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Saturday, April 03, 2004

The Kingdom of God on Earth, and the means by which a person can enter into it


The Church is being introduced as the Kingdom of God here on earth. And since the Church is a kingdom, then, it is necessary that a man enters into it and be a part of it, according to the Bible. In Mat. 23:13, this is what was written. “But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.”

There is but one point that this paragraph is trying to show us: God wants … and God commands the people to enter into His kingdom. However, the hypocrite, scribes and Pharisees did not just refuse to enter into His kingdom, they also prevented the others who wanted to enter into it.

Do you know that there is a means by which a man may enter into the kingdom of God? We can find it in John 3:3-5. And these verses are fondly used by the members of the so-called “born again” group. They are those who claim that church and religion are no longer needed. “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born again when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”

It is of great importance that a person is able to enter the kingdom of God. However, before he can enter this kingdom, he must comply first to a specific requisite – that he must be born again. Apparently, it was out of those verses where the Born Again group derived its name. And that is an obvious misunderstanding of the context of the Bible because, being “born again” is not a name but a condition, or a state of being, that must be attained before a person can enter the kingdom of God.

For the benefit of our countrymen who call themselves “born again,” let us, once again, go over John 3:3-5. “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus said unto him, How can a man be born again when he his old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”

Therefore, entering the kingdom of God is necessary for salvation. That is why, nobody should claim that the Church is no longer needed because this would, in effect mean that the kingdom of God is, likewise, no longer needed!

We need the “Church” because, this is what the Bible referred to as the “Kingdom of God.” … And for a person to enter the kingdom of God, he must be born again!

But, how will it be possible for a person to be born again? He must be born of water and of the spirit!

On the other hand, what does being “born of water and of the Spirit” mean? In Titus 3:5, this is what was written, “Not by words of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.”

In other words, what is being referred to as being “born again” is the “washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.”


Now, let us find out how the Bible interprets the “washing of regeneration,” which in turn, corresponds to being “born again.” In Acts 22:16, it says, “And now why tarriest thou? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”

According to the Bible, the “washing” refers to “baptism.” Therefore, being “born again” commences with being born of water and of the spirit. And Biblically speaking, it refers to baptism. Man must be immersed into the water, and having imbibed with the words and teachings of God, he will be washed clean from his sinfulness.

Today, those who claim that they are “born again,” do not even give baptism to their members. These deceivers are all in a hurry to collect tithes from their members. For them, all that you have to do is raise your hand … or, sometimes, you may just lay your hand on your radio or television set … accept Christ, and presto, you are already and instant "born again." That is a blatant stupidity and deception of the many shameless preachers in our time.

And why are we saying that these preachers are bold and shameless? It is because the Bible, itself, said that, there are, indeed, shameless people. Eccle. 8:1 says, “Who is as the wise man? And who knoweth the interpretation of a thing? A man’s wisdom maketh his face to shine, and the boldness of his face shall be changed.”

If a person knows the art of acting, the Bible said, “the boldness of his face shall be changed.” Undeniably, there are preachers who are really bold and shameless. They propagate teachings that do not conform to what the Bible teaches.

Being “born again” is not attained by simply raising one’s hands. To be born again, you have to undergo a process that was prescribed by the Bible … that you must be born of water and of spirit. And this is thru baptism. The agent that is used in baptism, or the cleansing of sins, is WATER, coupled with the power of God, and the SPIRIT, which refers to the word of God.

And to prove that these things are the ones being referred to, let us find out what Ephe. 5:26-27 says. “That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”

Water plus the Word! Those who misinterpreted those verses say that, water is also the word. That is wrong! The water refers to the literal water, accompanied by the Word - - - water and Spirit, inasmuch as the Word is the Spirit! And will be able to prove this in John 6:63. It says, “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”

That is why, what St. Paul said was right, “cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.” Therefore, being born again is a state, or condition, in life. It applies to people who have received baptism. “Born again” is not a name! The correct manner of address is CHRISTIAN. A Christian is a person who has undergone the process that Christ, himself, taught. … He had been born again of water and of spirit.

That is the reason why, joining together the words “born again” and “Christian” is a gross ignorance of the Bible. Why? Because, if a person is considered a Christian, it is understood that he had been born again. And when we say that a person is born again, it is understood that he is a Christian.
Now, why are we discussing this matter? Because being born again, or going thru baptism, has an intention. It is done so that one can enter the kingdom in heaven. John 3:5 says, “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”

And which is the kingdom of God that is entered by him who had been born of water and of spirit? In our previous discussion, we have learned that the kingdom of God on earth is the Church. And to prove that there is really a kingdom of God right here on earth, let us read Mat. 6:9-10. “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.”

Actually, this is a very popular prayer and song among our fellows. According to the prayer that was taught by our Lord Jesus Christ, “Thy kingdom come.” And when His kingdom comes, “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”

Our Lord commanded the Apostles to pray after that manner. But the question now is, Has this prayer been realized? Had the kingdom of God come? You see, until now, many of our people still recited this prayer … as if the kingdom of God has not come yet. Let us find out, from the Bible, if God had not answered this prayer. This is what was written in Mat. 6:33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

In other words, the kingdom of God had come here on earth, inasmuch as God is commanding us to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness. God will never command us to seek for it if we are not going to find any, here on earth. In the first place, God made a promise to those who will search for it. Mat. 7:7-8 says, “Ask, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”

Therefore, when God said, “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,” He, at the same time, gave a guarantee that it will be found by whoever seeks for it. But, where can it be found? The assurance that the Bible gave is that, it can be found here on earth. This is the reason why we can be sure that there is a kingdom here on earth. Now, let us find out which is being referred to as the kingdom of God, which should be entered? Let us read what was written in Col. 3:15, “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.”

The body that Christ heads is the Church. Ephe. 1:21-22 gives us the Bible’s confirmation. “For above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come; And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church.”

Where is Christ ruling over? It is in the CHURCH, and not in what they call as “ministries,” or “international crusade!” The Church is the kingdom of God here on earth, and it is where the people are enjoined to get into. That is why, it is a big lie to claim that is no longer important … because the Church is the realization of the prayer that Jesus Christ taught the Apostles. And this was built during the first century. What just saddens me is that, they have replaced the church with what they call “fellowships,” “ministries,” and “crusades.” They do not want to join the Church, and they also hinder the others who want to get inside. The proof that the Church has an inner part is written in Mat. 25:30. It says, “And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

It is outside the Church that the unprofitable servants are thrown. But, who are who are those unprofitable servants that are being thrown outside? I Cor. 5:12-13 says, “For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? Do not ye judge that that are within? But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.”

The unprofitable slaves refer to the wicked persons, and their destination is the darkness outside the Church. Here, we have proven that there is an outer and an inner portion of the church. If we want to be saved, we have to get inside the Church, because the Church is the kingdom wherein God reigns. And for us to get inside the Church, we have to be baptized, or be born of water and spirit.

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