#291 Kingdom: Kingdom Demands and Romans 7
Mat 5:1 And when He saw the multitudes, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him.  And opening His mouth He began to teach them, saying,
Mat 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Mat 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Romans 7: 18] For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the wishing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.  For the good that I wish, I do not do; but I practice the very evil that I do not wish.  But if I am doing the very thing I do not wish, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.  I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wishes to do good.
Imagine preaching to men and women with corrupt hearts that are desperately wicked, that have defects of all kinds, wrong motives, bad character problems and proclaim to them the “good news” that they must be pure in heart before they shall see God. Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
It is little wonder that the Gospel of the Kingdom demands produces in us a terrible despair and a realization that we are totally without ability to do any of these things that are demanded by the Kingdom. There is no question that these Kingdom requirements are holy, righteous and good. Depression sets in when we finally realize that I can’t do any of these requirements of the Kingdom. If Jesus ONLY appeared as a teacher of these things none of this would have been “good news.” Therefore, He must have come with some provision for men and women everywhere to be able to fulfill these requirements.
The “gospel” is not “good news” to the natural man because all he can see is walls and barriers erected on all sides that keep him out of the Kingdom. Once we understand what Jesus said about the Kingdom and we have tested our own ability to perform these things, we get the revelation that I cannot come anywhere near to this “perfection.”
I was a much happier Christian before I was confronted with these Kingdom requirements. At first I saw them as some “idealism” that was beyond any possibility of becoming experiential in my life. What could possibly be the benefit of presenting to me a “requirement” that I cannot possibly attain? Unless I understand that He can work in me such a transformation that I can really live in this dimension I have to hang my head in depression and personal defeat.
Matthew 5-6 &7 then is the standard to which we can attain when we actually participate in all the provisions of the New Covenant and through the indwelling of the promised Holy Spirit. The natural man is headed for defeat and embarrassment before he even begins. The best revelation the natural man can receive is; “Oh, Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? The good I really want to do I find that I can’t do and the things that I don’t want to do, I end up doing.”
Jesus was speaking this “Gospel of the Kingdom” to a people that had been taught all their life that Deuteronomy 28: 2-13 was the blessings and Deuteronomy 28: 15-48 were all the curses. To be poor, to mourn, to hunger and thirst, and be persecuted seemed like strange blessings. Obviously a complete change of mind and values would have to be experienced to be able to accept these things as blessings.
The first revelation we get concerning these demands is that “I can do these things IF God will help me.” I can just about do these things but I will need a little help. The fact is that there is nothing in the natural man that can consistently do any of these Kingdom things. The great blessing then comes when we realize that we are bankrupt, in abject poverty and with absolutely no ability to even obey God. Poverty of spirit then is the beginning place in the Kingdom.
I am strong, the Word of God abides in me and I have overcome the evil one may be where the “young men begin” but it may be some time before they realize there is another understanding. Sooner of later it seems that a sense of absolute futility and helplessness and a total distrust in my own ability is requisite to make the transition to the Kingdom life and ministry. The “young men” in the Outer Court will be much different than the “young men” who are sons of the High Priest in the Holy Place ministry.
The selfish, self-centered, conceited, egocentric ministries who have a gift on every finger and can do all the ministries and stand in their own power, authority and importance, will have a difficult time making the transition to the next restoration. Therefore, being submerged in the Romans 7 frustration will be a great eternal blessing if we understand what is happening and the solution.
If we can make a comparison between the Romans 7 depression and the Consecration Offering where we finally give up everything and our own life also we will understand that Romans 7 is solved by the Consecration Offering. A new dimension of the anointing will follow the “Oh, wretched man that I am” revelation if our natural man is solved in the Consecration Offering. It seems that the “revelation knowledge of our own poverty” is requisite to humble ourselves and receive God’s provision. Functioning in the “potential of our own anointed ability” is a deception that must be acknowledged and forsaken. [repented of] That may have worked in the past but that time is over for those who anticipate participating in the next restoration.
The understanding that the Consecration Offering is the place we get rid of ourselves and our own ability may be new to some. Many of us thought the Consecration Offering should “add something to our sanctified human ability” instead of a subtraction of “all our ability.” To just minister what we consciously understand will be too shallow for the Showbread Ministry. Natural ability, of the natural man, will be confused by the illumination of the seven Spirits of God. There is nothing in or of the natural man that can participate in the Showbread or understand anything about the Holy Place ministry. Therefore, the natural man will be a great hindrance and an opponent of the next restoration. Probably more so than in any past restoration.
The relationship of the “Sermon on the Mount” to our horizontal ministry to people should be obvious but its relationship to our vertical ministry to God is not so obvious. For example; Blessed are the poor in spirit towards God is another dimension. To know, without question, that I am bankrupt towards God in this next spiritual dimension is a great blessing. After all, what do we really know about the Holy Place ministry or the seven Spirits of God or the Showbread or the Altar of Incense?
For the most part we are standing in the Outer Court light as spiritual giants explaining to people the intricacies of the Holy Place ministry of which we know nothing. All we are actually “seeing” is the type and shadow.
This teaching about the Kingdom of God should come with tremendous discomfort and anxiety because it is totally out of sync with our natural way of thinking. The Kingdom speaks of precepts that are beyond our natural ability to understand. We preach about eternal things that we can only see as outlines and shadows. At the present time we explain a spiritual life far beyond our actual experience. We are stumbling along this path in semidarkness holding a conversation with those on the same path who are wondering what we are talking about. The “beatitudes” seem like beautiful precepts but seem irrelevant when we observe the hostility or apathy of the world around us. They look like a spiritual mine field that we should avoid because not only will we be condemned but we will condemn others.
Our Christian concepts of fellowship and church meetings are shattered by the reality of the Kingdom Truth that rips and tears and exposes until our hypocrisy shines like a flood light and condemns our “religion.” Every place we step in the Kingdom is a mine field of truth about to take what little life and reality and confidence we thought we had.
In the light of a little Kingdom understanding, if we really understand the requirements and the demands, all we can do is fall on our face and declare our bankruptcy. Most of us have made the Consecration Offering BEFORE we came to an end of ourselves. We thought we were offering the “perfect sacrifice” until we discovered the sacrifice was full of defects, blemishes, spots, lameness, blindness and stupidity. May God forgive us because we did it in ignorance. Since these “defects” are not acceptable in the Holy Place they must be turned to ashes in the Outer Court and only that which is of resurrection Life can participate in the Holy Place priesthood. Even our Outer Court “righteousness” now appears as filthy rags.
This becoming “disciples of the Kingdom” begins to lose the mystery when we are confronted with its reality and our inability. Jesus’ death and resurrection and our participation in the Brass Altar and the Brass Laver as a practical, logical and experiential reality uncovers the shallowness of our “theology” and our insistence that all I need to do is “believe.” Even IF I BELIEVE, the good I want to do, I discover I can’t do! Even IF I BELIEVE, I discover Oh, Wretched man that I am. Even IF I BELIEVE, I find a law of sin working in me. Even IF I BELIEVE, I find the flesh is causing me to constantly stumble. We discover that the “principles of Salvation” are one thing but the “practice of Salvation” is quite another. The “principles” are objective while the “practice” is subjective. We can learn the principles but we have to practice the reality of salvation in our experience. Doctrinal “salvation” has run its course over the last 400 years and now we are being confronted by a “new” “practical salvation” that can be seen.
If God judges by His Truth and the degree we are being conformed to that Truth, we may see how shallow our theology really is. We may have assumed that if we believe the Truth it is the same as living that Truth. Then we discover that just believing the “truth” doesn’t really set us free. Knowing the “Truth” experientially, however, will set us free.
Human theology has deceived us in the past but when we are confronted by the pure light of the Lampstand our man made theologies will evaporate. If the progressing experiences of the Book of Romans doesn’t transform me from what I am to what I must become then the best I can hope for is “Oh, Wretched man that I am.” My theory is that these progressing experiences in Romans correspond to the Outer Court experiences [in type] in the Tabernacle of Moses.
In other words if we ignore the preparations of Romans we will fall short of the New Testament priesthood. If we don’t completely escape from the priesthood of the first Adam we will not be able to participate in the Priesthood of the Last Adam.
Every provision that God has supplied to meet man’s need for “full development” must be experienced if the “mature Christian”is going to meet God’s need in eternity. We should remember that these “foundational experiences” are not just for this life but are our personal preparations for eternity. If we are casual about our preparations we will suffer eternal loss. God will not be glorified and we will not be glorified along with Jesus Christ. Christians sometimes are offended if we speak about our obligation to God to fulfill His eternal purpose. We have been conditioned to only think about what Jesus has done “for us” in His sacrifice. Some “Christians” [or Christianettes] don’t want to hear about what God must do in them before He can do anything through them or prepare them for eternity.
Our “fallen theology” has determined that “imputed righteousness” is sufficient to save us from hell and to make heaven our home. This blurred vision ignores the reason that God is saving us or God’s purpose for creating man to function throughout eternity future. It ignores God’s goal of having “many sons” of the same measure and the same stature and the same fulness as Jesus Christ. If “imputed righteousness” was all that God desired for man, the 5 ministries in Ephesians 4:11 would be unnecessary to bring men to perfection.
“Saved men” have a responsibility towards God! They have a responsibility towards society! They have a responsibility toward other believers (the church in preparation)! They have a responsibility towards our high calling! Therefore, they have a personal responsibility to grow up in all things into Christ! Many ignore God’s warnings of why He rejected Israel and many are assured that the warnings throughout the Book of Hebrews is not for the church but for unbelievers. This “fallen theology” has deceived many and taught believers to “ignore the least of these commandments.”
We have been taught that the sacrifice of Calvary has purchased salvation for the “natural man” and somehow the natural man has received eternal life because of what he believes. The Book of Romans, the Book of Galatians and 1 Corinthians reveals that the “natural man” is condemned to death and burial and is excluded from the blessing of God. If fallen man only had one problem of “sins” to deal with, the blood of Jesus would suffice. However, when and if we read the scripture we discover that God deals with “sins” differently than He does with “sin.” God can “forgive sins” but He must eliminate the “sinner to remove the sin.” “Sins” are what we did but “sin” is what we are and is part of us as our nature. Our connection with Adam must be severed permanently. We must be joined to Christ permanently. We must be severed from the Law before we can be “joined” to Jesus.
In other words man has a whole series of problems, wrong desires, rebelliousness, flesh, and personal defects that are “not forgiven”, therefore, must be removed so we can participate with Christ in God’s eternal purpose.
The Spirit of Christ in us and the Holy Spirit in us cooperate as Word and Spirit to begin a deep work of changing us and restoring us to the maturity necessary to fulfill God’s purpose for eternity. To be forgiven of our “sins” is one thing but to be “manifested sons of God” who bring joy to God’s heart and who fulfills His purpose is quite another.
It is tiresome to hear preachers assure “believers” that they will stand in God’s Glory and sit with Him upon His throne, see His face, enjoy His Presence and judge the nations and in a moment and in the blinking of the eye they will be changed from selfish, self-centered brats into Christlikeness simply because they believe something about Jesus.
If “believers” got serious with God and set out to study the Bible for themselves, God would expose the “fallen theology” that has deceived the church into lukewarmness. What we call “casual Christianity” may always be with us but there is a remnant rising that is no longer satisfied with the gospel of the give-a-ways. The “natural man” cannot prevail in prayer, he cannot rid himself of sin, he cannot blot out the past, he cannot alter his disposition, he cannot correct his character and he cannot be prepared for eternity. The natural man must die, be buried and a new man, who after Christ is in the image of God, must arise in resurrection. The old “I” cannot do any of that and I cannot keep the Laws of the Kingdom. Therefore, my only hope is in a full surrender and a full consecration to God and a total surrender to His ability to work His Life and grace into me.
To understand the gravity of this Kingdom concept we may have to restate and redefine our definition of “salvation.” “Salvation” is ALL that God can accomplish in my life from the day that I am born again until I leave this earth. The “fruit of salvation” is to be presented to Christ without spot or wrinkle, holy and blameless, fully grown up in all things into the character and attitudes of Christ, ready to take our predestined place in the government of God.. The “power of salvation” is to lift us from the gutter and prepare us to sit upon the throne of heaven. The “fullness of salvation” is to experience the height, the depth, the width and the breadth of Kingdom Salvation and be filled up to all the fulness of Christ. There is the “goal of salvation”, the “evidence of salvation”, the “result of salvation” etc. In other words “salvation” IS Jesus Christ in us manifesting Himself through us both here and in eternity future.
Where we place the “brackets” upon our definition of “salvation” will determine about the extent of our expected result. For example; If our definition of salvation is being (born again) that is all we expect. If our definition of salvation is (forgiveness of sins) that is our expectation. If our understanding of salvation is (repentance, forgiveness of sins, being born again from above, a radical change of life and lifestyle, dead to the former things, buried in the waters of baptism, the closing of the sin factory, the putting on ,experientially, of the things of Christ, the infilling of the Holy Spirit, the anointing to set the captives free, and a full surrender to God in a total consecration) we have extended to brackets to a more acceptable dimension but God still has much more.
However, from the Outer Court viewpoint that is an acceptable place to set the brackets. Still, from the Holy Place viewpoint the brackets ( ) will have to be extended to include our cooperating with God to get His will done on earth as it is being done in heaven. The brackets must also incorporate our standing before Him, ministering to Him and burning Incense. )
In other words the brackets have the potential to be extended to ( all that God can accomplish in our life from the day our sins are forgiven until we leave this earth.) “Going on with God” means to ( “never stop growing and experiencing more and more of Christ until we see Him face to face”)
If we defined “salvation” from the Book of Romans we could say that “salvation” is everything from Romans 1:1 to Romans 16:27. Taking a verse from chapter 3 and another verse from chapter 5 and another verse from chapter 10 to preach “salvation” is what has gotten the church into this sorry condition and a false hope. This is why we have to continually apologize for the carnality of the church and the less than acceptable spiritual life of the believers.
From our own experience we can testify that “Adam” can preach “truth” but he cannot “manifest truth.” Adam can stand in the pulpit and tell what he has learned but he cannot manifest the life of Christ or be filled up to all the fulness of Christ. Adam can teach concepts that he has learned but he cannot receive revelation. God’s only plan for Adam is death and burial. Trying to break the Adamic curse by “ministry” is a waste of time. The curse is “broken” when the Adamic person is dead and buried. When we are resurrected into Christ Jesus the “curse” is behind us and the Kingdom is before us. Trying to cast “Adam” (flesh) out will be disappointing.
Trying to “compartmentalize” salvation into little segments like “born again” or “water baptism” or “the baptism of the Holy Spirit” is what has created the necessity to apologize and be embarrassed for the shallowness of the church. Salvation IS “CHRIST IN HIS FULNESS” experienced subjectively and personally. Jesus Christ cannot be divided up into segments. We must eat the whole Lamb or His fulness will be lost to us forever.
There should be a “mass repentance among the ministries” for the “mass ignorance” that we have created by our holding a “religious mass” instead of preaching the gospel of the Kingdom. We have settled for church membership instead of the Kingdom government of God manifesting His sovereignty in the church and then through the church. Blaming the church for its carnality is a false escape because God will hold the ministries responsible.