Children of the Kingdom
By Warren Zehrung - November 23, 2013

We are the Children of God.

1 John 3:

1  Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the Children of God: therefore the world knows us not, because it knew him not.

2  Beloved, now are we the Children of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.

3  And every man that hath this hope in him purifies himself, even as He is pure.

We are the Children of the Kingdom.

The title is taken from here:

Matthew 13:

38  The field is the world [we’ve been called out of the world]; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;

That’s us - the children of the kingdom.  Paul tells us who the Children of the Kingdom are in?

Romans 9:

4  Who are Israelites; to whom pertains the sonship, [We are the Children of God] and the glory [We will see in a moment that we are glorified together with Christ], and the covenants [We alone live according to the terms of the New Covenant at this time], and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises [We alone will reign and rule in the Kingdom with Christ];

5  Whose are the fathers [Abraham, Isaac and Jacob], and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came [He has redeemed and reconciled us], who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.

We have received a spiritual calling to be the Children of God and heirs with Jesus Christ.

Romans 8:

16  The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

17  And if Children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together.

Today, when Jesus Christ looks down on this earth from His heavenly throne, seated at the right hand of God the Father, and He looks at His true saints – what does He look for?  What sets the Children of the Kingdom apart from the rest of the world?

Millions of people on earth believe that they stand in God’s good stead when obviously they are not at all pleasing in His sight.  The people in the world – even those who refer to themselves loosely as “Christians,” – have not repented, but neither have they been called, and therefore judgment is not now on this present evil world.

But, how many of the brethren in God’s Church make the same mistake of believing that they are in a more favorable position than they are with God?  But, how many of the brethren believe that they stand in God’s good stead because of the things that they know, or the man that they follow and are loyal to, or because of the organization they affiliate with?  They love all the people in their group. Jesus said that it was easy to go with the flow:

Matthew 5:

46  For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

47  And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

Jesus says that greeting our friends at services each Sabbath is insufficient – there is more to being Children of the Kingdom.

Matthew 5:

48  Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Brethren, this is a major concern to me:  Where are God’s people, the Children of the Kingdom, being taught what it means to be perfect as your Father which is in heaven is perfect?

Our people are being taught the Laodicean concept of loyalty to political corporate organizations of men – rather than the precepts of Jesus Christ and going on to perfection.

Too many of our fellow brethren, who have been unfaithful like ancient Israel was, have broken their baptismal covenant and forgotten how to be Christians.  They need to realize what they have done in turning their backs on the true God, His true words of life, and this true way of life.

An individual's misplaced reliance on wrong premise might reveal itself with an, “I’ve got it made because of such-an-such” attitude.  And, we do not say it openly, but we think it inwardly – and it goes something like this:  I’ve got it made because I keep the Sabbath.  My foundation is sure – because I know my Bible.  I’ve got it made because I follow a man who would not steer me wrong.  I’ve been in the church for many years – I’ve got it made!  I’m with a real big group – I’ve got it made!

Brethren, I fear that the Church of God has become deficient in the full teachings of Jesus Christ as conveyed to us by Jesus and through the teachings of the apostles.

Matthew 4:

4  ... Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.

Let’s review a partial List of the words of God that are being glossed over too lightly - and not taught as they should be.


Matthew 4:

17  From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Follow Me:

Matthew 4:

19  [Jesus] saith unto them, Follow me.

Who today knows what it means to truly Follow Christ’s example?  If you haven’t noticed how this Laodicean era has let down where it comes to following Christ’s example – we need to take another look.

Be Reconciled:

Matthew 5:

23  Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;

24  Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

Reconciliation is more important than church attendance – God says!  This needs to be taught to the brethren.  The Church of God has not been taught to practice this principle of God - just the opposite – the Church holds that Church attendance must come first.

Let’s review a partial list that Christ taught – on Christian principles.

Poor in spirit:

Matthew 5:

2  And [Jesus] opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,

3  Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Does anyone even care what it means to be poor in spirit these days?  It is important to Christ – He listed it first – it’s a prerequisite to being Children of the Kingdom.

Mourn over the demise of Truth:

Matthew 5:

4  Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

Does the demise of not only our nation – but the demise of our Church cause anyone to truly mourn as they should?


Matthew 5:

5  Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

Seek Righteousness:

Matthew 5:

6  Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Be Merciful:

Matthew 5:

7  Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Be Pure in Heart:

Matthew 5:

8  Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. [ We just saw in 1 John 3 we shall see God as He is if we purify ourselves].

Have we been taught to be pure in Heart?  Are our motivations absolutely Godly in scope?

Be a Peacemaker:

Matthew 5:

9  Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the Children of God.

Capitulating to those who are taking the Church off course and into the world is not peace.

Matthew 5:

10  Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11  Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.


Matthew 5:

12  Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Love your enemies:

Matthew 5:

44  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

45  That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven:

The brethren in scattered groups are not our enemy – but sometimes you would think so.  We need to be taught the difference between taking a stand for Godliness and trying to help those who oppose themselves as Paul put it.

2 Timothy 2:

25  In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;

Carry your cross:

Matthew 16:

24  Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

Are the people of God being taught today what it means to take up their cross, and follow Christ?

Seek God’s Kingdom:

Matthew 6:

33  Seek ye first the kingdom of God…

Seek God’s Righteousness:

 Matthew 6:

33  Seek … His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Be a Servant:

Matthew 20:

25  But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.

26  But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your servant.

That one Christian principle – if kept according to the Word of God would change the entire complexion of the Church of God.  What is so disturbing is that all the Church brethren have heard the Word of God. And a great many of the Church brethren know well the Word of God.

With that being the case, why then won’t the brethren demand of their ministers that the various groups come together and be the one Church of God?  At the very time that all of us should be pulling together, we find that there remains a grievous sin in the Church of God that is at the root of all this scattering, separation, hurt and division.

Everyone knows thatthere are some deep seated problems in the Church.  The brethren need to bepointed to the words of Jesus Christ whom God sent and ordained as Messiah.

Hebrews 6:

1  Therefore leaving [in the sense that they have already been firmly established] the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,

2  Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

The Church of God has reverted back, relapsed, deteriorated, and degenerated to the point that the foundational principles of Jesus Christ are seldom mentioned.  The foundational principles of Jesus Christ need to be taught.  That should be the highest priority of the different organizations.

Hebrews 5:

12  For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

These words have been retained in the Scriptures as a warning to us who have regressed back to our old ways.

Matthew 8    Please turn to this most important warning.

Brethren, we are the Children of the Kingdom with assurances that we are a privileged people.  However, we are not all pleasing in God’s sight at this time.  Why else would Jesus issue this warning to us?

Matthew 8:

11  And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the Kingdom of heaven.

Jesus is teaching about the first resurrection – and more importantly – who is going to be in it.

Jesus even tells us that Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob are in the first resurrection.

Matthew 8:

12  But the Children of the Kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Wow!  Wait a second here – aren’t we the Children of the Kingdom?  There are so many warnings in the Scriptures:  Brethren, whenever you see this phrase: “there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” – God is telling us to beware and note the clear distinction between His perfect way – and the way of this evil world.

What does Jesus mean that the Children of the Kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth?

How can it be that the Children of the Kingdom who have everything going for them could possibly miss out on salvation and the Kingdom of God all together?

How can Jesus say to you and me that we are in danger and peril of being cast out into outer darkness: where there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Don’t we, the Children of the Kingdom have every assurance from God that He will supply our every need – and yet it is possible for us to miss out all together?

This is a most sobering thought – and none of the organizations are picking up on this dire warning!!!  The phrase, “Children of the Kingdom” applies to those who are enjoying a deep personal and spiritual relationship with God… Those who are destined to reign and rule with Jesus for a thousand years in the Kingdom of God.

But that is not how Jesus uses the term here in Matthew 8:12:

Jesus is referring to those Children of the Kingdom who have left off keeping the precepts and principles of Christ… [we looked at a short list of Christian principles].

Jesus is referring to those Children of the Kingdom to those who are yielding to fleshly desires, favoritism, and privileges that come with consorting with the wealthy , the political, or those in the fallacious religious environment that substitutes for real Christianity.

These condemned Children of the Kingdom here in Matthew 8:12  are those who yearn to be exalted and highly thought of, when they are unwilling to be a living sacrifice for their brother’s spiritual welfare.  They will not jeopardize their social recognition in the corporate organization for any reason.

Jesus says that He personally will condemn them and they shall be cast out into outer darkness: and there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  Again, Jesus issues this stern warning:

Romans 8:

34  Who is the one who condemns?  It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is raised again, who is even at the right hand of God, and who also is making intercession for us.

The good news is that when one rejects the inordinate desires for the recognition and notoriety of those who exploit and misuse their office – the condemnation is annulled, removed, voided:

Romans 8:

1  There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

There are two separate groups that constitute the Children of the Kingdom.

One is carnal and walks after the flesh.

The other is spiritual and walks after the Spirit.

Jesus is the one who judges the heart – as we just saw in Romans 8:34.  Let’s look at that verse again.

Is it possible to fall away from the truth of God and His good graces, and lose out on salvation?  The answer is, "Yes."

Did you notice the awesome responsibility that is given to Jesus Christ?  It is within His power; it is within His authority to either condemn, or be our mediator who makes intercession for us.

Romans 8:

34  Who is the one who condemns?  It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is raised again, who is even at the right hand of God, and who also is making intercession for us.

Because of our sins we each stood condemned, but because Jesus died for us and is raised to life as Paul said - now  there is no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

This is a salvational issue that should be being taught to all the brethren everywhere.  Why isn’t it being taught?  Why the letdown in the Church of God?

There’s the bigquestion:  Do we walk according to the dictates of  our flesh,  or do we walk according to the influence of  God’s Spirit.

Romans 8:

2  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

Romans 8:

14  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

What we are speaking about today is the difference.  When does Jesus condemn?  And when does He make intersession for us?  Paul is answering these questions for us:

Romans 8:

31  What shall we then say to these things?  If God be for us, who can be against us?

32  He [God the Father] that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

35  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

36  As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the daylong; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

37  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.

38  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

39  Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We are given so many assurances – and they are all contingent on the fact that we are led by God’s Spirit and that we are walking in the Spirit – not according to the fleshly weaknesses and desires.  God is not mocked.  He clearly discerns the difference.

As we go through our tests and trials of life – anytime we note a nudge on our conscience telling us that all is not right – we had better listen.  We are never given the prerogative of saying – Well, I’m excused this one time from God’s way for the greater good.  We had a Pastor General who was fond of saying, “God, turn you head for 5 minutes and I’ll take care of the problem.”

When those men in leadership positions today disfellowshipped faithful brethren – not for sin or heresy – but for not going along with the Godless Tkach administration – as the leaders were doing – God did not wink at that.  Years later they refuse to reach out to those brethren who were abused by them.  God does not have a statute of limitations on reconciliation.

We were warned by God that we would be disfellowshipped – but woe to the perpetrators of those offenses.

John 16:

2  They shall put you out of the synagogues [meeting places]: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever kills you will think that he doeth God service.

Matthew 18:

6  But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

God doesn’t need men to support political corporate organizations while breaking His laws, His precepts or His principles.  There is no authority given by God to men to ever violate His perfect law.

1 Peter 4:

12  Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:

So many of the brethren are disillusioned, confused and disappointed.  They had prayed for a resurgence in the moral direction of at least one of the larger organizations.  Or at lease that the large organization’s error was so blatant and clear – that everyone would immediately recognize their glaring error.  They have hoped against hope to see a great awakening among the brethren.  They see the Church of God organizations letting down and going off track.

Matthew 13:

40  As therefore the tares are gatheredand burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.

41  The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;

42  And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

43  Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

47  Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind:

48  Which, when it was full, they drew t o shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.

49  So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just,

50  And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

The Bride of Christ is not yet prepared for the wedding. Here is where we are today:

Matthew 22:

8  Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.

9  Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.

10  So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.

11  And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:

12  And he saith unto him, Friend, how came thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.

13  Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

14  For many are called, but few are chosen.

The disciples began to realize that Jesus was demonstrating a selection process of salvation – and that not everyone would be willing to do what Jesus requires of them.

Luke 13:

23  Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them,

24  Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.

25  When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:

26  Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.

This is exactly what the Churches of God are saying today – we’ve kept Passover, the Sabbath, the holy days…  They claim to follow Jesus’ teachings – all the while rejecting the very words of Jesus Christ.

Matthew 7:

22  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

23  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Luke 13:

27  But [Jesus] shall say, I tell you, I know you not, whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.

This is a most stern warning to us:

Luke 13:

28  There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.

29  And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.

Which of the organizations want to be biggest, first, most recognized, etc?  Is Jesus as impressed with that as the members of those organizations are?

Luke 13:

30  And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last.

Who are among the last - and, who is it that believes they will be the first to go into the Kingdom ofGod?

Matthew 24:

46  Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.

47  Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.

48  But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;

49  And shall begin to smite hisfellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;

50  The lord of that servant shall come ina day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,

51  And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Matthew 25:

24  Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:

25  And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.

26  His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:

27  Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.

28  Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.

29  For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.

30  And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

31  When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

32  And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

33  And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

34  Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

35  For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

36  Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

37  Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee hungry, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

38  When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

39  Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

40  And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

41  Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

42  For I was hungry, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

43  I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

44  Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

45  Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

46  And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

Over and over in the Bible the brethren are admonished to live lives of overcoming, and remain faithful to the end.  Brethren, the overall spiritual health of the Church of God is not strong.

We are the Children of God – the Children of the Kingdom.  Pray for one another and for those leaders who must return to the foundational principles of Jesus Christ.


Sermon:  "Children of the Kingdom"