(NB Headings are not part of original, but are added for clarity)

Fit for the Kingdom

By Jon Bowles

29 April 2006


I played 'The World Tomorrow" tape that you just heard because it is related to the subject that I want to talk about today. Last Sunday was the London marathon, and there was an article that appeared on Tuesday about somebody that ran in the marathon. This individual was Andrew Castle. He was the former Davis Cup tennis player. He actually ran in the marathon; and as it says here - "he thought he was fit for the big race, but he ended up in the hospital."

"It was not the end of my first London marathon I either wanted or expected. After volunteering as a runner in The Daily Telegraph/Brain and Spine Foundation team, having been the non-running captain last year, I went out to break four hours and was on course to do so just until about the 25-mile mark.

Then, 300 yards from Big Ben, I collapsed. At one point, by the roadside, I was in and out of consciousness, and the St John Ambulance crew was struggling to find a pulse in me. Looking back now, I feel thankful to be alive... the feeling was that I had a lack of minerals and salts in my system...

It seems that my system just shut down at 25 miles. I'd had porridge and a banana for breakfast, and three or four glasses of water, and I kept sipping water up to the line, but as a 13 stone man you have to work hard to keep going, and I simply didn't have enough fuel ."

So this individual very nearly died as a result of the London marathon. And as it says here he thought he was fit for the big race; but, in the end, he ended up in the hospital. Turn to Luke 9:

"And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow you whithersoever you go." (Luke 9:57)

"And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father."(Luke 9:59)

"And another also said, Lord, I will follow you; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. (62) And Jesus said unto him [and presumably to all of them], No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."(Luke 9:61-62)

And the question I want to ask today, and hopefully answer in the sermon, is: Are we fit for the Kingdom of God? And each and every one of us needs to ask that question. We need to ask the question: Are we fit for the Kingdom of God? Do we understand what is involved?

The areas that I want to go into today in this subject:

The Defining Element Of The Kingdom of God: (PLAY FROM 4:32)

Okay, what about this defining element of the Kingdom of God? What IS this defining element? You see, part of the reason for giving this sermon, is that I was listening to Mr. Armstrong last week. Mr. Armstrong was giving this sermon on "Creation and the Gospel," and he made quite an astounding statement about three minutes into the sermon. He said the following:

"...the great time of peace when Christ comes back to set up and to restore the government of God on this Earth, and to set up the Kingdom of God. Now, I hope to show you this afternoon the difference between the government of God and the Kingdom of God, because they're not synonymous."

And I thought, "Really?" They aren't - they aren't synonymous. I've never really thought about it in quite that way before. And, at the time, it kind of hit me; and I mulled it over in my mind and listened to the rest of the sermon. But I never picked up on the actual subject until I listened to it again when I got home, and it was about 37 minutes into the sermon that he made the following statement. He said:

"The Kingdom of God is the Family, born children of God that have the government of God."

That's what the Kingdom of God is. So the defining element is the government of God that the Family HAS . That's the defining element. He goes on:

"It's much more than just the government of God. We have to become the very children of God."

There's much more involved with the actual subject, as he went on to explain. And if you listen very carefully to what he was saying, that difference between the government of God and the Kingdom of God, because they are not synonymous. But what I want to do is to focus on this section about 37 minutes into the sermon last week. He makes a statement that: "...the Family of the born children of God, that have the government of God." And that government of God is the defining element of the Kingdom of God. It's what the Kingdom of God have got to administer. They're going to have to bring to this Earth, again, the government of God.

And Satan has trashed it. He has attacked it. He's done everything in his possible power to undermine it. And looking at the news this week, here in the UK, it is certainly undermined. You're looking at the Home Secretary, who has admitted that the government, being so focused... Well, he hasn't admitted it - the government being so focused on being 'politically correct' and all the rest of it. But he's admitted that all the illegal immigrants that have actually offended and found their way into prison have not been being deported. They've been lost on release. Some of them are murderers. Some of them are rapists. He's being called to question for this.

And at the same time, Mrs. Patricia Hewitt has got up in front of the nurses and been absolutely lambasted by the nurses because she said the NHS has had its best year ever; and the nurses do not agree, because they're all losing their jobs.

And at the same time, the Deputy Prime Minister has been caught having an affair with a secretary; and has some horrendous photographs of him with the secretary's legs around his neck being plastered all over the newspapers in the country. That's the Deputy Prime Minister, the second in command of the government of this country.

So when we're looking at the government of God being the defining element of the Kingdom of God, the moment I say that word "government" everybody - everybody in this room, everybody that's listening to me over the Internet - has been warped. We have been twisted. We do not understand what it means. And we think, "Oh, here he is, he's going to crack the big whip," and all the rest of it - whatever it may be in your mind. But it has been warped. Satan has trashed that word. And yet, as Mr. Armstrong said: "This Family of born children of God that have the government of God " - that is what the Kingdom of God is! The defining element of the Kingdom of God is that element of government that the people of God have got to learn. And you and I have got to get it right. If we do not get it right, we will not be there. It is as simple as that.

Turn to Matthew 19, because when we're looking at this defining element, when we're looking at this particular subject, we need to understand something. I remember even saying this to a minister who should have known better, and yet it just went straight over the top of his head. He did not understand what these verses are talking about here.

"And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?" (Matthew 19:16)

Now eternal life means that you are in the Kingdom of God. You are part of that Kingdom, and you're looking into the future at eternal life.

"And he said unto him, [Now, this is the answer. This IS the answer.] Why call you me good? [Because here He was as a human being.] there is none good but one, that is, God: [Now notice that! There is NONE good! NOT ONE good, at all, but One; and that is God. If there has got to be goodness that we have got to have to inherit the Kingdom of God, it has got to come from God. We cannot do it on our own strength. It is impossible. But then He tells us what needs to be done.] but if you wilt enter into life [if you would enter into the Kingdom of God], keep the commandments."(Matthew 19:17 )

There is the structure that has been given to us. To go and have a look at the Law, the Way of God, the Torah, the structure of this Way of God - the way that God lives, the way that God's mind works, this love of God; and that's how it's to be kept. And that's how it must be done. If we are to enter into life, we must keep the commandments; but you cannot keep them except understanding that it comes from God. It flows from God. Now, if we turn back to Isaiah, let's have a look at some of these scriptures. We'll just try and have a look at three passages in Isaiah in rapid succession.

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder:"(Isaiah 9:6)

Now the purpose of Christ... remember what Mr. Armstrong talked about here. He referred to Luke 1, I think it was, where Mary is addressed by the angel; and it talks about how He will have the government on His shoulder, referring back to this and other verses, where it's very clear that

... the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father[or the Great Originator],The Prince of Peace. (7) Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this."(Isaiah 9:6 - 7)

It's part of the very Creation of God, what God is going to be doing. If we turn back to chapter 2, we find here very much what was being said over in Matthew 19 - where this young ruler came to Christ and said "Good Master, what good thing must I do to inherit eternal life?" And He said, "Who are you calling good? Yes, that was the answer. But He also said, "Keep the commandments."

"And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain [that's the government]of the [ETERNAL'S] house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. (3) And many people shall go and say, Come you, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways [There's the law, the government, the Torah.], and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem."(Isaiah 2:2,3)

Now, if we go over to chapter 51 of Isaiah, this final scripture in this section here, notice what it says here. We need to understand this defining element - this government of God. Remember we've just seen in Isaiah 2 how it's the law. It's the Word of God. How this rich young ruler had this Word of God, this law. In other words, "Keep the commandments," is what Christ said to him; but He also defined how - how this righteousness has got to there.

"Hearken unto me, you that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law."(Isaiah 51:7)

So that law is there, in the heart and being obeyed; but it's being obeyed by the power of God, the love of God shed abroad in our hearts.

"And I have put my words in thy mouth,and I have covered you in the shadow of mine hand... "(Isaiah 51:16 )

In other words, here is the law. Here is the government of God being administered through the law of God, the words in my (in your) mouth. "And I have covered you with the shadow of My hand." In other words, it's coming from the power of God. It's not just coming from our own power. But this is being done for a purpose. This is this defining element of the Kingdom of God.

"...that I [ultimately] may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, You art my people."(Isaiah 51: 16)

It's a reverse order. The first thing we've got to do is to say to Zion, "You are My people," the people of God. Our address is to the Church. That is the first thing. The second thing is that you lay the foundations of the Earth. That Word is in our mouth. This defining element is given to us so that we may lay the foundations of the Earth in the Millennium. And finally, it is so that we may plant the heavens. So the Kingdom of God can go out into the entire universe and plant the heavens.

Now this government of God, you see that I have actually equated it with God's way of life - with God's way, with God's law, with God's mind. There's more to it than just the government, "government" as we understand government in the world. And that is very, very true. I want to just quote to you from the "The Incredible Human Potential", that is page 162 in the hard copy.

"GOD'S PURPOSE in having created and put HUMANS on Earth was to develop in them GOD'S own holy and righteous character. God wants a people who will REJECT and overcome Satan's WAY OF LIFE and turn to THE GOVERNMENT OF GOD - which is GOD'S WAY of life."

That's what we've got to administer. So when he's talking about the Family of born children of God, as far as the Kingdom of God is concerned, it is a Family of born children of God that have the government of God - that have that way of life, that they are then administering; and they are administering it to the world. Well, first of all, within the Church. It says, "Say to Zion, You are my people." You are the people of God. You're therefore coming under God's authority, coming under this government. And then also our responsibility is to go and lay the foundations of the Earth. So the entire Earth then comes under that authority, under that government, under that way. And then it is to take out into the universe itself and to plant the very heavens, so the entirety of Creation is restored under the government of God. That's what our life is about. That's what the Church is about.

In the section on this defining element of the Kingdom of God, I want you to just turn over to Matthew 4; because, when we really understand this fact - that the government of God, the rulership of God, this defining element of the Kingdom of God is something that Satan attacks and undermines and does everything within his power to destroy - and when we read this account here in Matthew 4, we see exactly that.

"Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. (2) And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered. (3) And when the tempter came to him, he said, If you be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. (4) But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God."(Matthew 4:1 - 4)

In every single case, in every single instance where Satan is trying to tempt Christ, he's trying to move Him away from under that government that He was under. That's what he was doing, in every single case. He'd been fasting because He knew He'd have to deal with Satan. He [Satan] said, "Okay, fine. Well, You can make Yourself some bread. It's just a commandment, you know. See, Your commandments." And he goes on and says, "Well, You can just throw Yourself down. It says in Scripture the angels will take charge of You. It's one of the Psalms." But again, what does Christ do? He countered with part of the Words of God to counter each and every attack that was made, and He put Himself back under that authority.

And the authority was what? It was the Law of God. It was the Word of God. And it says, "We'll go to the mountain of the House of God to listen to His Words. And I have put my Word into your mouth. And I've covered you with the shadow of My hand, so that I might go and plant the heavens." This is the government of God! What is going to happen is absolutely astounding! It is the greatest Creation that God has ever made. And Satan is doing the best he possibly can to undermine and attack that - because it is the defining element of the Kingdom of God.

And the people of God are confused about what it is. They are confused about it, and even me just bringing the subject up and talking about government of God, immediately the hackles go up. That is what's happened. It's happened within the Church. Where did that come from? It came from Satan Himself! That's where it's come from. And every one of us does it. I do. If I listen to, say, Mr. Armstrong giving a sermon here talking about the government of God, you know, you have this little niggle because we've seen, we've lived through times, where this government has been misapplied, and twisted, and distorted. And where does that come from? Well, the very first prophecy in Scripture... What's the very first prophecy in Scripture? It talks about Satan as the serpent, and the woman. That's the very first prophecy that you find. (Genesis 3:15)

Why Were We Baptized?: (PLAY FROM 21:31)

Let's go on to the second point: Why were we baptized? Let's just remind ourself why we were baptized. Turn over to Acts 8. This is a passage that Mr. Armstrong talked about, and he mentions about Simon Magus.

"But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God [Notice, it was the Kingdom of God that was being preached by Phillip.], and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. (13) Then Simon himself believed also [So here was the very start of the false system, who BELIEVED about the Kingdom of God. He believed what was being talked about.]:and when he was baptized..."(Acts 8:12 - 13)

He was baptized also. Did he pray to his god, or gods? Almost certainly, almost certainly! Did he fast? They certainly did, these false prophets, they certainly did. They'd even afflict themselves with knives. He was a Gnostic. Part of it was the Gnostic heresy. They would do certain things to go ahead and punish the flesh. They would do all kinds of things. You'd look at it and say, "Oh boy, this is a righteous person. He believed. He was baptized. He was doing all these things." But was he converted? Had he repented? Was it really something that we should look at and say, "Oh yes, this is the way to be?" No, it's not.

And so we've got to understand "Why were we baptized?" What is it that we were baptized? Yes, we are baptized to His death. Yes, we accept Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour. When you were actually asked the question: "Do you accept Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour? Have you repented of your sins? And because you accept Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour, your Lord, your Master, your High Priest and your soon - coming King." It's not just a personal Saviour. It is the fact that you're putting yourself under that authority. It is having been bought with a price, having the old man to die.

Remember what Mr. Armstrong was talking about in Luke 14:33 . "If anybody doesn't forsake all, he cannot be My disciple." It is an unconditional surrender. And when we're looking at why we were baptized and remembering why we were baptized, that has got to be the case. It has got to be an unconditional surrender to the government of God; because, as we go on to understand what the government of God is, then that is what we're in an unconditional surrender to. We're in an unconditional surrender to what is flowing down from God. And it must go on and not just then, it's going on for eternity. Turn over to Romans 6.

"What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? (2) God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? (3) Know you not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? [We accepted His death. We were, therefore, purchased by a price; and the old man dies.] (4) Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death [That's the symbolism of baptism. Why we go through the process of baptism is because we, the old man, goes down; and this new one that comes up, has been purchased by God; and it is then subject to the law of God. It is subject to God's way - subject to the mind and the words of God. "Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death..."]:that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life [from that point forward]."(Romans 6:1 - 4)

This is why I say, if we're looking at the subject of the government of God, this being the defining element of the Kingdom of God, and this really nails who is going to be there, then it is a case of remembering why we were baptized.

"...so we also should walk in newness of life. (5) For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death [In other words, we go down into the grave.],we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: (6) Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin".(Romans 6:4 - 6)

So we're looking in this section at the fact that the old man dies. It's buried in baptism, and it's gone. What was the old man? The old man was subject to whatever the old man was wanting to do. And on the resurrection (in other words, coming out of the pool of baptism), this new man, this new individual, is now subject to what? Whatever God wants to do. That's the distinction. That's the dividing line. Turn over to Hebrews 6. We see it very clearly put in here.

These are very basic things, very, very basic indeed. But it's a case of "Are we fit for the Kingdom of God?" because here are marathon runners... And this person was a tennis star who went out, ran the marathon, and collapsed after 25 miles and nearly died. We've got to look at ourselves and say, "Well, look. Are we fit? Are we fit for the Kingdom of God?" And there is a defining element here, and that defining element is this government of God.

"Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; [And it then lays out the principles of the doctrine of Christ.]not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works..."(Hebrews 6:1)

And it goes into some other foundational issues. So what do we repent of? We repent of dead works, the things that have gone before. And, if you turn over a couple of pages to chapter 9:14, it says that you turn from dead works to serve the living God. So that when we're looking at baptism, and we remember why we are baptized, we go down into the grave of baptism; and the dead works and everything in the past has gone and is blotted out, completely been covered. And that individual that comes up there is to serve the living God.

It is subject to this government, this defining element, so that the Family of born children of God... This Family, which will comprise the Kingdom of God, is a Family of born children of God that have the government of God. They have that government. They're administering it. But there's more to it than that. They are administering it; but they're also under it as well, because they're subject to it. It's flowing down from God. This government of God doesn't just come from any man. It doesn't come from even a spirit being, any spirit being. It comes from God Himself.

Both Administering and Being Administered By: (PLAY FROM 28:58)

Okay, let's go on to the third point. All in the Kingdom of God will both administer and also be administered by that government. Do you understand that? Do we realize that? You say, "Well, surely, what about God the Father?" Let me just go on, and explain to you, and show you how God the Father Himself will submit to Jesus Christ in one area, in one specific area. [And] how Jesus Christ Himself submitted to an ordinary carnal human being. I say carnal, I mean a normal human being.

We'll come on and actually look at that, because it does talk about... "magnifying the Word above Your name." (Psalm 138:2) And it is the Word of God that is being magnified above even the kind of authority, this authority idea, which is the problem in so many cases when we're looking at the subject of government. It is, in fact, the Word of God. And when the Word of God says something, then that is the way it is going to be. Remember the incident in Luke where Christ said, "If these people are quiet, then the stones are going to have to cry out." (Luke 19:40 paraphrased) Why? Because the Word of God actually says that's the way it's going to be.

Let's have a look at one instance where Jesus Christ Himself was subject to what man did. Let's turn over to Genesis 2.

"And out of the ground the LORD God [this is Jesus Christ, now] formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof."(Genesis 2:19)

He [Christ] didn't jump in there. He didn't say, "Ah..you don't understand it. This one, HAH! This is a goat! All right? You don't understand goats. Let Me tell you something about goats. It's not what you just called it, because it's got a certain attitude." He didn't do that.

Whatever Adam called them, that's the name that it was going to be. And Jesus Christ submitted Himself to that, because why? Because He had gone ahead and given Adam that jurisdiction! Do you see now a little bit of how the government of God works? Jesus Christ Himself submitted to what Adam said. He didn't jump in there. He didn't wield a big stick. He didn't say, "Hey, I'm the big boss!" That's not the way it works. That's not the way the government of God works. Turn over to John 5. The same thing you can see as far as the Father is concerned, as far as Christ is concerned. Here in John 5 we find this quite amazing passage:

"For the Father judgeth no man, but has committed all judgment unto the Son:" (John 5:22)

Now the Father has done this. He's given it to the Son to do the judging; and Christ is going to do the judging of this world, and the Father will submit to that judgment. I mean submit to the result of that judgment. He'll say, "Okay fine. That's the judgment." If you look at what it says in verse 27, you'll see why.

"And has given him authority to execute judgment also, [WHY?] because he [That is, Jesus Christ.] is the Son of man. "(John 5:27)

You see, the Father hasn't lived a life as a human being; but Jesus Christ has. The Father doesn't really know what it's like to be human in the way that Christ knows what it's like to be human. So the Father, therefore, allows Christ to make this judgment; and the Father will accept that judgment, whatever the judgment is. So within the very God Family Themselves, we see this principle at work - that not only are we administering the government of God, but we're being administered by that government as well. And we're looking at, yes, it's a pyramid. Yes, it's coming down from the top, down. But this is not a straight forward pyramid where one person is at the top and everybody else is underneath them. It is a principle.

Well, what it actually is, it is an application of God's way of life within the lines of administration. Let me tell you that again. It is the application of God's way of life, God's mind, God's character, within lines of administration. The classic one that's been brought out many, many times, by ministers that have got up and tried to explain the subject, is that when a minister is going into a parking area, say at the Feast, the minister should be subject to the parking attendant; and that is the government of God. The parking attendant has got to behave in a certain way; and the minister has got to behave in a certain way because he is, therefore, subject to that parking attendant's directions.

This is what we find here, even in the case of Christ and the Father. The Father has given judgment, or authority to execute judgment, because He's the Son of Man. He is the One who became human, who understood what it's like to be human. He can, therefore, go ahead and judge and make a judgment. But the Father has not the ability, in the same way, to make that judgment because He has not been human as Christ has.

Now, one thing we can look at: In this area where you both administer and be administered by, it's both ways round; and every single one of us are both administered by and will administer. That's the way it's going to work. We're going to find ourself... Perhaps we'll go into somebody else's area in the Kingdom of God, [and] we will be submissive. Even if we're the head of, or of a much higher rank than, somebody else; but in somebody else's area, we'll be submissive to them. It's the same kind of courtesy that you have when, say, I was coming into somebody's home. I would wait to be asked to, let's say, ask a blessing on the meal. I don't take over on that score. That's not my job. It's somebody else's home. And these principles are principles of God. They are righteous principles.

If you would have a look at in your own time, Proverbs 31, you find the breadth and the scope that that wife has been given by her husband. She's able to go out and buy a field. Now I don't think I'd be particularly keen if I suddenly found out that my wife had gone out and bought a field; but that's what that woman has been described as, and is given as a virtuous woman. She's been given enormous scope. She's still subject to her husband; but her husband has given her scope, and she gets on with it. There's no problem there.

If we turn over to Ephesians 5, as I say, this subject - of the government of God as the defining element of the Kingdom of God - has been trashed by Satan. It's been undermined. It's been destroyed. It's been distorted. It's been misapplied. It's been used as a big stick to beat people with; and it's nothing of the sort, and it is not that way. Yes, Christ will rule all nations with a rod of iron. That is the way, but He will do it in love. He's not just going to go ahead and beat people with a rod of iron. It talks about how He'll gently lead those with young. He'll be a Shepherd to the people.

"Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, (21) submitting yourselves to one another [notice] in the fear of God."(Ephesians 5:20 - 21)

"In the fear of God." The way in which we submit one to another is in that fear. It is in that respect to God; and it's to, not just God, but to God and His way. We submit one to another in the way God would submit. Now one thing I would actually like to talk about sometime: You'll find the phrase "in Christ Jesus" being used within Scripture, within the New Testament. We think, "Well what does that mean - in Christ Jesus?" Particularly in the end of first John, you'll find that particular passage. But it is a case that 'we are in the flesh' and the flesh has got to reflect the flesh as if it were Christ Jesus, as if this were Christ that was walking around; and we are in this flesh and as it says here:

"Submitting yourselves to one another in the fear of God."(Ephesians 5:21)

That God is always there. That God is always watching what is going on, and judging, and making that judgment. And as he goes on, he then starts talking about how this is done. And the way in which wives do that is:

"Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands, as to the Lord." (Ephesians 5:22)

That's the way in which a wife does that, in submitting yourself one to another. And as he goes on it goes into verse 25:

"Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it."(Ephesians 5:25)

That's how a husband submits himself one to another. That He goes out of His way, it says, and gave Himself for it. That's the way Christ submits to the Church. He died for it, so great was that submission. The way that the Church submits to Christ. And it goes on and it gives more:

"Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right."(Ephesians 6:1)

That's the way the children submit one to another.

"And fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord"(Ephesians 6:4)

That's the way the fathers behave. And you see how is this working? How is this government working? It's working two ways. There's somebody who is administering it, and there's somebody who is being administered by it; and both are using the way and the mind of God. Both (1) administering and (2) being administered by - both are loving, and outgoing, and concerned, and considerate for the others. That's the way it works. It works both ways, both directions - both up and down.

But we have been trashed. We've been trashed by Satan. We don't really understand this, and we are not applying this. And we certainly, it seems, the Church today... And some of the horror stories that I have heard (They are awful!) that is going on in the various Church groups that have actually happened. I mean the defining element is this government of God. If that is not there, we won't be in the Kingdom of God because we can't administer it.

And yet I look at some of the Church groups, and I see it totally missing. And yet they crack the whip and call it the government of God. They don't know what they're talking about! You submit one to another. It works both directions. And it ALWAYS, always, always works in love. Why? Because that is the mind of God. "Who are you calling good? There's none good but One. But if you'll enter into life, keep the commandments." So there's your authority. But how do you do it? You've got to have the mind of God to do it. It is the mind of God - being obedient to the commandments of God, and administering those rules, and whatever. The application of God's way of life within a line of administration, that's what we're looking at.

"You fathers, provoke not your children to wrath... (5) Servants, [slaves]be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;"(Ephesians 6:4 - 5)

That's how a slave would submit himself one to another.

"And you masters, do the same things unto them [Notice, TO THEM. So it's going both ways. It's both ways. Both ways are in love, both the master and the servant],forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him. "(Ephesians 6:9)

So both directions, and in the Kingdom of God we will all both administer and be administered by the government of God. It is this application of God's way of life within the line of administration, and it's both ways. If I can get that point across to the degree that it needs to go across... I don't think I can. It is both directions.

Where We Are Administering God's Government: (PLAY FROM 43:12)

Now let's have a look, therefore, at the first direction of this administration. The first direction is where we are administering the government of God. And we will administer that government of God for eternity as a rulership over the people that are given into our charge. In other words, here we are; we're in the Kingdom of God; and you, therefore, "be over three cities". You now have three cities, with human beings, and you have got to administer that according to the government of God. Are you fit to do that? Have we learned, in this life, what is necessary in order to administer that Kingdom properly - as a king over that Kingdom, because you are that part of the Kingdom of God! This is the Kingdom of God - the born sons of God, that have the government of God. Are you fit, am I fit, to do that? Or am I going to get to the 25th mile and fall flat on my face?

That's how serious this is. I mean, this subject is so, so serious. And, in listening to what Mr. Armstrong said last week, it started to impact on my mind; and I just thought, well look, this needs to be covered. This needs to be dealt with. I haven't given a sermon on this subject for an awfully long time. Let's turn over to Romans 8. When we're looking at actually administering the government of God, what's the result? What's the effect? These born children of God that have the government of God, that are administering it properly - this way of God, this application of God's way in the line of administration - what is the result of it all?

"For the [creation] was made subject to vanity, [And the word vanity is "chewing." Go back and look at the original. Everything is chewing on each other. It's Satan's way from start to finish. The whole creation is 'survival of the fittest'.] not willingly, but by reason of him who has subjected the same in hope, [What is the hope?] (21) Because the [creation] itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption [this decay]into the glorious liberty of the children of God." (Romans 8:20 - 21)

Now, that's what the hope is. That's what the effect is going to be. There is going to be a glorious liberty of the children of God. Here, let's read a passage that we read at the Feast, over in Isaiah 32; and just remind ourself that here is the effect. The effect of this government - the effect of you and me being given X - number of cities; and saying, "Right, there you are. Now, administer them properly." And it is only if we are able to administer that government properly that we will be there. If we're not, then we won't be there. I guarantee that we will not be there, because that's the defining element of what the Kingdom of God is all about.

"Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment."(Isaiah 32:1)

This is talking about the Millennium. It's talking about princes, and the King being very Jesus Christ Himself. Verse 9 is interesting in this section here:

"Rise up, you women [And the women are, so often are, referring to churches. You women, you churches...] that are at ease; hear my voice, you careless daughters; give ear unto my speech. (10) Many days and years shall you be troubled, you careless women: for the vintage shall fail, the gathering shall not come."(Isaiah 32:9 - 10)

And there are problems in the Church today. There are real problems within the Church today.

"Because the palaces shall be forsaken; the multitude of the city shall be left; the forts and towers shall be for dens for ever, a joy of wild asses, a pasture of flocks; (15) [UNTIL]Until the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest. (16) [And]Then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field. (17) And the work of righteousness [This is what will be administered. This is the administration.] shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness [is going to be] quietness and assurance for ever. (18) And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places."(Isaiah 32:14 - 18)

That's the effect that we're looking at. And if you just turn over a page:

"And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away."(Isaiah 35:10)

These are the effects. This is the effect of the correct rulership. This is the effect of the glorious liberty of the children of God. And it is this Family of born children of God - but they've got to have got to have the government of God. They've got to understand it. If they don't, if it's some other form of government, it will not produce this effect.

And you look at many of the Church groups, and you find the antithesis of this. You really do. And I'm determined that it's got to be this way as far as I'm concerned in the Church of God in Wales. We've got to reflect it. If we're don't, we might as well pack up our bags and go home. You know, you might as well just forget it. We won't be there. We will not be part of the Kingdom of God unless we get this thing right. We've got to get it right.

Luke 22. Here were the disciples, with Christ on the evening of the Passover. You know, we've read this. We read it every year at the Passover service. But here was Christ, and there was a dispute.

"And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest [That doesn't come into it] (25) And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. [They twist their words. They give the impression that they're giving something by this lordship.] (26) But you shall not be so: [Do we forget this? Is this completely out of our understanding? It says we must not be like that. That is not the government of God. That is not the way of God.] but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; [Let him be as the younger.] and he that is chief, as he that does serve."(Luke 22:24 - 26)

That is, for somebody who is administering this government - that wants to have the effect of righteous, and everlasting joy, and peace that is going to occur in the very Kingdom of God. We've got to serve. We've got to have the mindset that Christ had. You remember what I said, you know - that are "in Christ Jesus." That we, if you like, are in this flesh; but this flesh has got to behave as if it was our eldest Brother walking this Earth. And we've got to behave as if He was there.

Now, He wasn't a pushover. He wasn't somebody that didn't go into the temple and turn over the money changers' tables. He wasn't just a namby-pamby, long-haired whatever. That's not what He was like. But always, always... His attitude of mind was one of love and concern. Even in the case of turning the money-changers tables over, it was of love and concern for God and His House.

"But you shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that does serve. (27) For whether is greater, he that sits at meat, or he that serves? is not he that sits at meat? but I am among you as he that serves."(Luke 22:26 - 27)

He was among them at that particular time washing the feet, giving us an example. Now we've gone through the Passover. We've washed feet. And we've done that to remind ourself of our frame of mind at baptism. But does that just end there? It's got to continue. It's got to go on from that point. And as I said, this Individual - "as one that serves" - He was just about to die!

Turn over to Titus. As I said, it's not that there is an airy-fairy idea about this. This is not just, "Oh, we're going to be nice to everybody." That's not what it's talking about. We've got to show love to all those that we're dealing with. If we are dealing and we are actually administering God's government, we are doing it - and we are fit for the Kingdom of God - we do it according to love, according to concern for those that we are dealing with.

"For this cause left I you in Crete [This is Paul talking to Titus] that you should set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed you: "(Titus 1:5)

And he goes on, and he talks about these elders; and he says: [These elders have got to be:] "Holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught..."(Titus 1:9)

Now, that is part of the eldership within the Church. We are faithful. In other words, it's not just a case of somebody who wields a big stick. It is somebody who is administering the government of God that is flowing down from God to them - faithfully doing so. And every one of us within the ministry need to understand this and need to make sure this is applied.

" ...that he may be able by sound doctrine [by sound teaching] both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers."(Titus 1:9)

"But speak you the things which become sound doctrine:"(Titus 2:1) And then he starts giving some of them:

"That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in [love], in patience. (3) The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becomes holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; (4) That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,"(Titus 2:2 - 4)

And it goes into all these areas that he's talking about: "Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you."(Titus 2:8)

In other words, those that are giving this have got to be irreproachable. And if we've done something wrong, then we need to go ahead and repent before God for that. Notice in verse 15. Now I bring this out because it is part of this "holding fast the faithful word as you've been taught." Remember the sermon that I gave on Joshua, how if you go back to Joshua 1 and also chapter 11, it talks about how he was faithful to the word that was given to him from Moses. And it's the same with us today as well.

"These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise you."(Titus 2:15)

So there is authority there, but it is always done in love. Let's just have a look at some of this application. Let's have a look at II Corinthians 6. I want you to notice just how Paul deals with the people here in Corinth. Remember, he's had to rebuke them. He's had to give some pretty stern rebukes.

"And will be a Father unto you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty."(II Corinthians 6:18)

"Having therefore these promises [Looking at the fact that we are therefore going to be part of the very Family of God.], dearly beloved [And notice: He means that when he says "dearly beloved."],let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness [That's cleanness.] in the fear of God."(II Corinthians 7:1 )

This was the reason for what is being said. And as he said over in Titus: "These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority..."(Titus 2:15 )

It is so that they are themselves ready. It is so that they may go on to have this position as children, as sons and daughters, under the Father in the Kingdom of God.

"For, when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears. (6) Nevertheless God, that comforts those that are cast down, comforted us by the coming of Titus; "(II Corinthians 7:5 - 6)

Now, he was frightened. He was in some kind of hot spot. I don't know what the problem was, but he was in some kind of hot spot.

"And not by his coming only, but by the consolation wherewith he was comforted in you, when he told us your earnest desire, your mourning, your fervent mind toward me; so that I rejoiced the more."(II Corinthians 7:7)

His entire aim in administering the Church in Corinth was for their benefit. Everything was being done for their benefit.

"For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent [At the time, it means.]: for I perceive that the same epistle has made you sorry, though it were but for a season. (9) Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that you sorrowed to repentance [In other words, it had the right effect. That's I Corinthians.]:for you were made sorry after a godly manner, that you might receive damage by us in nothing. [We don't want to hurt. We don't want to, in any way, cause a problem.] (10) For godly sorrow works repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world works death. (11) For behold this selfsame thing, that you sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yes, what clearing of yourselves, yes, what indignation, yes, what fear, yes, what vehement desire, yes, what zeal, yes, what revenge! In all things you have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter. [This problem that they had, this problem of a person sleeping with his father's wife.] (12) Wherefore, though I wrote unto you, I did it not for his cause that had done the wrong, nor for his cause that suffered wrong, [Not for the person that was sleeping with his father's wife or for his father. That's not the reason.]but that our care for you in the sight of God might appear unto you."(II Corinthians 7:8 - 12)

In other words, because he was administering the government of God. That's what he was doing. Why did he do it? Because he administered the government of God.

"... that our care for you in the sight of God might appear unto you. [You can see the government of God in action.] (13) Therefore we were comforted in your comfort: yes, and exceedingly the more joyed we for the joy of Titus, because his spirit was refreshed by you all. (14) For if I have boasted any thing to him of you, I am not ashamed; but as we spoke all things to you in truth, even so our boasting, which I made before Titus, is found a truth."(II Corinthians 7:12 - 14)

In other words, he came in there; and he found them, yes, they were sorrowing. They were repentant. He felt, "Look, the repentance will be there." And he boasted to Titus that this is what he will find, and that's indeed what he did find.

"And his inward affection is more abundant toward you, while he remembers the obedience of you all, how with fear and trembling you received him."(IICorinthians 7:15)

The whole administration was one of love, of outgoing concern. Yes, he had to go ahead and suspend somebody from Church; but the whole thing, everything that was there, everything that was pointing in any direction was for their benefit. It was outgoing. And, if we have got to administer this government, that is the way we must do it. And the Family of born children of God must have that kind of government - of God. That's what has got to be there. If we don't have it, we can't administer it.

When we have our 2, 10, 20 cities (whatever it may be) to administer, we'd better make sure that we are administering the way of God - the outpouring, the outflowing love of God. It's the love of God shed abroad in our hearts. And we've got to understand that, and get that part and parcel of us, so that we can then administer it in the future. Turn over to Ephesians 2. You see, this is the way of God. This is the way God is. It's this application of God's way in the line of administration. It's how we administer. It's how we administer anything.

"But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us..."(Ephesians 2:4)

This is how God is. This is the administration. This is the government that comes down from God. This is how He is.

"Even when we were dead in sins, has quickened us together with Christ, (by grace you are saved;) (6) And has raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly [Or, in heavenlies - this high perspective. We can see life in a way that nobody in the world can.] places in Christ Jesus: (7) That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus."[by giving us that very kingdom!](Ephesians 2:5 - 7)

So, when we're administering God's government - and we need to do that for eternity - at every stage, it is outgoing. It is thinking of the other ones. It is in harmony. It is a frame of mind, which is the way of God; and that's the way we must administer it.

When We Are Being Administered by God's Government: (PLAY FROM 1:03:08)

Now, as I said, it works both ways. It works to the people that we are administering; and it works by us perhaps who are administering that, and if we find ourself being administered by the government of God also.

"In whom all the building fitly framed together grows unto an holy temple in the Lord: (22) In whom you also are built together for an habitation of God through the Spirit."(Ephesians 2:21 - 22"

Talking to the Ephesians, which was a gentile Church.

"That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:"(Ephesians 3:6)

So these people that he was talking to are going to be part and parcel of the very Kingdom of God.

"For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, (15) Of whom the whole family in heaven and Earth is named,"(Ephesians 3:14 - 15 )

It is looking at this Family of God. It is looking at this born children of God. That's the subject matter that is being dealt with.

"That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; "(Ephesians 3:16)

Remember that, "inner man," - the old man has died; but the new one? We were walking in flesh that should be mirroring the way that Jesus Christ would actually walk.

"That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love [This is the way of God. This is the mindset of God.], (18) May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; "(Ephesians 3:17 - 18)

These are the people who are being administered, he's talking about, understanding this and having this concept.

"And to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that you might be filled with all the fullness of God."(Ephesians 3:19)

That's the purpose of this administration that was over them. And he goes and describes it:

"I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation wherewith you are called, (2) With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;"(Ephesians 4:1 - 2)

So even when somebody is in the Church and has somebody over them - because it goes on to describe this:

"Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."(Ephesians 4:3 )

This being administered by the government of God for eternity - flowing backwards, flowing back up to God - is the same love that God gives us, so that we respond in a loving way also.

"Wherefore he says, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men."(Ephesians 4:8)

"And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; (12) For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: (13) Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: "(Ephesians 4:11 - 13)

So we reflect that same Mind.

"That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro... (15) But speaking the truth in love... (16) From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplies, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, making increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love."(Ephesians 4:14 - 16)

So here is this love and this unity that is being reflected upwards as well. It's not just something that comes down. It also goes backwards as well. It is still this way of God. It is the application of God's way in the line of administration. What do I mean? What am I talking about in something like that? Well, let's take a specific example. Supposing in the Church, I give somebody the responsibility to give a sermonette? Now, somebody gets up here, you need to go ahead and pray about that. You need to make sure. If you need to fast, then you fast about it to make sure that you are in contact with God. You need to go ahead and make sure that in the subject matter that you are giving, you are outgoing. And when I sit down there, I'm not there to evaluate.

Many times, people have come to me and said, "Did you hear what was said in that sermon (or sermonette, or whatever)?" And I haven't a clue. Why? Because I'm sitting there trying to find out what I need to understand - because I am in the position of a hearer, and I am there to give the love to the person speaking; and that is my role. I'm not the person in authority in that regard. Yes, I might have to go ahead and correct something; but that's not my approach. That's not the way it is. And you in the future, in the Kingdom of God, are going to have to administer in the same way.

There are going to be times when you are showing love up. There are going to be times when you are showing love down. But it never ever changes. It is always the mind of God. And if we don't get this right, if we don't have this government of God in our mind, we can't administer it. This is how important this subject is.

Let's suppose you did get a sermon, or a sermonette, or something like that. How would you show love to me, who has given you and assigned that? Well, if you can't do it for some reason, you need to let me know in reasonable time. Now if something comes up and you can't - you have a puncture or something, I mean, that's ridiculous. And quite frankly, it's showing love to the person who's giving it - if you can't do it, that you give a little bit of leeway. You're considerate. It's loving your neighbour as yourself. As I say, it's going both ways. It's by somebody who is assigning something, and it's by somebody who is assigned something; and it is an administration. Turn over to Colossians 3. We find the same kind of thing here.

"If you then be risen with Christ..." (Colossians 3:1 ) Remember we went back and said, "Look, what what happened at baptism? What happened when we buried the old self?" We're raised in a new frame of life - subject to God's government, God's mindset.

"If you then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God. (2) Set your affection on things above, not on things on the Earth. [It's not wielding the big stick.] (3) For you are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. (4) When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall you also appear with him in glory." (Colossians 3:1 - 4)

"And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him [We're reflecting that.]." (Colossians 3:10)

"Put on therefore, as the elect of God [As these people who are going to become this born Family of God.] holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; (13) Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do you. (14) And above all these things put on [agape - this love, this mind of God], which is the bond of perfection.[This is the way it has got to be. This is the government of God that has got to be administered within the born Family of God.] (15) And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, [Notice, "rule in your hearts."] to the which also you are called in one body; and be you thankful. (16) Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly [We read over in Isaiah about the word of God, and the results of that word.] in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, [Three categories of Psalms there.] singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (17) And whatsoever you do in word or deed, do all in the name [by the authority, by the government] of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. "(Colossians 3:12 - 17)

So whether you are being administered or administering, it doesn't make any difference. We do it according to the same way, according to the same mind.Turn over to II Corinthians 1, and we find here how Paul administered the government of God to them.

"When I therefore was thus minded, did I use lightness? or the things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, that with me there should be yes yes, and no no? [I've gone through this section before.] (18) But as God is true, our word toward you was not yes and no. (19) For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me and Silvanus and Timotheus, was not yes and no, but in him was yes. [It was a positive message, positive in its extreme.] (20) For all the promises of God in him are yes, and in him Amen [So be it.] unto the glory of God by us. (21) Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, is God; (22) Who has also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. (23) Moreover I call God for a record upon my soul, that to spare you I came not as yet unto Corinth. (24) Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith you stand."(II Corinthians 1:17 - 24)

So here is the government of God, coming down from Paul to these people in Corinth.

"But I determined this with myself, that I would not come again to you in heaviness. (2) For if I make you sorry, who is he then that make me glad, but the same which is made sorry by me?"(II Corinthians 2:1 - 2)

Here is the government of God working in two directions. The government of God is coming down from Paul to Corinth, and yet Paul also recognizes he needs encouragement from the people that he is governing; and that is the government of God. It goes two ways, and it is exactly the same mindset. It is the mindset of God, that goes in both directions. That's what it's all about. That's what it is. So in Luke 9, let's read it again.

"And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back [Looking back at a different way of life, trying to administer government in a different fashion, receiving government in a different way. Doesn't matter whether it is somebody who is actually administering or somebody being administered, the way is exactly the same. "No man having put his hand to the plough, and looking back," going back to a different form.] is fit for the kingdom of God."(Luke 9:62)

That Kingdom is a Family of born children of God that have the government of God. Are you, are we, fit for that Kingdom?