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There are a number of dominant views concerning the interpretation of Jesus’ climactic words in His Olivet Discourse when, after a series of what can only be described as the most horrific end-of-days scenario, these startling words: This GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM shall be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come(vs. 14). Prior to this pronouncement everything which Jesus said in preparing His fledgling Ekklesia for the “end of the age” (Matt. 24:4-13) was anything but the “Good News of the Kingdom” – in point of glaring fact, it was all “gloom and doom” . . . to think otherwise one would have to have been or still is either a poor reader of the Greek translated into virtually all English translations of the text or is determined to see all things through an opaque lens distorting the actual facts of the matter—this does not appear to be the framework of “positive thinking” in any way, shape or form. So, why does Jesus do a 180◦ by announcing such GOOD NEWS and then turn right around (again) continuing with the most horrific series of events commencing with the Abomination of Desolation spoken of by Daniel the Prophet and slogging onward through the swamp of the Great Tribulation unto astronomical events which can only portend the end of the world as we know it? In the midst of everything falling apart these uplifting words of GOOD NEWS are heard! Why? This all sounds eerily familiar – sort of like Job losing it, yet still holding on to the Eternal: “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth; and after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God, Whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. How my heart years within me! . . . Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him (Job 19:25-27; 13:15). What is so good about this “Good News”? It is the KINGDOM, that is what is so good. In the midst of this chaos – frankly, be it at the end of days or the current despair, those within the Kingdom – within the “Kingdom of the Son of His Love” find their refuge and strength. Seemingly, all hell is breaking lose around them and the multitude of earthlings surrounding them but IN THIS is a band of brothers and sisters “who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits . . . those of the people who understand shall instruct many . . . those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever” (Dan. 11:32-33; 12:3). Yes, in the midst of this storm, this vast desert, is a calm, an oasis – a place of preservation whereof it is written in the book: “And at that time your people shall be delivered, every one who is found written in the book . . . and many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life . . . and they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them ‘Come up here’ . . . and they ascended to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them” (Dan. 12:1; Rev. 11:12). Daniel and the Revelation are two of the most prophetic books found in the “Scripture of Truth” (Dan. 10:21) – moreover, they are intrinsically interwoven into a tapestry of God’s children in persecution, purification, preservation, and prophetic proclamation of this Gospel of the Kingdom culminating with this pronouncement affirming Job’s original statement: “He shall stand on the earth” – “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever . . . a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces . . . and the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth . . . and in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever” (Rev. 11:15; Dan. 2:34-35, 44). “The days of these kings” – of these kingdoms – are being consumed by the God of heaven who is about setting up “a kingdom which shall never be destroyed” – this kingdom “shall not be left to other people” . . . for “it shall stand forever.” Therefore, we revert to “this Gospel of the Kingdom” which shall be preached in all the world—then shall the end come as foreseen by both Daniel and John’s Revelation. What is it? When is it? Where is it? And, most significantly, HOW is it? Well, for one, it follows this pattern given to those who desire to build in the House of the Lord—another metaphor for the Kingdom of His Dear Son: “I will shake heaven and earth. I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms; I will destroy the strength of the Gentile kingdoms” (Haggai 2:21-22). This “shaking” goes something like this when it comes to the “kingdom of this world” - Consider for a moment – but do not stay too long contemplating how “Good News” can be inserted into this maelstrom: Massive deception, false christs, wars and rumors of wars, nation against nation, kingdom against kingdom, famines, pestilences, earthquakes in various places—that’s just the beginning of sorrows; the birth pangs of a future Millennium Kingdom—capturing and killing you, hating you by all nations, many offended, betrayal of one another, hating one another, many false prophets rising up and deceiving many, lawlessness abounding, the love of many growing cold, calls for enduring to the end—only they will be saved—the Abomination of Desolation, flee to the mountains, no time to spare—forget about taking anything from your home, even clothing; just get out while you can—better not be pregnant at this “time of the end” and pray it’s not in the winter or oddly enough on a Sabbath because we’re talking about GREAT TRIBULATION . . . the kind that’s never been seen before since the beginning of the world, nor ever shall be . . . if those days would not be shortened, no life would be saved . . . then more false christs and false prophets will rise up and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible the very elect . . . don’t believe Christ is in the desert; don’t go out there nor in some “inner chamber”—DON’T BELIEVE IT! You asked for it and Jesus dished it out! Now, if you can see any GOOD NEWS in that amalgamation of end-time events, as they say: be my guest. There isn’t any, not really, unless you’re a masochist and somehow find pleasure in pain. Notwithstanding, there IS the GOOD NEWS OF THE KINGDOM and that’s the ONLY Good News until the King literally shows up “after the tribulation of those days!” Commensurate with this panoply of apocalyptic snippets is Daniel’s interpretation of the vision of this consuming stone cut out of the mountain without human hands, which is, most definitely, that “rock of offense” – the “stone which the builders disallowed – has become the chief cornerstone” (Psa. 118:22; 1 Peter 2:7-8). In point of divine revelation – of prophetic climax unto the end of the age – which brings us back to . . . THE KINGDOM OF THE SON OF HIS LOVE “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed (translated) us into the kingdom of the Son of His love . . . in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins . . . He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the EKKLESIA, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence” (Col. 1:13-18). The “Kingdom of the Son of His Love” is in stark contrast to the “Domain of Darkness” (graphically detailed by Jesus at the “end of the age” and known as the “Kingdom of Darkness” (“domain” or “kingdom” lit. is “authority” – Strong’s G#1849, “Exousia, as a noun, denotes (1) “authority”(from the impersonal verb exesti, “it is lawful”) – these “authorities” are, in this context, the “principalities and powers/authorities” juxtaposed to the Kingdom of the Son of His Love (cf. Col. 1:16; 2:10, 15; 1 Pet. 3:22; Eph. 1:20-21—“He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority [G#1849] and lordship and every name being named).” Thus, this “transference into the Kingdom of the Son of His Love” connotes the “legal removal” through His blood wrought by His redemption from one realm (the “domain of darkness” or “authority of darkness”) into a completely different realm, authority, kingdom: [The Father] has delivered and drawn us to Himself out of the control and the dominion of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love . . ..” (Col. 1:13—Amplified Classic Version) This “delivered” and “drawing” is predicated upon the authority wrought through His “blood covenant” – indeed, we, who were once under the “authority of darkness” are delivered by the Deliverer (the Messiah) and drawn under a new authority – a new kingdom. Lest we forget – and please take this personally (yes, personally) – you are not alone in this transference for He has delivered and drawn US to Himself. We are together in this deliverance and are now a part of the Kingdom of His Dear Son—the Son of His Love. Again, this conveyed to us as a “cosmic legality” which is wholly a “legal transference” because of His redemption – He redeemed us by His blood – the perfect sacrifice wherein we can be so transferred – what an eternal price was paid for our redemption, our transference! Now, the immediate reflection we have in coming into the “Kingdom of His dear Son” or the “Kingdom of the Son of His Love” is the very King Himself whose legal price paid for our transference—the King of Israel . . . yes, just as Nathanael announced: “You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” (John 1:49) – for what kingdom is not ruled by a king? In our case, it is the Kingdom of His Dear Son, the Father’s Beloved – aka, the King of Israel! Therefore, it is of supreme priority wherein Paul fixates upon the Person of the Son of His love . . . for Paul immediately describes His Dear Son: “The Kingdom of the Son of His Love . . . He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the ekklesia, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence . . . for it pleased the Father that in Him, all the fullness should dwell, and by Him, to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross” (Col. 1:14-18). Not only is the Son of His Love the means whereby “all things were created” – the “creating agency of the Godhead” – moreover, His work of creation is to “create in Himself” the “new creation” – the “one New Man” – the “Body . . . the ekklesia . . . of Christ” . . . as our Head, “having made peace through the blood of His cross” not only peace with God but peace between those who “were alienated and enemies” from that One Body and persistently within that One Body (Eph. 2:15; Gal. 6:15; Col. 1:18-19). As we enter into this Kingdom of the Son of His Love – we realize, based upon the revelation of this mystery of God (Col. 2:2) which is Christ, “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge”, our entrance is revealed within the very “mystery of Christ” Himself – even “the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints . . . To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Nations: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” . . . for it is of this “mystery of Christ” of which we speak and make manifest (Col. 4:3-4). What mystery is this! That the NATIONS, the Gentiles, are now included in Messiah; they are brought into the Kingdom of His Dear Son! The mystery of God is Christ – the mystery of Christ is His Ekklesia – His One Body – therefore, the King of the Universe resides in the Messiah, the King of Israel, Whose Own mystery is the KING IN US – Christ in you, the Hope of Glory! This is the mystery – where the nations of the world – would be transferred from the Kingdom of Darkness into the Kingdom of His Dear Son – the Son Who is the King of the Kingdom of, if you would, the mystery of Messiah. You may inquire: Where is the King? He is in us whom He has delivered, transferred – we have become the very kingdom into which we have become transferred! Yes, we have been brought into God’s mystery, Christ – Who indwells the “subjects” of His Kingdom thereby constituting them all members of His One Kingdom, One Body, His Mystery, His Ekklesia! He is preeminent in His Kingdom – the Kingdom is His manifest Glory – and, as upon the Mount of Transfiguration, once the Father utters His voice declaring “This is my Son, the beloved, in whom I delight; of Him hear” (Free Translation – Matt. 17:5) . . . that says it all. In both Colossians 1:13 and Matthew 16:5 the Greek is explicit (Strong’s G#26 & #27) – having to do with the very essence, nature of the Son of His Love, His Beloved . . . therefore, when the disciples arose after being touched by Jesus and looked up after being stunned by the voice of the Father: “They did not see anyone except Jesus alone” (Matt. 17:8). Simply put: Without seeing Jesus alone – with no competition – His preeminence as King, as Sovereign alone, there can be no other obstacle which conflicts with this image. May our eyes be uplifted to see no one, save Jesus only! Now, what keeps us within the Kingdom of His Dear Son from seeing other competitors of great merit—for, obviously, Moses and Elijah were likewise “transfigured before their eyes” – all in their glorified state; thus, in all fairness, Peter seeking to “give credit to where credit is due” made, in his eyes, a most admirable suggestion to build three tabernacles/tents but giving, notwithstanding, Jesus a prominent placement in the center of Moses and Elijah – between the “Law and the Prophets”. Well, of course, all have equal footing, but One is more equal than the others? This is met with a resounding: HEAR YE HIM . . . JESUS ALONE! THE “REFEREE” – THE “UMPIRE OF PEACE” IN OUR HEARTS We entered into the Kingdom of the Son of His love through His redeeming blood whereupon “having made peace through the blood of the His cross” we “who once were alienated and enemies in our minds by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present (us) holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight” (Col.1:20-22). Our entry into His Kingdom was singular in nature – but now, in Christ Jesus, we have been transferred from the chaos of a divided kingdom into the United Kingdom of David—under His Tabernacle (Acts 15:16) – we now have peace with God AND we have peace with one another! But the Lord knows full well that if His peace is not allowed to be the “referee” in our hearts (for it is a most inward matter this peace) then we are His Kingdom in name only, but hardly in reality. That is precisely why we find the subject in Paul’s writing to the Colossians transfers from the King to the nature and “maintenance” of His Kingdom. “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body” (Col. 3:15). The word “rule” is clearly in Greek more than unilateral – i.e., “vertical” in its import. It is clearly a “horizontal” expression. I am pleased to receive this wonderful insight from Chris Steinle and Henry Hon, with amplifications from yours truly, to wit: Just as an FYI, I used to make a point of teaching (in quarterly Foundations classes) from Col. 3:15. The focus of the verse is that when we were born again, we were born into a BODY - the “vertical” relationship is not the full reality. It may be covered in Hon’s writings, but what is translated as “let RULE in your hearts” is βραβευέτω (brabeuetō). “Referee” is the correct meaning. It has to do with judgment between “players,” as in sporting events. It’s not a “vertical” term at all. Let the peace of God “be the referee” in your hearts - because you were called in one and the same body. (Source: Chris Steinle – cir. 05/2020) This is all the more “horizontal” in what immediately follows why we should allow the Referee among us within our hearts because we have been “called in one body” wherein we are to allow the “word of Christ” to “dwell in (us) richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in (our) HEARTS to the Lord” (Col. 3:15-16). Listen up: You do not need a Referee or Umpire unless you have, in a biblical sense, “factions” ON THE FIELD OF PLAY—if you would, in the Kingdom of His Beloved Son! So, we all enter in the same way, through the blood of Jesus, but now that we are within the stadium, His Kingdom, do not forget the King is there dwelling in our hearts and delights when His children are at peace. When a decision has to be made—who shall be given the task of calling a “foul”? Not us, that’s for sure. The Ref does. But it is not a robotic game we’re involved with here. LET or allow the Referee to keep our hearts in His peace, lest we find ourselves resisting His call (viz., arguing with the Ref’s decision) – if you would, each “play” demands, most of the time, involvement of the Referee to “keep the peace” among the “players” in the Kingdom. Incidentally, those in the stands watching us on the playing field are known as that “great cloud of witnesses” – so don’t think the “stands” are empty (Heb. 12:1). We were “called in ONE BODY” – so no need to fixate upon your personal holiness here—tempting though it may be . . . let me explain. All that went before in Colossians 3:1-11, in the main, “sounds like” it all has to do with you coming under the direct “rule and reign” of the Lord – yes, one might conclude, this could readily be interpreted as “Lordship salvation.” In other words, if you are not practicing the aforesaid, you are not under His “rule and reign” – to wit: “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God [this should give us the sense of Someone upon the Throne of God as King or Lord]. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them. But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the NEW MAN who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all” (Col. 3:1-11). Virtually, the entire passage appears to confine you to the framework of “moral responsibility” – you leave with the onus on you! And, in measure, rightly so. But all this personal quest for holiness has but one goal . . . and, you rightly know, that most of the items in Colossians 3:1-11 finds itself in a “corporate environment” because these “negatives” not only afflict one personally, but most definitely affect others, to wit: “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things [listen up] put on love, which is the bond of perfection . . . and let the peace of God referee in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body” (Col. 3:12-15). Music to my ears . . . Body ministry, not Orators The measure of one’s holiness before God is likewise before man. If one does not have peace between brethren, then there is no impact with this kind of holy living—THAT should be its test, its effectiveness, its result. Life in the Kingdom of His Dear Son is NOT your personal discipleship for your personal edification and spirituality. Spirituality demands interplay with members of His One Body. We cannot attest to His sanctification without allowing the “peace of God as Referee within our hearts” – for one can claim a great deal of spirituality but it is, frankly, empty, virtually worthless, if it is not manifested, sustained, live out in His One Body, the Kingdom. Far too often – and this is sadly the emphasis – “Lordship Salvation” is taken in measure to be one’s spirituality or quest for personal sanctification. THAT is not the emphasis within the Kingdom of His Dear Son—the Word of Christ dwelling in us richly will produce a chorus, a choir, an orchestra in harmony—not the tune of a singular instrument who cannot “make music” with others in the orchestra. Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs and singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord is done as God’s choir, orchestra . . . it is NOT your solo as pleasant sounding as it may be. Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs are sung in “concert” – as a choir, not alone – but to one another. Sorry, your solo, my solo, is as a tree falling alone in a forest—no one hears its sound, as spectacular as it may be! This is not to say you shouldn’t be the guy stopped at the light singing to the top of your lungs to the Lord . . . but know this: You’re not a choir . . . although it’s wonderful to be singing with a choir in your car. So sad, today we are enamored by the virtuoso, the soloist, the orator who can sway the masses by virtue of his/her insightful (and they most truly are) preachment or worshipful orchestrations—but, again, this is NOT the essence of the One Body where “each one has” and “all can prophesy” . . . we’re talking about “Kingdom-style gatherings” here . . . “How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret. But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in the ekklesia, and let him speak to himself and to God. Let two or three prophets speak, and let the other judge. But if anything is revealed to another who sits by, let the first keep silent. For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the ekklesia of the saints” (1 Cor. 14:26-35). Did anyone hear and/or see an Orator at that “Kingdom Meeting?” I didn’t—but, then again, maybe I’m missing something here? This certainly does not sound like a “pulpit-pew” gathering of brethren . . . perhaps you are contemplating a ministry environment—but this “ministry environment” is definitely NOT an ekklesia environment nor something happening that was not the practice in “all the ekklesia” during Paul’s day. To suggest that we’ve advanced far and beyond this ancient practice is a gross misinterpretation of the Kingdom of His Dear Son—it flies in the face of the emphasis upon the ONE BODY . . . “For God is not the author of confusion but of PEACE” – this is the peace whereof we have been granted by the Referee among us for we have given Him authority over us to “call the balls and the strikes” and to maintain harmony among the many who are singing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs unto the Lord! The Greek secular ekklesia was well-known by the early followers of the Lamb—it was the practice throughout the time of the Roman Empire’s rule some 600 years before the birth of the Savior. This was to be the “style” of the Kingdom’s gathering together in His Name, under His Lordship, as King of the Kingdom but we have greatly erred from this practice. Whereas we have made the “vertical call to holiness” the emphasis upon Colossians 3, even so, have we made the pulpit uplifted and our gatherings likewise vertical in practice and substance. Yes, the Greeks were known for their ekklesia but they were also known for their philosophers and beyond that for their theater and, alas, for their Oratories from Orators who would bedazzle the masses by their persuasions and oratory