empty empty empty

#311 Kingdom: Not the Religion of the Soul

The Kingdom of God must be centered within the new, developed spirit of man and not just another “religion of the soul.” While many “confessing Christians” are still functioning out of an unrenewed mind and gravitate toward a mere intellectual religion, they have ascribed to a sub-Christian identity based upon the understanding within the soul. These persons cannot receive the message of the Kingdom but just hear everything as parables. This is because the Kingdom is in a spiritual dimension beyond the capacity of the soul. The soul has a tendency to “rationalize” the Kingdom into a principle that is optional. The soul can rationalize the Kingdom as someplace called heaven that we go to when we die. The soul may reorganize the Kingdom into a process or system to make it more logical and consistent with modern life and customs.

This presents a confusing paradox to those who have determined the time is NOW to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom to the whole world as a witness to every nation. Jesus didn’t say that everyone would understand the message and repent. Still, even if NO One understands and repents we must still preach the Kingdom. Will that message produce eternal fruit or will we be wasting our time? The “fruit that is produced” may just be in us but the commission is to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom AND the NAME of Jesus even if none receive it. How can that possibly be effective? Because it is God that draws persons to Himself and not preachers that draws persons into the Kingdom. “I won many souls to the Kingdom” will become an obsolete saying when the Kingdom is truly understood.

There is a great confusion over the function of the un-regenerate soul and the carnal / fleshly soul. The unregenerate soul may stand obstinately against any religion or it may ascribe to some outward form of religion. The carnal / fleshly / natural soul may have a born again spirit and ascribe to the “Christian religion” and become very religious functioning within a church system. Then there is the functioning of the soul with its renewed mind and the new spirit that needs a variety of spiritual foods for it to develop into a full grown spiritual person. We might say this person is a “Christian” but still a babe.

The person that has been born again and has a new spirit may have a soul that has not received a renewed mind so they can think in spiritual terms. The condition of the soul in a born again person is the source of much debate in the church. Some really don’t even think about the condition of the soul IF the spirit is alive. Some only consider the soul as being saved without regard to the spirit of man and its condition.

The source of most of the problems in the visible church can be attributed to the condition of the soul AND the spirit and the lack of growth in the spiritual dimension. Just preaching the Kingdom to the mind of man cannot produce eternal fruit. Another “intellectual gospel” preached to waiting minds will be a certain waste of time and a great disservice to the church. Then must we wait for a spiritual awakening or for those who have had a “born of God experience” before we can preach the Kingdom of God? Not if we trust God to draw persons to Himself through the Gospel of the Kingdom!

It should be obvious that the Gospel of the Kingdom CAN be preached to persons with unregenerate minds and a dead spirit. IF this was not possible to whom did Jesus preach? There were no born again persons with renewed minds at that time. When Paul went on his missionary trips to whom did he preach? These were heathen people that had no spiritual capacity to comprehend eternal things. Then how will they be able to hear this “spiritual message?” Certainly NOT by any human ability! Then it must be because God is working with the messenger and drawing all men to Himself as we lift up Jesus and His Kingdom government.

Because of all these “logical” restrictions associated with preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom. it has just seemed more realistic to preach some other “introductory gospel” to get people “saved.” Then maybe later we can preach something we call “strong meat.” The problem is that even our “strongest meat” is little more than just milk and that seems to be too much for the average person in the church pew.

If we limit the preaching of “strong meat” to those who have already received the gospel of the Kingdom and experienced the basic spiritual transformation within the spiritual man, and have a renewed mind then “strong meat” is something other that the gospel of the Kingdom. My theory is that the difficulty does not lay with the Kingdom message being too “deep” but with preaching the Kingdom as another intellectual message. That is from head to head and soul to soul rather than as an eternal truth that can penetrate human barriers and touch the heart of the hearers.

If “strong meat” is for the mature does that mean “mentally and intellectually mature” as is commonly accepted in ministry? Is “strong meat”just for the more mature in their spiritual development? It seems clear that Jesus could not preach the Kingdom to those who were the “intellectually mature” in His day because these were the religious leaders who were the Pharisees and lawyers! If ignorant and unlearned fishermen can receive the Gospel of the Kingdom maybe we should re-evaluate how and what we preach. Dumbing down the message to fit the most unenlightened and undeveloped person in the congregation has not been very effective.

However, Paul went everywhere preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom to anyone who would listen from morning to night. Still, Paul was careful not to preach “strong meat” to the carnal believer. He was not saying that we must limit the doctrine of “strong meat” but he was criticizing the carnal believe for not developing their spiritual life. His goal was to preach “strong meat” to everyone, however, it would just go over the head of the “soulish believer.” Paul DID preach “strong meat” (wisdom) to the mature. Today we would tell Paul that he should dumb down his preaching because he was confusing the carnal believer.

The boredom in the church today may be the result of preaching a “mind centered message” to the spiritually hungry who need some spiritual food for their spirit so they can grow. Paul said he spoke the mysteries to those who could receive the “wisdom from above.” This “wisdom” is of a spiritual dimension that is not within the capacity of the soul to understand. This is the “hidden wisdom” that the immature could not understand because the immature have not developed the faculties of the spirit. This is NOT because they are stupid so we must dumb down the message! Our goal should be to lift the “soul centered believer” into a spiritual growth where they CAN receive the Kingdom seed in the good soil of the spirit and not just in the stony soil of the mind.

We might ask “Then why preach this “high and lofty stuff” that the average person off the street can’t understand?” Is it really because the Gospel of the Kingdom or these mysteries concerning the Kingdom is not for the average person off the street? Not at all! The fact is we may be completely unaware of those whom God is drawing to Himself and if we fail to preach the Kingdom we may miss the very ones that God has chosen to reveal Himself., His eternal purpose, His Kingdom and His inward government. Jesus preached the Kingdom to the multitudes and the greatest majority had no idea what he was saying. Still, a few came and inquired about the meaning and Jesus quickly explained. Why? Because He discerned that they had ears to hear.

“Milk” then is probably a message that is devoid of very much spiritual content and is given to inform the mind but fails to instruct the spirit of his hearers. Even though Paul did preach “milk” it was distressing to him to be limited to just preaching milk.

The “wisdom from above” is delivered to feed the spirit of man, even if the soul / mind / psuche doesn’t fully understand the mystery. The difficulty of “feeding” the spiritual mysteries and wisdom from above to the carnal, soulish, earthly, natural, mere men of the psuche, is that “spiritual things” throw the carnal mind into confusion and the people think you said something entirely different from what you said.

It appears that the greatest need in the church today is for a deeper spiritual development so the gospel of the Kingdom has a resting place within the life. While this is true and a definite necessity it is still true that no one can come unless the Father draw him. In other words if we are out there preaching without Him we can accomplish NOTHING. If God is working with us we must preach the Kingdom and see who responds. ( We must shake the tree and see who falls out.) Then we can work on the transformation that is necessary to reverse the roles and function of the soul and the spirit. Trying to “develop the soul” to receive spiritual things and understand the mysteries is a big waste of time.

We should ask WHY after 2000 years does there remain a “Godless Christian society” that is “Christian” in name only. We know that God has designed the “True Christian Society” to transform the culture and vision of the world around us and to become the salt and light to the modern man. Instead there is a “human center” around which the Church gravitates and is therefore ineffective in influencing the fallen culture around us. In fact the “culture” of the church is nearly identical to the culture of the world.

culture >noun 1 the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively. 2 a refined understanding or appreciation of this. 3 the customs, institutions, and achievements of a particular people, or group.

Going to a church building on Sunday is not the same thing as becoming a spiritual people that function in a distinctly different culture that is NOT based upon “intellectual understanding” but upon the revealed mysteries of God. These “mysteries” will affect every area of Spiritual Life. Obtaining a “doctors degree” in intellectual achievement is not the same thing as obtaining a developed functioning spirit that comprehends the mysteries of God. A man with a doctors degree in the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (or in human understanding) may be excluded from the Tree of Life. Knowing the “Power of His Resurrection” is completely different from knowing the doctrine and theology about resurrection.

There is an “Identity of the Soul” that expresses our personal being. Our “carnal mind” may express our “personal identity” OR our “spiritual mind”of the new spiritual man may express our “Christian identity.” Every Christian should have a “spiritual identity” that defines his Christianity. It is probable that the “inflexible religious systems” only produce a “physical identity” or a “soulish identity” or a “denominational identity” that is devoid of any “spiritual or Christian identity.” Religious systems conform to an empty form with no spiritual substance.

These may have been widely accepted in the Outer Court Dimension as “Christian” but they will be exposed in the Holy Place Life and ministry as counterfeit Christianity or pre-Christian in their experience. The “religious soul” is the stronghold and fortress of religious thought and becomes the source of these religious systems that have become the “counterfeit church.”

These “soulish systems” cannot change themselves (nor do they want to) because “eternal change” requires the development of the new spirit in man AND for God to dwell in that spirit! There is NOTHING in the “soulish systems” that can make that internal change within man to prepare man for His eternal calling. The great pity is that many times the new born again spirit is held in solitary confinement within the prison of the carnal mind and soulish nature. In Luke 4 Jesus was giving the prescription for releasing the captives from their prisons by the anointing of the Spirit of the Lord. [That indicates that God is working with us by the anointing]

From Luke 4 :43 it seems clear that all this is related to preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom in all the other cities in Israel. The “inflexible religious system” in Jesus’ day was the religion of the Jews. Today it is the “religion of the mind.” The unrenewed mind always seeks to establish its own religion based upon some form of human understanding. One particular kind of cult of this nature is the mind science systems. Some movie actors now are embracing some of these weird cults and lending their “name” as credentials of authenticity for the cult. Some are claiming to get great help and satisfaction from these “religious systems.” Of course some claim to receive the same kind of help from Psychiatry and Psychology (or even physical exercise) because these all focus upon the mind / soul / psuche / flesh / carnal nature / physical well being.

Of all the “religions” on the earth it should be Christianity that stands apart as the “religion of the spirit” that can contact God in the spirit of man. However, we discover that too much preaching and teaching is just another demonstration of the “ mind science” methods except now there are shared from a pulpit that caries the name of Christian. Whether a person can become a Christian by saying certain words or believing certain required things will always be debatable. Maybe a person can become a Christian and still be limited to the dimension of the soul. For example; The thief on the cross! Maybe a person can be a “Christian” by developing their soul / mind / thoughts / psuche, even though they have no spiritual experience! Maybe a “Godless Christian society” can be “saved” by what they believe “in the mind” without regard to what they experience in the heart and actually are. Maybe God’s grace covers all this ignorance. Since “intellectual Christianity” is powerless to change society to become more Christian it cannot be what God has designed to be the Church that Jesus is building that has power over the gates of hell.

Reversing the roles played by the soul and the spirit in the messenger may be the forerunner of the new restoration of the Holy Place life and ministry. This restoration will be the restoration to a new dimension of Spiritual Light that is the Life. The “abundant Life” {have Life Zoe more abundantly} requires the abundant Light or the Spirit without measure, that is the illumination of the Seven Spirits of God.

My theory is that this reversal in the roles of the soul and the spirit in the ministry of the Holy Place is one of the results of the Consecration Offering. IF the Consecration Offering is the removal of all the carnal aspects of man then the cessation of the use of the “carnal mind in ministry” must be a the top priority. IF the fulfillment of the Consecration Offering IS the new spiritual man living in resurrection Life, then the Holy Place Life and ministry will be quite normal and eating the Showbread and burning the Incense will be a routine function in the spirit. However, trying to burn Incense by the soul is our actual experience.

While “Outer Court Christianity” will always be subject to “scientific examination” by natural light, the Holy Place Life and ministry is beyond the vision of “scientific examination” as is the Kingdom of God’s Government within man. What IS seen is the manifestation of His inward government. When we hear debates on TV between the “scientific community” and some Christian minister it is all based upon some soulish evaluation of human concepts because the Christian minister cannot speak in spiritual or eternal terms because they offend the fallen mind.

All this appears to be a waste of time even though the Christian minister thinks he is preaching the gospel to the whole world via TV. The evaluation by the world of these debates is that the minister is an idiot living in some kind of religious fantasy. To the unregenerate thought even a reprobate has a certain level of righteousness because of perceived human qualities especially if he holds to certain politically correct standards.

Obviously, debating these issues on TV can produce very little just because it is one mind trying to convince another mind and other minds evaluating the results. Since the “Gospel” is of a spiritual dimension it must be preached out of the spirit of man SO God Can work with us convicting the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgement. A intellectual argument cannot produce these results.

However, on Sunday morning we stand in the pulpit with the same system of intellectual argument trying to present our doctrine to the minds in the pew who are evaluating our message through the sieve of human thought. sieve >noun a utensil consisting of a wire or plastic mesh held in a frame, used for straining solids from liquids or separating coarser from finer particles.

From this “system” we expect to get spiritual results and transformed lives in the pew. The carnal interpretations of spiritual truth results in “religious speeches” and just produce a whole religion of the mind and an irrelevant church to the community. When the mind is the instrument of ministry, the result is a human based and human centered church functioning out of the logic of carnal thought. Then regardless of the intellectual capacity of the congregation, the “ministry” is based upon the reshaping of the soul to conform to the church standards and to believe certain doctrines or principles. The result is that the inner man is untouched, unconverted and unchanged. We may wonder why God is not working with us and doing His part of drawing all men to Himself. The answer is that God IS Spirit and He works in and through the spirit.

Too much of the time when a group focuses upon some outward form, or method or system or structure they put themselves in bondage to the very system they invented. Since these “forms” are generally “personality driven” they easily become inflexible. This is evident within the Amish Community where the younger generation are warned not to depart from the religion of their fathers but to hold to the traditions handed down to them. In this way they honor their father and mother and are guaranteed a long life. Generations have sat in these “religious prisons” for years and experienced no change in their spiritual life.

Many “Christian Churches” are no different from the other religions of the world except that they use the name of Jesus and are “Christian” in name only. They know Jesus but only after the flesh. They interpret Bible truth but only after the flesh. They hold to certain standards but only after the flesh. Just a fleshly interpretation of scriptures can refocus the message and redirect the hearers to a carnal and fleshly experience but devoid of the Life and Spirit of God.

To develop a capacity for spiritual truth in these soulish situations will require a major miracle. This “miracle” must begin in the “minister” before it can begin in the congregation. I don’t know if this is a Kingdom principle or not but I suspect that if we continue IN the status quo, the result will be the same as we see now AS the status quo.