The Least In The Kingdom

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Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. – Matthew 5:17-19

The fate which Jesus here describes for those who break the Law and teach others to do so isn’t glorious. We tend to read this and move on. But if we take a moment to consider who is least in any kingdom, it might give us pause. The gatekeepers? No, we can go lower. The janitors? The homeless on the street? No. These people, while low indeed, can find a class still lower. The lowest we can possibly go is to the criminal on death row – worse still, the anarchist and traitor whose rebellion against the King earns public execution so his example will deter further insurrection. Worse than the petty thief or societal leech is a traitor to his king and nation.

To teach someone to break the law is to teach lawlessness, which essentially makes a man a law unto himself. He responds to no authority but himself. He is out of control, with no guidance save whatever notions or lusts he might harbor. He rebels against the established rule, proclaiming that the authority is nothing to him and that he will not bow to it.

In rejecting a law, the rebel rejects the issuer of that law. In rejecting the kingdom’s law, he rejects the king. If he will not obey the king, then he will obey whomever he chooses to obey, be it himself or another external force. By doing so he attempts to replace the king with another – after all, where there is law, there is an issuer of that law. Rebellion and insurrection have not only sought to defy the king, but now seek to replace him.

The same holds true for the Kingdom of heaven. Rejection and replacement of the King’s Law is rejection and replacement of the King Himself. Such treason and rebellion is classified as blasphemy and idolatry, offenses worthy of death. “For rebellion,” declared the prophet Samuel in I Samuel 15:23, “is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.” Witchcraft and idolatry are both capital offenses, landing its practitioners well without the Kingdom (Revelation 22:15). Lysander Spooner, 19th-Century lawyer, once wrote, “A traitor is a betrayer – one who practices injury, while professing friendship. Benedict Arnold was a traitor, solely because, while professing friendship for the American cause, he attempted to injure it. An open enemy, however criminal in other respects, is no traitor.” (No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority) One who claims to know Christ, but does not keep His commandments (the Law), is a liar (I John 2:4). While claiming to be a Christian, he is, whether wittingly or not, an antichrist double agent – a traitor.

I recall listening to another young preacher in a recorded sermon, who confessed his terror of being found among those who think they’ve been faithful Christians their entire lives, only to be told, “I never knew you. Depart from Me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:23). Little did this antinomian preacher realize that the answer to his fear lay in the quoted verse itself. The Greek word anomia, translated “iniquity”, most literally means “lawlessness”. Without Law, any works we do which may be good are good only in our own eyes. We have chosen which parts of God’s commands to follow and which to ignore. We have become gods unto ourselves, treasonously usurping the throne of the Almighty. Thus is is that we can feed the poor, teach the lost, and do many good works, but as long as we reject the King’s Law we are unworthy of fellowship in the Kingdom. Our good works are not good at all, being of ourselves, and thus but filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). Christ has not known us. He will send us away as traitors, out of the Kingdom, among the whoremongers, idolaters, and adulterers.

Many Christians are quick to confess that Jesus is King. But the question becomes: King of what? Some might claim him as a personal King of their souls, or as King of a heavenly realm. Few indeed admit that He is King of both heaven and earth (Matthew 28:18). All authority, dominion, and power belong to Him. If this is so, then He is King of All. And if He is King, then He must rule by some kind of Law – after all, without Law, there is no standard by which to govern His Kingdom, otherwise His Kingship is nothing more than an empty title. No ruler can rule without the basis of law – this is an indisputable fact. If Christ’s rule extends over all creation, then so must the Law by which He establishes that rule, else His claim to Kingship is false.

Those who claim that the Law of God is void seek by consequence to make Christ’s Kingship void also, thus reducing Him to a sham and a mockery. They would would destroy the foundation upon which His Kingdom rests, and if the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do (Psalm 11)? If Christians are kings and priests with Christ (Revelation 1:6), ruling with Elohiym as ISRA EL, then the destruction of the foundational Law makes it impossible for them to rule as well. The Sword has been snatched from their fingers and they are rendered impotent, standing helplessly by as the world is dismantled. Christians must stop taking part in the destruction of the foundations by the treason of their antinomianism, and fight to uphold the standard of what David called perfect, sure, right, pure, clean, true, and righteous (Psalm 19:7-11).

If we can establish that Law exists, then we can by default show that Kingdom exists. Where there is Law, there is a King and Lawgiver, and where there is a King and Lawgiver, there is a Kingdom. These three are integral to one another. No nation or kingdom can exist without a government or law to establish and maintain it, and no government or law can exist without a realm over which to have sway. One without the other is meaningless. If Christ came to establish the Law (Romans 3:31), then there must of necessity be a Kingdom being established as well.

To adhere to any other law over the Kingdom Law is to give allegiance to another kingdom and another ruler. Every Christian should make Biblical Law the supreme rule of his life, by which he measures all other edicts and ordinances. If any legal mandate contradicts the God’s Law in the least aspect, he should be prepared to choose the latter above the former, else he is not subject to Jesus Christ, but to man. Any resident within any kingdom who abides by the laws of and swears allegiance to any other kingdom is a foreigner at best and a turncoat at worst. Neither are partakers in that kingdom. Such are those who say Christ’s Kingdom isn’t in this world and that His Law is void. Remember I John 2:4 says that anyone who claims to know Him but doesn’t keep His Commandments (namely, the Ten, with their statutes) is a liar – and Revelation 21:8 says all liars will partake of the second death in the lake of fire with whoremongers and murderers. They will die a traitor’s death.

The lawless antinomian – the liar, the Kingdom betrayer, the anarchist – denies not only the Law, but its issuer, Jesus Christ the King. It was against such men that James warned in James 1:4, who turn the grace of God into licentiousness (in other words, libertinism). An interesting fact to note is that the word translated “licentiousness” or “lasciviousness” in that verse is the Greek aselgeia, which denotes shameless, unbridled wantonness – ie, lewdness and promiscuity. When the church embraces antinomianism, it embraces harlotry against her Husband, unrestrained by the bonds of matrimonial propriety. Like Israel, she commits whoredom with false gods of the same nature as Astarte, Baal, or Molech. She rejects the Law and rule of her husband and places herself under the law and rule of strange lovers.

She becomes a harlot.

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