Looking for the Kingdom of Heaven

THE PASTOR'S PEN      

 
Is the Church Today Looking for the Kingdom of Heaven?                        by Stephen Benton 

          Good Morning and welcome to the House of Good News, One location where the truth is still going forth but only for those who have an ear to hear the voice of God and who recognize it when they hear it...
            As you know, God takes great delight in changing my prepared message...which is fine with me.  There are other occasions where my Boss chooses to keep me in the dark until early Sunday morning, usually before 10:20 AM comes around.  That's about the time my cue song is sung which means, ready or not, it's time to preach.

            To meet the requirements of pastoring, in most churches, one must complete their  training in an accredited seminary.  Someone referred to such establishments as "cemeteries."  That is not too far from true.  God has pointed out to us that this world belongs to Satan.  That includes all centers of so-called higher learning.  Most seminaries were started by spiritual men with a vision to properly equip those who are called into the ministry but it did not take Satan very long to enter into those halls and insert a measurable amount of leaven.   He did the same thing to the Church which is what the parable of the woman with the leaven signifies.  The text says she "hid" the leaven in the meal which is a surreptitious act.  During this last Church Age, the Laodicean Age, a new program has emerged: the Christian School. Mind you, all Christian Schools are opened and continue by meeting the requirements of this worldly system over which Satan is the god.

            When you attend this small assembly twice a week where God gives his message to a selected group of called-out ones, you are letting Satan and his minions know that you do not belong to this worldly system, that your allegiance is to another god, the God who created this earth.  With that understanding, perhaps you can better understand why you are buffeted even in your very desire and attempt to get here.  You should also have a better understanding of why you must pray for me as I give Satan and his kingdom hell twice a week.  Our combined actions condone the judgment of hell on Satan and those occupants of this world who are against us.

            Jesus promised that where two or three are gathered together in his name that he would also attend that service and we would hear from him.  I know that to be true.  But I also know that it is essential that you be here also because a full house allows for a greater anointing with a much higher energy level. Your overall presence energizes me in ways that cannot be done when the house has enough gaps to shoot a cannon through. Whether you know it or not, this is one of the few churches that carries a 90% plus attendance rate in bible class.  So continue to be faithful in assembling yourselves together until the day comes when we will no longer be allowed to do so...

             The Lord gave us a message a few weeks ago.  I titled that message, "Don't Look Back."  It was the Lord's message all the way because I could not have preached such a complex message that covered so many bases.  I want to revisit one of those bases right now so let's turn there.
            "And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, the Kingdom of God cometh not with observation."  Luke 17:20

            Dake has an interesting note on the word observation.  The Greek word is parateresis which is "hostile watching."  Dake says: "it occurs only here, but the verb paratereo, is used in an evil sense of watching with hostility in Mark 3:2; Luke6:7; 14:1; 20:20; and Acts 9:24."  Check those references out.
            Dake further comments on the phrase "within you." The word within is from the Greek word, entos which is "in the midst, that is, the King of the Kingdom of Heaven which is the earthly aspect of the universal kingdom of God is in the midst of you now, but you will not recognize him."  Just for the record, to those who prefer the statement to mean that the kingdom of heaven is within the individual, and that no one can  judge whether or not someone is in the kingdom because it is within, let me say to you that if the kingdom of God is within you, there should be some external evidence of the same.  You should at least be able to give a detailed description of the life and teaching of your self-professed King.  This is the age of the Christian who believes in Jesus but has no idea of what he taught, did and rejected or who he is!  That person is going to be surprised in the near future when they hear Jesus say, "depart from me ye workers of iniquity, I never knew you."  Many people have met Jesus--few have stayed around him long enough to really know him or as the scripture says, to learn of him.(Matthew 11:29)  Salvation is promised to those who endure until the end.

            The coming of the Kingdom for the Jew is equivalent to the Church looking for the day of the Rapture.  These ungodly Pharisees wanted to know when, and that when could only be answered with a specific date. The true followers should have been just as inquiring as the Pharisees.  The Pharisees asked with the idea of how much time they had before they were forced to kill Jesus.  The true followers ask the question because our souls long to be in the presence of the Lord.  We have come to realize that here we have no continuing city but we seek a city, one that is eternal in the heavens, whose builder and maker is God. 

            In the 24th chapter of Matthew we find another group asking about the arrival of particular events.
            "And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?"  Matthew 24:3
                These questions were asked by the Lord's disciples.  Their question refers to the same kingdom asked about by the Pharisees but their motive is entirely different because it is void of hostility.  Let me point out the fact that these men are not asking about anything having to do with the Rapture of the Church.  At the time of this assemblage the Church had not yet been revealed.  They were Jews asking about events concerning Israel and Israel only.

            With these two patterns set before us, wouldn't it only be natural for those of us living in the close of the last days to inquire about the time of the coming of the Lord for his Church?  I have stated several times now that even the world expects something significant to occur in the year 2000.  There are many pastors and preachers in the Church who feel within their souls (an unreliable chronograph) that the Lord will come in the year 2000.  Well, if they really believe that, I ask, when do they think they should start proclaiming that message?  Jesus, John, and the twelve apostles preached the Kingdom message for over three and one-half years.  I was given a revelation about the coming of the Lord three and one-half years before the revealed date.  Why aren't they proclaiming this message?  First, because it is not a popular message. (The Lord used me, an unknown, unpopular preacher, to make sure that this message was set in that mold.} Second, because they really don't want the Lord to come.  Let's face it saints, today's spiritual leaders have their own agendas and the Rapture eclipses their plans.  Is this a new phenomenon? No! The exact pattern was around during the days of Jesus' ministry when he proclaimed the Kingdom message.  The priests talked about the coming Messiah and his kingdom but their hearts were diametrically opposed to what they said.  Jesus knew their hypocrisy and spoke a parable against them.  You can take the time to read the entire parable but here I will highlight only one verse:

            "But those husbandmen said among themselves, this is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be ours."  Mark 12:7

            I will be the first to admit that this preaching business can provide a lucrative inheritance and, if done sincerely, it can also keep you at a poverty level.  I preached out of Lamentations recently and was surprised to see that Jeremiah, the writer made the statement, "I forgat prosperity." Lam 3:17.  Like the religious leaders in Jesus' time, today's pastors have forgotten that they are merely temporary caretakers of God's treasure, the Church.  Too many have grown accustomed to receiving greetings in the market place, being called the "Reverend,"  "Doctor," "Bishop," "Apostle," and living the good life!  The message of the coming of the Lord will end their career.  Because they can no longer kill the Son, they now kill the prophets who preach his message.  May the Lord judge between me and them.  As long as the Lord says so, I will continue to preach his message even if I am the only one doing so.  

            Many thought that October 11, Yom Kippur, 1997 was wrong and the Lord would come on September 30 of that year.  In that great message titled, "What Happened?" God preached to us on October 19th of that year, He told us that it would no longer be on a major feast day after the date was rejected by the Church.  The word of God told us that we "have need of patience"
Hebrew 10:36.  I can tell you that our patience has not yet been tried but it will be very soon.  The bottom line is that we walk by faith and not by sight, "for the just by faith shall live." Hab. 2:4

[ Our patience was tried indeed when the Lord removed His candlestick after allowing him to preach the rapture message to this Church for an additional 20 years after the Lord told him that he "was not slack concerning his promise but long-suffering,  not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance."  God gave five more opportunities for the Church to repent and believe The Day.  The last window for the rapture to occur being Saturday, September 30, 2017. Because the Church rejected the message again, God has delayed his coming again.  This time his promise to the prophet back in 1997 kicks in again, He will not come on a known feast day, His promise has been removed: "Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it." Heb.1:1]*

            Faith comes by hearing the word of God.  I know a few people who think they have faith and actually believe that they will endure the coming LIE and STRONG DELUSION even thought they haven't attended a meeting of believers in years.  We made Deeper, Deeper our theme song and God has recognized that request by giving us more and more truth every time we meet.  Personally, I believe I'll run on and see what the end will be. How about you?

[]*update by Shelley Benton, editor
 
Written in the Weekly Word of The House of Good News  by Stephen Benton                       November, 1998

To read more current revelations from Pastor Steve, check out his book, God's Final Secret, published September of 2017 on Amazon.com

 https://smile.amazon.com/Gods-Final-Secret-Stephen-Benton/dp/1976338476/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1509271792&sr=1-1&keywords=god%27s+final+secret+by+stephen+benton

1 Comment

  1. Psalm 91
    91 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
    2 I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
    This is the only way to endure the coming lie….stay true to His WORD and doctrine to the end.

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