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The Subjects of the Kingdom

 

Paradise Lost to Paradise Regained

 

The entrance of sin caused a separation between man and His Creator and expulsion from Eden, his paradise home. The precepts of God’s holy law, which law was alter written with God’s own finger on tables of stone and given to Moses, were violated, and the penalty for this is death. But God in His great love had a plan for man’s redemption. It was none other than the gift of His only Son as man’s substitute. This was graphically symbolized by the sacrifice of a lamb, the central part of the typical services of the sanctuary. Type met antitype when Jesus, the Lamb of God, yielded up His life on Calvary’s cross. Atonement for man’s transgression had been made; the victory over “that old serpent, called the Devil,” had been won. The good news of the gospel must be heralded to all men everywhere, and Christ’s followers, under the power of the Holy Spirit, were given the task. They have fulfilled and are fulfilling this great commission in spite of fierce opposition and deadly persecution. Though many have laid down their lives for the gospel’s sake they are assured salvation (Mark 8:35) and a glorious restoration to the Paradise so long lost through sin. The final “bruising” of the serpent’s head and the irrevocable elimination of sin from God’s universe are now certain.

 

The Things to be Overcome

 

What are we admonished to overcome? 

 

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21. 

 

Note – In 1 John 5:4 that which we are to overcome is called “the world,” and in 1 John 2: 15-17 the things of which ‘the world” consists are described as “the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eye, and the pride of life.”

 

How to Overcome

 

What only can overcome the world?

 

For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 1 John 5:4. 

 

What gives us the victory in our conflict with the world?

 

“This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.” Verse 4.

 

Promises to the Overcomer

 

What promises does Christ make to the overcomer?

 

1.  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.” Revelation 2:7.

 

2.  “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt from the second death.” Verse 11.

 

3.  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.” Verse 17.

 

4.  “To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations – He will rule with an iron scepter; he will dash them to pieces like pottery’ just as I have received authority from my Father. I will also give him the morning star.” Verses 26-28.

 

5.  “He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels.” Revelation 3:5.

 

6.  “Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write a name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from God; and I will write on him my new name.” Verse 12.  

 

7.  “To him that overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne.” Verse 21.

 

In what one promise are all these promises summed up?

 

He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.”

Revelation 21:7.

 

Note – The exceeding great and precious promises to the overcomer embrace everything – eternal life, health, happiness, and an everlasting home. What more could be asked?

 

The Literal Israelites

 

Upon whom was the name Israel first bestowed?

 

“Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel,” because you have struggled with God and with man and have overcome.” Genesis 32:28. 

 

Afterward who came to be called by this title?

 

“These are the names of the sons of Israel who went out of Egypt with Jacob, each with his family: Rueben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah; Issachar, Zebulun and Benjamin; Dan and Naphtali; Gad and Asher. The descendants of Jacob numbered seventy in all: Joseph was already in Egypt. 

 

Note – In other words, the descendants of Jacob, the grandson of Abraham, were known as the twelve tribes of Israel.

 

What special blessings were conferred on the Israelites?

 

“The people of Israel. Theirs is an adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen. Romans 9:4,5.

 

The True, Spiritual Israel

 

Who constitute the true Israel, or the seed of Abraham?

 

“It is not as though God’s word had failed. For not all who are descendants from Israel are Israel. Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” In other words, it is not the natural children who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring.” Verses 6-8.

 

What did John the Baptist say to the Pharisees and Sadducees who came to his baptism?

 

“And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.” Matthew 3:9.

 

What determines whether one is a child of Abraham?

 

“Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham.” [Have faith]

 

To whom must one belong in order to be Abraham’s seed?

 

If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Verse 29.

 

In what scripture are Christians recognized as Israel?

 

“Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule, even to the Israel of God.” Galatians 6:16.

 

To whom is the gospel the power of God unto salvation?

 

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.” Romans 1:16.

 

Christ’s Earthly Ministry to Literal Israel

 

To whom did Jesus first send the twelve disciples?

 

“These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel.”

Matthew 10:5,6.

 

When the woman of Canaan came to Christ, beseeching Him to heal her daughter, what did He say?

 

“He answered, I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” Matthew 15:24.

 

When she persisted in her request, and fell down to worship Him, what did He say?

 

“He replied, It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.”

Verse 26.

 

Note – By her persistent faith, this woman, although a Canaanite, showed that she was really a true child of Abraham.

 

While dining with Zacchaeus, what did Christ say?

 

“Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. Luke 19:9.

 

What did He say to the woman of Samaria as to the source of salvation?

 

“You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.John 4:22.

 

Gentiles Become Spiritual Israelites

 

When the Jews rejected Paul’s preaching of the gospel, what did Paul and Barnabas say?

 

“Then Paul and Barnabus answered them boldly: ‘We had to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles.” Acts 13:46.

 

Note – From all this it is plain that had not the Jews as a nation rejected Christ, they still would have maintained the preeminence as the children of God, and as God’s light bearers to the world. But because of this rejection, they were rejected as God’s peculiar people, and others took their place, and now bear the name of Israel in common with those who were first called by that name.

 

Under what figure are the Gentile believers represented who have become a part of the true Israel of God?

 

“And some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you.” Romans 11:17,18. 

 

Lest the Gentile grafts should boast, saying that the Jews were broken off to let them come in, what warning was given them?

 

“Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.” Verses 20,21.

 

What encouragement is held out concerning the branches that have been broken off?

 

“And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.” Verse 23. 

 

Before the Gentiles become Israelites, in what condition are they?

 

“Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “Uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (that done in the body by the hands of man) - remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.” Ephesians 2:11,12. 

 

God’s Last-Day Remnant People

 

How are God’s remnant people described?

 

“This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God’s commandments and remain faithful to Jesus. Revelation 14:12.   

 

Whose names are in the foundation of the Holy City?

 

“The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.” Revelation 21:14.

 

Whose names are on the twelve gates of the city?

 

“It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel.” Verse 12. 

 

Who will walk in the light of the city?

 

The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it.” Verse 24.

 

 


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