Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Democracy and the Church

A democracy is a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Thus the power of change rests with the majority of the people. Therefore, the government reflects the will of the people. Their moral values, work habits, code of ethics and etc. are mirrored by the one’s they elect to hold government office. If the majority’s standards are high in these things then the one they elect to office will be of high standards. If the majority’s values are corrupt then the government is corrupt. The nature or character of the majority of a nation of people is directly reflected in the nature or character of the government of that democracy---for the people are the government.

Many of the congregations that gather in our Lord’s name govern themselves as though they are a democracy. The majority of the people elect the officials from among themselves or from the schools that they have established to train their leaders. The pastor, deacon, bishop, priest, pope, convention or association president, clerk, denominational head, or what ever they may call them, are all elected, directly or indirectly, by the people. If the people have high values then the one they elect from among themselves will also have high values. Of course, if the people have lowered their standards then they can expect their leaders to have the same lower standards.

But contrary to today’s modern “church” our Lord’s kingdom, His church, is not a democracy; it is a theocracy governed by the rule of His law; and the power to change the lives of men rests in His law (Romans 1:16). Thus the law of a never changing God working in the lives of His people reflects His will. The very nature of God is manifested in those who believe and obey Him from a heart of love. It is from among these that He calls and seats in the offices of His kingdom (Ephesians 4:11). Thus the nature of God’s kingdom is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23 NAS). These are the works of the Spirit of God, not MAN.

If we are to ever see democracy work again in this country, God and His theocracy must be restored in the American church; rather, it must repent and be united to His church. A nation that is a democracy such as ours can only function to a proper success when the heart of its people is governed by God’s theocracy. A democracy of an immoral self-centered people is distained to failure---this is God’s judgment.

No politician can bring about the needed change in this nation or in this world. Only Jesus Christ seated on the throne of the lives of the majority of the people of this nation, ruling their spirits, can bring about the needed change.

About the Kingdom of God

The kingdom of heaven and its blessings is here now—it is not all “pie in the sky in the sweet by and by.” But we must learn how to reap its benefits. Please read this entire message and study it carefully---you will be spiritually blessed.

Note: This is not a doctrine of financial prosperity.

At His trial, in response to Pilate:

“Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.”

(John 18:36 NASU)

The origin of our Lord’s kingdom is of the spirit realm and comes down from heaven to earth in His person. The power of His kingdom is not in mighty armies and weapons as the nations of the world, but is in His word ministered in love. The message of His love conquers the hearts of the wicked and rescues them from a burning hell and transfers them into His kingdom of love, joy, peace and eternal life. Therefore, as the King of His kingdom He rules over the spirits of converted men.

The kingdom of God in the earth began humbly in a manger in Bethlehem two thousand years ago with the birth of a baby named Jesus (Yeshua), God’s unique Son (Luke 2:7; John 1:14). Thus the kingdom of God on earth began with the loving gift of His Son that through Him men might enter His kingdom and the realm of eternal life. About thirty-three and one half years into His incarnate life He was crucified and became the “chief corner stone” that the builders rejected at Mt. Calvary (Isaiah 8:14 NAS; Matthew 21:42 NAS).

Three days after His crucifixion our Lord and King was resurrected from the dead by the Holy Spirit of God with demonstration of great power and authority. Thus Jesus became the “first born from the dead,” or rather He was the first to be “born again;” He was the “first of many brethren (Hebrews 2:10-13),” or the first of many to be born again; that He might have first place in everything (Colossians 1:18). He, The Living Word of God (John 1:1-2 & 14; Revelation 19:13) that the nation Israel rejected, became the “corner stone” and foundation of the church, the kingdom of God in the earth (Psalms 118:19-23; 1st Peter 2:7 NAS).

His kingdom is likened unto the leaven that was hidden in the lump of dough (Matthew 13:33 NAS). The beginning of His kingdom is as the precious pearl of great value, yet so small it can be hidden in ones pocket (Matthew 13:46 NAS). And His kingdom is also likened unto the grain of mustard seed that is the smallest seed in the earth, yet it grows so large it becomes the resting place for the foul of the air (Luke 13:19 NAS; Mark 4:31-32 NAS).

As to the foundation of His kingdom---kings, kingdoms, heaven and earth will all pass away but God’s word will never pass away (Matthew 24:35 NAS; Mark 13:31 NAS; Luke 21:33 NAS). His is the kingdom that is built upon a “rock” and the “gates of hell” cannot, has not and will not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18 NAS).

When Jesus was resurrected many others were resurrected after Him (Matthew 27:51-53 NAS); they were among the “born again” along with all of the faithful disciples who were the first of the citizens of this new and exciting kingdom (John 20:22 NAS).

Before our Lord ascended unto the Father He gave His disciples instructions not to leave, but to wait in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit of Promise and they would receive power (Acts 1:4-8 NAS). On the day of Pentecost the promise of the Spirit was fulfilled with another great demonstration of power over evil and three thousand souls were snatched from the grasp of Satan and were added to the church that day (Acts 2:1-41 NAS). The giving of the Holy Spirit was the completion of the divine order for the church and the kingdom had begun its powerful quest to fill all the earth with the glory of God.

The “golden thread” that runs through the kingdom of God is “faith working through love (Galatians 5:6 NAS).” The Spirit of the Father through His Son first established this great principle through His relationship with all of His disciples. As they grew in revelation knowledge (Matthew 16:13-19 NAS) of Him their hearts became knit together with His in love and they grew in holy faith. This was the beginning of His writing His law upon the hearts of men (Jeremiah 31:33).

After our Lord’s death the disciples became “messengers of God” or apostles bearing the good news of the mighty works of God and of salvation through Jesus Christ. They continued in the law of faith working through love and other teachings that had been written upon their hearts. The Holy Spirit, through these men of God, brought into effect all the doctrines necessary for governing God’s kingdom (John 16:13-15 NAS). Therefore the foundation of God’s kingdom was not and is not laid by carnal man and does not rest upon the wisdom of mere men, but upon the wisdom and power of God (1st Corinthians 2:1-5).

To understand the wonderful nature of the kingdom of love, joy and peace one must know and accept the fact that Jesus Christ is the personification or the embodiment of the law of His kingdom; He is the Word of God (John 1:1-2 & 14 NAS). This being so, The Word of God, is also Lord and King or ruler of the kingdom of God. The Holy Spirit of God is the teacher of the kingdom and He speaks of and glorifies the Son (John 16:14).

While speaking to Nicodemus Jesus said,

‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God’.”

(John 3:3 NASU)

Our Lord’s kingdom, His congregation called His church, is not a religion but an entity, a nation of people born of the Spirit who are one with their King. To see the church that Jesus established is the kingdom of God in the earth and that He is the King of this kingdom one must be “born again” of the Spirit. Furthermore, to understand the government and know the blessings of living within the boarders of our Lord’s kingdom one must be “born again” of water and the Spirit (John 3:5). He must be cleansed by the washing of the water with the word (Ephesians 5:26). For this reason he is baptized into Jesus Christ, the Living Word of God, by the Holy Spirit. Through this process he is set apart (sanctified) from the world and set into the kingdom of God and made one with his Lord; he is a “new creature” of the spirit realm, old things have pasted away and new things have come (Colossians 5:17).

“Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”

(Galatians 5:24 NASU)

Without a vision of the blessing of living in the kingdom of our Lord one’s soul perishes under the influence of the sinful flesh. That which opposes the power of love is lust---the overwhelming desires of the flesh nature. Therefore the new convert must die to the desires of the flesh. The nails of repentance are the way to the cross with Jesus; and faith in Him is the way to resurrection life. Repentance is the empting of one’s soul of sinful lust and preparing the heart with a love for the word of God. This is accomplished only through convictions brought about by the Holy Spirit; resulting in a deep sorrow and remorsefulness for crimes committed against God. The only voice the Savior hears from outside His kingdom is one pleading to be granted repentance.

The word of God requires a heart that is empty. A heart filled with earthly projects, carnal interests, ambition, thoughts of becoming rich in worldly goods, and with the love of the luxuries and pleasures of life is not fit to enter the kingdom of our Lord.

Take heed to the words of Jesus:

“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”

(Matthew 6:24 NASU)

Man cannot serve the riches of the world and the kingdom of heaven. One must be dedicated to and live within the boundaries of the kingdom of heaven to receive the blessings of it. God’s word defines the boarders of the kingdom; to live within these boarders and receive the blessings of the King one must be obedient to the commandments of God from a heart of thanksgiving and love (John 14:15).

Jesus continues, referring to verse 24 above:

“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? “And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? “And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. “But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! “Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing’?”

(Matthew 6:25-31)

When God, by the hand of Moses, led the children of Israel out of the bondage of Egypt they entered a wilderness. There God fed them for forty years with food from the heavens, gave them water from a rock and their cloths and sandals never wore out. If God so loved and took care of a people whom He had delivered because of faith in the shedding of the blood of an animal how much more will He take care of a people He has delivered from the bondage of sin and death by their faith in the shedding of the blood of His own Son?

“For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

(Matthew 6:25-33 NASU)

The heathen seek the things of the world; the sons of God seek His kingdom and His righteousness.

Our heavenly Father knows our every need but when His subjects, His children obey His commandments His ear is always attentive to their prayers. Our Lord and Savior desires that His children not be anxious about their daily needs in order that they not be distracted from the work of the kingdom. Therefore we should focus upon His kingdom and His righteousness; when He went to the cross to die in our stead His focus was upon serving us; now our focus should be upon serving Him from a heart of love.

“Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.”

(Romans 8:1-2 NASU)
“So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh — for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God .”

(Romans 8:12-14 NASU)

Not all who claim the kingdom are truly sons of God.

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter .”

(Matthew 7:21 NASU)


“If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.”

(Galatians 5:25 NASU)

A Closing Thought

The sons of God are the true church, the kingdom of heaven, the salt in the world to purify, give flavor and preserve. In these United States of America it is a theocracy within a democracy. Without its strong influence in the hearts of the majority of the people and men in our government, like the heathen democracies before us, we will surely fall. A nation of people who put their trust in God and obey His commandments is a blessed nation. Selah.

James C Sanford

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