The Kingdom of God


In a court proceeding secondary or incidental evidence is not nearly as incriminating as firsthand testimony. In one case they "were eyewitnesses of His majesty" (2Pe 1:16) when they "heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain" (:18). Christ "received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him" (:17). They concluded that "we have the prophetic word made more sure" (:19) and "no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will" (:21). Peter therefore concludes that "we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (:16). Tales are ficticious stories. "Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God" (2Jn 9). They "from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word" (Lk 1:2). John said "we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us" (1Jn 1:2). "This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all" (:5). Luke reports that "the things accomplished among us . . . were handed down to us" (Lk 1:1-2) in conjunction with "what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also" (1Jn 1:3). It is "what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life" (:1).

These apostles felt responsible to communicate what they had experienced and learned. John stated "these things we write, so that our joy may be made complete" (1Jn 1:4). Peter relates it is the "second letter I am writing to you in which I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder" (2Pe 3:1). "These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life" (1Jn 5:13). Luke acknowledged that "many have undertaken to compile an account" (Lk 1:1) of these things and he, himself, "investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write [it] out for you in consecutive order" (:3) "so you may know the exact truth" (:4). As long as you are "certain . . . [and] practice these things . . . the entrance into the eternal kingdom . . . will be abundantly supplied to you" (2Pe 1:10-11). "We know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true" (1Jn 5:20). However, not everyone agrees with this teaching. "We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us" (1Jn 4:6). John found only "some of your children walking in the truth" (2Jn 4) "as we have received commandment to do from the Father" (:4). He then stated "I was very glad when brethren came and testified to your truth, that is how you are walking in truth" (3Jn 3).