FOUNDATIONS

Lessons designed to promote the integrity of scripture and church!

I Corinthians 3:11“For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is    JESUS CHRIST  

All articles are written using the NKJV, unless otherwise noted! All articles are written by David Hicks, unless specified otherwise.

 

THE BODY OF CHRIST

ADDITIONAL DESIGNATIONS FOR THE BODY OF CHRIST – LESSON 5

Additional information concerning the real properties of the “Body of Christ” can be found in what the Body is said to be; using the terms the Apostles of Christ illustrated with.

The Body is the Kingdom –

It is my intent as we engage in this series of lessons, to kill two birds with a single stone. We will show the true teaching of the Lord, and His chosen Apostles to the churches concerning the synonymous nature of the “Body of Christ” and the kingdom.  Alongside the true foundation of the existence of the kingdom, we will also expose the popular, but false doctrine of premillennialism.

First, before we engage in anything else, we want to establish a foundation of necessary truth concerning the kingdom.  Here are some important points of understanding, in order:

The Kingdom was Preached as At-Hand –

In the Gospel’s of Jesus Christ (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), although they were written to Christians, the contents deal with the time of the birth, life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It was a time for Him to serve us, by giving His life a ransom for us!

Matthew 20:28just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.””

Mark 10:45For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.””

It was during this time, that not only the Lord in the flesh, but also John the Baptist (who was to prepare the way for the Lord and testify of Him), would preach a unified message, note:

Matthew 3:1-2In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, 2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!””

Mark 1:14-15Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.””

In addition, as the Lord would train His chosen disciples and those disciples that followed Him relentlessly; He would send them out to the lost sheep of Israel with this same unified message (the Lord Himself only came in the flesh to fulfill prophecy and for the preparation of Israel for the coming of the kingdom – Matthew 15:24), note:

Matthew 10:5-7These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. 6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ See also: Luke 10:1-12.

There can be no doubt of the unified message that all associated with the great work of the Lord in the flesh did preach. This message of the kingdom being at hand is the basis for the Gospel of the Kingdom, prior to its coming. So, just what is the understanding of “at hand”?

This is answered by the Lord, note:

Mark 9:1And He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power.””

The Lord had no misconceptions of the meaning of “at hand”. He knew that those who actually heard Him speak would see it for themselves. Notice that there is no mention of “I hope it comes”, “It might come”, and “It will come if the Jews don’t stop it”! It is spoken of with the same surety that God always speaks His prophecies! Remember this verse, as this is one of the premises of premillennialism (that the Lord was prohibited from establishing the kingdom by the Jews – more on this later). 

The Nature of the Kingdom to Come –

Another vital component of the teaching of the Lord was His instruction concerning the true nature of the coming kingdom.

When specifically asked by the Pharisees concerning the coming of the kingdom (remember that this was a group that wanted the kingdom to be physical in nature and elevate them above the other nations that they have served for so long), note the response of the Lord:

Luke 17:20-21Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, The kingdom of God does not come with observation; 21 nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.””

This is a very specific illustration concerning the fact that the kingdom was not going to be an earthly property of measured borders, or a city with mighty walls, it was, when it would come, going to be made up of the hearts of men!!!

As Pilate interrogated the Lord before His subsequent crucifixion, he demanded that the Lord tell Him if He were the king of the Jews and why the Jews have delivered Him for his judgment. The Lord’s response tells us clearly what His understanding was concerning the nature of the kingdom when it would come, note:

John 18:36Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.””

As the kingdom would be established, once the King was on His throne (Acts 2:36); His Apostles (ambassadors) would continue to support the true nature of the kingdom, note:

Romans 14:17for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”

1 Corinthians 4:20For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power.”

Philippians 3:20For our citizenship is in heaven (present tense to Christians), from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ”

Colossians 1:13 “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love” 

Did you note not only the nature of the kingdom as understood by the ambassadors of Christ, but the surety of its existence!

The Properties of the Kingdom –

There are some basic common sense properties of the kingdom that we not only comprehend, but have been trained to understand.

A King –

The significance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is made known from the very beginning of its preaching. Before the Lord ascended into heaven in the presence of His chosen, He had commanded that they remain in Jerusalem until they received power from on high (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4-5). This power came to them on the Day of Pentecost and they began that day to preach the Gospel of Jesus as Lord and Christ (Ruler and Anointed of God) . After the evidentiary portion of the sermon, the conclusion was one we must take note of:

Acts 2:36“Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.””

The terms “Lord” and “Christ” are significantly used in the first sermon and many more times to come to establish a time tense – present tense (see also: Acts 10:36; Romans 10:9; 14:9; 1 Corinthians 1:9; 8:6; 12:3; 2 Corinthians 1:3; 4:5; Galatians 1:3; 6:14; Ephesians 1:3; 3:11; 4:5; 5:20; Philippians 2:11; 1 Thessalonians 3:11; 2 Thessalonians 1:1; 2:16; 1 Timothy 1:2; 1 Peter 1:3; 2 Peter 1:2; Jude 17 – there can be no doubt that the understanding of the Apostles of Jesus the Christ was that He was Ruler as they wrote the New Testament).

As such, the Christ of God is “Ruler” and “Anointed”; as these terms mean in the original Greek. Ruler, we understand from the point of control or power, the Anointed is something that the Bible student should be familiar with, as God only anointed high priests and kings. From the teaching of the Hebrew writer, we know that Jesus the Christ is both – Hebrews 7. The Apostles do not say, He will be Lord and Christ, but that He is!!!

As the King, He has been given all authority (Matthew 28:18-20), which would include legislative, executive, and judicial authority.

A Territory –

The Lord our Christ rules over the hearts of Christians, saints, or members of the “Body of Christ”. The command to His ambassadors was to make disciples of every nation (Matthew 28:18-20), to bring His message of redemption through His blood to the entire world (Mark 16:15-16). Paul said that he received “apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations” (Romans 1:5; 16:26).

Ephesians 3:17-21that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever.” Amen.

Laws –

The word also refers to this as doctrine or teaching! This doctrine is for those who have entered into the kingdom and enables them to be viable and productive subjects.

Acts 2:42And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.”

Romans 6:17-18But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. 18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.”

2 John 9 “Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.”

Subjects –

These are all those who from every nation have obeyed the call of the good news concerning Jesus as Priest and King, the only name given under heaven by which we must be saved – Acts 4:12.

Acts 10:34-35Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. 35 But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.”

Paul wrote to the Christians at Philippi and stated to them that their citizenship was in heaven (present tense) – Philippians 3:20. This is very similar in descriptive nature to the relationship of the Head and the body (whom we are); King and subjects.

Next: “Introduction to Premillennialism