The Fourth Memorable Occurrence (Continued)

“Soon in their indignation they decided to come over to us in person and tell us this. In fact, they said that they were going to twist our ears. They left that place and came to a stand of trees that was near the houses where the children and their teachers were. In the middle of the trees there was a raised level area like a natural stage. They went onto that stage hand in hand. We were there waiting for them. There were piles of sod on the ground there. They sat on these piles, because they had said to each other, ‘We are not going to stand up in front of them; we’ll sit down.’

“One of them who was able to make himself appear to be an angel of light had been ordered by the rest to speak to us. He said, ‘You have proposed to us that we reveal our opinions on the first words of the Lord’s prayer and how we understand them. Therefore I am telling you that we understand those words to mean that we have to pray to God the Father. Because Christ is our Mediator and we are saved by his merit, we have to pray to God the Father with a belief in Christ’s merit.’

“We said to them, ‘We are from the community in heaven called Michael. We have been sent to assess and investigate whether you who have gathered in that place have any religion or not. The idea of God permeates every aspect of religion. Through that idea a partnership [with God] is forged, and through that partnership comes salvation. In heaven we recite the Lord’s prayer every day just as people on earth do. When we do so we don’t think of God the Father, because he cannot be seen. We think of him in his divine-human manifestation, because in that he can be seen. In that human manifestation he is called Christ by you, but the Lord by us. To us the Lord is our Father in the heavens.

“‘The Lord taught that he and the Father are one, that the Father is in him and he is in the Father, and that those who see him see the Father. He also taught that no one comes to the Father except through him, and that the will of the Father is that people should believe in the Son. Those who do not believe in the Son do not see life; in fact, God’s anger remains on them. From these teachings it is clear that access to the Father is gained through the Lord and in him. Because that is true, the Lord also taught that all power in heaven and on earth was given to him.

“‘In the prayer it says, “Your name must be kept holy; your kingdom must come.” We have demonstrated from the Word that his divine-human manifestation is the name of the Father; and that the Father’s kingdom exists when the Lord is directly approached, but does not exist at all when God the Father is directly approached. That is why the Lord commanded the disciples to preach the kingdom of God. This is the kingdom of God.’

“When they heard that, our opponents said, ‘You are citing many passages from the Word. We may have read things like that there, but we don’t remember. Open the Word before us and read those things from it, especially that point about the kingdom of the Father coming when the Lord’s kingdom comes.’

“Then they said to the children, ‘Bring the Word,’ so the children brought it.

“From it we read the following: ‘As he preached the gospel of the kingdom, John said, “The time has been completed. The kingdom of God has come near” (Mark 1:14, 15; Matthew 3:2). Jesus himself preached the gospel of the kingdom and that the kingdom of God was coming near (Matthew 4:17, 23; 9:35). Jesus commanded his disciples to preach and evangelize the kingdom of God (Mark 16:15; Luke 8:1; 9:60); he gave a similar command to the seventy he sent out (Luke 10:9, 11).’ We also read passages such as Matthew 11:5; 16:27, 28; Mark 8:35; 9:1, 47; 10:29, 30; 11:10; and Luke 1:19; 2:10, 11; 4:43; 7:22; 21:30, 31; 22:18.

“We said, ‘The following passages make clear that the kingdom of God that was evangelized was the Lord’s kingdom and at the same time the Father’s kingdom:

The Father has given all things into the hand of the Son. (John 3:35)

The Father has given the Son power over all flesh. (John 17:2)

All things have been handed to me by the Father. (Matthew 11:27)

All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. (Matthew 28:18)

And also these passages:

Jehovah Sabaoth is his name, and he will be called the Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, God of all the earth. (Isaiah 54:5)

I saw and behold, there was someone like the Son of Humankind. He was given dominion, glory, and a kingdom. All people and nations will worship him. His dominion is a dominion of an age that will not pass, and his kingdom is one that will not perish. (Daniel 7:13, 14)

When the seventh angel sounded, great voices rang out in the heavens saying, “The kingdoms of the world have become kingdoms of our Lord and his Christ, and he will reign forever and ever.” (Revelation 11:15; 12:10)

from True Christianity, Volume 1, Section 113

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