The Kingdom of the Father

<42043E> 246

J. N. Darby.

(Notes and Comments Vol. 2.)

It appears that not only "Kingdom of Heaven," but so far as I find "Kingdom of my Father," or "their Father's Kingdom" is peculiar to Matthew; and it would seem to meet the notion of the Jews expecting Messiah, King upon earth. They would not be subjects of Messiah's kingdom upon earth, but they would have something much better - they were to be sons, and Jesus ascended (refusing to be touched or worshipped by them as King upon earth then in resurrection, in which character He would reign over the Jews and world) to His Father and their Father, His God and their God. Declared, however, Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness by the resurrection from the dead, they then were not to be reigned over by the Son Messiah, but were to be sons, "Behold what manner of love," etc., therefore in the kingdom of their Father, Jesus appointing a kingdom to them, as the Father to Him, they sitting in His throne as He is in His Father's now. In this then, as a Son, He is with the Father and we with Him as sons in His, i.e., the Father's, kingdom. To the Son shall be given the positive kingdom over all under the whole heaven - we being with Him in the Father's sitting there - He as Son with us, for it is the Son of whom we speak, and we sitting on thrones in His kingdom over the world. It is therefore, I believe, never called "the Father's kingdom" - but "My," "Their" - "Your." It is called "His inheritance in the saints," and so "The Father of glory," "Called to his own kingdom and glory." It exalts us then to a very special place, as to us, in our persons. All shall then be subjected to Him, and the glory will be perfect to Him of redemption as regards us, and therefore with us He, as Son, will be in the Father's kingdom as individuals, while He yet reigns in an undelivered kingdom - His earthly kingdom, in which there are yet things which remain to be subjected. In this we are now upon earth, and therefore it is its patience (see Apocalypse), and this is the force and explanation of the latter part of John 17.

All this is very wonderful, but the glory is all to Him who redeemed us. First it sets also Jesus in a wonderful place, and shows the power and necessity of the resurrection, and that too as regards the saints in the beginning of the millennium; and what force there is in the word "Walk worthy of God who hath called us," etc. And we learn also the force of Ephesians 1 at the end, and also chapter 2; and the Gentiles also therefore are brought in, and this I think proves further, as well as the fact of the bride, the Lamb's wife, that all the saints shall be in it, as does, as it appears to me, every other consideration which I yet notice, little as we deserve it.

247 This, I think, fully explains the passage in 1 Corinthians 15, the delivering up the kingdom to the Father; in fact as to the risen saints it is given up - He holds it now as regards them, though apparently quite otherwise, and this is what Revelation reveals - then they will reign with Him.

The view of the Father's kingdom given above, as brought before us in the passages there referred to, has received abundant confirmation from John 14 which was much opened out to me, in faith as to the subject of it, the other night. It hangs on this - "As I said unto the Jews, whither I go ye cannot come, so now I say unto you." The remedy is, "Ye believe in God" - "He is not present with you, so though ye cannot come and I am gone, believe in me" - this is the position of happiness they are placed in. "Believe in me" - then "I go to prepare a place for you, and I will come again and receive you to myself, that where I am, ye may be also" this opens out necessarily the position of the Father - this is in the Father's house.

Then comes that which shows that we have no faith save as we believe in what is commonly called "the millennium." We may not know it to be such, but we have no faith in Christ crucified save as we believe in this, for that which gives its value and import to the Cross is the Person, the present personal glory of Him who suffered, His resurrection declaring this; i.e., it is seeing Christ in the glory of the Father and of His Sonship, seeing Him preparing the place now. If that we believe in now be not true, then our faith is false, i.e. if the glory then revealed be not the verification of our present faith, then is our faith false, and in fact it is nothing else. He sitting only now in the Father's throne - necessary to our apprehension of that throne in the place of which we are to be, and therefore which we could not know out of Christ - but our present faith or its Object, is that which gives value to the sacrifice of the Cross; i.e., the faith of the glory (to be revealed) is the only real faith of the Gentile, or rather Church faith - "I go" - "Believe in me" - "I am preparing a place" - "I come again to receive you to myself, that where I am ye may be also." Now what is this "Whither I go ye know and the way ye know?" "I go to the Father," and "I am the Way" - "I am the Way, and the Truth and the Life" - the Life in which you enjoy this. "No man cometh unto the Father," but He went to prepare a place - but He went to the Father - He prepares a place there, with the Father - we know the place, i.e. our present faith is of the place to which He is gone to prepare, even with the Father, but it is where He is we are, i.e., we are sons with Him in the Father's house - sitting in His throne as He sat in His Father's throne, but then not sitting on His Father's throne. He is Son and we are sons with Him in the Father's kingdom, and sitting in His throne with Him in His kingdom as one with Him, as sons, yet seeing the Father in Him - as seeing Him, united yet distinct.

248 The position into which the Lord puts us then is plain as to faith, and as to place, and as to all, save as sitting in the Father's throne which is incident to Himself and makes us know, what otherwise we could not, that throne of the Father in the kingdom of which we are then.

This is all indistinctly put, but will serve as a clue to the apprehension of the Scriptures which is engraven on my heart, and in which, in Christ ministered by the Spirit, I have fellowship - fellowship with the Father and the Son - know where He is gone, and the way, and see the coming glory. If I had not seen Him in the Father's throne, I could not see that throne, and therefore not the place in which I shall be; and He is now gone to it, only revealing the throne to us by now seeing it, for it is by seeing Him we see the Father, though now we (by Him) know the Father - come to Him (as one with Jesus), and know all the glory which is our hope of faith, and therefore, if not verified, falsifying all our hope of faith, i.e., the Father's kingdom - the Son's - and all the glory and blessing of both - we with the Son in the Father's kingdom in blessing - with the Son in His, in association in power as one - and both of them as one with Him.

Such is our fellowship with the Father and with the Son! Lord, realise it to us!

I add here also John 17:24, with the reason, and this will open up our place.

Note, further, the Father is the Fountain head of love, i.e., it is in the name we, and so alone, really know Love. The Son is the Minister of all power. The Father exercises no power, though He may give it; but He exercises none. Therefore He says, "The glory," i.e., the present glory, i.e., so fulfilled, "which thou hast given me, I have given them, that they may be one, even as we are one," and "that the world may know that thou hast sent me."

249 Then He speaks of all that are called - all that the Father had given Him, "I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it, that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them." So the offices are plain and manifest, distinct though they be combined as they are indeed.

The worship of the Father is then properly in the certainty of love. We look to the Son, even Jesus, for the ordering of providential and all power. Note this well.

The order of this part of John runs thus it would seem - the Lord was not presenting Himself in His own Messiah glory, but declaring the Father's, "I have glorified thee on the earth," and again "I have kept them in thy name"; not that He was not Messiah, but that He claimed acceptance not in His own but in His Father's name.

He presented Himself in the witness of the Son. This was fully brought out in the raising of Lazarus - the quickening power. Here then was the final witness to them. Thereon (chap. 11) from verse 47, is the Jewish national rejection of Him - verse 54, His seclusion from them - verse 56, they inquire for Him - from the companionship of resurrection power He comes out then (just before the Passover showing Himself more or less) and presents Himself prophetically indeed, but as there in reproach and condemnation of the nation that rejected Him, showing what they had refused - their Messiah - in refusing Christ the Son of God.

The testimony of resurrection caused the people to receive Him, and to own Him as sent. Then comes the Gentile power, and for this the necessity of death - what would have been "Beauty and Bands," if not rejected King of Israel, and the gathering of the ammim (people).

Verses 35, 36 (chap. 12), His testimony to the people and hiding Himself - not losing His witness of Messiah, but even then shown and not shrinking from the necessity of His death; verses 37-43, the judicial account of the blindness of the people; verse 44, the great assertion, noted above, declared now that He came, and so declared on His rejection, in revelation of the Father - His word, His revealed glory; then the extent (v; 46), compare verse 36, and therefore (v. 47) "If any one and verse 49, the responsibility in consequence - whatever came of it He spoke the Father's word, believed or not, and showed the Father's glory, seen or not.

250 In chapter 13, we have the distinctive work and office for the disciples, beginning with His sacrifice in love, His service in love though gone to glory - loving to the end - washing the feet and so forward to the close of the Gospel.

There is another thing unfolded in all this, and that is His sitting in His Father's throne is the revelation of the glory of His Person. We know Him in this character now, we are as sons with Him when He is in it as a Man, a Governor over the earthly house, but we here till the establishment of the full order of the kingdom, gathering together in one all things in heaven and in earth in Him - "in him," in the title of His personal glory, His own Sonship with the Father - the association of His own essential unity with Him. This is a most glorious and blessed point of view, and it is in this point of view the Revelation is given - it is Jehovah, but Jehovah in the Son, and yet the throne of God, but the eternal living One in the Person of Jesus, and it is seen accordingly that the Lamb was in the midst of the throne. The Father was seen, i.e. the Father's throne - God's throne - and Jehovah seen revealing God. "The Father," we may say, seen, but seen in the Lamb, the Son; see also Revelation 7:10, 17, in the Greek. This is a most important and blessed point. Not that they are ever different, but they are distinct - it is "The throne of God and of the Lamb," Rev. 22:3.

As to the Kingdom of Heaven and of the Father and the Son, developed in the millennial estate, we may further notice as the Kingdom of Heaven is its aspect towards the Jews, so, as regards the Church generally, it is the merged* character of the millennial glory - its suspended estate that is, as then there will be the Son's throne and the Father's throne. So now the Son is sitting on the Father's throne till they are commixed; hence the position of the Church - the earth is the scene of the Son's kingdom, but the Church is to have its portion on His throne in the Father's kingdom, as sons with Him. Hence in the Church on earth we have the apparent anomaly (though the very way of glory), the expecting state, i.e. the Lord sitting on the Father's throne, from which He shall be manifested. So in the Revelation accordingly we have the horns, and seven eyes in the horns of the Lamb. Hence Christ is to be applied to in ministering (the government of) His Church, which are the seven Spirits of God (before the throne as the Object of glory and worship) sent forth into all the earth, quod nota; whence also the second beast as governing the Church or governing Christ (as order in the world too) has horns like a lamb but spake as a dragon, which is plain if we see what the dragon was (Rev. 12); but the position of the Church is most clearly seen by it, and the Revelation much explained. Hence also we see the meaning of the expression "translated into the kingdom of God's dear Son," which see.

{*Rather "mixed" - "suspended."}