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Originally published in "The Lord's Coming Herald & Wesleyan Bible Prophecy Advocate," Spring Edition 2003

Kingdom Fullness

    The new covenant is the messianic kingdom, and the messianic kingdom is true holiness in heart and life. To postpone the kingdom, as classic Darbyism does, is to dissolve the message and life of true Bible holiness, and to open the floodgates for a low-level conception of Christianity that is little more than antinomianism.

    Antinomians love to postpone the kingdom, because it absolves them of any responsibility to manifest the righteousness of the kingdom in this present world. If Christ's messianic kingdom has already broken into the world through the preaching of the gospel, as the New Testament teaches, however, then the believer suddenly becomes responsible to exhibit that degree of full redemption from sin that the kingdom hope entails.

    The believer can well afford to live in sin, who is not yet in the kingdom, but if the kingdom that Jesus really taught us once does come, then all our sin and waywardness must fast be put away, for sin is incompatible with the kingdom.

    What does the return of Christ to set up some kind of a resuscitated Old Testament Jewish monarchy have to do with righteousness and peace and joy on earth, dear friends? Why, righteousness and joy and peace are the very results that God has already designed, before the foundation of the world, the Christian gospel should provide! I thought the gospel was to make people righteous, and fill them with joy and peace! What has a Jewish millennium got to do with it?

    Why do we so often go to our most solemn convocations to hear our most gifted speakers tell us how empty we all are, when all we seem to find in the New Testament is the promise and the provision for dynamic fullness? I read in the New Testament that Jesus promised an abundant life--a well of living water springing up within--his own dear Presence to cheer and to guide--the Comforter forever--the mighty baptism of the Holy Ghost!

    Why are we so empty when the New Testament is so replete with the message of dynamic fullness? I don't understand. Do we really have what Jesus promised or do we not? If we do, then how is it that half of us can be running on half empty half the time? Emptiness is incompatible with the kingdom and doesn't make sense, Don't we realize that we are now living in the day of our Messiah's power, in the day of overwhelming kingdom fullness? How is it possible, then, for us to be so empty?

    Now it is a good thing to discover that we are spiritually empty, friends, if empty, indeed, we really are, but once that discovery has been made, then what are we going to do about it? Are we going to come forward to the altar only for a prayer of blessing to be said over us in order that we might obtain an emotional refilling and then go on our merry way, only to be found empty again next month, or next year? What are we holiness preachers doing different than the Catholic priests, or preachers of all other liberal churches, if all we can do is to pray for an emotional re-filling to assuage a deep-seated sense of spiritual emptiness?

    Are we going to be content with emotional re-fillings only, dear friends, or are we going to steadfastly set our hearts and minds to seek the fullness of the kingdom that Messiah promised? It is to be feared, friends, that too many of us are getting only an emotional re-filling to assuage our spiritual emptiness, when we should be seeking and finding the mighty baptism of the Holy Ghost in sanctifying fire!

    But then again, if we are content to live in a Christianity without the mighty kingdom, then mere emotional re-fillings are perhaps the best that can be hoped for, and will have to do. Yes, it's sad to say, but oh so true-we will just go right on playing church, until we find the kingdom!

    Jesus offered people the messianic kingdom. We offer them, via our infatuation with dispensational falsehoods, only the chaff of ideological antinomianism. No wonder the world has largely passed us by! We have nothing to offer except escapism and postponement! Why don't we offer the world some dominion, some joyous victory over sin, carnality, and all the foes of evil that beset? Why don't we offer the fulfillment and fullness of the messianic kingdom, instead of the paucity of some parenthetical church age, which is all to often an excuse for antinomianism.

     The first disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Ghost. The difference between us and them? They believed in the kingdom. They experienced the kingdom. We too often, sadly, are left holding the bag exonerating and putting unbelieving racial Jews up on a pedestal, while we wait for Jesus to come and set the kingdom up. I pray God we will all get over Jewish fables and get a life, an abundant life, a life of dynamic fullness--in the kingdom! Now!

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