Teacher-Brother Dave's Compilation of
TOPICAL STUDIES from
THE NEW EPOCHAL REVELATION OF TRUTH.
Topical Study number 77
"JOY Now in JESUS !!"
[Part 16 of many]
Teacher-Brother Dave's initial comments: I am presenting some of my Topical Studies from the fully public domain, 2097 page, Fifth Epochal Revelation of Truth and with my added comments. The Revealed text is free of copyright, so you may freely share individually these supernal quotes with your friends and relatives. But my order of selections, font types for emphasis and my added comments in square brackets [ ] are Copyright 2012, 2013 and 2014 by Dave@PureChristians.org All Rights Reserved Contact me first about using the whole Study or group of Studies. These will be published here each Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8:00 PM CDT.
PAPER 170 THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN
170:1.13 At different times and in varying circumstances it appears that Jesus may have presented numerous concepts of the "kingdom" in his public teachings, but to his apostles he always taught the kingdom as embracing man's personal experience in relation to his fellows on earth and to the Father in heaven. Concerning the kingdom, his last word always was, "The kingdom is within you."
170:2. JESUS' CONCEPT OF THE KINGDOM
170:2.1 The Master made it clear that the kingdom of heaven must begin with, and be centered in, the dual concept of the truth of the fatherhood of God and the correlated fact of the brotherhood of man. The acceptance of such a teaching, Jesus declared, would liberate man from the age-long bondage of animal fear and at the same time enrich human living with the following endowments of the new life of spiritual liberty:
170:2.2 1. The possession of new courage and augmented spiritual power. The gospel of the kingdom was to set man free and inspire him to dare to hope for eternal life.
170:2.3 2. The gospel carried a message of new confidence and true consolation for all men, even for the poor. [to and for all humans! All humans are now sons of God in and by the free grace of God and Jesus, One here in Spirit !]
170:2.4 3. It was in itself a new standard of moral values, a new ethical yardstick wherewith to measure human conduct. It portrayed the ideal of a resultant new order of human society.
170:2.5 4. It taught the pre-eminence of the spiritual compared with the material; it glorified spiritual realities and exalted superhuman ideals. [Yes !]
170:2.6 5. This new gospel held up spiritual attainment as the true goal of living. Human life received a new endowment of moral value and divine dignity. [as potentially eternal sons of God !]
170:2.7 6. Jesus taught that eternal realities were the result (reward) of righteous earthly striving. Man's mortal sojourn on earth acquired new meanings consequent upon the recognition of a noble destiny.
170:2.8 7. The new gospel affirmed that human salvation is the revelation of a far-reaching divine purpose to be fulfilled and realized in the future destiny of the endless service of the salvaged sons of God. [!!!]
170:2.11 The great effort embodied in this sermon was the attempt to translate the concept of the kingdom of heaven into the ideal of the idea of doing the will of God. Long had the Master taught his followers to pray: "Your kingdom come; your will be done"; and at this time he earnestly sought to induce them to abandon the use of the term kingdom of God in favor of the more practical equivalent, the will of God. But he did not succeed.
170:2.12 Jesus desired to substitute for the idea of the kingdom, king, and subjects, the concept of the heavenly family, the heavenly Father, and the liberated sons of God engaged in joyful and voluntary service for their fellow men and in the sublime and intelligent worship of God the Father.
170:2.13 Up to this time the apostles had acquired a double viewpoint of the kingdom; they regarded it as:
170:2.14 1. A matter of personal experience then present in the hearts of true believers, and
170:2.15 2. A question of racial or world phenomena; that the kingdom was in the future, something to look forward to.
170:2.16 They looked upon the coming of the kingdom in the hearts of men as a gradual development, like the leaven in the dough or like the growing of the mustard seed. They believed that the coming of the kingdom in the racial or world sense would be both sudden and spectacular. Jesus never tired of telling them that the kingdom of heaven was their personal experience of realizing the higher qualities of spiritual living; that these realities of the spirit experience are progressively translated to new and higher levels of divine certainty and eternal grandeur.
170:2.17 On this afternoon the Master distinctly taught a new concept of the double nature of the kingdom in that he portrayed the following two phases:
170:2.18 "First. The kingdom of God in this world, the supreme desire to do the will of God, the unselfish love of man which yields the good fruits of improved ethical and moral conduct.
170:2.19 "Second. The kingdom of God in heaven, the goal of mortal believers, the estate wherein the love for God is perfected, and wherein the will of God is done more divinely."
170:2.20 Jesus taught that, by faith, the believer enters the kingdom now. In the various discourses he taught that two things are essential to faith-entrance into the kingdom:
170:2.21 1. Faith, sincerity. To come as a little child, to receive the bestowal of sonship as a gift; to submit to the doing of the Father's will without questioning and in the full confidence and genuine trustfulness of the Father's wisdom; to come into the kingdom free from prejudice and preconception; to be open-minded and teachable like an unspoiled child.
170:2.22 2. Truth hunger. The thirst for righteousness, a change of mind, the acquirement of the motive to be like God and to find God.
170:2.23 Jesus taught that sin is not the child of a defective nature but rather the offspring of a knowing mind dominated by an unsubmissive will. Regarding sin, he taught that God has forgiven; that we make such forgiveness personally available by the act of forgiving our fellows. When you forgive your brother in the flesh, you thereby create the capacity in your own soul for the reception of the reality of God's forgiveness of your own misdeeds.
170:2.24 By the time the Apostle John began to write the story of Jesus' life and teachings, the early Christians had experienced so much trouble with the kingdom-of-God idea as a breeder of persecution that they had largely abandoned the use of the term. John talks much about the "eternal life." Jesus often spoke of it as the "kingdom of life." He also frequently referred to "the kingdom of God within you." He once spoke of such an experience as "family fellowship with God the Father." Jesus sought to substitute many terms for the kingdom but always without success. Among others, he used: the family of God, the Father's will, the friends of God, the fellowship of believers, the brotherhood of man, the Father's fold, the children of God, the fellowship of the faithful, the Father's service, and the liberated sons of God.
170:2.25 But he could not escape the use of the kingdom idea. It was more than fifty years later, not until after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman armies, that this concept of the kingdom began to change into the cult of eternal life as its social and institutional aspects were taken over by the rapidly expanding and crystallizing Christian church.
170:3. IN RELATION TO RIGHTEOUSNESS
170:3.1 Jesus was always trying to impress upon his apostles and disciples that they must acquire, by faith, a righteousness which would exceed the righteousness of slavish works which some of the scribes and Pharisees paraded so vaingloriously before the world.
170:3.2 Though Jesus taught that faith, simple childlike belief, is the key to the door of the kingdom, he also taught that, having entered the door, there are the progressive steps of righteousness which every believing child must ascend in order to grow up to the full stature of the robust sons of God.
170:3.3 It is in the consideration of the technique of receiving God's forgiveness that the attainment of the righteousness of the kingdom is revealed. Faith is the price you pay for entrance into the family of God; but forgiveness is the act of God which accepts your faith as the price of admission. And the reception of the forgiveness of God by a kingdom believer involves a definite and actual experience and consists in the following four steps, the kingdom steps of inner righteousness:
170:3.4 1. God's forgiveness is made actually available and is personally experienced by man just in so far as he forgives his fellows.
170:3.5 2. Man will not truly forgive his fellows unless he loves them as himself.
170:3.6 3. To thus love your neighbor as yourself is the highest ethics.
170:3.7 4. Moral conduct, true righteousness, becomes, then, the natural result of such love.
170:3.8 It therefore is evident that the true and inner religion of the kingdom unfailingly and increasingly tends to manifest itself in practical avenues of social service. Jesus taught a living religion that impelled its believers to engage in the doing of loving service. But Jesus did not put ethics in the place of religion. He taught religion as a cause and ethics as a result.
170:3.9 The righteousness of any act must be measured by the motive; the highest forms of good are therefore unconscious. Jesus was never concerned with morals or ethics as such. He was wholly concerned with that inward and spiritual fellowship with God the Father which so certainly and directly manifests itself as outward and loving service for man. He taught that the religion of the kingdom is a genuine personal experience which no man can contain within himself; that the consciousness of being a member of the family of believers leads inevitably to the practice of the precepts of the family conduct, the service of one's brothers and sisters in the effort to enhance and enlarge the brotherhood.
170:3.10 The religion of the kingdom is personal, individual; [personal God-consciousness !!] the fruits, the results, are familial, social. Jesus never failed to exalt the sacredness of the individual as contrasted with the community. But he also recognized that man develops his character by unselfish service; that he unfolds his moral nature in loving relations with his fellows.
170:3.11 By teaching that the kingdom is within, by exalting the individual, Jesus struck the deathblow of the old society in that he ushered in the new dispensation of true social righteousness. This new order of society the world has little known because it has refused to practice the principles of the gospel of the kingdom of heaven. And when this kingdom of spiritual pre-eminence does come upon the earth, it will not be manifested in mere improved social and material conditions, but rather in the glories of those enhanced and enriched spiritual values which are characteristic of the approaching age of improved human relations and advancing spiritual attainments.
170:4. JESUS' TEACHING ABOUT THE KINGDOM
170:4.1 Jesus never gave a precise definition of the kingdom. At one time he would discourse on one phase of the kingdom, and at another time he would discuss a different aspect of the brotherhood of God's reign in the hearts of men. In the course of this Sabbath afternoon's sermon Jesus noted no less than five phases, or epochs, of the kingdom, and they were:
170:4.2 1. The personal and inward experience of the spiritual life of the fellowship of the individual believer with God the Father.
170:4.3 2. The enlarging brotherhood of gospel believers, the social aspects of the enhanced morals and quickened ethics resulting from the reign of God's spirit in the hearts of individual believers.
170:4.4 3. The supermortal brotherhood of invisible spiritual beings which prevails on earth and in heaven, the superhuman kingdom of God.
170:4.5 4. The prospect of the more perfect fulfillment of the will of God, the advance toward the dawn of a new social order in connection with improved spiritual living -- the next age of man. [We are now in this "spiritual Springtime" starting to bloom on earth !]
170:4.6 5. The kingdom in its fullness, the future spiritual age of Light and Life on earth. [That will come in seven stages. It is my very rough estimate that the higher stages of Light and Life on earth will start in about 80,000 more years. However, one or more spiritual Visitations of various high Sons of God, higher level Angels, other divine and celestial beings, even the Spirit Presence of our Sovereign Creator Father-Son of God Jesus Christ Michael made visible to many more humans could reduce greatly here that average length of time. Our planet is a special situation in many aspects since the Incarnation of Jesus Christ Michael here 7BC - A.D. 30 and his continuous Spirit of Truth Presence since then -- flooding down glorious Divine Light and Life upon all humans ... Amen !]
170:4.7 Wherefore must we always examine the Master's teaching to ascertain which of these five phases he may have reference to when he makes use of the term kingdom of heaven. By this process of gradually changing man's will and thus affecting human decisions, [Jesus Christ] Michael and his associates are likewise gradually but certainly changing the entire course of human evolution, social and otherwise.
170:4.8 The Master on this occasion placed emphasis on the following five points as representing the cardinal features of the gospel of the kingdom:
170:4.9 1. The pre-eminence of the individual.
170:4.10 2. The will as the determining factor in man's experience.
170:4.11 3. Spiritual fellowship with God the Father.
170:4.12 4. The supreme satisfactions of the loving service of man.
170:4.13 5. The transcendency of the spiritual over the material in human personality.
170:4.14 This world has never seriously or sincerely or honestly tried out these dynamic ideas and divine ideals of Jesus' doctrine of the kingdom of heaven. But you should not become discouraged by the apparently slow progress of the kingdom idea on earth. Remember that the order of progressive evolution is subjected to sudden and unexpected periodical changes in both [!!] the material and the spiritual worlds. The bestowal of Jesus as an incarnated Son was just such a strange and unexpected event in the spiritual life of the world. Neither make the fatal mistake, in looking for the age manifestation of the kingdom, of failing to effect its establishment within your own souls. [This large and significant Fifth Epochal Revelation of Truth being presented here is mighty force for greater spiritual enlightenment and social progress of all mankind on earth.]
170:4.15 Although Jesus referred one phase of the kingdom to the future and did, on numerous occasions, intimate that such an event might appear as a part of a world crisis; and though he did likewise most certainly, on several occasions, definitely promise sometime to return to earth, it should be recorded that he never positively linked these two ideas together. He promised a new revelation of the kingdom on earth and at some future time; he also promised sometime to come back to this world in person; but he did not say that these two events were synonymous. From all we know these promises may, or may not, refer to the same event.
170:4.16 His apostles and disciples most certainly linked these two teachings together. When the kingdom failed to materialize as they had expected, recalling the Master's teaching concerning a future kingdom and remembering his promise to come again, they jumped to the conclusion that these promises referred to an identical event; and therefore they lived in hope of his immediate second coming to establish the kingdom in its fullness and with power and glory. And so have successive believing generations lived on earth entertaining the same inspiring but disappointing hope.
[Part 17 of this Study will be published here at 8:00 PM CDT Friday, April 18, 2014 (new Study material here each Mon. Wed. and Fri. at 8:00 PM CDT)]
Past TOPICAL STUDIES
Spiritual High-Lights of Jesus Christ
Spiritual High-Lights of the Fifth Epochal Revelation
FIFTH EPOCHAL REVELATION (full text and my added comments)
INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES (shorter, with some FER)