The Gospel of Matthew is predominately the book on the Kingdom of God. The message of John the Baptist as recorded in Matthew’s Gospel was, “Repent ye; for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.” John gives us the introduction to the coming King. He describes the King as the One who would come ”whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
When Jesus started his ministry he first approached John the Baptist and submitted to his baptism and was approved by the Father. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 17 and lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
Right after entering the ministry the Spirit drives Him into the wilderness where He was faced with His temptation. The first was an appeal to the material, and the answer that Jesus gave was, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedth out of the mouth of God.” The second temptation was spiritual, and to this Jesus answers, “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” The last temptation was directed at the purpose of Jesus’ coming. Satan wanted to bring all the kingdoms of the world under one political control. To this Jesus replies, “Get thee behind me Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.”
In contract to what is being preached by the health and prosperity crowd he has declared that all man needs is bread, making bread the basis for the kingdom. When men preach that the kingdom of God is dependent on material things they are reducing the importance of the sacrifice made by Jesus Christ for the salvation of man. During the time of Christ there was a time when after feeding the multitudes they were willing to make him King on the basis of the material. Even though he fed them he declined to be made their King on that basis.
Today the health and prosperity false-teachers have twisted the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Look at the life lived by Jesus.
He was not born to wealthy parents, or even the parents of royal birth. Although called the Son of David one must go back over ten generations to find the connection of his mother to David. Instead, he was born to parents who were common laborers: Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (Philippians 2:5-8)
When he was born, it was in a barn: And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. (Luke 2:7 NIV)
Since Jesus was Mary's firstborn son, Joseph and Mary were required to offer a sacrifice (Exodus 13:2,12). Joseph and Mary offered a pair of doves which was the offering of the poor: And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons. (Luke 2:24 NIV)
Shortly after his birth Herod threatened his life. An angel appeared to Joseph and Mary instructing them to flee to Egypt. After Herod died, an angel again appeared to his parents and they returned to Israel, settling in the town of Nazareth. (Matthew 2:13-23). Under God's providence, the gifts of the Magi probably helped to finance and sustain them during the time in Egypt. We hear nothing more about Jesus' life until he is twelve years old and he stays behind in Jerusalem after the Passover feast, worrying Mary and Joseph (Luke 2:41:52). Then the scriptures are silent until Jesus begins his preaching ministry. However, during his preaching ministry we learn what He did before He did before beginning his ministry. During this time, Jesus worked as a laborer and did not enjoy the benefits of receiving an advanced education: And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands? Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him. (Mark 6:2,3)
If Jesus really did preach a health, wealth, and prosperity doctrine, we would expect that He had a very nice home in one of the better neighborhoods of Jerusalem. Isn't Jesus the model for "Christian" leaders who have million dollar homes in the best neighborhoods? Instead, what kind of home did Jesus have? ''Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head." (Matthew 8:20)
We also do not read that Jesus' ministry was financially successful by current standards. Should not the Lord have had a multi-million dollar ornately decorated building where all the people of Israel came to hear Him preach? Instead Jesus traveled from town to town while His and the disciple’s needs were met from the handouts of Godly women: After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; Joanna the wife of Cuza, the manager of Herod's household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means. (Luke 8:1-3)
When it came time to pay the temple tax, Jesus did not reach into his bag and fetch the required amount. Instead, he ordered Peter to get the coin from a fish’s mouth. At the crucifixion the Roman soldiers are gambling for Jesus' possessions which were simply the clothes on his back (Mark 15:24). Instead of being buried in a family plot, Jesus was buried in a grave given to him by Joseph of Arimathea (Matt 27:59,60).
Does this sound like anything more than bread was important to the Kingdom of God?
The second temptation is exposed when people teach that the Kingdom is centered on selfish spiritual things. This is based on the enrichment and comfort of those who receive them. It becomes a religion of self-righteousness. Preachers who preach a salvation by works message have turned the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ into no more than a fortune-cookie promise of name it- and- claim it. The absolutes of the WORD of God are questioned. Man is placed in the position of a “little god” because man shares the DNA of the divine. Man’s salvation is not from the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ but from an internal righteousness that comes from being created in the image of God. The Gospel message of salvation is lost in the self-righteousness of a semi-divine being that does not need faith in Christ for his salvation. Sounds like the Garden of Eden lie all over again.
The third and final temptation is based on the idea of world domination. Satan has made the suggestion that an arrangement can be made through compromise that all the nations and kingdoms of the world can be united under one leadership. These people who have followed his lie for centuries are referred today as globalists. This is a group of liked minded individual, groups and alliances who share a common goal of world domination. These are the people who have come together with the expressed purpose of controlling the world and its wealth. They have over the years created a self-regeneration power structure that is based on lies and deception. These individuals are held together by the spirit of the antichrist. Jesus reveals them as being from the synagogue of Satan. They are children of the devil. This is the final world government that will be destroyed by the coming of the LORD at His Second Coming but until then they are the power that is ruling the world right now. However, their failure is quickly coming.
The failure of these globalists is based on their opposition to the true Kingdom of God. First, Jesus stated that “the poor in spirit” would inherit the Kingdom. The law is spiritual and there is no morality which is final and adequate other than a morality that is inspired by religion. Immorality destroys everything it touches families, cities, states and nations have been destroyed when spiritual laws are abandoned.
The apathy of the followers of Jesus Christ has allowed the synagogue of Satan to gain a foothold in the world. Christians have adopted the mindset of the world. The attitude of the world is “no matter what happens, no matter what I or anyone does wrong, the Government will take care of it.” The Church has lost its mission to ‘go into the entire world and preach the gospel.” We have allowed the doors to close because we do not want to “force our religion” on others. Another example of how the Church has failed in our responsibility to spread the Gospel is that we no longer will stand up for the truth. We have allowed the lies of the enemies of the Gospel to go unanswered. We are no longer contenders of the faith and we have given up on defending Truth.
The reason the world is in such moral decline is because there is no challenge to immorality other than through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Those in the synagogue of Satan have done a better job of serving their master than the Church has in serving the LORD.
For just a moment look at what has happened in our country and around the world because the Christians have not cried out against the evil that has come upon the world by those in the synagogue of Satan.
· They have captured both the political parties in the United States and are the driving force behind the overthrow of all governments that will not follow their agenda.
· They have use the legal systems of the world to establish what they claim are violations of civil rights, hate speech, and terrorist activities.
· They have gained control of the education system and are teaching the next generation to accept a world controlled by one world leadership.
· They have gained control of all world media-TV, radio, movies, newspapers and magazines. Through their power to control the message of the media they have discredited Christianity and a moral society. Through this control they have brought about a change in the cultural standards of morality that is leading to the destruction of civilization.
· They have infiltrated the churches with false-teachers. They have discredited the Bible, mocked the values of Christian living, and convinced many that there are no sins only bad choices.
· They have eliminated public prayer or religious expression because it violated “separation of church and state”.
· They have discredited the Constitution and called it a hindrance to worldwide cooperation between the nations of the world.
· They have infiltrated every area of life! Not one country in the world is free from their meddling.
Jesus understood that the attitude of his time would be the same attitude with the last generation. He used several parables to show that man was in spiritual slavery and that their complicity in sin would keep them blinded and in spiritual slavery.
Jesus Christ knew that in order to establish a spiritual rule that the synagogue of Satan would need to be dealt with in a radical way. In the story of the Ten Virgins the five wise were caught in the same spiritual condition as the five foolish. There one redeeming characteristic was they had just enough oil to see them through the coming darkness. For the cry went out not during the day but at midnight. The five foolish were lost because the five wise had to spend time taking care of their own spiritual condition.
In the Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ he says concerning the last generation: “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”
While those within the Church are spending their time debating issues of dress, the use of alcohol, the Second Coming of the LORD, health and wealth, and the non-essentials of salvation, the synagogue of Satan is busy about destroying the works of the Church and gaining the world for Satan. It is time for the Church to get serious about spreading the Gospel to the lost and becoming contenders for the faith and realize that all the infighting within the church is part of Satan’s plan to unite the world under his control. Since the Garden of Eden he has been on a path to destroy God’s plan to save and redeem mankind.
To be part of the Kingdom we must be more than a wanna-be. We must be active in the business of the Kingdom.