The gospel of the kingdom is to bring in the kingdom of God, which issues in the church, and the work of the church is to bring in the kingdom of God.
The Lord Jesus came not merely to express God and save us from our sins; He came to bring in the kingdom of God. He preached the gospel of the kingdom so that people would repent and enter into God’s kingdom, and He told us clearly that the only way to see or enter into the kingdom of God is by being born again, that is, by being regenerated with the divine life of God.
When we hear the gospel and believe into the Lord Jesus, He comes into us as our Lord, Savior, Redeemer, and King, and He brings in the kingdom of God into our heart and spirit.
As we contact the Lord every day, praying over His word, calling on His name, opening to Him, talking to Him about everything, and praying, the kingdom of God grows in us and expands into all our inner parts to renew our mind, transform our soul, subdue our will, and temper our emotions.
The church is the issue of the kingdom of God, for the genuine church is the kingdom of God in this age. Today the believers in Christ who have God’s life and nature need to live the kingdom life in the church life, living in the reality of the kingdom of God today in the church life.
Being saved, that is, being regenerated, is not for us to “go to heaven”, and in the meantime we wait for the Lord to come and take us to be with Him; rather, being saved is for us to live as kingdom people, citizens of the kingdom of God enjoying God, experiencing God, obeying God, being under God’s rule, and praying to cooperate with God for His kingdom to come on earth.
Whether Jewish or Gentiles, all believers are members of God’s house (which is a matter of life and enjoyment, for us to enjoy His riches) and citizens of God’s kingdom (which is a matter of rights and responsibilities).
As those living in the kingdom of God in the church life today, we need to be under the Lord’s ruling, under God’s discipline, and under the Spirit’s leading, learning to obey the Lord, submit to Him, and live a life strict to self so that He may rule in our being.
In the church as the kingdom of God we are under the kingdom of God’s rule, government, discipline, and exercise.
Growing and Developing in the Divine Life to Reach Maturity and Live the Kingdom Life
The Lord Jesus spoke twice concerning the church when He was on earth – in Matt. 16:18 and 18:17 – and in both cases He linked it to the kingdom of God.
As believers in Christ we have received the unique, eternal, common salvation (see Titus 1:4), and now we need to be faithful to take the Lord’s way and live the kingdom life in the church life so that we may receive the reward of entering into His joy and of reigning with Him over the nations in the coming kingdom.
As those who are daily under the dispensing of the Divine Trinity, we need to live a kingdom life in the church by growing and developing in the divine life until we reach maturity.
In 2 Pet. 1:5-11 we are told to bountifully supply, with all diligence, faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, endurance, godliness, brotherly love, and love, for these things, existing in us and abounding, constitute us neither idle nor unfruitful unto the full knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, and they will grant us an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
The bountiful supply that we enjoy in the development of the divine life and divine nature (2 Pet. 1:3-7) will bountifully supply us a rich entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord, and it will enable and qualify us to enter into the coming kingdom by all the riches of the divine life and divine nature.
This means that, after being saved, we need to pursue the growth and maturity in the divine life by developing the virtues in the divine nature so that we may reach maturity in life and receive the kingdom reward.
There are millions of believers on earth today, but who lives in the kingdom of God by pursuing the growth and maturity in the divine life? There are many genuine loving seekers of Christ today, but who seeks to grow and develop in the divine life unto maturity?
The enemy’s stratagem against the church includes his lies concerning “going to heaven” and “being a good Christian” so that the Lord’s followers would be distracted from living the kingdom life in the genuine church life by growing and developing in the divine life unto maturity.
We need to live in the kingdom of God today so that, when the Lord returns, we would be mature in life and be rewarded by Him with the manifestation of the kingdom.
If we are those who are faithful and reach maturity, we will receive a reward from the Lord at His return – a rich entrance into the manifestation of the kingdom to rule and reign with Christ. But if we don’t pursue the growth in life unto maturity today, we will suffer dispensational punishment.
The incentive of the reward and the warning concerning punishment should encourage us to live in the reality of the kingdom of the heavens today, to be faithful in taking the Lord’s way, and to be diligent to grow and mature in the divine life.
Lord Jesus, we want to pursue the growth and development in the divine life to reach maturity and thus live the kingdom life in the church life today. Lord, save us from being passive in enjoying You and in growing in life. Grant us to see the incentive of the reward at Your coming for the overcoming believers and the warning of the punishment to the defeated believers. Grow in us, Lord, unto maturity. May Your kingdom spread in all the inward parts of our being until Your kingdom comes in all our heart.
The Work of the Church today is to bring in the Kingdom of God on the Earth
When the Lord Jesus came, the kingdom of God came; when we as believers live one spirit with the Lord and enthrone Him in our being, the kingdom of God is here. The church was brought into being by the presence of the kingdom, and the work of the church is to bring in the kingdom of God on earth.
The work of the church is to bring in the kingdom of God. The Lord made us a kingdom, priests to His God and Father (Rev. 1:6), and we need to live the kingdom life on earth and cooperate with the Lord, as the church to bring in the kingdom of God.
As believers in Christ we have been redeemed by His blood and have been born of God into His kingdom (John 3:5), and we have been made a kingdom for God’s economy. This kingdom today is the church (Matt. 16:18-19), where all believers are part of the kingdom of God.
What the Lord wants to do is to recover His right over the earth in order to make the whole earth His kingdom – and He will do it, with the cooperation of the church (Rev. 11:15).
When the Lord Jesus came, He brought the kingdom of God with Him (Luke 17:21; Matt. 12:28), and through His death and resurrection He enlarged the kingdom of God to include all His believers; now the church will accomplish the establishing the kingdom of God on the whole earth.
The Lord wants us to pray, “Our Father who is in the heavens, Your name be sanctified; Your kingdom come; Your will be done, as in heaven, so also on earth” (Matt. 6:9-10). If the coming of the kingdom of God was automatic, the Lord would never have taught us to pray in this way. But since the Lord asked us to pray in this way, He simply showed us that this is the work of the church….Some people think that whether or not we pray, the kingdom of God will come automatically. But if we know God, we will never say this. The principle of God’s work is to wait for His people to move. Then He will move. (Watchman Nee, The Glorious Church, p. 62)
On the one hand, the kingdom of God today is in the church; on the other hand, the kingdom of God is coming through the church, for it is the work of the church to bring in the kingdom of God (Rev. 12:10).
The work of the church is governed by the principle of the kingdom of God. Our preaching of the gospel, visiting one another to fellowship, contacting sinners or saints, and praying, everything is for the bringing in of the kingdom of God on earth.
Seeing that we have such an important task, what manner of living should we have today? We need to deal with all our sins and unrighteousness, we need to thoroughly consecrate ourselves to the Lord, we need to put our soul-life to death, and we need to abandon our natural man.
Then, as the church, we need to cooperate with the Lord and be one with Him, living in the reality of the kingdom in the church life, so that His kingdom would come on earth among men.
First we need to be persons living in the kingdom of God, and then we need to cooperate with the Lord as the church to bring in the kingdom of God.
Lord, cause us to see and realize that the church was brought into being for the purpose of bringing in the kingdom of God. May we be those who live in the reality of the kingdom today, dealing with any negative thing and seeking the growth and maturity in life, so that Your kingdom would advance and come on earth. Lord, we are one with You in Your desire to recover the earth to make the whole earth Your kingdom. Gain the full cooperation of the church for Your kingdom to come on earth through the church!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, the message by brother Minoru C. for this week, and portions from, The Conclusion of the New Testament, msgs. 159, 209, 240-241 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, The Direction of the Lord’s Move (2016 Thanksgiving Conference), msg. 5 (week 5), To Bring In the Kingdom of God (1) – The Kingdom of God as the Spreading of the Divine Life for God’s Eternal Administration.
- Hymns on this topic:
# O Lord, we’ve seen Your purpose to bring the many sons / To share in Your full glory and see Your kingdom come. / We praise You, Lord, this glory is You, Yourself within, / Spread out in all Your people to shine in all of them. (Hymns #1290)
# O Lord, give us grace for Thy Kingdom to live, / To be trained that Thou may the reward to us give; / Make the Kingdom’s reality our exercise, / That its manifestation may be our great prize. (Hymns #947)
# Come let us speak till the kingdom of the Lord comes down. / Yes, let us speak till the kingdom of the Lord comes down. / Why hold your peace? / The Word release. / Let us speak until the kingdom of the Lord comes down. (Hymns #1294)
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