Throughout Christianity today is talk of the “Kingdom of God.” It is thought of as a place in heaven that is perfect- where there is no more pain, suffering, sadness, poverty, etc. Many understand that there is only happiness and joy in the Kingdom and they long for the time when the Kingdom comes into being. What remains forgotten, is that our Creator attempted to establish his Kingdom here on this earth once before, in the Kingdom of Israel. This began when Moses through the power of God led the Israelites out of captivity in Egypt. The saying of Jesus is also forgotten- “The kingdom of God is within you.” The structure for the Kingdom was established at Mount Sinai, where the Creator gave the law of his kingdom through Moses (laws that were found even in Abraham’s time), and set His law in stone. The precepts of the law were known as the ten commandments, and obedience to these commandments was a sign that one had come under the covenant with the Creator of all things. As we know from studying history, this kingdom “in the flesh” didn’t work out so well, as men and women constantly disobeyed the commandments of the covenant. God’s commandments were not found in the hearts of many. He appointed 12 consecutive judges over the people for quite some time, yet the people rebelled and disobeyed the commandments. He appointed kings to rule over the people, yet again the people constantly rebelled and disobeyed. He sent prophets to warn the people of the severe judgment that awaited them if they did not repent, yet the people continued to disobey God’s commandments. He allowed Babylon to destroy Jerusalem in judgment of the sins (disobedience to God’s law) of the people, yet again allowed them to return and rebuild Jerusalem through Ezra and Nehemiah. Now seeing that the priests of the time didn’t want to displease the Creator ever again as they feared his punishment, they instituted all kinds of extra laws in addition to the commandments of the covenant. While their original intent was good, they in effect ignored or missed a very important commandment of God:
“Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.” ~ Deuteronomy 4:2
“What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.” ~ Deuteronomy 12:32
“Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.” ~ Proverbs 30:5-6
They added laws about washing cups and pots, requirements of giving beyond God’s commandments, laws of the Sabbath that did not come from God, and the list goes on. These laws were “added thereto” to God’s commandments against God’s own command not to add to or take away from his word. We probably can’t in our mortal minds imagine the disappointment of the Father, and the Word (His son). The laws given by the Father were simple and easy to abide by, yet men complicated matters beyond what a simple man could understand or even remember. Then came the New Testament.
“In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, and saying “Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand””~ Matthew 3:1-2
At the appointed time, John the Baptist came on the scene with the message- “Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand!” What do you suppose John meant by “repent?” He clearly didn’t come to say “Continue what you are doing! The Kingdom of God is at hand.” He said REPENT. This would indicate that the people of this time were doing something wrong, something that required correction and a change of heart. Remember, this was a time where the commandments were supposedly accepted as binding and the people were supposedly obeying these commandments under the leadership of the Jewish high priest. Was John saying- Repent of your obedience to God’s commandments? Not at all. The biblical record reveals that the repentance commanded, had to do with the people’s obedience to the added false commandments of men (the Jewish High Priests), and not God’s commandments. John the Baptist was calling the people back to God’s true and simple commandments of the covenant, the laws of the Kingdom of God.
“From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” ~ Matthew 4:17
Then came Yahushua (Jesus), the Word made flesh. He too had the same message “Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand.” Again, what do you suppose He meant by “Repent?” Jesus taught again that all souls in the flesh become obedient to the commandments of the covenant. He tells us that until heaven and earth passes away, not one tiny piece or part of God’s law will pass away until all is fulfilled (Matthew 5:18). He tells us that if we desire to enter into life, we must keep His commandments (Matthew 19:17). He tells us that whoever does and teaches the law will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 5:19). Does this sound like a law that was getting ready to pass away?
“And the times of this ignorance God winked at: but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent” ~ Acts 17:30
Then came the Apostles of Yahushua (Jesus). Their message also was “Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand.” The verse above indicates that there was a time of “ignorance” where men were unaware of the true commandments of God, yet now everyone is commanded everywhere to repent. Here again, what do you suppose the Apostles meant when they said “Repent?” Did the Apostles indicate that the law is now null and void? The biblical testimony says no! The Apostles taught that circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing but the keeping of the commandments of God (1 Cor. 7:19). They taught that hereby we do know that we know God, if we keep his commandments (1 John 2:3). They taught that this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments, and his commandments are not grievous (1 John 5:2-3). We are told- and this is love, that we walk after his commandments (2 John 1:6). We are also told by Apostle Paul, if we sin (disobey God’s commandments) willfully after receiving knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sin (Hebrews 10:26). Does it sound here like we are to disregard God’s law after the death of Jesus, or rather does it sound like we are to obey God’s commandments out of love for the Father and our neighbor after receiving the knowledge of the truth?
Just as the kingdoms of this world operate by laws, so does the Kingdom of Heaven. There is one lawgiver in the Kingdom of Heaven, and that is the Creator of all things. When we hear the truth- that God’s commandments are binding, and that if we approach Yahushua (Jesus) with a repentant heart, become baptized, and walk in the spirit in obedience to God’s laws and commands out of love for God and for our neighbor- if we do these things, the Kingdom of God is within us.
“And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” ~ Luke 17:20-21
When we finally hear the truth of the kingdom and realize how precious eternal life is, it is like the parable of the Pearl:
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.” ~ Matthew 13:44-46
When one finds the truth of the gospel, he will give up everything that he has to purchase it. Can you imagine giving up every earthly possession you own, to purchase life eternal with the Father and the Son? Have you found anything so precious in this life, that you would give up everything for it? Are today’s Christians willing to sell all that they have and give to the poor, just as the first Christians were?
There are many today in Christianity that profess that the commandments of God are no longer binding or relevant, especially the commandment of the Sabbath. We all know that Jesus was the final sacrifice for sin, who shed his own blood to cover us. Jesus died under the Mosaic sacrificial system as a sacrifice for sins. When you look to the history of this sacrificial system, animals were sacrificed to cover the sins (disobedience of God’s law) of the “repentant” Old Testament Israelites. Ask yourself, was God’s law destroyed and made irrelevant every time there was a sin sacrifice? Rather the purpose of the sin sacrifice was to bring about forgiveness and cleansing of the people, and to restore them again to God’s law and the covenant. Yahushua shed his blood as the final sin sacrifice for all of mankind. When we approach Him in repentance, he cleanses, forgives and rehabilitates us, and restores us to obedience to the laws of the covenant which become written into our hearts (Jeremiah 31:31) under the New Covenant. We then are able to walk in the spirit free from sin, no longer walking in the flesh. Ask yourself, if God has no law, then by what standard will all men be judged?
Yahushua issued a strong warning to all that claim salvation in his name:
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” ~ Matthew 7:21-23
Here we can see that many will claim they belong to Christ, and believe in his name even performing many wonderful works and miracles, yet Yahushua will not know them and will send them away. The key descriptive word for this group of people in this text is in the very last words- those that work “iniquity.” The original greek word for iniquity was “Anomia- Greek word #458“. This word literally means, “Illegality, i.e. violation of the law”- 458. anomia an-om-ee’-ah from 459; illegality, i.e. violation of law or (genitive case) wickedness:–iniquity, X transgress(-ion of) the law, unrighteousness, according to the Strong’s Greek Lexicon. The Thayer’s Greek Lexicon says this word means- 1) the condition without the law, 1a) because ignorant of it, 1b) because of violating it, 2) contempt and violation of law, iniquity, wickedness. Those that will be sent away are those that work iniquity. Those that work iniquity are those that ignore the law of God after coming to Yahushua the Messiah. They err in not seeking to fulfill the law/will of the Father after finding forgiveness for their transgressions of the law through the Savior, and decide to continue (even in the name of Yahushua) in disregard of God’s commandments. Please, please don’t make this mistake. We invite you to return to the commandments of Yahuwah, the Creator of all things. Remember that Commandment 2 and Commandment 4 were changed without authority by the Beast. Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand! Flee the commandments of men where there is no profit. We invite you to the Kingdom of Heaven through belief in Yahushua our Messiah, where eternal life dwells for those that love God and obey His commandments, the laws of the Kingdom.
“He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” ~ 1 John 2:4-6