#322 Kingdom: Is it Idealism OR Realism
Idealism >noun 1 the practice of forming or pursuing ideals, especially unrealistically. 2 the representation of things in ideal form.
Realism >noun 1 the practice of accepting a situation as it is and dealing with it accordingly. 2 the representation of things in a way that is accurate and true to life. 3 that abstract concepts have an objective or absolute existence.
It is a shame that many theologians have presented the Kingdom as an impractical IDEALISM and labeled those who taught and believed the scriptures as they are written “the Realists” or the “Literalists” who are chasing fantasies. “The Realists” then is a derogatory term meaning the deceived or ignorant! The common thought is that the Kingdom is a spiritual Kingdom and not an actual Kingdom that can be experienced on earth at the present time. Many will agree that there will be a time during the 1000 reign, called the Millennium, that the Kingdom will be a real, factual and literal government upon the earth. Some even believe that the Lord Jesus Christ will actually and literally reign from Jerusalem in the middle east and sit on the throne of David.
The controversies arise when it is declared that the Kingdom is now and it is a hidden Kingdom within those who have surrendered to it. That the Throne of Christ on earth is established within those Christian Bondservants who do His will. Also that the River of Life will flow from the Throne of God now as a witness to the Eternal River of God that will flow from His Throne throughout eternity. Since these understandings are abstract and are so subjective they are labeled by the theologians as fantasy.
Many who reject the “present Kingdom” talk about the church “building the Kingdom” through evangelism. However, this is a “future kingdom” that will come someday and include all saints who are saved. They assume that we build the Kingdom with the souls that are “saved.” The more souls that are saved, the bigger is God’s Kingdom. The more souls that go to hell, the bigger is Satan’s kingdom.
The “Realism” is that we can stop trying to build the Kingdom and just surrender to it SO the Kingdom can be built into us. This is the experiential Kingdom that becomes practical when we obey its Laws by His Life within us. We approach the Kingdom believing that everything that is outside the Kingdom is existing in eternal unreality.
As far as I understand at the present time, there is no way to experience the Kingdom except by surrendering to it. That means to everything that it is, its Life, its Laws, its Government, its demands and its total entirety. The Kingdom cannot be received “a la carte” or choosing certain items from the menu that are priced separately. The Kingdom is NOT a piece of this and a piece of that where certain things can be chosen that are desirable. The Kingdom is only offered as “THE GOVERNMENT OF GOD.” We choose it all or we receive nothing. The Kingdom cannot be divided and pieced out to those who only want a little.
This is why the casual, the lukewarm and the carnal Christian need not apply for entrance into His Kingdom. This is NOT the Kingdom of the Savior but the Kingdom of the Eternal King who is LORD of all. Those “Christians” that choose by saying I will take this but I don’t want that part of the Kingdom are exclude from everything in the Kingdom. This is why the parables of the Kingdom seem so radical, unsympathetic and not at all sentimental! We either meet the requirements or we are totally rejected.
The introduction to the Kingdom is this; Repent, be converted, surrender, submit to His Laws, obey and do His will. Too many are preaching a modified Kingdom with a modified salvation where we can receive the King as personal Savior and live as we please. This is NOT the Gospel of the Kingdom that is presented in Scriptures.
The Kingdom has been “universalized” to include all believers whether they do His will of not. While the Kingdom is certainly “universal and includes the whole universe” there is also the “personalized absolute divine order” that is established as the “internal Kingdom” to rule in our life now. It is this “Kingdom” that is preparing us for our place in His eternal Kingdom. It we are not faithful to this Kingdom will we be given a place in His eternal Kingdom? Not according to the parables about the Kingdom!
There is presently a moral and ethical pivot point around which the universe rotates. This is not a planet or a galaxy but the Eternal Kingdom Government of God which establishes and controls the universal Laws for everything. We are created as a living part of that universe of universal Laws. This universal Government is summed up in the Eternal King and His Eternal Kingdom. There is NOTHING else in the universe that can qualify as this pivotal point. Everything revolves around the Absolute Order and the Absolute Person and these “two” are actually ONE and cannot be separated. Trying to receive one without the other is a great deception. This is too common in the visible church but definitely an anomaly!
When people testify that they have developed a “relationship” with Jesus but know nothing about His Kingdom or His internal Government we can place them in the baby or child category of growth. Since the King and His Kingdom is one we cannot receive the one without the other. They are, therefore, still fleshly, carnal, soulish or living as mere people who are NOT born-again. They are born-again but living like they were not! These may be ignorant or deceived but they should be able to receive the message of the Kingdom and surrender to it.
Acts 8:12] But when they believed Philip preaching the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were being baptized, men and women alike.
When they believed BOTH the King and the Kingdom they were baptized!
Jesus Christ is the embodiment of the Kingdom Government of God. How do we know that?
Luke 22: 42] saying, “Father, if Thou art willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Thine be done.”
John 6: 38] “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.
John 8: 28] Jesus therefore said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me.
Throughout the New Testament we see Jesus living in the Kingdom, obeying it and manifesting the Kingdom. This IS the Kingdom humanized and Christianized. This is “realism.” We hear many prophesies about the believers doing exploits for God but little is spoken about doing them to manifest the Kingdom Government that is within. Many are still trying to do the exploits spoken by the prophets by doing their own will and for the wrong reasons. They assume the “exploits are idealism” that follows the philosophy of the prophet. The presumption is that reality lies in our consciousness or reason. The prophet said it so let us do it! The Kingdom doesn’t function that way because it IS a Government.
Some preach and receive a modified gospel where we accept the Savior for our comfort, as a provision, as a help in time of trouble, as a friend in a lonesome world, as our ticket out of judgement and our acceptance into heaven or for endless other reasons. These all fall short of the Gospel of the Kingdom. This is primarily why we have so many babes and children in the church because they understand that they have paid their dues, they have their fire insurance and now they expect the benefits bestowed on them by their Savior. We are not condemning the “gospel of the bargains” but we are saying this “gospel” has not produced a church that are realists. This “gospel” has assumed a future “idealism” called heaven that ignores the prefix of “The Kingdom of “ heaven! Since the Kingdom is the Eternal Reality and is connected to real Life and real existence in a real place, governed by a real God, who is a real King, it requires a real experience and not just a new doctrine. The Kingdom is an “idealism” to multitudes of “Christians” who have not experienced the Kingdom as a personal “realism.” We are not saying that is wrong but that this is exactly why so many Christians are living in an “unfulfilled expectation” of something more that is beyond their grasp and understanding. Our theory is that it is the Kingdom that is their “unfulfilled expectation.”
The general, popular and current wisdom within society is that Christians are out of step, out of the mainstream, out of touch with society and irrelevant in the world of reality. The Gospel of the Kingdom will correct this ignorance when it is preached with power. This is NOT the power to knock people down but the power to overcome the resistance to the Word being preached.
Luke 21:13] “It will lead to an opportunity for your testimony.  “So make up your minds not to prepare beforehand to defend yourselves;  for I will give you utterance and wisdom which none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute.
The actual fact is that everyone and everything that is not Christian is out of step and out of the mainstream with creation. The “Christian Way” is the normal way for society to live and harmonizes with the way we were created to live. The Kingdom Way is the proper way that man was created to function from the very beginning. We might call this the “Christian Garden of Eden” and the place for the beginning of the New Creation in Christ Jesus. When we truly belong to the King and His Kingdom He belongs to us along with His Kingdom. “Theirs IS the Kingdom of Heaven.”
Let us suppose that the King and His Kingdom became a universal reality in the universal church. Suppose that this reality really possessed the church. That means that every Christian is in living union with the King and the Kingdom! Then it would be obvious that everyone and everything that was outside the King and His Kingdom was out of step and out of the mainstream of creation. They would be obviously in conflict with both the Creator and with His creation and strangers to the ultimate reality. In other words this example is the reality of the Millennium Rule of the King within the Visible Kingdom on earth.
If this were the case today the church would rise up like a mighty army and go forth conquering and to conquer. They would get so bold with a sense of calling, conviction, assurance, purpose, and commission that they would turn the world upside down.
The fact is that the church has believed a lie because they had no love for the truth of the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom and the bondservants of God have remained hidden. The visible church has believed society’s lie that it is the church that is out of step with reality. That the church is out of focus and out of the mainstream. The church has had no response because the Kingdom of God has remained a mysterious idealism and not preached as a present realism. We have believed in a future Kingdom that has no relevance today. We have apologized to the church for the demands of the Kingdom and treat them as a contradiction to the grace of God. We have ignored the “Grace of Kingdom Adequacy” because we have to be in the Kingdom to experience this abundance of Grace. This IS the Grace to overcome and not the “grace” to present as an excuse for our lukewarmness. The Kingdom AND the Personal Cross has become a negative message in the church and one that puts too much burden on the casual believer who is just hanging by a thread. He is already depressed when he comes to church so any negative message will discourage him and not encourage him. They say the casual believer is coming to find an answer and not to be condemned so we only preach uplifting messages.
When we belong to God’s world, His realm and His Kingdom, then His Kingdom and His world belongs to us.
Mat 15: 12] Then the disciples came and said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this statement?”  But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be rooted up.  “Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.”
Is this too harsh and unloving? Not in the Kingdom! This is Kingdom reality.
Mat 12: 30] “He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.
Luke 19: 27] “But these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them in my presence.”
Mat 25: 29] “For to everyone who has shall more be given, and he shall have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away.  “And cast out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
The casual church has preached a casual message that accepts ALL believers as a matter of God’s grace. This has produced a church of casual believers who will be shocked if they are cast out into outer darkness or slain in His Presence. Many who are not gathering with Him have no idea that they are actually scattering what He is gathering. Even though they are not for Him they are surely NOT against Him. Too many of those who are sitting in the pews every Sunday because they have “accepted Jesus as their personal Savior” are really not Plants that the Father has planted but those whom men have persuaded it is better to go to heaven rather than Hell.
But then men and brethren what must we do? Repent, for the Kingdom is at hand! It is not too late to preach Christ the King and His Kingdom Government as the only ultimate reality. Will that message fill the church? Probably not and it may empty the building but in the Kingdom Government we are not given a choice of creating a different message that soothes people into the outer darkness. Our message to the church must deliver them from lukewarmness and inform the casual believer that his eternal destiny is in jeopardy. That their casual security is not eternal!
But how will we know it is time for this message? If this Kingdom has not been preached for the last 500 years why is it the message for today? When the Kingdom and the King has become your life within this will not be a valid question because the Kingdom within will cry out and the King will declare His glory and the Kingdom within will be demonstrated. If we refuse to cry out maybe the stones will cry out for us!