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    KINGDOM OF GRACE

    It will also appear evident that in many instances the word kingdom applies to the means of grace, and can have no reference to the future kingdom. The word is so used in many of the parables of our Lord.OFH1 82.3

    The parable of the wheat and the tares applies to the present imperfect state, when sinners may enjoy the means of grace, and not to the future state of glory. This is evident. But the sowing mentioned in this parable did not commence at the first advent of the Son of God. The children of the kingdom, and the children of the wicked one, both appeared long before Jesus died for sinners. Abel and Cain represented the two classes. During the entire period from the time of these sons of Adam to the close of the day of grace, this parable has a clear and forcible application.OFH1 82.4

    In this parable the word kingdom is used four times. Once it refers to the earth, which will be the territory of the immortal kingdom, and once it has a distinct reference to the future kingdom of glory when fully established in the earth. The word kingdom may refer both to the means of grace necessary to prepare men for the future life, and also to the future life itself. No doubt, in this parable both the kingdom of grace and the kingdom of glory are brought to view. They are very nearly related, the kingdom of grace reaching down very near to, and being preparatory to the enjoyment of, the kingdom of glory.OFH1 83.1

    The parable of the mustard seed forcibly illustrates the kingdom of grace, embracing at first only our first parents immediately after the fall, and finally, in its grand results, embracing all the redeemed of every age, and from every land. “The kingdom of Heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field; which indeed is the least of all seeds; but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.” Matthew 13:31, 32.OFH1 83.2

    The parable of the leaven hid in three measures of meal illustrates the work of grace in the believer’s heart. “The kingdom of Heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.” Matthew 13:33. This parable teaches entire sanctification of the mind and heart to God. The apostle expresses this sentiment when he says. “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit, and soul, and body, be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23.OFH1 83.3

    The parables of the treasure hid in the field, and of the pearl of great price, teach the value of salvation through JesusOFH1 84.1

    Christ, and the sacrifices that should be cheerfully made to obtain it. “Again, the kingdom of Heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. Again, the kingdom of Heaven is like unto a merchantman, seeking goodly pearls; who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.” Matthew 13:44-46.OFH1 84.2

    The parable of the net that gathered good and bad fish, shows that although both good and bad men may be gathered into the church, the final separation will declare the true character of each. “Again, the kingdom of Heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind; which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end of the world. The angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire. There shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 13:47-50.OFH1 84.3

    In Matthew 25, the kingdom of Heaven is likened to an Eastern marriage. This parable illustrates the action of the church just before, and not after, the second advent. “Then shall the kingdom of Heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.” In this connection our Lord points to a specific time, in which the work of divine grace upon the minds and hearts of believers would give them an experience that would be likened to an Eastern marriage.OFH1 84.4

    The mental struggle in order to break away from the powers of darkness, and by faith receive the blessings of the kingdom of grace, is thus described by our Lord: “And from the days of John the Baptist, until now, the kingdom of Heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.” Matthew 11:12. See Luke 16:16.OFH1 85.1

    The apostle speaks of the blessings of the kingdom of grace thus: “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” Romans 14:17. The connection shows that Paul applies the word kingdom to the present dispensation, and not to the future period of reward.OFH1 85.2

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