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Maturity and its definition in the Light of Love must take on a whole new meaning compared to what we thought was maturity in the dimmer Lights of Revelation and Enlightenment, which we have experienced before.

However, before we proceed further, now is the time to take a rest and get our bearings so that you are clear about your destination.  Paul wrote:  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come![1]  And what is this new creation to do according to the Father?  Is it not to listen to Jesus and according to Jesus, isn’t this new creation supposed to put into practice Jesus’ words after listening to Him as they followed Him, so that they would come to the place where they would be able to do what He has been doing and do even the greater things?  And by the Holy Spirit, to receive and have power to witness for Jesus, preaching the Gospel with signs following and making disciples, teaching them to obey what Jesus has commanded.  They are people who listen to Jesus as they follow Him and put His words to practice until they are able to change water to wine, raise the dead, walk on water, multiply food, etc… a people of miraculous power who testify as witnesses for Jesus. 

And the church was to be a collection of such people, all listening to the Holy Spirit.  Is the definition of the new creation satisfied by the definition of the average Christian, a person who believes in Jesus Christ, but is by and large, ignorant of the words of Jesus, much less practising them and has no miraculous power to do what Jesus has done, and who listens to men rather than to the Holy Spirit?

Since the average Christian satisfies the latter definition more than the former, the new creation cannot be called Christians, otherwise people do not know what we are talking about.  As such, the new creation needs a new name.  By this logic, a person who listens to Jesus, who follows Him and who puts His words into practice with miraculous power to do the things that Jesus has been doing and the greater things, does not comply with the definition of a Christian.  And a fellowship of such creations does not comply with the current definition of a church, for a church as can be commonly found, is a gathering of powerless believers, not a gathering of power-filled sons of God.  The current group of Christians are all waiting to die to go to Heaven, whereas the new creation seeks to live and not die, to await the Millennial Reign unless it is God’s will they be added to the number of martyrs.

As such, you must learn to see yourself in this new Light of Love as to who you are… a Christian who claims to be a new creation or a new creation who does not behave like a Christian.  The truth is, we must accept the fact that a new creation does not meet the current description of a Christian and therefore a new description is needed.

Since it is the Kingdom of God that is a Kingdom of power and not the kingdom of the church, the new creation may be called citizens of the Kingdom of God.  Paul wrote of citizenship in Heaven[2], but the truth is our citizenship is not just of Heaven, but of the Kingdom of God.

As such, our love of God, of each other, of our neighbour and of our enemies, must be seen from a Kingdom of God perspective, not a church perspective.  Our love of God must be the love of citizens for their King.  Our love for each other must be love of fellow citizens.  Our neighbours are non-citizens, those who’ve had mercy on us, and our enemies are the enemies of the Kingdom of God.

Enemies of the Kingdom of God are not enemies of the church per say from our point of view, but enemies who stand against the Kingdom of God… enemies who are against the righteousness, peace and joy of the Kingdom and enemies who are against the power of the Kingdom.  Thus anyone who denies the power of God as Paul wrote to Timothy: There will be terrible times in the last days.  People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power.  Have nothing to do with them.[3]  Enemies, like the devil, who recognise and know the power of the Kingdom of God, are not the enemies we are talking about.  Indeed, even evil spirits can be more zealous for Jesus’ reputation and His apostle’s reputation than those who use His Name, as the evil spirit in Acts 19:13-16 showed the seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest.  “Jesus I know and I know about Paul, but who are you?”  And he gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.[4]  You must really wonder whose side those who are not interested in coming to know the Scriptures or the power of God are on, for those who do not encourage themselves and others to know the Scriptures or the power of God are choosing to remain in error and causing others to remain in error.  As such, in the Light of Love, enemies have a different appearance. 

When the disciples found a man driving out demons and they complained he was not one of them, Jesus said, “Do not stop him.  No one who does a miracle in My Name can in the next moment say anything bad about Me, for whoever is not against us is for us.”[5]  However, we are not told to trust or love them either, just don’t stop them, for when you know the whole teaching, you also know that not all who do miracles in Jesus’ Name are recognised by the Lord, but indeed He calls some of them “evil doers” and “workers of lawlessness.”[6]

What does count is the new creation.  Permanent residents and tourists posing as citizens are not citizens.  As such, recognise now that the Light of Love is to help you recognise the citizens of the Kingdom, for God is Love and the Kingdom of God is the Kingdom of Love, and its Light is Love.  Our love therefore, after we have practised loving our enemies (personal enemies we have for the sake of Jesus and His Gospel) is to show love to the enemies of the Kingdom of God, and for that we need to know who they are so that we do not hurt those who are neutral.  What if Paul’s description of the people of the last days refers to people both within and without the church?

Surely observation of the church, now based on what we know to be the Kingdom of God, should make it obvious to you that the Kingdom of God is within the church, but not the entire church is in the Kingdom of God.  Citizens of the Kingdom of God can be members of the church, but not every member of the church is a citizen of the Kingdom of God.  Each of us must decide what we are… church members who are not citizens or citizens who are church members.

So, who belongs to whom?  Does the Kingdom of God belong to the church or does the church belong to the Kingdom of God?  Or are they one and the same?  Since there is mainly only eating, drinking and talking with some joy, peace and righteousness, so our job is to preach as Jesus preached, “The time has come, the Kingdom of God is near.  Repent and believe the good news!”[7]  They must repent of their denial of the power of God and of their powerlessness, for without power no one can witness for Jesus, and a powerless kingdom is not the Kingdom of God.

Thus our love for one another is not just as fellow disciples, but fellow disciples who are also fellow citizens of the Kingdom of God; as Christ loved us.  There will be those who seek to be disciples and having been made disciples will not take up the citizenship of the Kingdom, disciples like Judas who was personally discipled by the King Himself, but then chose to betray the King.  That is a traitor!  Disciples who do not show loyalty to the King and His Kingdom have not taken up proven citizenship, and that loyalty is demonstrated by a willingness to be trained for beheadment for their testimony of Jesus and the word of God. 

Thus, we are to allow God to raise up believers from unbelievers by preaching the Gospel, and from believers we seek to make disciples… yes… make disciples because that is what Jesus said, “…and make disciples of all nations…”[8]  Note, it is not individuals, but nations.  We start with the individuals, but our goal is discipleship of all nations, which means nations who hold to the teachings of Jesus, for Jesus said, “If you hold to My teaching, you are really My disciples.”[9]  And from those disciples, to raise up citizens of the Kingdom of God through the heavenly gift of sonship, which is a citizenship that is based on birthright by being born into the Kingdom.  “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the Kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the spirit.”[10]  Good… so you have entered, but are you a tourist who will come and go, or are you a permanent resident seeking to prosper yourself so that you can go back to your former country after you have enriched yourself, or will you stay and become a citizen to enrich the Kingdom?

The failure of the present church to “make disciples of all nations”, means that the martyrs of the church, those who died because of their testimony for Jesus and the word of God,[11] will come back to make disciples of all nations, which is why they will reign with Him for 1000 years.

In the light and knowledge of the citizenship of a Kingdom of Love, “love one another as I have loved you,”[12] really applies to fellow disciples who are fellow citizens, whose citizenship is confirmed and finalised when they are beheaded for refusing the mark of the beast and for their testimony for Jesus and the word of God.  The ceremony of confirmation of citizenship occurs at the arrival of Jesus by those who arrive with Him and those who are left alive and rise to meet with Him in the clouds.  Remember, two thirds of the world will still be left alive at His arrival, but only the dead in Christ[13] and His elect will rise to meet with Him to be members of the first resurrection.

At this point it must be pointed out, all who are sons of God are eligible for kingship and citizenship, and those who seek to reign will be citizens who are kings.  It is possible then that there are those who are citizens who do not care to become kings and as such they will not be.  Like Esau, they give away their birthright to satisfy a mortal hunger.  Although Esau remained a son of Jacob, his line did not form the line of Jesus.

As to who will graduate, we will know on the day the Lord meets up with His elect above Jerusalem.  In the meantime, you must learn and understand so that you can choose, and pray that the God and Father of Jesus gives you success.  Indeed, to love one another as Christ loved us must be to help one another to be crucified for each other as Christ was crucified for us… that is, to lay down our lives for each other, even physical beheadment.  That being the case, can any of us bemoan the fact that it takes much training and time?  Even the first eleven did not achieve a readiness for beheadment until later in life, and in the youth of their training, they were more ready to betray and deny rather than be beheaded and rely on the Lord.

Since they are surely more worthy than we are, then we must recognise our ability to betray and deny the Lord must surely exceed theirs, and so our training to help us reach a level where we can be relied on to be beheaded must be more intense and more protracted.  So do not be surprised, but God willing, He will shorten the days as we cooperate.

As a wise man once said, “Manufacturing a new car is always easier than restoring a rusted old wreck.”  The church in their days, the days of the eleven, was a new vehicle of God.  The church today is like a rusted old heap sitting in a paddock, reminding people of what was, but is now with no power to go anywhere.  It is to be a matter of power not talk.  As for the command, “Love your neighbour as yourself,”[14] then neighbours in the light of the Kingdom are people who are not citizens and people who have shown you mercy, just as the Samaritan was not a citizen of Israel, but showed mercy to the Jew.[15]  Any persons who are visitors, strangers or non-citizens of the Kingdom of God who show mercy to the least of the brothers of Jesus, are our neighbours.  We love them as we love ourselves, and that is, we offer them citizenship or residency in the Kingdom of God, which is why Jesus said to the sheep on His right who did not know Him… that’s right… they didn’t call Him, “Lord, Lord,” and do miracles in His Name, “Come, you who are blessed by My Father, take your inheritance, the Kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.”[16]  

Since we desire to be citizens of an eternal kingdom prepared by the Father, so also they should receive an eternal kingdom prepared by the Father.  Is their’s also the Kingdom of God?  We do not know, God knows and then we will know later.  But enough for now that those who show mercy to the brothers of Jesus receive a kingdom prepared by the Father.

And finally to “Love the lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength and your mind,”[17] for the citizens of the Kingdom means loyalty to King and country as the world would put it.  When threatened, to take up arms to defend our King and country, but not arms as the world calls arms, for we do not fight with the weapons of the world, but as Paul wrote:  The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.  On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.  And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.[18]

And when is our obedience complete?  It is when our obedience is that of the obedience of citizens of the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom not just of eating, talking or drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,[19] and of power.[20]  And anyone who tries to set up a righteousness other than that given by God through Jesus Christ is a traitor.  I am speaking of those who are in the church, not those outside of the church.  Anyone who speaks of joy other than the joy that comes from the Holy Spirit, that same joy that Jesus had when He said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of Heaven and Earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and learned and revealed them to little children.  Yes, Father, for this was Your good pleasure.”[21]  He said this at that time when He was full of joy through the Holy Spirit.  Surely the joy of the Holy Spirit is the joy of Resurrection.  Thus the joy of dying and going to Heaven is really no joy for the Holy Spirit, not full joy anyway, as the fullness of joy for the Holy Spirit must surely be to see those who can be added to the first Resurrection.

Likewise, when it comes to peace, it must be peace in the Holy Spirit, not the world-type of peace, but the peace that comes when all nations are made disciples of Jesus, and all nations are baptised in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and are taught to obey what Jesus commanded, which is the peace of New Jerusalem, the peace of the Kingdom of God.  This is the joy and peace that comes from seeing the last enemy defeated because there are those who are witnesses of the truth of John 11:26, “…whoever lives and believes in Me will never die.”

When our obedience is complete, the punishment can begin.  When the Kingdom of God has citizens on Earth being attacked by the kingdoms of the world, then shall the Kingdom of God have the right to rise up to defend itself to the uttermost of its ability.

A kingdom cannot defend tourists or permanent residents who are not its citizens with restraint, no more than could Australian troops defend East Timor without restraint, but had it been Darwin that was taken in the invasion; I think you would find the behaviour of the Australian Army very different.  So likewise, if only the tourists and permanent residents are being attacked, we can only send in a peacekeeping force.  But if we had citizens who were being attacked, then we can send in a peacemaking force.

Is it any wonder Revelations 13:7 says, he was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them concerning the beast, and in Daniel, God speaks of this king of the north who “will vent his fury against the holy covenant” and “his armed forces will rise up to desecrate the temple fortress and will abolish the daily sacrifice, but the people who know their God will firmly resist him” [22] until “the power of the holy people has been finally broken”[23] for the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them.[24]

The appearance on Earth of citizens of the Kingdom of God, the new creation, will force the enemies hand to war, for he will take it as an invasion and he will be tempted to war because of the power he is given.  He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them.[25]  The anti-Christ is given his power and until he is given the power, he has no power as Jesus said, “You would have no power over Me if it were not given to you from above.”[26]

So, what does it mean citizens of the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Love?  God is in control all the way.  So, fear not, for perfect Love drives out all fear, even the light of fear.

AMEN


 

[1] 2 Corinthians 5:17

[2] Philippians 3:20

[3] 2 Timothy 3:1-5

[4] Acts 19:15-16

[5] Mark 9:39-40

[6] Matthew 7:23 NIV and ESV

[7] Mark 1:15

[8] Matthew 28:19

[9] John 8:31

[10] John 3:5

[11] Revelation 20:4

[12] John 13:34

[13] 1 Thessalonians 4:16

[14] Leviticus 19:18; Luke 10:27

[15] Luke 10:36-37

[16] Matthew 25:34

[17] Luke 10:27; Mark 12:30; Deuteronomy 6:5

[18] 2 Corinthians 10:4-6

[19] Romans 14:17

[20] 1 Corinthians 4:20

[21] Luke 10:21

[22] Daniel 11:30-32

[23] Daniel 12:7

[24] Revelation 11:7

[25] Revelation 13:7

[26] John 19:11

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