I.A.1 The Kingdom of God as Witness and Redemption

Part I  –  The Lamp-Stand Model


Article 1 – The Kingdom of God as Witness & Redemption

 a.  Purposes of Christ Manifesting in Flesh

b.  Duality of the Principle of Witness

c.  That Borne Witness Of; The Life, Death, & Resurrection of Jesus Christ

d.  The Witness of the Church

  Article 1 – The Kingdom of God as Witness & Redemption

 a.  Purposes of Christ Manifesting in Flesh

The Kingdom of God is expressed in the Scripture as consisting of two broad principles consistent with the Lord’s coming in the flesh.  These are the principles of Redemption and the principle of Witness.  This is because Christ’s purposes in manifesting Himself consisted of these two interests of God.  We know that Christ came into the world for the purposes of God in redemption:

For the Son of man is come to seek & to save that which was lost.          Luke 19:10 

 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.             Matt. 20:28

But this was not the only purpose of Christ manifesting to the world.  His purpose was also that He bear a witness concerning the Person of God:

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, & for this cause came I into the worldthat I should bear witness unto the truth.   Every one that is of the truth hears My voice.                                                                                      John 18:37

Jesus was born into the world for the purpose of bearing a witness.  Within these two principles are two principles still.  There is a dual-aspect of Redemption.  There is 1) a Redeemer and then there is 2) the Redeemed.  Likewise, there is a dual-aspect of a Witness.  There is 1) the thing borne witness of, and then there is 2) that which bears the witness.

b.  Duality of the Principle of Witness

One prophecy of the Old Testament which conveys this principle of the duality of God’s witness of Himself is:

 Behold, I and the children whom the Lord has given me are for signs and wonders in Israel from the Lord of Hosts, who dwells in Mount Zion.                        Is. 8:18

Who does “I” refer to, and who are these “children whom the Lord has given me”?  The context is the “Lord of Hosts” – a reference to the sanctifying work of Christ Jesus.  Therefore the writer to the Hebrews himself interprets this verse [1] as a reference to Jesus Christ and His sanctified:

For both He who sanctifies & those who are sanctified are all from one Father, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, . .     Heb. 2:11

Therefore when the prophet Isaiah says “I” he is speaking of the Lord Jesus Christ.  When he adds the phrase; “children whom the Lord has given me”, he refers to the saints whom the Father has given to His son.  This is a direct relation to the Lord words as follows:

“All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me, & the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.  For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.  And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day.  For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son & believes in Him, may have eternal life; and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”    John 6:37-40

Clearly Isaiah’s reference is to Jesus Christ and those sanctified within Himself as for “signs and wonders in Israel”.  These are the true “brothers of Christ”.  They are those who through the sanctification of the Spirit are brought into agreement with the Spirit of God and do the will of God.

And he answered & said unto them, “My mother & my brethren are these which hear the word of God, & do it.                         Luke 8:21

 This doing of the will of God constitutes both the principle of the Redemption of God and the principle of Witness of God.

The prophecy of Isaiah continues; “. . . are for signs and wonders in Israel”.  Recall God’s words to Abraham concerning his children:

 & He took him outside & said, “Now look toward the heavens, & count the stars, if you are able to count them.” & He said to him, “So shall your descendents be.”   Gen. 15:5

 Can you recall the Creator’s expressed purpose in creating the stars of heaven?  God said:

“Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, & let them be for signs, & for seasons, & for days & years;       Gen 1:14

 This prophecy of Isaiah, that the children of God themselves constitute “signs” to be beheld is therefore supported in the very story of creation!  Therefore when Isaiah says: “Behold, I and the children whom the Lord has given me are for signs and wonders in Israel”, this is an extremely important concept to understand if we are to resist the false manifestations that may arise in the future.  What is the Spirit of God communicating when He says; “Behold, I and the children whom the Lord has given me are for signs and wonders in Israel”?  What are these “signs and wonders” represented in the statement; “I and the children whom the Lord has given me”?  The answer lies in the miracle that is innate to the very meaning of the sanctified in Christ!

c.  That Borne Witness Of; The Life, Death, & Resurrection of Jesus Christ

Recall that the prophecy provides two objects that are “for signs and wonders”.  The first being, “I” – an allusion to Jesus Christ, whose Spirit is testifying in the prophecy!  Jesus Himself would constitute a “sign”.  And so, Christ declared to the Jews what sign they would be allowed, which was the “sign of the prophet, Jonah”:

“An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign& yet no sign shall be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet.  For just as Jonah was 3 days and 3 nights in the belly of the sea monster, so shall the Son of Man be 3 days and 3 nights in the heart of the earth.”             Matt 12:39-40

 Thus Jesus was repeating exactly what He declared through the prophecy Isaiah; “This is the sign you will be given.  For this is the issue of faith!  The “sign” will be My life, My death, and My resurrection.  These are the “signs” that are manifested to the heart by the Holy Spirit.  This is even the purpose of prophecy, which repeatedly urges us to “behold” (ie. Christ) with the eyes of our heart, a principle running  continuously through prophecy:

“Behold a virgin shall conceive                                      (Is. 7:14)

“Behold I lay in Zion  . . .  a foundation a stone               (Is. 28:16)

“Behold a king shall reign in righteousness                     (Is. 32:1)

“Behold I have given him for a witness to the people       (Is. 55:4)

Did those to whom the sign was given believe that God “is”, and that God has provided salvation even in Himself?  Could they comprehend that even God Himself would be the surety of our salvation?  If not, no miraculous “sign” would change the fundamental problem; the absence of faith.  Remember the story of Lazarus:

“If they do not listen to Moses & the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone rises from the dead.”                                    Luke 16:31

 They already professed to believing Moses and the prophets.  They already had a form of godliness that required righteousness before God.  If they honestly did believe Moses and the prophets, they could not have rested-content in their sins.  Therefore even their profession of belief in Moses and the prophets was empty:

“For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote of Me.  But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”             John 5:46-47

d.  The Witness of the Church

Isaiah adds to the witness of Jesus Christ a group called; “. . . the children whom the Lord has given me.”   These are they that follow in the witness of Christ and ascending in His train.  These following Him in His life, death, and resurrection and therefore they themselves constitute the only “sign” consistent with faith.  When the church, in unity with one another in Christ begin to manifest His life, His death, and His resurrection then they themselves may constitute that “sign” that is the only “sign” that will cause the world to believe.  Therefore the Lord prayed:

“. . . that they may all be one; even as Thou, Father, art in Me, & I in Thee, that they also may be in Us; that the world may believe that Thou didst send Me.”          John 17:21

 Therefore the evidence of the Spirit’s work in the church is a valid “sign” allowing the world to “believe” so as to be saved.  But (mind you) the church itself is not necessarily any sign at all!  Rather it is the “ascension” of the church into the 3-fold witness of God that constitutes the evidence.  But the church void of the Spirit, and the church following after the world-spirit, is no witness of God at all, and is no valid “sign” allowing the world to believe whatsoever.  But only the work of the Spirit in transacting the life, death, and resurrection in the body of Christ stands as a sign to the world of the truth of Christ who is the true witness of God.  The sanctification of the body of Christ constitutes the “sign” and witness of God to the world:

For both He who sanctifies & those who are sanctified are all from one Father, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, . .        Heb. 2:11

 If there were any doubt that this passage from Isaiah is speaking of the sanctification of the body of Christ, then origin being as from “the Lord of Hosts Who dwells in Mount Zion” should put all doubt to rest.  Whenever we see the title “Lord of Hosts”, this is always a reference to Christ and those He has sanctified through His life, death, and resurrection.

We know that the Lord dwells in Mt. Zion.  In fact, in one sense, it is the Lord alone that dwells in the holy hill of Mount Zion, for the Lord “alone is holy”.[2]   As to the sanctified, these “dwell in Mount Zion” by virtue of the sanctification of Christ.  For consider who it is that “dwells in Mount Zion”:

Lord, who shall abide in Thy tabernacle?   Who shall dwell in Thy holy hill?  He that walketh uprightly, & worketh righteousness, & speaketh truth in his heart.  He that backbites not with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor.  In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; But he honors them that fear the Lord.  He that swears to his own hurt & changes not.  Het that puts not out his money to usury, nor takes reward against the innocent.  He that does these things shall never be moved.                               Ps. 15

Those that dwell in Mount Zion are those that keep the sanctification of Christ by abiding in Him.  These are the ones that keep His commandments and are given His Spirit to walk in.

[1] Hebrews 2:13 quotes this verse from Isaiah, ie. “Behold, I and the children whom God has given me”.

[2] Revelation 15:4  Who shall not fear Thee, O Lord, and glorify Thy name? For Thou only art holy:


About Lamp-Stand

I was converted to the faith of Jesus Christ in 1982 at which time I received water baptism and Spirit baptism. In the Spring of 2008 I was led of the Spirit through a process of repentance upon which I had an encounter with Christ that worked a profound change upon my inner being. I became aware that I had been forgiven a great debt of sin. I soon felt the Lord's direction that I close my office that my energies not be divided from the study of doctrine.
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