The coming of the Lord Jesus Christ brought in a complete change in the way God dealt with man. His desire today is to bring a rich and bountiful supply of His Spirit to all His children. But how do we receive this supply? Gal. 3:5 says “He therefore who bountifully supplies to you the Spirit and does works of power among you, does He do it out of the works of law or out of the hearing of faith?”
Are we still struggling under the law, or are we receiving the Spirit through faith?
A life fully according to and for God’s new testament economy. This matter of God’s new testament economy is somewhat unknown to many Christians. And then to look at the life that the Lord Jesus lived on this earth in the light of God’s economy is another kind of new consideration to most people…to most believers.
This matter of God’s economy is a very crucial matter. God’s economy is a very profound matter. According to the revelation of the Bible, God has an economy. He has a purpose…a plan…an administration in the universe to carry out something. And that something is to dispense Himself into all His chosen people. All those who believed into the Lord Jesus Christ.
God wants to dispense Himself into them. And even to constitute Himself into them the way our food is constituted into us and becomes a very part of our being…our physical being. God wants to dispense Himself into His people and to work Himself into them to become their very inward constitution.
God has only one desire and that is to dispense Himself into man so that He and man would become one in an organic way. The result of this dispensing is that all those who receive God’s dispensing become the members of the church. And the church is the Body of Christ. And the Body of Christ is the corporate expression of Christ.
So eventually, God’s economy is to produce an expression of Christ through the dispensing of Himself into His chosen people.
We need some sight…spiritual sight…to see what is here in Mark. Otherwise, what we can understand is that Mark is just a story book for the children before bed. We couldn’t see it is a book that gives us a biography of a life. A life that lives fully according to God’s new testament economy.
Actually, the life that is presented in Mark is the very substance…the pattern…of God’s new testament economy. The Lord has shown us that this very Jesus…He lived a life that is just the expression of God. In this book…Mark…you couldn’t see a person was keeping the law there. Neither Mark tells us that Jesus was doing good. No. What Jesus lived? He lived God! He expressed God. Whatever He did, that was God’s doing. That was God doing through Him. That was God doing from within Him.
Jesus didn’t keep the law; neither He broke the law. Jesus didn’t do anything good; nor He did something bad. He’s not in the kingdom of doing good or doing bad. Neither He is in the kingdom of keeping the law or breaking the law. He is in another kingdom. He is in the kingdom of God!
There are two (2) basic ministries that characterize both the Old and New Testament. The ministry of the priesthood and the ministry of the kingship. It’s interesting that in Matthew chapter 3, we see two representatives of these two basic ministries together as the age is changing.
Well, we’re coming to the first part of Matthew chapter 3 today and the appearance of the ministry of John the Baptist. This chapter is very interesting, because in a very real sense the whole age is changing…some would say the dispensation is changing. This is a pivot point in God’s economy…in His divine revelation. And we see these two ministries…John the Baptist and the Lord Jesus Christ…together in this chapter for the first time. It’s very interesting…John the Baptist’s heritage is one out of the tribe of Levi which was the tribe of the priesthood. And John the Baptist was somebody who ended the Old Testament economy which was of the law.
The law was lifeless…helpless…could cause no one to really experience the King…but only be exposed by the King. But this marvelous ministry of John the Baptist also introduced the King of kings and ushered people to the King and allowed the King to be brought to the people.
John the Baptist ministry therefore is something that terminated the Old Testament economy and ushered in the New Testament economy…which is an economy of grace. And grace is just God in Christ coming to us to be our life and our everything…even coming into us to be our “Inside King.”
So John the Baptist terminated that Old Testament priesthood and brought us into the New Testament priesthood which is a priesthood full of the experience of Christ. Full of the King of the kingdom of the heavens who wants to come into us as life and everything and be the “Inside King” within us.
We need to repent for the kingdom.
In the whole Bible, there are only two basic ministries that constitute the kingdom of God. And these two ministries are firstly the priesthood…then the kingship. In the Old Testament, the priesthood was with the tribe of Levi. John the Baptist was just a descendant of Levi. He is the consummation of the priesthood of the Old Testament. Then Jesus is the consummation of the Old Testament kingship. The kingship in the Old Testament was in the tribe of Judah, and Jesus came to be a descendant of Judah as the consummation of the kingship.
So you can see these two persons…John the Baptist and Jesus Christ…They, on the one hand, terminated the old priesthood and kingship. They also germinated the New Testament priesthood and kingship. When the priesthood brings people to God, the kingship brings God to man. Then there is the heavenly reigning…the heavenly ruling. That is the kingdom.
And this kingdom is just today’s proper church life. And this church life will continue till the millennium comes. Then in the millennial kingdom, there will be the priesthood and the kingship. The overcomers will be there…on the one hand the priests…and on the other hand the kings. So in the millennial kingdom, the priesthood and the kingship will be even stronger to maintain God’s kingdom on this earth. That the king may have the people and all the people may gain the king. This is the millennium.
Then after the millennium there will be no more need of the priesthood. What will be left for eternity will be only the kingship, because in the new heaven and new earth with the New Jerusalem, everyone is in the presence of God. So there’s no need any longer for the priesthood to bring people to God, because by that time God will be with man. God’s presence eliminates the priesthood by that time. But the kingship will be still there reigning over the surrounding nations.
Well, this is just a summary of the whole Bible in the light of the priesthood and the kingship.