|Colossians 1:13,15 |
13 Who has delivered us from the power of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of His dear son;1 [Translated is to be raised up together to sit with Christ in heaven. We know Paul was perfect, still walking the earth, but living in in the kingdom for he wrote: I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and "God...has raised us up together [with Christ], and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus," Eph 2:4,6; and "I charge you in the presence of God and the Lord Jesus Christ and the elect angels," 1 Tim 5:21; and "we are speaking in Christ in the presence of God," 2 Cor 2:17. The Colossians were not in the kingdom, based on verse 23 below. See the Footnote below to read George Fox's account of his translation into the kingdom. From the Word of the Lord within: "Do not be misled; you must enter the kingdom while on earth. You can live in heaven and still walk the earth." As George Fox ministered on the earth, he was translated to paradise; and then he lived in paradise. There is a guide to several other early Quakers' testimony of reaching the kingdom of God while on earth.]
15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature.
1 partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light; who has delivered us from the power of darkness and translated us into the Kingdom of his dear Son.
partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light; who has delivered us from the power of darkness.
Notice in the previous verses, Paul referred to "you," the unfinished believers; but in this sentence he refers to "us," using the Aorist prophetic tense to group the unfinished believers together with himself who had been crucified, was free of sin, was one with Christ and God, and clearly in the kingdom, which the following scriptures show: (so the past tense was left in this verse because of the "us" reference).
"I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me." Gal 2:20
"it pleased God to reveal his son in me." Gal 1:15-16
"But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking slyly, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by revealing the truth, we commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the presence of God." 2 Cor 4:2
"we are speaking in Christ in the presence of God as persons of sincerity, as persons sent from God." 2 Cor 2:17
"I charge you in the presence of God and the Lord Jesus Christ," 2 Tim 4:1
"I charge you in the presence of God and the Lord Jesus Christ and the elect angels,
that you observe these things without preferring anyone over another, doing nothing by partiality" 1 Tim 5:21
God...has raised us up together [with Christ], and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Eph 2:4,6
This is Paul's evidence of he being freed from sin, (delivered from the power of darkness), being translated from the physical dimension of this world into the spiritual dimension of the Kingdom, to dwell with the saints in the light of God. But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; so that you may show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 1 Pet 2:9. John also gives us testimony of being in the Kingdom: I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, in the kingdom, and patient endurance of Jesus Christ. Rev 1:9. And George Fox in his Letter No.172 gives us evidence of being a partaker, (one who shares), in the inheritance of the saints:
So every one of us, that has come to the seed of God, that bruises the serpent's head, that led man from God, who is the prince of the world, the prince of darkness, and the prince of the air, the father of lies, a murderer from the beginning; the corrupter of mankind, the author of the separation from God, and the original of sin, the beginning of it, which led man from his dominion over the handiworks of God; which the royal seed Christ, destroys, and renews man again in the image of God, and brings him again to his dominion over the handiworks of God. And this hundreds of thousands are now witnessing; by which they come to be kings, and redeemed from the earth and come to be made kings upon the earth, in the image of God, over the handiworks of God, in the wisdom by which they were created ....Among these Christ is king, which thousands witness. Among these he is king.*
* Christ is king of you if He rules your every thought, word, deed; if not, He is not your king. From the Word of the Lord within: "Every man was his own king. The King is where He is king. If all that profess me, would possess me. Remember, every person who sins denies Him as Lord and Master."
By which exceedingly great and precious promises are given to us, that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 2 Pet 1:4
For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold firm the beginning of our confidence to the end, Heb 3:14
I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker of the glory that will be revealed, 1 Pet 5:1
and translated us into the Kingdom of his dear Son.
The kingdom of God does not come with outward signs to be observed. Nor will anyone say, 'Look here!' or 'Look over there!' For the Kingdom of God is within you and around you. Luke 17:20-21. This single statement should be enough for you to realize that Christendom does not have a clue to what Jesus was preaching. They think the kingdom of heaven is only after you die. Some think that maybe we are all in the kingdom of heaven, without realizing it. Or they don't think. From the Word of the Lord within: "Do not be misled; you must enter the kingdom while on earth.
How can the Kingdom be within and around a man? A different dimension, occupying the same physical space. The Apostle Paul helps us understand the Kingdom of God within and around us, writing in the Bible's book of Acts: God .. is not far from each one of us, for in him we live and move and have our being, (Acts 17:27-28) — but we are not aware of this, because we are in a lower physical dimension. The physical dimension shares the same space as the higher spiritual dimensions. To enter the Kingdom of God within and around us, is to be dramatically translated to the spiritual dimension of consciousness and sight, in union with Christ and God, but walking on earth by the light of God. The world passes away from our sight when the Kingdom is entered.
Jesus said that was why he came to preach: I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God, ..because that is why I was sent. Luke 4:43. And he said it was near: The time has come, the kingdom of God is at hand [near]. Repent, and believe the gospel [good news]. Mark 1:15. And he talked about the kingdom more than any other subject; there are over 100 references to the Kingdom in parables, warnings, and exhortations.
Notice, he said, the time has come, the Kingdom is near. He is not talking about a Kingdom thousands of years later. In Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus is recorded saying that some then standing with him, 2000 years ago, would see his glorious coming with the Kingdom before they died. In Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus is recorded saying all the end times' prophesies would be fulfilled before the generation of 2000 years ago died, (click here to see all).
From the Word of the Lord within:
- Do not be misled; you must enter the kingdom while on earth.
- Seek first the kingdom, and all else will be provided — provided you stay on course.
- I will come again to the elect; I will be a crown to lead and guide them.
- Happy are they who serve God in His kingdom.
- Oh seek the Lord you mighty, for the kingdom is sweet, and pure, and holy.
- He who does not seek the kingdom will be the poor.
- Oh seek the kingdom you mighty.
- Don't let the naysayers deflect you.
- Holy is the kingdom, the surrounding radiance of it.
- The world ends as you step into another dimension.
- You can live in heaven and still walk the earth.
- We stand in His presence; in the kingdom we stand before God and His holy angels; we behold His beauty.
- We stand before Him that we might glorify Him.
- We stand in the presence of God speaking forth His words as commanded.
A time of great rejoicing: a time of being told what to do.
The Father will reward those who persevere and stand before Him.
- There is a wondrous beauty to be had.
- My friends are in the kingdom, the covenanted.
- Those inside are warm and humble.
From his style2 the following is George Fox's wonderfully inspiring, unparalleled Christian testimony of being translated into paradise and then the Kingdom:
"I saw also the mountains burning up, and the rubbish, and the rough, and crooked ways and places made smooth and plain,* that the Lord might come into his tabernacle. These things are to be found in man's heart; but to speak of these things being within, seemed strange to the rough, crooked, and mountainous ones. Yet the Lord said, ‘0h earth, hear the word of the Lord!'"
*Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth. Luke 3:5
"Now I came up in spirit, through the flaming sword,* into the paradise of God. All things were new, and all the creation gave another smell unto me than before, beyond what words can utter. I knew nothing but pureness, innocence, and righteousness, being renewed up into the image of God by Christ Jesus; so that I came up to the state of Adam, which he was in before he fell. The creation was open to me; and it was showed me how all things had their names given them, according to their nature and virtue. I was at a stand in my mind, whether I should practice medicine for the good of mankind, seeing the nature and virtues of the creatures were so opened to me by the Lord. But I was immediately taken up in spirit, to see into another or more steadfast state than Adam's in innocence, even into a state in Christ Jesus, that should never fall.** And the Lord showed me, that such as were faithful to him, in the power and light of Christ, should come up into that state in which Adam was before he fell; in which the admirable works of the creation, and the virtues of that may be known, through the openings of that divine word of wisdom and power by which they were made. Great things did the Lord lead me into, and wonderful depths were opened unto me, beyond what can by words be declared; but as people come into subjection to the spirit of God, and grow up in the image and power of the Almighty, they may receive the word of wisdom that opens all things, and come to know the hidden unity in the Eternal Being."
*So [God] drove out the man [Adam and Eve out of paradise, the Garden of Eden]; and He placed at the east of the Garden of Eden the cherubim and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep and guard the way to the tree of life. Gen 3:24
**There are two steps in perfection through the grace of Christ: 1st) to be raised up to the perfection of Adam and Eve in paradise, but still capable of falling to temptation, and 2nd) to be raised up to union with Christ Jesus, an everlasting perfection, which is incapable of falling to sin or temptation. Stephen Crisp, another eminent early Quaker, writes further of this two-step perfection:
For you know while the vessel is filled with wrath, envy, or with unrighteousness of any kind, such are not yet fit for the glory of God to shine forth in. When that is removed out by judgment; and Zion is set free from oppression, then the creature returns to God a pure vessel in the righteousness that was before the fall. So a man or woman may come to Adam's state that he was in before he fell, which was without sin. Against such the judgment of God does not go forth, but they have peace with God, and fellowship in what is pure, before sin and transgression were. Those who come to this state, may be entangled again; as was Eve, and if they do not watch, they may be entangled again; but if such are faithful to the power that redeemed them from the sin, and in the power resist the temptation, then such receive the seal of eternal life in Christ Jesus, who never fell, though he was tempted, and so come to an establishment in Him who never changes.
"Moreover, the Lord God let me see, when I was brought up into his image in righteousness and holiness, and into the state of the paradise of God how Adam was made a living soul; and also to the stature of Christ, the mystery that had been hid from ages and generations: which things are hard to be uttered, and cannot be borne by many. For of all the sects in Christendom (so called) that I discussed with, I found none that could bear to be told that anyone could spiritually grow to Adam's perfection, (that is into that image of God, and righteousness and holiness that Adam was in before he fell), to be clean, pure, and without sin as he was. Therefore, how would they be able to bear being told that any should spiritually grow up to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; when it threatens them to hear that any shall come, while upon earth, into the same power and spirit that the prophets and apostles were in? Though it is an absolute truth, that none can understand the Apostle’s writings correctly without the same spirit by which they were written.
The Lord God opened to me by his invisible power, how that ‘every man was enlightened by the divine light of Christ.’ I saw it shine through all, and that they that believed in it came out of condemnation to the light of life, and became the children of it; but they that hated it and did not believe in it, were condemned by it, though they made a profession of Christ. This I saw in the pure openings of the light without the help of any man; neither did I then know where to find it in the scriptures; though afterwards, searching the scriptures, I found it. For I saw in that light and spirit which was before the scriptures were given forth, and which led the holy men of God to give them forth, that all must come to that spirit, if they would know God or Christ, or the scriptures correctly, which they that gave them forth were led and taught by."
The Kingdom is the prize for losing your sinful life; the prize that is beyond man's imagination, the prize that has been ignored by Christendom.