And, finding there was greater happiness and peace and rest for me, I sought for the blessings of the fathers, and the right whereunto I should be ordained to administer the same (Abraham, vs 2)

Friday, June 23, 2017

House Without Hands: What is the Kingdom of God?

For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. (2 Corinthians 5:1
Lectures on Faith
3 Having the assurance that they were pursuing a course which was agreeable to the will of God, they were enabled to take, not only the spoiling of their goods, and the wasting of their substance, joyfully, but also to suffer death in its most horrid forms; knowing, (not merely believing,) that when this earthly house of their tabernacle was dissolved, they had a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. Second Cor. 5:1. 
What is this house not made with hands? There are other phrases such as "prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God" (D&C 88:19) Other places it uses, The "house of Israel", or in reference to a temple "house of the Lord".

Kingdom of God
The prophecy of Daniel in Chapter 2 verses 31-45 is often quoted as the Kingdom of God here are two scriptures regarding it.
2 The keys of the kingdom of God are committed unto man on the earth, and from thence shall the gospel roll forth unto the ends of the earth, as the stone which is cut out of the mountain without hands shall roll forth, until it has filled the whole earth. (D&C 65:2
34 Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. (Daniel 2:34)
 Typically we call this stone the Kingdom Of God, the house built without hands. The Lord in reference to his death said "I will destroy this temple [Remember he said he was referring to his flesh or body as he later told the disciples] that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands. " (Mark 14:58)

In reference to the kingdom of God Christ said,
Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, beholdthe kingdom of God is within you. (John 17:21)
Holy Ghost
The kingdom of God is within you. The tabernacle we now have is not the house built without hands for when its dissolved we will still have that house which is built without hands. Examine this verse.
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? (1 Corinthians 6:19)
The purpose of the tabernacle is to be the "temple" of the Holy Ghost. A symbol of Gods presence dwelling in man if the house (body) remains purified. And where is this Holy Ghost? It is "within you" as another verse says, "the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us.". (D&C 130:22) If your tabernacle is unclean it cannot have the Holy Ghost dwell therein (vs 23).

A Soul
Why must one seek God to posses their souls? What is a soul? Its a body + spirit. Tabernacle + our spirits. "And the spirit and the body are the soul of man. " (D&C 88:15)
38 And seek the face of the Lord always, that in patience ye may possess your souls, and ye shall have eternal life.
Our Countenance In His Image
Why is it that the closer to God we get that our countenance becomes like His countenance? Why is that when that day comes, we shall know even as I am known, or other wards we will realize we are and were always like Him? Why is it that what we see in the mirror is what He already is now at THAT day when we become like Him?
12 For now we see through a glass [mirror], darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. (2 Corinthians 13:12) 
18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass [mirror] the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory,even as by the Spirit of the Lord. (2 Corinthians 3:18)
Why does Alma in chapter 5 on the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost ask the following question?
14 And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? (Alma 5:14)
Are we not created in His image?

Spiritually Born Again: Baptism
Why must one be born again to enter the kingdom of God?
Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God, said Jesus. (John 3:3.)
Some Parallels.
1) We must be baptized to see the kingdom of God
2) "Baptism by water is but half a baptism, and is good for nothing without the other half—that is, the baptism of the Holy Ghost." (TPJS 314)
3) We must receive the Baptism of fire by the Holy Ghost to enter the kingdom of God which is to "receive the Holy Ghost" (John 3:5) As Joseph said "It is one thing to see the kingdom of God, and another thing to enter into it.” (Smith, Teachings, p. 328.)
4) The Holy Ghost is within you.
5) The Kingdom of God is within you.
6) When we receive the Holy Ghost, it purifies us until we are changed from "glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord".
7) When we are fully changed we "posses our souls" and when "he shall appear we shall be like Him" (Moroni 7:48)
8) Our bodies are the tabernacle (temple) of our spirits.

House Without Hands
So what is the house?
How does it move forward "without hands"?
How is something "within us" built up?
Is it our souls?
Is it our spirits?
It is NOT our tabernacles. And it is NOT a religion.

Is this why the Lord said the "kingdom of God cometh not with observation" (John 17:20) or that "within three days I will build another made without hands." (Mark 14:58)? Are we not becoming the Kingdom of God? Is that why we must be baptized to receive the Kingdom of God and to become the Kingdom of God we must be changed into something more Holy? To become like Him?

We are baptized so that we may also receive the Holy Ghost by the Lord (3 Nephi 12:1).
We become the Kingdom of God.

The Holy Ghost will show us all things we must do. We will speak with the tongue of angels. We will speak by the power of the Holy Ghost. We will speak the words of Christ (See 2 Nephi 32:1-5), we will have all of this...
61 Therefore it is given to abide in you; the record of heaven; the Comforter; the peaceable things of immortal glory; the truth of all things; that which quickeneth all things, which maketh alive all things; that which knoweth all things, and hath all power according to wisdom, mercy, truth, justice, and judgment.(Moses 6:61)
Is this not the Kingdom of God? Is this not intelligence or light and truth? Is this not the Spirit of God? Are these not all connected? The Holy Ghost maketh alive all things. "The LORD killeth, and maketh alive" (1 Samuel 2:6) Its interesting how the Light of Christ also is"13 The light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, (D&C 88:13)".

All these things are related. They are all part of the same power or same being. All those who posses the Holy Spirit or as the Lectures on Faith define it to be the "mind of God" become one with Him. Just like the Father and the Son are one, we will as the Lord prayed in His appearance in 3 Nephi, we will be one with Him as He is with the Father. Thus as we have our will beguiled in the will of our Father, we will be in His image. We will be a type of His kingdom. We will BE the Kingdom of God, We will have the kingdom of God within us, or the peaceable things of immortal Glory.
114 But great and marvelous are the works of the Lord, and the mysteries of his kingdom which he showed unto us, which surpass all understanding in glory, and in might, and in dominion;
115 Which he commanded us we should not write while we were yet in the Spirit, and are not lawful for man to utter;
116 Neither is man capable to make them known, for they are only to be seen and understood by the power of the Holy Spirit, which God bestows on those who love him, and purify themselves before him;
117 To whom he grants this privilege of seeing and knowing for themselves;
118 That through the power and manifestation of the Spirit, while in the flesh, they may be able to bear his presence in the world of glory. (D&C 76:114-118)
This house without hands, is "the building of God". The temple is the very type of this. God dwells in holy temples. He appears, or comes to His "temples". Because they are holy, or in His image. The things of this world are given to typify of things that are heavenly.

Kingdom of God: Stone cutout without hands:
Joseph gave the following lecture on the Kingdom of God. It can be found in the Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith on page 272.
"Where did the kingdom of God begin? Where there is no kingdom of God there is no salvation. What constitutes the kingdom of God? Where there is a prophet, a priest, or a righteous man unto whom God gives His oracles; there is the kingdom of God and where the oracles are not, there the kingdom of God is not. In these remarks, I have no allusion to the kingdoms of the earth..." (TPJS, pg 272)
Than he states "We speak of the kingdom of God on the earth, not the kingdoms of men". So we see that the kingdoms of men or earthly institutions are not the kingdom of God. He continued explaining what the Oracles of God were, 
"The plea of many in this day is, that we have no right to receive revelations; but if we do not get revelations, we do not have the oracles of God; and if they have not the oracles of God, they are not the people of God. But say you, What will become of the world, or the various professors of religion who do not believe in revelation and the oracles of God as continued to His Church in all ages of the world, when He has a people on earth? I tell you, in the name of Jesus Christ, they will be damned; and when you get into the eternal world, you will find it will be so, they cannot escape the damnation of hell." (ibid)
Oracles of God: Revelation
The oracles of God, meaning the revelations of God. The revelations of God were given to us from Joseph Smith. If there are no revelations, than we do not have the oracles of God. So the kingdom of God requires someone who has those oracles, or as Joseph said quoting Christ, "Jesus in His teachings says, ‘Upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.’ [Matthew 16:18.] What rock? Revelation." (History of the Church, 5:258). His church is built on Revelation.

Holy Ghost & The Kingdom of God:
In another place Joseph declared the following about the Holy Ghost, "No man can receive the Holy Ghost without receiving revelations. The Holy Ghost is a revelator. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.328)". So we can see that if you receive the Holy Ghost you will have revelations. If you have revelations you will have the oracles of God with you and where the oracles are there is the Kingdom of God.

John The Baptist: A Solitary Soul Represented the Kingdom God
Joseph continued saying,
"As touching the Gospel and baptism that John preached, I would say that John came preaching the Gospel for the remission of sins; he had his authority from God, and the oracles of God were with him, and the kingdom of God for a season seemed to rest with John alone. The Lord promised Zacharias that he should have a son who was a descendant of Aaron, the Lord having promised that the priesthood should continue with Aaron and his seed throughout their generations. Let no man take this honor upon himself, except he be called of God, as was Aaron; and Aaron received his call by revelations. An angel of God also appeared unto Zacharias while in the Temple, and told him that he should have a son, whose name should be John, and he should be filled with the Holy Ghost. Zacharias was a priest of God, and officiating in the Temple, and John was a priest after his father, and held the keys of the Aaronic Priesthood, and was called of God to preach the Gospel of the kingdom of God. The Jews, as a nation, having departed from the law of God and the Gospel of the Lord, prepared the way for transferring it to the Gentiles. But, says one, the kingdom of God could not be set up in the days of John, for John said the kingdom was at hand. But I would ask if it could be any nearer to them than to be in the hands of John. The people need not wait for the days of Pentecost to find the kingdom of God, for John had it with him, and he came forth from the wilderness crying out, ‘Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is nigh at hand,’ as much as to say, ‘Out here I have got the kingdom of God, and you can get it, and I am coming after you; and if you don't receive it, you will be damned;’ and the scriptures represent that all Jerusalem went out into John's baptism. There was a legal administrator, and those that were baptized were subjects for a king; and also the laws and oracles of God were there; therefore the kingdom of God was there; for no man could have better authority to administer than John; and our Savior submitted to that authority Himself, by being baptized by John; therefore the kingdom of God was set up on the earth, even in the days of John." (TPJS, pg 272)
It takes revelation to be called of God as was Aaron, not men. John came forth from the wilderness having the kingdom of God. One person represented that Kingdom. John was a legal administrator. Christ recognized him even though there was an existing priestly authority which He also respected, who were in control of the temple at Jerusalem. But the presence of one set of recognized authorities did not prevent Christ from respecting another, unrecognized priestly authority. You see John was unrecognized by the earthly fellowship or priesthood, but was recognized by the heavenly fellowship or priesthood. Christ gave polite deference to the earthly, but submitted to the heavenly. As it turned out, Christ’s submission to the heavenly authority was necessary for His own salvation. (See 2 Ne. 31: 5-12.)

Find an authorized administrator from God: There is the Kingdom of God
Joseph concluded in the lecture,
"Whenever men can find out the will of God and find an administrator legally authorized from God, there is the kingdom of God; but where these are not, the kingdom of God is not. All the ordinances, systems, and administrations on the earth are of no use to the children of men, unless they are ordained and authorized of God; for nothing will save a man but a legal administrator; for none others will be acknowledged either by God or angels." (TPJS, pg 272)

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