hope that he may rise at the first resurrection, and have a place in the Kingdom at the Lord’s Coming. (Phil. 3:10-14) In the text he is describing its character, not its essence; he is speaking of the Christian virtues which will then be the Social Order of the Kingdom of Christ on earth.
Good excitement already about the coming message by Pastor Dave Daubenmire of Pass the Salt Ministries from Ohio. He was the football coach who insisted on prayers before each game and ran afoul of the school officials for loving God as he does. Sign of the times. But God works in strange ways, now Coach Dave has become an even stronger servant of God and is a sought after speaker in America. He talks about issues of the day in a very forthcoming way. Our good friend, Charles Jennings of Truth in History Ministries out of Oklahoma has invited Mr. Daubenmire to two of his conferences. I listened to one of his early lectures on video and can tell you he promises to be worth every bit of your time if you care to attend.
Speaking of conferences, I received this note from one of our good friends in Ontario. He wrote, “Looking forward to Conference coming up next month. It’s sad, as you know, numbers are really dwindling. I’m 55 now, and I still feel a generation younger than the few that attend. I realize this is a common problem for all of our organizations…… We have to come up with ways of getting our message heard, and very soon. Most will reject it, we’ve come to expect that, but there are many out there who have never even heard of the Israel Truth message, and they have to be given that chance. I’ve been thinking of putting some literature together and mailing it to local churches at random.” Your words really hit home, Ontario. You know, we held our 100th Year Conference in 2009 and could only muster 80 attendees. By contrast, in the early days of our existence, meetings in Vancouver on a Sunday evening would attract hundreds. The falling away has taken its toll and you are right, we have to come up with new innovative ways to attract our brethren to the Israel Truth. It should be an important plank in all our personal ministries.
Yet, when thinking of how difficult it is to attract our brethren, many years ago Destiny Magazine pointed out that ISAIAH posed a series of unusual questions:
“Who is blind, but my servant? Or deaf, as my messenger that I sent? “Who is blind as he that is perfect, and blind as the Lord’s servant? Seeing many things, but thou observest not; opening the ears, but he heareth not.” (Isa. 42: 19-20.)
Because they are blind, His servant people do not recognize themselves as the Israel of God. Yet as His chosen they have carried out the assigned tasks:
“I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles; that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.” (Isa. 49: 6.)
Then Destiny made these observations. “Who has carried the Gospel of salvation by grace to the very ends of the earth? Obviously, is clearly evident that this work has been almost entirely accomplished by the Anglo-Saxon-Celtic peoples through their worldwide missionary activities of the last century and a half. Accordingly, having donned the mantle of Israel’s responsibility in this respect, they must be His servant people.”
Well, as Israelite readers, let’s renew our energy and make spreading news of the Israel Truth and the Gospels of The Kingdom of God and Salvation the important plank in all our personal ministries.
“What have you Canadians ever invented or discovered”, an English reader said, not in derision but just to satisfy his curiosity.
Well, lots, but just look at a few. In sports, a Canadian came up with basketball, another five-pin bowling, another the snowmobile, a group came up with ice hockey and of course, Canada’s natives gave us Lacrosse, snow shoes and kayaking. In health and medical technology, Canadians gave us insulin, the mobile blood-transfusion service, the electric wheelchair, electron microscope, the cystic fibrosis gene, the pacemaker and the Actar 911 CPR Dummy. The chocolate bar you are eating or the ginger ale you are drinking, the McIntosh apple, instant food and pablum for babies, all courtesy of Canadians. A Canadian discovered Standard time, another the speed of sound, still another the hydrofoil boat.
Any list should include the Avro Arrow, the electric wheelchair, the cobalt bomb, the snow blower, kerosene, newsprint and the light bulb.
And hey, let’s not forget the jolly jumper, the green garbage bag, Fuller brush and the game Pictionary. Lots more but thank you Canada.