Monday, January 4, 2016

Subjects of King Jesus

Subjects of King Jesus

Is King Jesus your Lord?  Are you His subject?  If you say you are His subject, are you in subjection to His will and obedient to His commands?  If you say you are in subjection to His will and are obedient to His commands, then explain to me in detail what those commands are and what my responsibilities would be if I decide to become a subject of King Jesus – what you call a Christian!

There are two levels of God’s sovereignty in the Bible.  There is the Kingdom of God over which God is sovereign.  The Kingdom of God includes the spiritual and eternal dimension of existence.  Within God’s spiritual and eternal dimension of existence, there are two areas over which He is eternally sovereign. 

1. The first eternal place is Heaven, where all the Redeemed will live eternally with Him.  Eternal life is continual existence without succession or intermission.
2. The Second eternal place is Hell, where all those who reject God’s gift of salvation will remain eternally separated from Him in eternal torment prepared for Satan and his fallen angels.  All lost from all ages will stand before King Jesus at the Great White Throne Judgment after which He will act sovereignly to cast them into the eternal place of torment known as Hell, the Lake of Fire, and the Second Death.

There is also what is referred to as the Kingdom of Heaven, which is the temporal, physical creation. Although God holds supreme sovereignty over the Kingdom of Heaven, He originally gave dominion of the creation to humanity in Adam.  Humanity lost this sovereignty to Satan when Adam chose to sin against God and the first creation was cursed of God.  God’s statement to the serpent in Genesis 3:15 promises both redemption by grace through faith from the curse and the restoration of dominion to humanity through His being incarnated into humanity through the seed of the woman.

1. The primary purpose of a sinner’s redemption is for that sinner to become a voluntary subject (servant) of the Redeemer – King Jesus.
2. The secondary purpose of redemption is to restore dominion of the first creation to humanity through the incarnation, death, burial, and resurrection of the God/man, Christ Jesus the Lord.

“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15).

From Genesis chapter three in history until the second coming of Jesus, Satan is the “prince and power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2) and the “god of this world” (II Corinthians 4:4).  The word worldly describes someone who voluntarily chooses to be under the domain of the “god of this world.”  There are numerous levels of worldliness in Satan’s domain.  For all of these hundreds of centuries, Satan has been doing all in his power to keep humanity from worshiping God and submitting to His Lordship.  Billions of human souls have died in their sins rejecting God’s free offer of the gift of salvation through simple faith in the promised Saviour – King Jesus!

We certainly see this at Christ’s birth in Matthew chapter two, when Herod the Great tried to find Him and have Him killed as a baby.  From almost the beginning of Jesus’ ministry after His baptism, the hierarchy of Israel sought to have King Jesus killed.  They were able to persuade Pilate to consent to the crucifixion based upon the prophecy that Jesus was to be the “King of the Jews.” 

“33 Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews? 34 Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me? 35 Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done? 36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. 37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice” (John 18:33-37).

The events of Acts chapter seventeen take place about twenty years after the crucifixion.  The Jews are still using the same accusation against Christians to get the Roman leaders to persecute Christians and silence their testimonies.  To preach the second coming of Jesus is to preach the coming of King Jesus in glory and judgment!  Be assured of this reality- King Jesus is coming again!

“1 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews: 2 And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, 3 Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ. 4 And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few. 5 But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people. 6 And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also; 7 Whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus. 8 And they troubled the people and the rulers of the city, when they heard these things. 9 And when they had taken security of Jason, and of the other, they let them go” (Acts 17:1-9).

King Jesus does not rule over any nations as of yet.  Until Jesus returns to Earth, He rules over the hearts of those who call Him Saviour.  At least He should be the ruler of the hearts of the redeemed!  The fact of Jesus being the Lord of the believer’s heart is a defining factor making that believer a Christian.  This is not the same as salvation.  People can be saved from Hell by grace through faith without becoming a Christian.  In fact, there are many baptized church members who faithfully attend local churches and give faithfully who are not technically Christians.  Christ made this differentiation in a parable in Luke chapter six.  A true Christian is a saved person “born again” by the Spirit of God who lives the teachings of King Jesus through the filling of the Spirit of God.  Therefore, a true Christian is a subject/servant of King Jesus who does what Jesus says to do.

“39 And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch? 40 The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect {kat-ar-tid’-zo – perfect, passive, participle = is perfected; to completely repair, restore, or prepare} shall be as his master. 41 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 42 Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye. 43 For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 44 For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. 45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. 46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say” (Luke 6:39-46)?

Local churches are in the midst of spiritual famine.  Professing Christians are spiritually emaciated.  This dilemma is not because spiritual food is unavailable to them, but because they are not committed to allowing the spiritual food available to them, in the teachings of Jesus, to enter their minds, pass through their hearts, and move out through their lives to transform themselves and touch the world with God’s grace.  This will never happen until King Jesus reigns in their hearts and they are filled with His Spirit.

The concept of yielding the will to King Jesus, without wanting the Christ-life to be expressed through us, is foreign to the purpose of sacrificially surrendering our bodies, minds, and spirits to Christ (Romans 12:1-2).  King Jesus died vicariously for our sins so that He might live vicariously through our lives.  Therefore, allowing Christ to live vicariously through us must be a consuming desire motivated by wanting to exalt Him in the world before all other people and all other desires.  The “love of Christ” MUST constrain us.  Declaring King Jesus to be your Lord MUST be more than a mere declaration of the mouth.  Declaring King Jesus to be Lord MUST be the consuming desire of the heart.

“14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: 15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. 16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. 17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. 21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (II Corinthians 5:14-21).

We can readily see that God has an extended consequence in our being “born again” through faith in the finished work of redemption provided through the incarnate sinless life, His vicarious death, burial, and the resurrection of King Jesus – “that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”  This is more than the imputation of God-kind righteousness.  This is even more than the impartation of God-kind righteousness through the indwelling Holy Spirit.  The word “made” is from the Greek word ginomai (ghin’-om-ahee), which means to generate or become.  Regeneration is intended to generate God-kind righteousness in a very practical way through our living.  In other words, regeneration makes it possible for saved sinners who are fully surrender to King Jesus to produce the righteousness of Christ through their lives.  This is what it means to allow King Jesus to live vicariously through us.  This is the substance of Paul’s explanation to Jews in Galatians chapter two who were being corrupted regarding salvation and spirituality through will-power Law keeping.  Neither salvation or spirituality are available through will-power Law keeping.

“19 For I through the law am dead to the law {Romans 3:19}, that I might live unto God. 20 I am crucified with Christ {Romans 6:6; the sin nature vicariously}: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me {in the indwelling Spirit}: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. 21 I do not frustrate {ath-et-eh'-o; neutralized, set aside} the grace {the supernatural enabling} of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain” (Galatians 2:19-21).

The sovereignty of God is often reflected in the Bible by the way creation yields the fruits for which certain things were created.  The ground yields the fruits that grow from it.  Plants yield the produce that grow from them.  Therefore, they are by nature subject to the sovereignty of God.  When God provides to them the nutrients they need, they yield the fruit that is nurtured.  If God does not provide rain and weather conducive to fruit growth, these aspects of creation cannot yield the fruit for which they were created to produce.  Ground and plants are by their nature subjects of the sovereignty of God.  Because of the fall, humanity must yield to God first before human beings can produce the fruit God intends them to produce – other godly beings.

Part of God’s sovereignty at the present is how He uses nature to bless or chastise believers.  To be subjects of King Jesus is to yield our wills to His will (Romans 6:11-13).  In doing so, God promises blessing as a control over the curse.  In failing to do so, God promises various levels of chastisement as the expression of the curse.

“1 Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the LORD your God. 2 Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the LORD. 3 If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; 4 Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit” (Leviticus 26:1-4).

“14 But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments; 15 And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant: 16 I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. 17 And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you. 18 And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins. 19 And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass: 20 And your strength shall be spent in vain: for your land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits” (Leviticus 26:14-20).

It is clearly evident from these two portions of Scripture in Leviticus chapter twenty-six that the Lordship of King Jesus extends beyond a mere profession of His position.  Clearly, the Lordship of King Jesus and our practical subjection to that Lordship yields some very practical outcomes.  Understanding the spiritual dynamic involved with yielding to the Lordship of King Jesus is something many Christians seldom even consider.  Often Christians are quick to proclaim the Lordship of King Jesus without the accompanying loyal to that Lordship of faithful, loyal obedience to His commands and teachings.  This is hypocritical!

The fact of the matter is that subjection and obedience to the Lordship of King Jesus will be a matter for which we all will be held accountable in the minutest detail.  We tend to allow spiritual failures to slip by us in history without considering the ongoing consequences of the influences of those failures upon those around us.  Although the failure is forgiven by God once a person repents and confesses the failures, the consequences of the failure can extend into numerous generations of our influences.  We will be held accountable for those influences at the Judgment Seat of Christ.  We should not be able to think of the concept of the Lordship of King Jesus without filling our minds with the day of accountability of our lifetimes of influence upon those around us.

“1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: 3 If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. 4 For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. 5 Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. 6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) 8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. 9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad {rewards or loss of rewards}. 11 Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences” (II Corinthians 5:1-11).

Often the phrase “we persuade men” in II Corinthians 5:11 is interpreted to mean persuading people to be saved.  This would be completely contrary to the context.  The context is about persuading save, but carnal, believers to be loyal and obedient subjects of King Jesus.  Therefore, the “terror” involved with failure is the shame and disgrace attached to the loss of rewards due to disobedience and disloyalty to the Lordship of King Jesus.

There is a twofold objective in the Christian life as loyal subjects of King Jesus in allowing Him to live vicariously through us.  In other words, this twofold objective are the tangible realities for which we will be held accountable as loyal subjects of King Jesus.  Attending Church services merely prepare us for being effective in these tangible realities.

1. We must proclaim the eternal condemnation of all the children of Adam.  We must declare the necessity of repentance of sin and dead works before a person can come to Christ for salvation.  We must explain the accomplishments of Christ in the Gospel.  We must lead sinners to trust/believe in those accomplishment alone.  We must inform them of the necessity of proclaiming Jesus to be the sovereign, incarnate Jehovah (Lord).  Finally, we must persuade those who have been brought to this understanding to call upon the Name of Jesus for the event of salvation and being “born again” spiritually.
2. We must live according to the commands and teachings of Jesus being filled with His Spirit throughout each moment of each day (Ephesians 5:18 and Romans 12:1-2) thereby producing the “fruit of the Spirit” and yield the fruit of souls to God’s glory for which purpose we are redeemed (John 15:1-8).

When we consider being faithful, obedient subjects of King Jesus, we must remember that this will extend into the Kingdom Age where Church Age believers will rule as kings and priests under our High Priest and King Jesus.  Church Age believers will be in glorified bodies in the Kingdom Age and therefore will not possess a sin nature at this time.  However, the positions we hold in the Kingdom Age will be determined by our faithfulness and loyalty to King Jesus during the Church Age.  This faithfulness and loyalty to King Jesus is what the Bible refers to as the believer’s works.

“11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ {salvation through faith in what Jesus accomplished}. 12 Now if any man build upon this foundation {of salvation by grace through faith} gold, silver, precious stones {work done in the power of the filling of the Spirit}, wood, hay, stubble {work done in the power of the flesh}; 13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest {as to its quality}: for the day {Judgment Seat of Christ} shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try {test or prove} every man’s work of what sort it is {spiritual or carnal}. 14 If any man’s work abide {is not burned up} which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work shall be burned {consumed by fire}, he shall suffer loss {his carnal works done in the power of the flesh shall be burnt away from him}: but he himself shall be saved {salvation is a gift of grace not of works; Ephesians 2:8-9}; yet so as by fire {saved as he passes through the fire that consumes His worthless works to stand before God yielding no fruit}” (I Corinthians 3:11-15).

Imagine the shame and sorrow of a fruitless life and a sheaveless Christian. 

“5 They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. 6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him” (Psalms 126:5-6).

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Numerous studies and series are available free of charge for local churches at: 
Dr. Lance Ketchum serves the Lord as a Church Planter, Evangelist/Revivalist. 
He has served the Lord for over 40 years.

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