J. T. Carroll - Five Things that are Fundamental - Bakersfield - October, 1946

Philippians 3:20-21. It is the first part of verse 20 that I want to take for my text.  The word “conversation” used here is the old English word for “manner of life.”  Back in 1611 when this translation was made, the word conversation was used instead of manner of life.  Another translation puts it this way, “Our citizenship is in Heaven.”  Ours is a heavenly citizenship.  That seems to be just a little better.

Some time ago I read a different translation of this phrase, which I think is better still.  It reads, “For we are a colony of Heaven.”  Paul says that we are a colony of Heaven.  The Roman colony was just a part of the mother country in a foreign land.  Paul turns this around and he says we are a part of the mother country living now in a foreign land.  We are a colony of Heaven.

In Philippi, the laws of Rome were obeyed.  It was a miniature Rome.  The customs of Rome were practised.  Paul spiritualized this, and he tells us we are a colony of Heaven.  The Mother City is above, but we are a part of that Mother City or Mother Country, living now in a foreign land.  But we are expecting some day to reach the Mother City and make our home in this Mother Country.

What I want to bring to your attention is this: that God planned from the very beginning to have a heavenly people on earth.  HE planned to have on this earth a people that would obey the law of Heaven, and in which the customs of Heaven would be practised.  It seems this thought must have been in the mind of Jesus when He told His disciples to pray, “Our Father, which art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name.  Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done in earth as it is in Heaven.”

This last phrase is the part that makes this prayer difficult.. The Lord expected His people on earth would just as gladly do His will as those who were doing that will in the courts of Heaven.  They do the will of God not because they have to, but because they love to.  So it is with regard to this colony of Heaven.  We do His will not because we have to do it, but because we love to do it.

We often say Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people.  God is too kind and too merciful to take any one to Heaven that would not be happy there.  The great anxiety in the heart of God for men and women is to bring into their lives here and now that which will enable them to love the very things God’s people will love for ever in the courts of Heaven.  “Thy will be done in earth today as it is being done in the courts of Heaven.”  Happy today are the men and women who have been willing, with simple, childlike surrender to make the will of God the law of their lives.

True happiness can never be found in this world without that will being worked out in our lives.  Men today are chasing after happiness everywhere and in all directions.  But they are chasing after a will of the wisp, because God has made us so that it is absolutely impossible for any man to find true happiness, or true rest of heart, or peace of mind, outside the circle of His will.  That is the reason why in every meeting of this convention we have tried to help you to whisper a fresh word of surrender to the will of God, whisper a new “yes” to His voice; so that you may leave this convention feeling as never before a deep, true purpose to make this will of God the rule and law of your life.

We are a Colony of Heaven.  We are part of the Mother Country here on earth.  We are often asked the question: What do you represent anyhow?  You have no name.  You have no organization.  You have no headquarters, and no printed literature.  You have no big men and women of world fame in your midst.  Just what do you represent? 

Well, we would like to be able to say that we represent on earth just a little part of that Heavenly Kingdom which the Lord came into the world first to manifest, and then to proclaim, and then to establish in the hearts of men.

That is why so often we read that little phrase in Matthew’s Gospel, “The Kingdom of Heaven.”  There was a great anxiety in the heart and mind of Matthew to convey to all who would read that story the fact that Jesus did not come into the world to establish an outward or earthly kingdom, but He came to establish a Heavenly Kingdom – God’s rule here and now in and over the hearts of men and women.

We know that in those days the Jewish people had misinterpreted the Old Testament prophecies, and they were looking for an outward Messiah that would break the Roman yoke and establish in Jerusalem his capital, and from there would reign over all the world.  That was their dream, and it was the only kind of a kingdom they desired.  So it was a terrible disappointment to them when they woke up to the fact that the true Messiah had no intention whatever of establishing such a Kingdom, but rather that He was going to establish an inward and spiritual Kingdom in and over the hearts of men and women, a Heavenly Kingdom, a Kingdom after the pattern of that Kingdom already established in the courts of Heaven.

When He taught them, in the middle of the second year of His ministry, that “Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven” they could not understand just exactly what He meant.  They could not understand that this Heavenly Kingdom would be marked by those graces He mentioned in the sermon on the mount, and that in manifesting those graces toward their fellows they would be demonstrating what it really meant to be citizens of this Heavenly Kingdom here on earth.

We sometimes say we represent what it means to be in God’s Family here on earth.  That is true.  Sometimes we say we represent God’s Fold here on earth.  That is also true.  It is a real pleasure to me to speak in terms of this great Family of God, or in terms of the Fold of God.  Jesus is the Good Shepherd, the Great and Chief Shepherd.  It is a pleasure to talk about the under-shepherds and the sheep and lambs of His Flock.  We could take up ten meetings discussing the Family and Fold of God; but I want to speak mainly today in terms of the Heavenly Kingdom that Jesus came into the world to establish among men.

I want to speak about five things in particular about this Kingdom that are absolutely fundamental to a real understanding of the teaching, the ministry, and the whole purpose of Christ coming into this world.  It should be easy for you to remember these five things.  Last year at this convention we quoted a proverb to you – “If you want to learn anything, teach it to somebody else.”  So if you want to remember anything that we say to you, the best way to help your memory is to pass on what you have heard to others.

The first thing I would like to say about this Heavenly Kingdom on earth is that it is open to all men.  It is a fellowship that is open to all men and women regardless  of race, or nationality, or color.  There are no geographical or international boundary lines in connection with the Kingdom of God.  One of the great facts of the Gospel is that the door is wide open and an invitation is given unto all, and a welcome is assured to all.

I love those words in connection with the announcement the angels made to the shepherds watching over their flocks by night – “Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to ALL people.”  Nobody was left out.  That to me is very wonderful.  John, in speaking of the ministry, said, “ALL flesh shall see the salvation of God.”  At the very beginning of the ministry of Jesus, speaking to Nicodemus, He said, “God so loved the world [all humanity] that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosever believeth on Him should not perish, but should have everlasting life.”

Then a year later, preaching in the synagogue in Nazareth, He gives the marks of all who are eligible for citizenship in His Kingdom when He said, “The Spirit of God is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind; to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”

After His death and resurrection, He said to His disciples, “Go and teach ALL nations....”  Mark puts it, “Go into ALL the world...”  As the bondservants of the Lord, who have consecrated our lives to the preaching of the Gospel, we are glad we can look into the faces of men and women of any race, or every race, and assure them that as far as this Heavenly Kingdom is concerned, there is a place for them.  The door is open, the invitation is given, a holy and blessed welcome is assured to all who will cross the threshold and enter in.

Away back in New Testament days, there was room in this Heavenly Kingdom for Matthew the publican.  There was room for Peter the fisherman.  There was room in the Heavenly Kingdom for Saul the Pharisee, and I dare to say this morning that if there was room for Peter, and Matthew, and Saul in that heavenly Kingdom in the days of long ago, there is still room in this Heavenly Kingdom for us.

There is only one barrier or difficulty.  There is no difficulty on the Lord’s side, and there never was.  If there is any difficulty in regard to your taking your place in this fellowship, this Heavenly Kingdom on earth, it is in that rebel will of yours.  There is no barrier on God’s side.  The work of reconciliation is accomplished.  Now it is up to us as to what we are going to do about it.

The second thing I want to say about the Kingdom on earth is that it is a voluntary thing.  There is no undue pressure put on any individual with regard to entering this Kingdom.  God has given to every man a free choice.  You can remain outside if you will.  You can enter if you will.  This convention is made up of people who belong to one of these two classes – those who are no within the Kingdom and those who are still without.  God may have brought you up to the very threshold of the Kingdom; yet men and women will halt between two opinions, not realizing that they will only discover the real meaning of the purpose of life when they have entered in.

This morning before I got up, I thought of two parables spoken by the Lord Jesus and recorded in Matthew 13.  Speaking of the Kingdom, He said, “It is like treasure hid in a field, which, when a man hath found it, he hideth; and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.”  Then he says it is like a merchant man seeking goodly pearls “who when he hath found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.”

I wish we could get some of you to do what those two men did in the long, long ago.  Those two parables were spoken to answer a question that often comes into the minds of people – what is the supreme good today?  What is the most worthwhile thing in life?  What is it in life that I can make my own, that will make my life worth living, enabling me to accomplish something worthwhile here and now in the present world, and enable me to lay up treasure in Heaven, “Where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal?”

Every man and woman needs something worthwhile to live for.  Life would have no meaning if we had not something worthwhile to put our best into.  Life can have no real meaning to any man who day in and day out, week in and week out, year in and year out, wastes time as if he were created and given a few years to waste seeking his own pleasure, sowing the wrong kind of seed.  I believe these two possibilities make clear once and for ever that if we are to discover and have made real to us something worthwhile putting our very best into, we will have to discover that in this treasure.

This man was not looking for treasure when he went to look in that field.  I was not looking for this treasure when I found it.  I stumbled on it.  I did not know there was such a thing in the world as what we represent this morning.  I stumbled on it by accident, seemingly; but like the man in the parable, when I discovered in a certain measure the value of this treasure, I made up my mind that I was going to make this treasure my very own no matter what it would cost.  In all the ups and downs, the joys and sorrows, during the years since then, this treasure has increased in value.  It is of more value to me today than it was that night I said in my heart that I would be willing to serve the Lord no matter what it would mean or cost.

The merchant man represents a different class.  Men change their religion over and over again, thinking at last they have discovered this pearl of great price, only to be disappointed.  But now that the pearl of greatest price has been brought within their reach, they admire it, recognizing it is better than anything else.  And in spite of what it costs they are prepared to make it their own, and their own forever.  This man sold all he had and brought back the pearl.

This is a voluntary fellowship.  It is a fellowship of volunteers.  There are no conscripts in this fellowship.  Sometimes I have wished I could lay hands on men and compel them to enter the Kingdom.  But there is that free will, that power of choice which God has given to every human being, and the way in which you exercise that freedom of choice will determine your destiny.

It will either mean remaining outside of this fellowship or entering in and enjoying what every citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven enjoys here and now in this present life.  It is a fellowship open to all men, whosoever will my come.  It is up to you to speak the word of surrender, to whisper the words of submission, to say in your heart, as others have said, “I will say ‘yes’ to Jesus, yes, Lord, forever yes; I’ll welcome all Thy blessed will, and gladly answer ‘yes.’”

The third thing I would like to mention is that this Family, this Kingdom on earth that the Lord Jesus came to manifest in His life, proclaim by His lips, and by His death – this Heavenly Kingdom on earth is a Kingdom of sacrifice.  There could be no Kingdom without sacrifice.  This sacrifice began in the very courts of Heaven, the sacrifice of the Father in giving His Son.  That meant a great deal.  God so loved the world that He sacrificed.  “He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

The Son of God came to earth.  He lived, and loved, and laboured, and ultimately He suffered on the cross.  He poured out the last drop of His life’s blood on Calvary’s cross for you and for me.   His whole life was a sacrifice. That sacrifice was perfected when on the cross His blood was poured out.  You will remember that this fact in connection with Christ made such an imprecision on Paul that over and over again in his letters to his friends he emphasized the fact in speaking of Christ that “He gave Himself” for us.  He didn’t give any less.  He couldn’t give any more.  He gave Himself literally and actually in sacrifice for you and for me.

I can understand just how Paul felt when in writing to his Galatian friends he said, “I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; 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.”  He had already said in writing to others that He gave His all.  Let me say, if the Lord could love Saul of Tarsus, He could love anyone.  I have met men who said, “How could Christ love a man like me?“  If He could love Saul, the persecutor, the man who thought it was his business in life to stamp out this new religion, He could love, and He does love, anyone and everyone.

There is in every human heart a hunger for love.  It is good when a soul awakens to the fact that Christ loves them, really loves them, that His love never weakens or wanes, but it is always the same.  John tells us that, “Having loved His own, which were in the world, He loved them unto the end.”  It is good when we awaken to the fact that Christ loved us enough to live for us and to shed His blood for us.

He loved us well enough to send His Spirit to convince us of our need, and to bring us into touch with those who manifested Christ, and who spoke the word of Christ.  If He loved us well enough to do that for us, surely the only thing we can do is to respond to that love and give Him the place in our hearts that rightly belongs to Him; and henceforth to know Him as “the fairest among ten thousand and the altogether lovely One.” This is a Kingdom of sacrifice.  First there was the sacrifice of the Father in giving up His Son, and then the sacrifice of the Son in giving His life.  Then there was the sacrifice of those whom He called into the Kingdom, and later into the ministry.  This ministry is a ministry of sacrifice. There could be no New Testament ministry apart from sacrifice.  That is the reason there is no such thing in the New Testament as a hireling preacher.  There is no such thing as a preacher being hired out for a certain sum, or begging for money, or lifting collections in the name of Jesus.  True preachers would rather die in their tracks than leave it open for any man to suggest they were mercenary in their motives of their ministry.

The first step into the ministry meant sacrifice.  It meant the sacrifice of their home and all they possessed.  Jesus did not tell all of His disciples to forsake everything.  That would have made His message and ministry ridiculous.  He did not ask the rank and file of those who believed in Him to enter the ministry.  Many could not possibly do so, but from the rank and file of His disciples He called out those men He desired to fill a place in the ministry; and to them, and them only, did He say, “Sell that ye have.”  Them only did He ask to forsake all.

None could have any place in the New Testament ministry unless they were willing to fulfill these conditions and go forth to be as homeless as He was as the Example, the Pattern, and the Good Shepherd.  On one occasion a candidate for the ministry said to Him, “Lord, I will follow Thee wheresoever Thou goest.”  Jesus, knowing what was in his heart, said, “Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man hath not where to lay His head.”  We do not read of that man entering the ministry, because he was unwilling to have fellowship with Jesus in His homelessness.

The church in the home and the preacher without a home are two of the fundamentals of the faith of Jesus.  One of the strangest things in the New Testament is that we never read of God’s people building church buildings.  We don’t read about it until the third century, when there had been a turning away from that which Jesus lived and taught.  In the first days there were not great church institutions, but God’s people met together in every land in homes consecrated to God.  The church in the home was the rule, and the preacher without a home.

How could any preacher obey the great commission to go into all the world if he had a home, or business, or farm of his own?  No man could accept or obey that commission unless he was willing to obey the conditions Jesus laid down, and literally and actually fulfill all of them.  The first disciples going into the uttermost parts of the earth were not worried about home, or property, or business.  They were free to proclaim God’s message, proving what He promised to be eternal truth in their own experience – “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.”  That is God’s Way.

This is a Kingdom of sacrifice, but it is a Kingdom where there is fellowship.  There is a sacrifice of God’s people as well as of His servants.  There must be sacrifice, self-denial, and willingness to put first things first, in order that the Kingdom of God may be extended among men.  Paul refers to this in writing to the Philippians, when he says, “I thank God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all, making request with joy, for your fellowship in the Gospel from the first day until now.”

I hope I have made it clear that Jesus never expected or demanded that the rank and file of His disciples should “forsake all” or “sell all.”  Those two phrases refer entirely to the ministry, and only to the ministry.  One of the reasons why so many people are mixed up with regard to the teaching of Jesus is that they apply His teaching with regard to the ministry to the rank and file of His disciples, and it won’t fit in.  So they say He never meant what He said, or times have changed and we have to work things out entirely different.

If I were to ask you what is the real difference between those whom we speak of as ministers and the rank and file of God’s people, what would you answer?  I asked this question once - What is the difference between the servants of God and the saints of God?  One man said, “The servants preach the Truth, and the saints live the Truth.”  I asked the same question in another meeting, and a man said, “The difference is this, the servants of God have many homes and the poor saints have only one.”  He was a little mixed, but he had the right end of it.

When the rich young ruler went away, Peter said, “Lord, we have done what that fellow is unwilling to do, what shall we have, therefore?”  Then the Lord said “No man hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the Kingdom of God’s sake, who shall not receive manifold in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.”

That promise is not for the rank and file of God’s people.  It is for those who have fulfilled the conditions and entered the ministry.  We have many fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, homes, and much land.  Mary, Martha and Lazarus had a home in Bethany where Jesus and the disciples were welcomed.  It was of homes like this that Jesus speaks.  He was just as welcome in that home as any member of the family.

Another friend of ours gave a different answer to this question, and I think he had the right answer.  He said, “The difference is this, the servants of God sacrifice all, and the saints of God use all.”  His home and everything he possessed was at the disposal of the Lord Jesus.  If you have a home, and business, and family, and you say truly in your heart, “My home, and business and family are at the Lord’s disposal,” then you will have a deeper taste of that peace of God which passeth all understanding, and you will share in the joy unspeakable and full of glory.

As I look back across the years, I value the sacrifice of thee boys and girls who have started out and are now starting out in God’s service.  I know what it has cost them, and the battles fought before their decision was made, but the time comes when the answer is given – I am willing to go.  I think of the parents left without their boys and girls, and all their hopes for them blighted.  I think of the lonely days, and weeks and months, especially when some of those boys and girls have lifted up their eyes to go to far lands arid are away for years.

I have been in such homes, and my heart has bled for the parents; but their sacrifice has brought into their lives that which has enriched them; and that is the only wealth worthwhile.  I talked to a father and mother at the last convention, whose only daughter is fifteen hundred miles away from home for the Gospel’s sake, although she never had been away from home in her life before.  After that girl had decided to give her life in the service of God, I was almost afraid to meet her father and mother, but I need not have been; for that sacrifice was gladly given, and their greatest joy today is to hear that she is being used in God’s great harvest field.

There could have been no Kingdom of God in this world without sacrifice.  This Kingdom is founded on sacrifice, and it can be maintained only by sacrifice.  If that spirit dies out we become no better than any of the daughters of Babylon.  That is what Jesus meant when He said, “Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone.  But if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.”  Paul, remembering these words, wrote afterwards, “Death worketh in us, but life in you.”

There are in this meeting a group of people who are willing for death to work in them.  They are willing to die to the place they might have filled in the world in order that they might have the privilege of preaching the Gospel, and laying down their lives for His sake.  The people I admire most are those men and women who have taken these steps, and who, as far as the world is concerned, are more unnoticed and unknown; but whose ministry God can bless in bringing light to men and women who are now dead in trespasses and sin.

In a home a few years ago, I saw a motto that spoke very loudly to me.  It said: “Its love and giving that makes life worth living.  Its love and giving that makes life a song.”  It is the spirit of sacrifice, this willingness to sacrifice all for the sake of others that enriches our lives and makes the lives of God’s servants and His people all the more worthwhile.

I am dealing with the fundamentals of the faith, and the basic truths that have to do with the Kingdom of God here and now in this world, and if the world lasts, hundreds of years from now. 

The fourth thing I would like to say about this heavenly Kingdom is this:  This heavenly Kingdom on earth is a Kingdom where all serve and none rule.  There is no room for any who want to lord it over others.  There is plenty of room for those who are willing to serve.

Jesus Himself was the Leader.  He had the greater responsibility, and He had the greater authority; but in the midst of His own disciples He said, “I m among you as One that serveth.”  There was the Master taking the place of the servant, the greatest taking the place of the least, the One who had the most authority willing to be the servant of all.

This heavenly Kingdom on earth is a Kingdom where all serve and none rule.  There is no room for rulers in God’s heavenly Kingdom.  There is no room for men or women to dominate the lives of others, or to lord it over God’s heritage.  But there is plenty of room for men and women who are willing to serve; who are willing to take the place of a servant, those who are willing to do what they can and give what they can in order to meet whatever need arises in the service of God.

To emphasize this, I would like to read to you a few verses. You will remember the time when the mother of Zebedee’s children came to the Lord and made a request of Him.  She was ambitious for her sons, and she had two boys who were equally ambitious.  They had not a true understanding of the heavenly Kingdom, and they thought it would be a nice thing to sit one on the right hand and one on the left hand of Jesus...  When the rest of the disciples heard it they were mad.  They were all more or less of the same frame of mind; only these two boys used their mother to put it over on them.

The ten were moved with indignation against their brethren, and Jesus called them unto Him and said, “Ye know not what ye ask.  Are ye able to drink the cup that I drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?"  They say unto Him, ‘We are able.’”  He said a little later, “My Kingdom is not of this world.  If my Kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight?”  This Kingdom is entirely different from any other Kingdom the world has ever known.  Jesus said, “Whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be first among you, let him be your servant.”

Almost the same words are used in Luke 22.  He is here speaking about the kingdom of the Gentiles, and He said, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors.  But ye shall not be so:  but he that is greatest among you let him be as the younger:  and he that is chief among you, as he that doth serve.  For whether is greater he that serveth at meat, or he that sitteth at meat?  Is not he that sitteth at meat?  But I am among you as He that serveth.”  The Master had taken the place of the servant.

Philippians 2:5 reads, “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.”  We cannot be honest with ourselves without recognizing how far we have come short, but here is the ideal.  Here is the spirit of sacrifice:  I want to serve.  We love to see that spirit amongst God’s people.  I have been humbled again and again as I have seen it in others.

I know my usefulness and my influence I might have in God’s Family depends upon my willingness and ability to serve, not in ruling or reigning.  It is service and service alone that counts.  Every place on these grounds that I have gone the spirit of service is manifest.  I have looked here and there and have seen preachers all over the place.  What are they doing?  They are serving.  I find them running all over the place, all with the same thought in mind – how can I minister to and make it more pleasant for others?  How can I make his convention more helpful, so that God’s people will be enriched and blessed?

There is not a hired man on these grounds, as far as the convention is concerned.  We don’t hire the cooks, or the waiters, or the bed makers, or even the preachers.  There is not a preacher here but would rather die any day than allow anyone to suggest they were open to hire.

The only collection we read of in the New Testament was not for the servants of God, but for the saints of God.   There never was a collection for preachers, but for the rank and file of God’s people who were in need in Jerusalem and Judea.  That is why we feel able to suggest that you today could do what the early Christians did to meet the need in lands where God’s children today have not even the necessities of life. This Kingdom is a fellowship open to all men.  It is a voluntary fellowship.  It is a Kingdom of sacrifice, founded by sacrifice, and maintained only by sacrifice.  It is a Heavenly Kingdom on earth, a Kingdom where all serve and none rule. It is not a worldly kingdom where there is competition between citizens and officials for position to rule and dominate over others.  If there is any competition in this Heavenly Kingdom, it should be for the lowest place, the place where we can serve most.  That is the Spirit of Jesus, “Let this mind be in you, which also was in Christ Jesus....”

The fifth thing about this Heavenly Kingdom on earth is that it is a reign of love not of law.  All earthly kingdoms and institutions need rules and regulations and laws; but this Heavenly Kingdom on earth is a reign of love and not of law.  On the last night of the life of Jesus, in John 13:34-35, you will remember what He said, “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.  By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another.”

You might say everything Jesus lived and taught can be summed up in that one world love.  It is said that when John reached the end of his life, a group of his disciples gathered around him and were anxious that he would give them one last message.  They were most anxious for him to give that message.  It is said he told them what he had so often told them before, “Little children, love one another.”  They asked him to add something to that, and he answered, “No that suffices, love one another.”

This fellowship of which we form a part is held together by love.  That is the only thing that binds us together.  WE have no official relationship with each other.  It is a love relationship.  This relationship is the strongest, and I believe the most lasting of any that could possibly be established.  Why?  Because that is what Jesus said.  The Constitution is the basic law of the United States.  The new commandment is the basic law of this Heavenly Kingdom.  “Little children, love one another.”

There was never intended to be a sentimental law, but the very opposite.  We know how easy it is for something else to creep into our hearts rather than love.  I was reading 1 John 2 some time ago, and some of the phrases there startled me.  “He that saith he is in the light and yet hateth his brother is in darkness even until now.”  One of the most deadly things that could ever enter the mind or heart is dislike or hatred of any brother or sister, or of any man in the whole of God’s creation.

Further on in this letter it says [3:14], “We know we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren.  He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.”  Away over in the Old Testament, on order to become a murderer you would have been obliged to take the life of another.  That has become obsolete.  In the new covenant hatred in the heart is the equivalent, so you can see how dangerous it is to let that dread spirit take control in any way.

1 John 4:20.  The word “liar" used here is a very strong word.  The original word for the English word is a little different.  It makes it stronger, in fact.  It says, “He is a religious fraud and corrupter of God’s Truth.” 

Wherever John used the word liar or lie, it has that meaning.  Down through the ages the world has been cursed by religious fraud, men who corrupt God’s Truth.  In the Heavenly City there is no room for them.  You can see the great responsibility that rests upon every child of God if we are to be worthy of the place that is ours in this Heavenly Kingdom.

“Little children, love one another.”  You may ask, how can I understand the meaning of this new commandment?  How can I understand what this love really is?  One of God’s truest and best servants was used to write a whole chapter to define this new commandment.  If you want to understand what it means to obey the new commandment, read over carefully 1 Corinthians 13.

If you are an honest man or woman, the reading of that chapter will search your heart, and you will discover that the word of God is sharp and quick, and like a two-edged sword.  Happy will you be if there is a response in your heart, and you are willing to say, “If this is what it means to obey that commandment which the Lord gave to His own disciples, then it is up to me to obey it.”

You will notice there are certain things love never will be guilty of, and certain graces love will always manifest.  If you make up your mind to turn from negative things and fulfill these graces, then you will understand a little better what it means to obey this new law of love.

This is a Kingdom that is open to all men, a fellowship open to whosoever will come. It is a voluntary fellowship.  It is a Kingdom founded and maintained by sacrifice, a Kingdom where all serve and none rule, a reign of love and not of law.  May God help us to set in our hearts this ideal that was in the mind of God and the heart of Jesus, and about which we read so clearly in the Gospel; and enable us by His grace to manifest to all the world what it really means to be “a colony of Heaven,” part of the Mother Country in a foreign land, for His Name's sake.