#287 Kingdom: Restoring Our Dominion
There has been much teaching about the “Rapture of the Church” but there has not been much taught on what is the destiny of man after the “Rapture.” Also does the “rapture of the church” depend upon our faith or upon our development. Do we have to “qualify for the rapture?” Is Jesus coming back for all believers in one entire harvest or just for the “first fruits?” Is just the “first fruits” the “rapture harvest?” In how many stages will the final harvest be gathered into God’s barns” Speaking about the “rapture” or the “harvest” without teaching the requirements of the Kingdom or how we qualify for the “first fruit harvest” has been a disservice to the church. Especially if it is taught that all we need to do is believe something about Jesus and we are ready for the rapture and the marriage feast of the Lamb of God. My theory is that God is not just interested in getting us from earth to heaven but in getting the Kingdom established upon earth by establishing His Kingdom in His people. It is good if we believe that but it is better if we experience His government in our daily Christian life and walk according to His Laws that are put into our minds and written upon our hearts.
It is my opinion that God is more interested in restoring our dominion upon this earth than He is in trying to get us to heaven. I am suggesting that when the Kingdom is an active part of our Christian life that the dominion of the Kingdom will be restored to that select group. However, until there is a manifestation of Kingdom character in us and demonstrated through us we will not qualify to exercise Kingdom dominion or rule over God’s enemies.
There is much more to the Christian life than being good, or having a testimony or having a ministry. If we think in terms of “all that God can accomplish in a Christian’s life during this time on earth” and how God can take a sinner alienated from God to the “perfection” of being presented to Christ without spot or wrinkle, fully grown up in all things into Christ, we are thinking in terms of the Kingdom of God within that Christian.
If the Kingdom of Heaven came to earth so that the will of God was being done on earth in the same measure it is being done in heaven then we could say there is no division or difference between heaven and earth. The two would be the same except in visible and invisible realms. Some of us are aware that in the Kingdom realm we will be required to take positions of responsibility in the government of God. Since this government is absolute, there will ne no politics and everyone will actually have to be competent to rule with Christ. Everyone must be trained, developed in character, and meet the qualifications and possess the spiritual capabilities of ruling in the character of Christ. It is THIS development that is our concern today. Churches that preach a verse or some Christian philosophy but are not preparing their people to take their position in eternity are pretty much wasting the believers time by even attending the meetings.
There are multitudes of “Christians” who have been “saved” for many years that are not even aware that they must be developed in spirit and able to assume their responsibility in the Kingdom both here and in eternity. Most think that if they believe something about Jesus their character is not an issue.
There is a growing number of “saved people” who are experiencing an inner hunger and a craving in their soul for spiritual reality. There is a passion within them to find a fellowship where others are experiencing the same passion and are searching for answers to the empty feeling within. Many now just want to talk to someone about the things that their heart is longing to hear. They don’t know what that is but it is comforting just to fellowship with others that are feeling the same thing even if they don’t have the answers yet. Some are feeling that they can’t go on or attend any more meetings until this inner longing is satisfied. After searching from group to group they see no hope in searching for satisfaction in people or programs or meetings. They long just to talk with someone and try to listen and understand if there is some explanation to what is happening inside of them. Some can no longer “do Christian work” until they get some answers to this inner crisis.
The problem seems to be that the church in general has not been instructed or educated in the lines of spiritual thought that can even speak of these mystical realms of inner life let alone explain them. Most are spiritual babies when it comes to these “passions within” and will treat them as some weird off the wall emotion and in the lunatic fringe. Some are longing for fellowship on another level of spiritual life than is offered in the Sunday morning meeting or in a cell group designed for spiritual babies. In fact most every activity is designed for the spiritual babies and nothing is provided for those who are suffering in this wilderness of spiritual poverty.
It appears that God is perpetuating Himself in the souls of the saints with this great unsatisfied passion in the inner man. God is attempting to satisfy Himself and His eternal purpose in the lives of consecrated Christians and this inner passion is coming from the heart of God. Among other things He is developing His very own sons like His only begotten Son. To accomplish that He must put Himself in the soul of those persons that are totally given to Him and surrendered to His purpose. This overpowering passion is NOT from man but is from God who has chosen us for this time of restoration. In this cramped environment of “church activities” and the oppression of programs and more good ideas “to build the church” there is no hope and no expectation of a solution to my inner hunger for spiritual reality.
It is my opinion that this inner conflict and struggle with the status quo has not come from us but from God who has called us into His eternal glory. I personally refuse to be intimidated by those who consider any variance with the church or the leadership is rebellion against the authority of God. The church and the leadership have had nearly 20 years since the last restoration ended to seek God and surrender to His new plan and His purpose for this generation. Instead many leaders have just continued in the path taken by the leaders of the past 35 years and have not taken any new ground from the enemy. It is just more of the same and a small portion of the church is getting bored and are voting with their feet.
Another message on the gifts of the Spirit or 7 steps to victory or the healing of marriages have lost their meaning in the midst of this spiritual hunger for reality and to receive something for the inner life that is starving for answers to the inner dissatisfaction and conflict with an external religion. To fail to minister Spirit and Life in this time period is the greatest of failures in delivering the living Word of God. Another speech with lifeless words that are delivering the “letter” but without life is no longer acceptable to the hungry hearts. Most of those who are wandering from group to group do not even know what they are looking for but they think they will know when they find it.
Some think they are looking for “the greater works” but have no idea what that is. Some are looking for “a prophetic word of guidance” or more anointing or looking for someone to lay their hands on them and impart some reality. Some are looking for “the divine secret” that has been hidden from past generations but wouldn’t know what to do with it if they found it. Some have given up looking for the “pearl of great price” because it is too expensive. The Kingdom treasure is too hard to find and even if we did find it we are not willing to sell all that we have to buy that field.
The truth is that a few souls have been searching for these things in the wrong places for 30 years and have lost their zeal to continue. I begin to recognize that some are treating the precious Holy Spirit as a commodity or as a method to use as spiritual entertainment to satisfy the souls of carnal people and fill the seats. Prophesy and “ministry” is used for the same purpose.
We have heard so much about physical abuse in the church and out of the church and the many years it requires to escape from that trauma and the devastating effect it has had in every area of life. Now it occurs to me that the same thing is true of “spiritual abuse.” Some believers have been abused by hype and ministers that con the people into receiving what is way beyond the minister’s capacity to deliver. The “laying on of hands” has become a solve all problems approach to carnality.
The mind of the believer has been abused by being subjected to dead doctrines and promise of a throne in eternity to those who are barely saved. Man has been abused by the devil in a similar way as he abused Job. Man has been abused with sin and sickness and disease and the devil has even convinced the church that it all came from God as a curse. These things and a multitude of other things have taken root in man and has become inherent in his nature.
The “ministries” have promised that if we attend the meetings or the meetings of some traveling minister that we can be released from our captivity to this depraved nature that hosts these things. The church has been abused with a promise of victory through the 7 steps that the minister is going to reveal. The believer that has hardly begun their journey into Christ is taught how to minister the gifts of the Spirit and how to perform miracles as if these things worked by an intellectual power of the mind.
The Kingdom of God within the life of the believer must heal and reverse all this abuse and remove the trauma created by 25 years or more of ignorance. The ministries have promised to do for believers ONLY what the Kingdom of God can do within the believer. Until the Laws of the Kingdom are put into the mind and written upon the heart of the believer and then obeyed all the hype about ministries and gifts and anointing will not set the captive free. Trying to free people from the curse of the fall without first getting them into the Kingdom government of God and living under His sovereignty is more ignorance. Reversing the curse through the blessing of the Kingdom actively working in the life of the believer is a lasting solution. Casting out the curse through ministry is no permanent solution because there is no Law of the Blessing within. Blessed are the poor in spirit because theirs IS the Kingdom of God.
If we could just get people into the Kingdom of God we wouldn’t have to promise them something we can’t deliver. God’s “Kingdom blessing” just doesn’t exist outside the Kingdom.
Mat 5:6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Of course the context of all these blessings is the Kingdom of God. It is my opinion that all the blessings of God are only found in the Kingdom and the blessings are part of the treasure that is hidden in the Kingdom.
One “blessing” that we can identify is the transference of God’s image, likeness and nature to the consecrated believer. If this doesn’t happen experientially the image of the beast is imprinted upon our soul and sooner or later that beast nature will be manifest. In other words unless there is an invasion of the Spirit of God into the nature of the person any “change” will be superficial and temporary. To successfully “minister Spirit and Life” means that we must minister, serve or deliver His substance and essence or His nature or the essential characteristic of God. If those qualities are not infused into our life we will have difficulty delivering them to others. Jesus could speak “Spirit and Life” because these were the essential qualities that He possessed.
It has been our theory for many years that God will inhabit us in the degree of our consecration. A life that is partially given to God can be partially inhabited by God. and, therefore, partially manifested by man. To be filled up to all the fullness of God will require that we be totally consecrated to God in every area of our person.
My opinion is that in the next restoration a superficial consecration and a reluctant surrender to the Kingdom of God will be unacceptable to God. Since our theme in this paper is “Restoring Our Dominion” there must be a basis for God to trust us with this dominion. This, I believe, is a matter of our character, integrity and faithfulness rather than in the fact that we have been born of God or believe something about Jesus. We might say that everything that Adam lost when he lost dominion must be restored to man experientially before dominion can be fully restored to man. Even though all authority, power and dominion was restored to Jesus, and it is legally ours in Christ, it seems that the actual dominion is restored to us experientially in the Kingdom of God and under His government and sovereignty. The church has been abused in the past by leaders outside the Kingdom that didn’t have this level of Kingdom character. If the leaders are given this Kingdom dominion while they are outside the Kingdom government of God the abuse would be from their carnality. The experience of God’s sovereignty and total surrender to His government must surely precede this Kingdom dominion.
It seems reasonable to me that God has designed and ordained a New Covenant arrangement where God and man form a partnership in governing the earth in the church age. This must begin in a apprenticeship discipline and instruction so that man can learn by “on the job training” how to exercise dominion within the character of Christ. The dominion that we have seen in the church has been over people and falling short of the character of Christ. In this dominion Christ must rule until every enemy is put under His feet (the church).
My understanding now is that this passion and longing within is not for dominion in the popular sense but for the Kingdom of God to be part of our person and His laws to be a reality within our mind and heart. Of course “dominion” then is the result of the inward Kingdom. The gap between Kingdom dominion and the carnal dominion of lording it over the flock is the difference between the realm of the spirit and the realm of earthly authority.
The Kingdom is a government of absolute truth but in the natural realms there are no absolutes and on the church level truth is relative and can be adjusted to fit our doctrines. From the church’s viewpoint sin and fornication can be permitted because we are a hospital for sick souls. In the Kingdom sin and fornication will eliminate you and you will in no way inherit the Kingdom. The question then arises: Can we have dead members in a living church? Not in the church which He is building. Having dead members in a local church is common.
We know that God can remove a hunger for pornography, perversion, alcohol, drugs etc. He can also replace it with a hunger for spiritual reality and a new passion for the Kingdom to be an experiential government within. This is what I believe will precede the next restoration which will include a restored “dominion.” This “dominion” will be the fruit of burning Incense upon the Altar of Incense and not another dimension of carnal dominion that has abused the church in the past.