Inherit the Kingdom of God - Part I and II

Posted in: 2008
By Tom L. Ballinger
Dec 31, 2008 - 9:35:32 AM

December 15, 2008


Part I

In the writing of essays, there is a standard style of writing which is referred to as “The Straight Line of Development,” and it is this: “Tell the readers what you are going to tell them; then, tell them; then, tell them what you told them.” Over the years, I have advised others to follow this simple principle. I haven’t always followed these precepts as I should have, but having said that, it leads me to say this: I am going to tell you what I am going to tell you.

“To inherit the Kingdom of God” means to inherit a place in God’s Government.

The inheritance is in addition to the gift of God which is, being saved by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8).

It is self-evident that many writers of Christian literature don’t have a clear understanding of the character and composition of the Biblical term of “the Kingdom of God.” It is not a reference to heaven. To “inherit the Kingdom of God” is not to inherit heaven. It is not a reference to the church. It is foolish to think it means to inherit the church. It is not spreading the Kingdom when someone is saved. The Kingdom of God is not “on-going.” The Kingdom is not here, today, in “mystery form.”

“What, really, is the Kingdom of God?;”one may ask. The fact is; it is not a dispensation. Many times, we write, or speak as though it is, but it is not. Noah Webster’s definition of the word is very succinct.

In his original Dictionary, he defined “KINGDOM” by saying; “In Scripture, the government of God.” This is what the Kingdom Of God really is. It is the Government of God.

Here is a “side-bar:” Noah Webster LL.D published America’s first Dictionary in 1828. It was titled, “An American Dictionary of the English Language.” He, even, translated the Bible into the English language of the American people. It was never popular. The King James Version has remained America’s favorite version of the Bible. Webster believed, rightfully so, that every independent nation was to have its own language. So, he took the “King’s English” and transformed it into American English. This was quite a feat. A few examples are some of Webster’s American spelling, such as, “labor” instead of “labour,” “honor” instead of “honour,” “Savior” instead of “Saviour,” are just a few of the many, many changes he made.

The Government of God is the “Kingdom of Heaven” in the Gospel of Matthew; this speaks of from WHERE it originates. The Government of God, elsewhere, is said to be the “Kingdom of God” and speaks from WHOM it originates.

God’s Will Is To Be Done In Earth, As It Is In Heaven

The Lord Jesus told His disciples; “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:9-10).

When the Kingdom of God becomes a reality in the earth, God’s will, on earth, will be done as it is in Heaven. God’s Government will be responsible for putting into operation, His will on earth.

God’s Government will be that of a Monarchy. Jesus Christ will be the Monarch—that is to say, the King of kings. A Monarchy has a distinctive set of terms associated with it. These terms are different from those of a Republic, or a Democracy, or a Dictatorship. In these, there is no Throne, nor a Crown. But, in a Monarchy, there is a Throne and a Crown associated with it.

Realizing that the Kingdom of God is the Government of a King, then, it should not be strange that the terms and phrases, surrounding the Reign of the Lord Jesus Christ as King, would be different than those of other forms of governments.

The Crown may be the head-dress of a king, but the term, “the Crown,” is, also, a metonymy for the legal government of a Sovereign. Likewise, while the Throne may be the exalted Chair upon which a king sits, the term, “the Throne,” is, also, a metonymy for the legal government of a Sovereign.

Most of the operations of “the Crown,” or “the Throne” are directed by “Ministers” of the Sovereign’s Government. The ministers of His Government; that is to say, those who implement the Divine programs in the earth, will exercise the day-to-day operations of His world-wide-Empire.

Consider—An Inheritance In The Kingdom Of God

Early in the Seventeenth Century, when the Authorized King James Version of the Bible was translated (completed in 1611 with minor revisions in 1629 and 1638), the translation centered around words and terms Englishmen would be familiar with. These words and terms would be associated with royalty; kings, queens, king’s family, king’s sons, king’s court, king’s ministers, king’s intrigues, kings who murdered and who were murdered, king’s immoralities, king’s and queen’s adulteries, king’s righteousness, king’s legitimate and illegitimate successors, king’s kindness and unkindness, king’s friends and their adversaries. Therefore, much of the King’s English in the King James Version comes, naturally, as part of the words which were spoken in the King’s Court and Councils.

The eldest son of a nobleman INHERITS his father’s title. The eldest son of a king INHERITS the Crown, to wit, the head of the legal government. Kings are HEREDITARY sovereigns. They INHERIT the Throne. Now, it is to be remembered that the eldest son, who is to be the rightful heir of the Throne, may lose his right to be king. The son may forfeit his right to be king because of immoral conduct, divorce, re-marriage, marrying a “commoner,” crimes against man, or the state, or other such things. If the eldest son commits certain acts, he loses his INHERITANCE. He will not become king. He remains the king’s son and part of the Royal family; no matter what he did, he is, still, the king’s son—but, he does not INHERIT the Throne. He lost his INHERITANCE. His inheritance goes to the next son, in line. Here is an example from an Inter-Net site regarding England’s William, the Prince of Wales:
“What will happen to Prince William if he marries a Catholic? Nothing will happen except that he will lose his place in the line of succession. He will still be a member of the royal family. It isn't against the law for William to marry a Catholic, but if he does, he can't become king.” In the Biblical sense, he loses his INHERITANCE.
England’s “Act of Settlement,” passed in 1701, spells out that a Prince, in line to inherit the Crown, cannot marry a Roman Catholic. If he does, he loses his inheritance—the Throne of the United Kingdom. He is still a member of the Royal family but has no right to rule as king, or in any other capacity.
From “Easton’s 1897 Bible Dictionary:” “Nobleman (Gr. basilikos, i.e., “king's man”), an officer of state (John 4:49) in the service of Herod Antipas. He is supposed to have been the Chuza, Herod's steward, whose wife was one of those women who ‘ministered unto the Lord of their substance’ (Luke 8:3). This officer came to Jesus at Cana and besought him to go down to Capernaum and heal his son, who lay there at the point of death. Our Lord sent him away with the joyful assurance that his son was alive.”

The Biblical word for “nobleman” is “basilikos.” It is from a family of words which stem from “basileus” which means “king.” The word, “kingdom,” is translated from “basilea.” A “king’s man,” to wit, a “nobleman,” passes on his title and position to his eldest son. A disobedient and disrespectful son stands in jeopardy of not having any inheritance in the kingdom (basileia), to wit, the government of the king (basileus). If the disobedient son loses his “inheritance,” a place, or position of service in the king’s government, he remains the son of a nobleman but is not rewarded with the title his father enjoyed.
So, we see that many times in the Bible, the words, “inherit” and “inheritance,” relate to Royalty and Nobility.
In a Republic, there are, by law, no hereditary offices in government, nor are there any hereditary titles, such as, “Lord,” or “Sir,” or “Lady.” Titles are not found in a Democracy, and there are none in a Dictatorship, unless by force.

How Does This Apply To The Church, Which Is His Body?

Those who have been saved by grace through faith and have embraced Present Truth become sons in the Royal Family of Jesus Christ by means of adoption:

“Having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will” (Eph.1:5) NKJV.

As His sons, we learn that, in Him, we were predestined to have an INHERITANCE (Eph. 1:11). We have been made meet to be partakers of the INHERITANCE of the saints in light (Col. 1:12). We learn, additionally:

“In Whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in Whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our INHERITANCE until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory” (Eph. 1:13-14).

Our inheritance will be an official office in the Regime of King Jesus Christ which is, to say, of the highest-ranking officials in His Government. In the arena of the politics of this world, to be a high-ranking politician doesn’t hold any honor, or attractiveness to a man, or woman of God. For the most part, politicians, today, have a lower stature than that of a “used car salesman” because they are part of a criminal enterprise (Eph. 5:11). But, when the Kingdom of God comes, it will be totally absent of corruption, either, in appearance, or in deed. Also, “flesh and blood (the natural man) cannot inherit the Kingdom of God” (1 Cor. 15:50). This will be a blessing to the Pre-Millennial world, inasmuch as, the Governing Rulers of the world will be “ministers” of Jesus Christ.

Our adoption as “sons” of Jesus Christ into the Royal Family of God qualifies us to have an INHERITANCE, as though, we were His first-born. We, as members of the Church over which Christ Jesus is Head, are to have a most glorious INHERITANCE.

A Monarch’s first born will inherit the Throne. We, the members of the Church, which is His Body, have an inheritance which will be high-ranking positions in God’s Government. In plainer words, members of the Church of the Mystery who obtain their inheritance will administer, in the highest echelons, the Kingdom of God.

An Office In God’s Government Is Obtained By Inheritance

A PLACE, OR OFFICE, OR POSITION IN GOD’S GOVERNMENT IS BY INHERITANCE. If this is fully appreciated, then, the sobering alternative must be pointed out. Salvation, which is by grace through faith, qualifies us to receive this as an INHERITANCE. But, as a wayward son of a king may forfeit his right of inheritance to the Crown, so may we be deprived of our right to a place of authority in the Government of God. Have you ever wondered what the following means—“For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any INHERITANCE in the KINGDOM of Christ and of God” (Eph. 5:5).

There will be those, among us, who will lose our inheritance. Those who do will have no position of service in the Government of God. They are saved. Their salvation will be secure, but their life during the Day of Christ will be without a noble purpose. If the eyes of our understanding are in an enlightened state, with a view to our knowing what is the hope of His calling and what is the wealth of the GLORY of HIS INHERITANCE, might we walk more circumspectly? I think so.

Remember the Apostle Paul said, “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Eph. 5:15-16).

Dear friends, do not think, for one minute, that our calling, the Church, which is His Body, has no place in the Kingdom of God! Those of us who INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD will have a higher ranking and a superior place in the Divine Government than any other of His redeemed. The Church of God, Acts 2 to Acts 28, will enjoy their inheritance in the Kingdom of God. But, their inheritance will not be comparable with our “high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:14). The Church of God will have those who “inherit the Kingdom of God.” That is, they will have a place, or position in the Government of God during the Day of Christ. Their mission will be, exclusively, operating out of the City of God ─ Jerusalem. Their mission will be closely related to the Twelve Apostles and the “Israel of God.” Gentiles from the Acts Period will find a place in this inheritance.

This is in contrast with the Church, over which Christ is the Head. This Church will have its headquarters in the Councils of Heaven. It will probably have stations of service in both heaven and on earth. I don’t think any of us would like to be in the company of those who have no inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and of God (Eph. 5:5).

Let it be said, again, so that we don’t misunderstand; to inherit the Kingdom is to have a place, or position of service in the Government of God during the Day of Christ.

What about those who will have no inheritance in the Kingdom of God, meaning they suffer loss of their inheritance? This will be discussed in the next issue of “Plainer Words Online.”

December 28, 2008


Part II

“Having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,” (Eph. 1:5) NKJV

By virtue of the fact that we, as members of the Church of the Mystery, were chosen in Him before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4), having, thus, been chosen, it was pre-determined for us to receive the adoption by Jesus Christ. (Eph. 1:5). Our adoption, theologically, gives us the rights of a first-born son in the family of God—that is to say, an inheritance. Our status, as His first-born, carries with it a glorious inheritance which is our BIRTHRIGHT, the biblical rights of the first-born son. “Birthright” is the right, or privilege which a person is entitled to by birth.

We said in the last issue: “Our adoption as ‘sons’ of Jesus Christ into the Royal Family of God qualifies us to have an INHERITANCE, as though we were His first-born. We, as members of the Church over which Christ Jesus is Head, are to have a most glorious INHERITANCE.” This inheritance, or BIRTHRIGHT, grants us the privilege to be officials in His Government—officials of the highest order. But, with privilege comes responsibility! Members of the Church, which is His Body are to “walk worthy” of our calling (Eph. 4:1) in this life. If we don’t, we stand the chance of losing our inheritance. Just as a king’s first-born son can lose his birthright, so can we!

The Biblical “Firstborn” carries with it enormous privilege, as well as, responsibility.

Under the Mosaic Law in Israel, the firstborn son was loved in a special way by his parents and inherited special rights and privileges. His BIRTHRIGHT was a double portion of the estate and leadership of the family. This was the privilege of the “birthright.” As head of the home after his father's death, the eldest son, customarily, cared for his mother until her death and provided for his unmarried sisters until their marriage. He was the family's spiritual head and served as its priest. This was part of the responsibility of the “birthright” in Israel.

The inheritance rights of the firstborn son were, sometimes, transferred to a younger brother. Jacob, for example, stripped Reuben of his firstborn rights because of his incestuous conduct and transferred the birthright to his son, Joseph (Gen 48:20-22; 1 Chron 5:1). This depicts bad, personal conduct which causes the firstborn to lose, or forfeit his inheritance.

Truth comes to us as a coin. It has two sides. The coin has “heads” and “tails.” Truth, likewise, has two sides. One side is the gift of grace; the other side is the duty associated with the gift.

Many Grow Accustomed To Their State—Lost Or Saved

We are not surprised that the lost, over time, become comfortable being alienated from the life of God (Eph. 4:18). We are not shocked when we look at “the course of this world” (Eph.2:2), and it doesn’t astonish us that most of those around us are unaware that they are “by nature the children of wrath” (Eph. 2:3). They are very much alive to the fashion, culture, and modern ideology of today. Yes, they are alive to the “prince of the power of the air” (Eph. 2:2). They are oblivious to the fact that they are “dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph.1:1). They have become “at home” under the “power of darkness” (Col. 1:13). Yes, we all had our “conversation in times past” and were, also, “by nature the children of wrath” (Eph. 2:3). But, God is so rich in mercy! With His great love, He loved and quickened us, together, with Christ because it was by His grace through faith that He saved us (Eph. 2:4-5).

We can say with equal force that many of God’s children have become content with just being “saved.” Many of these have never grown in grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. While some remain “babes in Christ” (1 Cor.3:1), desiring “the sincere milk of the Word” (1 Peter 2:2), others have grown “weary in well doing” (Gal. 6:9). Many have become comfortable wearing “the old man.” They no longer “put off the old man” and “put on the new man.”

“That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness”
(Eph. 4:22-24).

They have, gradually, grown callous and loose in their life-style. 2 Timothy 2:22 warns the believer to “flee also youthful lusts.” The “they” could, very well, be “us.”

To our shame, some of us have become cold and indifferent, thus, stepping-over-the-line in critical areas, failing to think the Lord Jesus Christ will hold us accountable. There are responsibilities which come with our “inheritance.” Some of our ears have become “dull of hearing” (Heb. 5:11).

By the same token, it can be said, “Many of us who have acknowledged the ‘fellowship of the Mystery’ (Eph. 3:9) are, no longer, holding fast to the Head (Col. 2:19).” The words of caution, which the Apostle Paul used to warn seasoned saints, find no place in many of our hearts, such as—BEWARE (Col. 2:18)—BEGUILE (Col. 2:19)—MORTIFY (Col. 3:5-6)—TAKE HEED TO THE MINISTRY (Col. 4:17).

As members of the “high calling of God,” we are not to be careless in our Christian walk. We are not to be heedless, or negligent, or haphazard in our manner of life. A great deal is at stake!

“For ye were sometimes darkness, BUT NOW are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:” (Eph. 5:8).

We should pay close attention to the “BUT NOW” of Ephesians 5:8.

Paul ministered to two separate callings. First, the saved who made up the “Israel of God,” to wit, the “Church of God,” which was in view during “The Acts of the Apostles.” The second is the calling which is the subject of Present Truth. Each calling has its own inheritance. Each calling will find its inheritance in the Government of God. The first will be associated with restored Israel. The second will be associated with the world-wide Reign of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Each calling’s inheritance is conditional. Notice the warning which Paul gave to the “Church of God.” Notice the ten sins Paul warns about.

“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor. 6:9-11).

If Satan is unable to get folks to doubt their salvation, then, he hurls his fiery darts at them, hoping to deceive them into believing that their “inheritance” is as sure as their gift of salvation. If he cannot convince a believer to doubt his salvation, then, he works at deceiving them. He sets up obstacles so that they are unable to rightly divide between the free gift of salvation and the birthright. One cannot lose his salvation, but he can lose his birthright (his inheritance). What are the grounds upon which a believer can lose his inheritance? Count the sins in the following verses.

“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal. 5:19-21).

I counted seventeen sins which can disqualify a believer from becoming a member of God’s Pre-Millennial Government. “BE NOT DECEIVED; GOD IS NOT MOCKED: FOR WHATSOEVER A MAN SOWETH, THAT SHALL HE ALSO REAP” (Gal. 6:7).

Does one act of the sins, listed, disqualify someone from possessing his inheritance? Or, do repeated acts of adultery, or fornication, or uncleanness, or drunkenness, or etc. cause one to be deemed unfit to be a minister in the Divine Government. These are weighty matters. Does one act of theft, either small or great, disqualify a saint from obtaining his inheritance? Does one sin of adultery result in a saint losing his birthright? Or, said another way, does one act of stealing result in a saint being judged as a thief? Or, an adulterer? Or, whatever the case may be. Or, does it take repeated offenses to be labeled a “fornicator?” Galatians 5:21 says, “… they which do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God.” We can be sure that the Lord Jesus Christ, as the Righteous Judge, will get it right. The free gift of eternal life carries with it the responsibility of “walking worthy of the vocation wherewith” we have been called (Eph. 4:1).

What do the Scriptures warn us as members of the Church over which Christ Jesus is the Head?

“For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them” (Eph. 5:5-7).

A “whoremonger” is translated from the Greek word, “pornos,” which is Strong’s Number 4205. It means a male prostitute. Thayer’s definition is, “a man who prostitutes his body to another's lust for hire, a male prostitute.” The Theological Dictionary of the N.T. defines “pornos,” not only as a male prostitute but, also, as “one who indulges in unlawful sexual intercourse.” The primary definition is a male prostitute. “Pornos” is used ten times in the N.T. Five times it is translated as “whoremonger” and five times it is rendered “fornicator.” An “unclean person,” in the moral sense, is someone who is “unclean in thought and life.” A “covetous man” is a man who wants, or desires, strongly, the property of another, who for all intents and purposes, is an “idolator.” Therefore, the warning for us is; don’t be “partakers with them” of these sins.

Satan deals in deception. He has “ministers of righteousness” who never teach that an inheritance can be lost. “Hey, you’re saved, don’t sweat it.”

“Because of these things [sins]”comes the wrath of God upon the lost. But, we who do such things will have a price to pay. To what extent will we suffer loss for enjoying “the pleasures of sin for a season” (Heb. 11:25). We can, only, surmise.

When the consequences of squandering our birthright are pondered, our mind is carried back to Esau and the words concerning him in Hebrews 12:16-17. I found, in reading the various translations, it expanded my understanding of Esau’s loss of his inheritance..

“Watch out that no one becomes involved in sexual sin or becomes careless about God as Esau did: he traded his rights as the oldest son for a single meal. And afterwards, when he wanted those rights back again, it was too late, even though he wept bitter tears of repentance. So remember, and be careful” (Heb.12:16-17) TLB.

“That not any fornicator, or profane one, as Esau, who for one meal gave up his birthright for you know also that afterwards desiring to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place of repentance, although seeking it out with tears” (Heb. 12:16-17) Green’s Literal Translation.

“Lest any one be a fornicator, or a profane person, as Esau, who in exchange for one morsel of food did sell his birthright, for ye know that also afterwards, wishing to inherit the blessing, he was disapproved of, for a place of reformation he found not, though with tears having sought it” (Heb. 12:16-17) Young’s Literal Translation.

“Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, like Esau, - who, for the sake of one meal, yielded up his own firstborn rights; For ye know that, afterwards - when he even wished to inherit the blessing, he was rejected; for, place of repentance, found he none, even though, with tears, he diligently sought it” (Heb. 12:16-17). Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible.

“No one may become guilty of sexual vice, or become a profane (godless and sacrilegious) person as Esau did, who sold his own birthright for a single meal. For you understand that later on, when he wanted [to regain title to] his inheritance of the blessing, he was rejected (disqualified and set aside), for he could find no opportunity to repair by repentance [what he had done, no chance to recall the choice he had made], although he sought for it carefully with [bitter] tears” (Heb. 12:16-17) Amplified Version.

“Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears” (Heb, 12:16-17) AKJV.

The summation of these verses could be that Esau despised his birthright—he showed, or demonstrated how little he valued it; but afterwards, when he should have had his inheritance, he was rejected, even though he, tearfully, tried to regain his birthright.

The word of warning is CAUTION—don’t esteem your birthright lightly as Esau did his. Esau had no respect for his inheritance. He gave up his birthright for a trivial matter. His attitude concerning it was “Ho-hum!”

“Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left.
So Esau despised his birthright.” (Gen. 25:34). NIV

Esau’s attitude toward his birthright is expressed in; “He ate and drank, and then got up and left.”

The members of Church, which is His Body has an inheritance—a ministerial office in the Pre-Millennial Government of God—if we don’t do as Esau did.