#309 Kingdom: Looking Down From Heaven
Col 3:1 If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.  For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.
Col 3:5 Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.  For it is on account of these things that the wrath of God will come,  and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them.  But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth.  Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices,  and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him
Col 1:9 For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,  so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;  strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously  giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.  For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,  in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
In Phillips Modern English version he translates this as ; We are asking God that you may see things, as it were, from His point of view by being given spiritual insight and understanding. We also pray that your outward lives, which men see, may bring credit to your master’s name, and that you may bring joy to His heart by bearing genuine Christian fruit, and that your knowledge of God may grow yet deeper.
While the vast majority of believers are spending their time looking up to heaven and wondering what is going on up there and if anyone is listening, it seems that Paul is encouraging the believers to begin up there and establish their viewpoint from heaven. Why? Because this is God’s viewpoint from which He is directing His sons in the things of God.
Paul is concerned that these believers still were involved in things that are not Christian such as, immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. Also anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech, do not lie to one another. Where do such things originate in the “believers life?” These things proceed up out of the heart. But were these “saved people?” Yes! Then has the old things really passed away and all things become new? Doctrinally, yes, but experientially, no!
Then why does Paul bring this “negative subject up?” Why can’t Paul just be positive? Because you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed. The fact that these attributes of Adam still exist in the believers life, even after they were forgiven, should not confuse us. We certainly have committed our “OLD SELF” to death but the “NEW SELF” is in the process of being renewed. If we never deal with and surrender these evil practices to the Government of God we will continue to manifest these qualities of Adam. Whether that fits into your theology or not is totally irrelevant if those things are still being manifest inwardly, even though you are able to control them outwardly.
Since we have concluded that the Romans 7 approach to these carnal things will not remove them, we should ask what then is the solution? Our best guess at the present time is by repentance and surrendering them to God through our personal cross. If we hold on to these things we will not bring joy to the heart of the one that created us. God will deliver us from our enemies, not our friends!
The “shallow Christian” will always ask “But are we still saved?” That is because everything is being viewed from earth and from man’s viewpoint. From Heaven’s viewpoint it is not a matter of saved or lost but are we bringing joy to the heart of God.
This will be the identifying factor of the next restoration that is viewing things from the Holy Place instead of just from the Outer Court. The Outer Court speaks to us of preparation while the Holy Place speaks to us of function, priesthood, inward reality and revelation. Why inward reality? Because the Showbread is ingested so that the living and abiding Word of God becomes an inner reality! SINNER= MAN CENTERED==== RIGHTEOUS= GOD CENTERED!
This transition from “man-center to God-center” must obviously take place during the Outer Court preparation. Why? Where else is this indicated? We can’t participate in the Holy Place life and ministry as long as we are self-centered. Big Ego there = Big problem. That Holy Place “function” is to stand before the Lord, minister to the Lord and burn Incense. This is NOT about SELF but about God and bringing joy to His heart and participating in and fulfilling His purpose.
To stand at the Incense Altar and burning HIS INCENSE with the motive of filling our pockets is an abomination to God. Exo 30:37] “And the incense which you shall make, you shall not make in the same proportions for yourselves; it shall be holy to you for the LORD.  “Whoever shall make any like it, to use as perfume, shall be cut off from his people.” It is dangerous to stand at that Holy Place with a selfish and self-centered motive. Then the Second Veil of TRUTH that brings a burning revelation of our “self” is a great blessing if we intend to continue to go on into the purpose of God. Jesus Christ and His body [the Lampstand Church] WILL fulfill God’s eternal purpose and live for God!
If we can’t recognize these Kingdom requirements we have a serious defect in our eyes.
LEV 21:16 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,  “Speak to Aaron, saying, `No man of your offspring throughout their generations who has a defect shall approach to offer the bread of his God.  `For no one who has a defect shall approach: a blind man, or a lame man, or he who has a disfigured face, or any deformed limb,  or a man who has a broken foot or broken hand,  or a hunchback or a dwarf, or one who has a defect in his eye or eczema or scabs or crushed testicles.  `No man among the descendants of Aaron the priest, who has a defect, is to come near to offer the LORD’S offerings by fire; since he has a defect, he shall not come near to offer the bread of his God.  `He may eat the bread of his God, both of the most holy and of the holy,  only he shall not go in to the veil or come near the altar because he has a defect, that he may not profane My sanctuaries.
One of the ministries of the Son is to reveal the Father and that gives the Son great joy. He would rejoice to bring us into “Koinonia” with the Father. This word means a participation in, communion, holding in common, to contribute, fellowship, communicate, a partaker with or contribute. This implies an active participation in the Father and His will and desires.
The one element that keeps us from this experience of koinonia is the Adam life that was driven from the garden and God’s presence. We should stop recognizing Adam after the flesh as just one unfortunate man. Adam is the source of our natural life and we have inherited his attributes. Adam had natural life but he could not “participate” with God in His purpose because of the lack of His uncreated Life. Adam could have “participated” in His Life at the Tree of Life.
It is for this reason that the sentence of death is already upon Adam and those who are “in Adam” today. If we are to cease to live for ourselves and begin to live for Him, this Adam center which insists upon living for self must be overcome. This is the Adam life in us that has ruined God’s creation through his descendants. It is then obvious why this “Adam life” must be dealt with by death and burial. Only a true resurrection into Jesus Christ can solve our selfish and self-centered problems. When the personal cross is preached as an option, Adam is preserved and the devil has another tool to use to resist God.
If any man be in Adam he is an old creation, nothing has passed away and all things remain the same. If we could rid ourselves from Adam and rid the church from Adam that would solve most of our division and carnality problems. From the “earth viewpoint” all this seems like just another doctrine or Christian philosophy. From the viewpoint from the throne in Col.3:1 the eradication of Adam from our lives and experience reveals this death as an essential experience
“For you have died and your life is hid with Christ in God.” This viewpoint is “looking down” upon this earthly scene but evaluating everything from the eternal viewpoint. This may require “spiritual eye salve” to repair or correct our vision.
Some will correctly share that God took ALL of Adams race to the cross of Calvary and dealt with Adam there as the final solution. This is true. If this was experientially true in all believers lives we wouldn’t see so much evidence of Adam in the church. If it all happened in its finality at Calvary why do we need to deal with Adam at all? Why do we have to put off the “old man”, Adam. Why is it that all these negative and nasty behavior problems still plague us? Why are we instructed to put off all these ugly former things after we are “saved?” Aren’t we supposed to be “new men” who after Christ are created in the image of God.
The lack in our experience is not with a failure in Calvary but with our preserving Adam out of our free will and because Adam has become our friend whom we can blame for our bad deeds and attitudes. As in Adam “I have to be me.” As “Christ” I have to be in Him.” However, to have “Christ formed in us” is not automatic just because we believe something about Jesus. A complete change of viewpoint from earthly to heavenly will be an essential element for the next restoration. Arriving at a depth of experience in the Outer Court dimension will be considered as very shallow in the Holy Place dimension. Waters to swim in that are related to the Outer Court will be water up to the soles in the Holy Place. Any man “living for himself” will be viewed as very shallow in any dimension. How can we begin to experience “the power of the age yet to come” unless we begin to live in the eternal viewpoint?
We could identify this viewpoint by saying that the Pure Gold Lampstand Church does NOT represent God’s ultimate goal for His eternal plan and purpose. It is just one part of the whole plan and NOT the whole plan! We do not relate the Lampstand church to the end of God’s purpose but to our function in the church now! The “bride company” is NOT the whole plan of God for eternity but it is definitely a part of the whole plan. We could begin by interpreting both the Outer Court AND the Holy Place as God’s means to His end but not the whole END. In the Tabernacle it is the Ark of the Covenant that is approaching “the end of earthly understanding” but in God there IS NO END. It is this vision that begins to relate us to the Divine Reality of Eternity. Everything from here on must relate to God and to His eternal purpose and we must escape from this bondage of relating everything to man’s need. To assume that man is the center of the universe and God revolves around man and exists for man is a very serious error that may have eternal consequences.
We can assume that everything that Jesus did was related to God’s Eternal Purpose because He only did those things that pleased the Father. Jesus only did the will of God, not His own will! Even Calvary was completed to meet God’s need and not 100% focused upon man’s need as has been convincingly preached. When we relate “redemption” [ the repurchase] as relating only to man’s need we are still seeing through a very cloudy glass. A little glass cleaner will reveal this man centered error. Did man need redemption? Certainly! But did God redeem man so he could live for himself? No! Man was redeemed so he would no longer live for himself but would live for God.
2 Cor 5:14] For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died;  and He died for all, that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.
How easily we make man and his need the center of Calvary instead of introducing God’s purpose. This one short sighted error has cost millions there place in eternity.
2 Tim 1: 9] who has saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity
God saved us as the means to the end but not the END in itself. Why did He save us? Because of His eternal purpose and it is for this that He called us! If we related this to the Tabernacle we could say the reason for the Bronze Altar IS God’s eternal purpose. The reason for the Laver and the Anointing IS to open our eyes to the Kingdom of God. The reason for the Outer Court experiences IS so we can bring joy to the Heart of God. Since man cannot fulfill God’s eternal purpose as long as he is in Adam, the Outer Court “experiences” are designed to rid us of Adam but NOT for our benefit but so we can fulfill God’s purpose. All this was planned and set in stone before this present world began and a long time before man sinned. Of course man needs “salvation” but the purpose remains with God, not with man.
Since God sees from His dimension, He sees the end from the beginning. Therefore, with God there is no time, just His purpose. To bring in His purpose, which He purposed before, in all eternity past, it is not a matter of time but of fulfillment. He has no deadline to get it finished. The completion of His purpose is the goal and not so many souls “saved.” Producing a perfect bride for Jesus takes precedence over any time schedule. When God’s need is met and the product is completely finished then the production can cease.
From His elevation He can see from Genesis 1 to the wedding feast of the Lamb and on another 1000 years to the New Jerusalem and beyond that into His Eternal Purpose. We must not think that New Jerusalem is the END. Just because it is the end of the Bible does not mean it is the end of God’s purpose! It is just the beginning of the next part of God’s total plan. This may be difficult to see from the earthly viewpoint but from the heavenly viewpoint it is obvious.
For that reason there IS a Heavenly Viewpoint AND there is an Eternal Viewpoint. If we are locked into an Earthly Viewpoint everything looks like man is the center of the universe. Everything that Christ did on Calvary was for man’s benefit. The Holy Spirit was sent to bless man and all the promises of God count up as man’s provision. If we give, God will give back to us pressed down shaken together and running over. If I give it is for my benefit because I will prosper. Man becomes the center and recipient of all the blessings. Of course some of it is actually true “in heavenly places” where we see a little more of God’s Truth. However, up there we see everything as it relates to God’s purpose rather than for man’s benefit. Does man NEED to be blest? Yes! Why? So he can fulfill God’s purpose and bring joy to God’s heart.
We see faith is still in the dimension of earth and is in the realm of man. God doesn’t have to try to believe something into existence. He just speaks! He doesn’t have to hope because He already sees the end and He knows.
Then to be lifted up and seated with Christ in heavenly places is much more profound than memorizing a scripture or repeating a Christian cliche. From earth viewpoint and the realm of man we try to believe that we were crucified with Christ and no longer live. We try to believe that we are dead and buried, resurrected, ascended with Christ and seated together with Him. But we quickly drift away from that lofty position. Why? Because we haven’t changed centers. We are still centered in earth and in ourselves. From earth to be “seated with Him” is just another mystery that the mystics talk about but way beyond our experience. This may be public opinion but is that God’s purpose for the church?
Are ALL spiritual blessings a guaranteed fact here on earth. Some preach, yes! Of course the Bible specifically says “in heavenly places” and in Christ. This seems to move these “blessings” out of earth realm and into the heavenly realms.
Eph 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,  just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love  He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will,  to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.
Does the fact that God predestined us to the “adoption of sons” mean that all believers are considered as “sons of God?” The popular man centered gospel says that as soon as you believe you are the son of God with all “family benefits.” Some say we immediately become “royalty” because we are “The King’s Kids.”
Mat 12: 48] But He answered the one who was telling Him and said, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?”  And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, “Behold, My mother and My brothers!  “For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.”
It is obvious that from the heavenly viewpoint just to be part of His family we must all do the will of God. From the viewpoint of the “man centered gospel”all that is required is to believe something about Jesus.
Rom 8: 29] For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren. Does this mean that all who “were predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son” automatically are “conformed to His image” as soon as they believe? The popular man centered gospel says, yes! The Bible implies that this requires spiritual growth, trials and suffering. The fact that we are “predestined” is from God’s side and relates to His eternal purpose. The process by which we attain to His image is on our side and requires a transition from man center to God center. Being raised up and seated with Christ requires a transition from earth to heaven or from “man center’ to “God center.”
To me this represents the next great need in the church and a forerunner to the Kingdom of God in our experience. A “Man Centered Kingdom” is just that, “man’s own little kingdom”, but it is just by his own design and cannot be related to God’s Kingdom Government. Can we really turn the church from earth / man center to the transition that is wholly God centered until the Gospel of the Kingdom is fully preached? Or do we have to turn the church FIRST so the church has ears to hear the Gospel of the Kingdom?
Even the hardliners who are of the super grace persuasion may eventually turn if the Kingdom message can plow through the deceived heart to plant that eternal seed. A positive confession can never substitute for the power of the Gospel of the Kingdom. We can all learn and loudly repeat a proclamation that “We are raised up and seated with Christ in heavenly places” but if our point of view is still from the earth and man center the words fall to the ground. They even sound foolish! Then how do we change centers? After considering several possibilities it appears that the “personal cross” is the instrument that God uses to turn us and to get us from here to there. The cross must work in this “earth / man dimension” in order to release us from this earth / man dimension. It is clear that Jesus moved into a different dimension following Calvary and the Cross was the instrument to establish God’s purpose for man. Now God may use the personal cross as the instrument to establish God’s purpose “in man” and to change our center to a heavenly viewpoint. We might call this transition “The Trauma of the Heavenly Vision.” Trauma because it will cause an emotional shock to the man centered community that gathers together and to proclaim their citizenship in heaven.
Acts 26: 19] “Consequently, King Agrippa, I did not prove disobedient to the heavenly vision,
Since most everything in the “modern church system” is designed for man’s benefit, it is very appealing to selfish and self centered modern man. He might be faithful attending the meetings just to find out how he can get more and more of God’s blessings.
Suppose that I preach about the glories of the age yet to come, about the bride of Christ,
about our glorious position in Christ, suppose I preach a clear word about our identification with Christ and about our victorious life in Christ and how we are now being taught by God or how God has provided healing for me through His stripes. All this can be totally man centered and from a selfish and with a self-exalting goal. While my message may be scripturally true it does nothing to turn man from the human / Adam center to the God / Kingdom center. My “deeper message” appeals to man because he can evaluate what he will get out of it.
As long as our theme revolves around what God has done FOR US through Jesus Christ there is no emphasis upon taking up our cross, denying self and focusing upon God’s eternal purpose. We become more conscious of what He has done for us than we are in why He did it. We may learn about His blessings but never come to Know Him and who He is.
The frustration connected with the message of consecration is this; It comes when the next question is “If I fully consecrate my life to do the will of God, what is in it for me?” Will that give me a higher place in the Kingdom? Can I sit at His right hand or on His left? How will this affect my authority over others. Will I be granted special garments or may I carry a big stick? Will my ministry go to the next level? Will more people submit to me? The answer is Probably not! Why?
Because man cannot be the center of God’s Kingdom OR His purpose. God has already appointed Jesus to that place!