The True Gospel:

The Gospel of the Kingdom of God

By Bryan Bickham

“... Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: sec that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All of these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall arise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then the end shall come.”  Matthew 24:4-14.

Dear Brothers and Sisters, elect in Christ, who know Him and love Him who first loved us; grace and peace in the wonderful name of Jesus!  I write to you in the Holy Spirit, knowing that you are lovers of the truth as it is in Jesus, and that you have received the Word of God with joy and in sincerity — as good soil that has been prepared to receive the Seed of God. We who are elect take joy in the unsurpassable utterances of our Lord Jesus, because we know that we live - not by bread alone — but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.

We, who were saved by the Living Word, consider therefore that there is no Word in Holy Scripture that is unimportant or non-essential. We value every joy and tittle. Jesus himself said even the most minute part of the Law would never pass away. We agree, therefore, that Jesus never used any word carelessly, or without taking thought. He said that we would be held accountable ourselves for every careless word that we ever uttered in our earthly lives and that before the judgment seat this would occur. Bearing in-mind therefore the exactness and importance of every word ever uttered by Jesus, I believe the Holy Spirit wants us to truly consider what Jesus meant to convey when he spoke of the "gospel of the kingdom."

In Matthew 24:14, Jesus said, “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then the end shall come.” Notice here, brethren, that .our Lord didn’t just say “gospel,” but “ of the kingdom. In our day, the word “gospel” is tossed about by many religious and non-religious alike who apply the term to what they consider to be good news, or an announcement of some kind. Today, every sect has its gospel which is peculiar to that group as to what it emphasizes and what it doesn’t. The fact that there arc so many “gospels” floating around today can be confusing to them that are not rooted and established in the true faith. Even in Paul the Apostle’s day, this was already a problem --- just some 20 or so years after Jesus’ resurrection. In that day, Paul addressed the problem by saying this:

But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you, than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As I said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that you have received, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:8-9). Paul went on to say,   "But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ." (Galatians 1:11-12). He said that if he tried to please men, that he would not be a servant of Christ. Therefore he did not preach or teach anything which was not given to him by revelation. And the only “gospel” given to Paul is none other than “ gospel of the kingdom of God. And this was given to him directly by the Lord Jesus Christ. That Paul preached the kingdom of God is clear by Acts 28:30-31. “And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.” Therefore, there can be no dispute. Paul preached the gospel of the kingdom of God, and said that if anybody preaches any different gospel - they should be accursed.

For the Apostle Paul, the kingdom of God was the spiritual blessedness that resulted from faith in the complete work and merits of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the same today for those of us who believe. We, like Paul, have real righteousness real peace, and real joy in the Holy Spirit — such as the world does not nor cannot know. We know that the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power. When Paul was departing from Ephesus, we can see what he meant by “the gospel of the kingdom of God.”   In Acts 20:25-27 we read: “And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God shall sec my face no more. Wherefore I take you to record this day,  that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God."   So to Paul, the kingdom of God is the same as “all the counsel of God,” or, in other translations, “the full counsel of God.”

The “full counsel of God” alone is the true gospel of the kingdom of God. The gospel of the Kingdom of God is:

1) Complete;

2) By the revelation of Jesus Christ;

3) Ministered by the Holy Spirit in power through chosen men of God.

 

False “gospels” on the other hand have in common the fact that they are:

1) Incomplete;

2) Not by revelation of Jesus Christ; and

3) Ministered by children of the Devil.

The gospel of the kingdom is complete because it encompasses God’s plan from start to finish, from beginning to end. It is His answer to our complete moral and spiritual bankruptcy. It is the only answer to a completely fallen world. It includes every aspect of redemption — from the redemption of the world, to the redemption of our bodies, souls and spirits. What the full or complete gospel of the kingdom means is basically that God will, and has made everything utterly right by acting decisively through the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. There is no stone left out of place in the gospel of the kingdom. The Chief Cornerstone has been laid, the Living stones have been prepared since before the foundation of the world, and the glory of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea.  Jesus Christ is the Means who made possible the fulfillment of the kingdom. He is also the End within that kingdom — He is the Life there and everything within His realm praises Him.  Blessed be the Name of the Lord!

The false gospels on the other hand are incomplete in more ways than one.  They always fall to appreciate the sovereignty and holiness and majesty of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that all authority is His.  False gospels usually take the form of extolling one or two benefits of knowing the Lord, rather than extolling Jesus Christ Himself. In other words, false gospels teach people to seek God’s hands, rather than His face.  A false gospel is how wolves in sheep’s clothing come to steal, kill, and destroy. Typically, workers of iniquity preach prosperity or healing as “the gospel.” These are important aspects of salvation, but no true child of God is ever satisfied with anything but their Heavenly Father Himself.   Any “gospel” that does not completely reconcile me with my Creator, is no gospel at all — no matter how much “blessing” it may help me receive on earth.   

There is even false gospel of person conversion. The basic deception here is that a person can be tricked by following the over-simplistic instructions of a Son of Satan whom they think is a preacher of the gospel. By going forward in response to an altar call, or by raising one’s hand and praying the sinner’s prayer, many are deceived into believing that these actions have saved them.

Many of us who are elect and know the Lord have been in and around these sorts of meetings, and we know that our own actions in these meetings, no matter what they were, had absolutely nothing to do with our being saved, If we are saved, it is not because we have done anything except repent and believe the One who revealed Himself to us and gave us our ability to repent and believe.

Charles Spurgeon testified as to how he received God’s grace:

“One week-night when I was sitting in the house of God, I was not thinking much about the preacher’s sermon, for I did not believe it. The thought struck me: ‘How did you come to be a Christian?’ .—-. I sought the Lord. ‘But how did you come to seek the Lord?’ — The truth flashed across my mind in a moment — I should not have sought Him unless there had been some previous influence in my mind to make me seek Him. I prayed, thought I, but then I asked myself; ‘How came I to pray?’— I was induced to pray by reading the Scriptures. I did read them; but what led me to do so? Then, in a moment, I saw that God was at the bottom of it all, and that He was the Author of my faith. It was then the whole doctrine of Grace opened up to me. . . I ascribe my change wholly to God.”

We who are saved, know that we were saved by grace through faith, and that our being allowed to repent and believe was the gift of God. God’s Word says that He is the giver of every good and perfect gift. A false gospel is one that denies this fact.  You do not enter the kingdom of God just because you decide to raise your hand or go down to the altar at a meeting.  To enter into the kingdom of God , repentance and faith, is the gift of God.  The gospel of the Kingdom is the Bridegroom, Jesus Christ’s marriage proposal to His bride.  No one can approach the Bridegroom and tell Him that He is going to marry them.   The bride is the choice of the bridegroom. Jesus said, “You did not choose me, but I those you...” John 15:16.

When people fall prey to deceivers and think that they are “born again” for no other reason than the fact that they followed some “evangelists’” instructions, they have fallen into the Devil’s snare of a false gospel.  Thinking they are “clothed in Christ” just because someone told them they were, they are in fact still blind, wretched, miserable, poor, and naked.  In this manner they will hold to the lie that they are “born again” when they have no part in God whatsoever.  This is how the Laodicean church of the last days has been built — on the false gospel of false conversions — by Laodicean preachers unacquainted themselves with the gospel of the kingdom of God. Laodicea is a word that means, “where the people rule.” The kingdom of God is just the opposite - it is where God rules.  In the kingdom of God, there is no delusion about the innate goodness or power in unregenerate man.  Man cannot save himself.  Nor does any amount of confession that he is saved make it so.   We who love His word know that in man lies no good thing that all our righteousness is as filthy rags ---- that apart from Christ we can do nothing.

When the true kingdom of God breaks in upon a person, the first thing he is aware of is his overwhelming sin— because he has come into the presence of unspeakable Holiness. He knows he is lost and undone and deserving of eternal condemnation. He is elected by God’s grace as God allows him to believe in Jesus Christ, and at that moment, he resolves never to again trust in his flesh, or think that he has had any part in God’s free grace shown to him.  When he is indeed passed from darkness and translated spiritually into the kingdom of God, he is delivered from the snare of trusting in himself or man for his salvation.  At that point, Jesus Himself, through the Holy Spirit becomes His minister of the Kingdom.   And here is where we see the kingdom of God ---- the persons’ life is really changed.  He loves God - and hates the world.   This is where false gospels stand condemned, for they all promise something they cannot deliver.  With false gospels, lives are never changed, nor can anyone have anything but false hope.  In the gospel of the kingdom of God,  Jesus is the Promiser and Deliverer who alone is able to fulfill His Word. He is the minister.  He alone is the Revealer.   He alone does a powerful work in the hearts of His elect.  “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).  It is His Word alone that He reveals and makes new.   Salvation, from start to finish, belongs to God.  

There are no intercessors between the elect and the Lord Jesus Himself.   The Apostle John knew well that deceivers, with their own vain imaginations would try and seduce the elect.   We read in 1 John 2:26-27:   “These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. But the anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in Him.”

Those who have believed understand that this word by the Apostle John is a strong antidote to false gospels and false apostles.  This is the mark of the Apostolic Word of the kingdom of God it points us directly to Jesus Christ, and comes directly from Jesus Christ.  The kingdom of God exists within the Living Word and is ministered to us by Jesus Christ through His Holy Spirit.   Therefore, you must know brethren, that the kingdom of God is wherever the Anointing abides,  and teaches us all things, and is Truth and is no lie.   This can be anywhere God in His grace chooses to dwell.  It is where two or three are gathered in His Name.   It is where the Name of the Lord is called upon in spirit and in truth.

The gospel of the kingdom is the Word that makes alive.   It is living and active, and sharper than any two edged sword.   Not only does is cause dry bones to rise up and live, it condemns the Devil and his followers to hell.   The difference between the true gospel of the kingdom and false gospels is the difference between Life and death.  False apostles make their living by making unbelievers think they are saved.  They then form Laodicean churches which pay their salaries.    This is the counterfeit — the fake —- the kingdom of antichrist because in it, there is no reality except for sin, wretchedness, blindness, and spiritual poverty.   The kingdom of God is God’s real, holy gift to His elect — the gift He gives us even before we get to heaven.    Jesus said, ‘Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32).  

There is glorious reality in the kingdom of God. True apostles are fed by doing the will of Him who sent them, by being faithful to the true gospel of the kingdom and seeing it overcome the world.  They have joy unspeakable, which has been made complete by our Lord Jesus.

Not only is the kingdom of God about complete blessedness with all spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus, it is a realm where there is complete liberty — Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.   This is never true in the kingdoms of man.  Whosoever is in bondage therefore is not in the kingdom of God and the kingdom of God is not in them. That is why the Apostle Paul said, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.

Brethren, the time is past for us to participate in the kingdoms of man — especially the religious kingdoms of denominational Babylon.   He is calling His bride unto Himself, to the kingdom of God, where He is completing our preparation by the washing of water by the Word.   He is sanctifying us b y the truth.   His Word is truth.   The truth is that the false gospels and false christs will not prepare us to meet Him in the air, nor will they allow us to bear the fruit of the Spirit.  

The spiritual reality of the kingdom of God is where we must be in order to wear the wedding garment, and we dwell there by faith in Him alone. “Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations....“ Psalm 90:1. This kingdom we have inherited is none other than the one that has been in God’s plan since the Garden of Eden.   With the saints of Israel we partake in His Holy Presence — with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, —- with Ruth, Elijah, Isaiah, — with Enoch, Moses, and Daniel.   Jesus said, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day; and he saw it, and was glad.” (John 8:56).  Hallelujah!  Christ’s Body is Alive, and we are complete in Him!  We are His Sons and Daughters. We are a kingdom of prophets, priests, and kings!

By the Power and Authority and the Love of the Name above all names, JESUS CHRIST  Amen.

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