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#335 Kingdom: Preparing For The Next Restoration

A vast company of Christians are now being prepared for the next restoration. We are being prepared NOW for our future work FOR the Kingdom and IN the Eternal Kingdom of God. Multitudes in each generation have been predestined to participate in this work. God is constantly calling those He has predestined. The confusion is not so much about the “calling” but about our preparation to participate in His predestined plan. Along with our “predestined calling to participation” is His present predestined plan for us to “be conformed to His image.”

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; [30] and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

The normal interpretation of these scriptures is that IF He foreknew us then the work is finished and all we have to do is just believe because God has already glorified us along with Christ. IF He has “foreknown” us then we are already predestined to the Throne of God. It is assumed by some that all this is the “unconditional grace of God” and nothing more is required. In other words God chooses us by His sovereignty and no preparation for eternity is needed.

The problem is this; There are so many scriptures that demands our change and our growing up in all things “into Christ.”

2 Peter 1:9] For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins. [10] Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; [11] for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.

2 Peter 1 is about all these aspects of “adding dimension to our spiritual life” AFTER we are born again. If we are successful in “adding” these characteristics then an “ENTRANCE” will be made for us into the Kingdom Of Christ! It is too late to “grow or prepare or add” AFTER He calls us to eternal participation. If we are NOT diligent to make certain “about His calling and choosing us” by making these character changes experiential we could suffer loss in His Kingdom.

Each of us being conformed to the image of Christ, so that He might be the first born of all creation and the Leader of many sons into Glory, is all part of God’s predestined plan.

My theory is that preparation must precede participation. God’s work of preparation is a deep work within the inner man or that new spiritual man. This “spiritual man” is BOTH Soul And Spirit. This inner work of God takes much time to complete in order to use us in the next restoration. Why does this take so much time? Simply because most all Christians are unaware of how God prepares us. Many assume that God’s work of preparation is by discipleship training by men. This was the central focus of the Discipleship and Shepherding Movements during the 1970's and 1980's.

The focus was upon Bible knowledge and practical issues of outward ministry. When some person or Presbretry approved of a person’s adherence to their particular system of discipleship, that person was declared “ready” for some ministry. Then hands were laid on the “disciple” and he was set in the work. Because this outward “training” by men did nothing to develop the inner life, many were sent into some ministry with no character development or spiritual maturity in the inner man.

For this reason many were abused while in the “training process” and became abusers of people when they were sent out to the work. They were “trained” under “headship ministries” and then they became “headship ministries” with titles and positions over other people. This “system” promotes the Nicolaitan spirit which the Lord hates.

Of course that system was all we knew and it appeared that we were finally doing something right and not making the same mistakes made by the “denominational systems” that preceded us. However, the character of the “disciple” was based upon etiquette, human compassion and natural concern but was more about developing a “learned behavior.” Ministry was mostly from the natural man preaching a natural message to natural people in the pews. Unfortunately, the inner man was never rectified and the soul was not cleansed of the junk left from Adam. It is because of the garbage that was not removed from the soul that “ ministers” became abusers. So what IS the solution?

The present day “public ministries” that I have heard are simply not informing the believers about the necessity of the preparation and development of the inner life. Probably the reason is because the ministries were never taught the importance of developing the inner life. We have seen a big emphasis to get believers to sign up for a 16 week course in discipleship training. They found that if you make the “course” free that people won’t show up so they began to place a cost on the “service” that was enough to be a great loss if the course was not finished. Some “future ministry” was promised to those who had completed the course and this provided the incentive to finish the discipleship course.

The failure of this system was that this was just one man teaching another person about ministry, or gifts, or fruit or how to prophesy and the spirit never grew and the inner life was not changed, neither was the garbage in the soul removed. Then how did those ministries fail? These ministries FAILED because they didn’t inform the people that ministry BEGINS in the inner life and not by outward teaching. This outward teaching was not wrong but should have been focused upon the preparation of the inner life to make the transition into the Holy Place life and ministry. This is what we are calling “the Priesthood ministry.” Men, by teaching, can never do what only God can do to transform and develop the inner Life. We are speculating that the Priesthood ministry after the order of Melchizedek will require the development of the inner life and not just more instruction of the intellect or more Bible knowledge.

The fact is this; until recently the inner life was not even an issue and ALL the emphasis was upon an outward ministry, titles, local authority, and the pulpit and pew type ministry. This “system” prevents the priesthood ministry of each believer from developing in the inner life. It is true that we were all caught up in this Outer Court ministry and had no understanding of what would be required for the next restoration. Of course many are not even considering there will be another restoration and are quite happy with the status quo systems of today.

My opinion is that we should be in preparation right now for the next restoration and not wait for the restoration to begin, and then realize that we are not prepared. It is possible that our character and attitudes and disposition are too corrupt at the present time to be used by God in the Holy Place priesthood ministry. It could be that God is just waiting for us to be ready so we can be trusted with this higher calling.

It may be true that our testimony is that we have learned to trust God for everything for several years. Still that alone does not speak into the fact that God may not be able to trust us with simple responsibilities. Recently someone responded with shock that we would need to be trusted by God before we could participate in the next restoration. The fact that we must qualify to be accepted into the priesthood ministry angers some people because they were taught that EVERYTHING in Christ is free and requires nothing except that we believe something about Jesus.

When we mention the cost of discipleship it seems like we are presenting a strange doctrine. Some think this is a cult message related to “works.”

Luke 14:25 Now great multitudes were going along with Him; and He turned and said to them, [26] “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. [27] “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.

Luke 12: 31] “But seek for His kingdom, and these things shall be added to you. [32] “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom. [33] “Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves purses which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near, nor moth destroys. [34] “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

It may only cost $125 to sign up for a 16 week course for some man to teach you but to become a disciple of Jesus, so He can begin teaching you in the inward life, will cost everything. Jesus warns us to first sit down and count the cost and see if we will be able to finish the work. The next restoration MUST move us from the Outer Court dimension of men teaching us more Bible facts and distributing more information to the intellect. Everyone who will participate in the next restoration must make the transition to Christ teaching us in the inner man. In other words we need to advance until we hear His voice rather that just the voice of men. Becoming His disciple / sheep requires that we hear His voice.

Our theory is that if there is not first the development of the inner man there can be no teaching / discipleship of the inner man. The requirements of discipleship, so that Jesus CAN teach us, is related to the actual growth and development of the inner life. Simply giving up natural possessions does not necessarily develop the inner, spiritual life. Forsaking everything connected to the “old self” and the “former manner of life” is essential to developing the “new self” which IS the new inner life!

Eph 4:20] But you did not learn Christ in this way, [21] if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, [22] that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, [23] and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, [24] and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

1 John 2: 27] And as for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him. [28] And now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming.

To assume that “abiding in Him” has to do with our physical being is much too shallow. The “abiding” must be related to the “new self” which is created in the likeness of God. It should be obvious that the “old self” cannot abide in Him. IF we are raised up and seated with Him in heavenly places it MUST be by the “inner man / new self / inner life” abiding in Him. “Abiding in Him” must mean that where He is we must be also. In that same way if “He abides in us” then He must be where we are.

John 14: 3] “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. While this may certainly apply to the future, it may also apply to the abiding life.

We are certainly not disparaging the ministry of facts and information as preparation for the Christian life. We certainly MUST be established in the “facts” about our position in Christ and about our great salvation because that is the source of what we believe. We must know certain things in order to exercise faith to receive the promise. Knowing the facts about salvation will ONLY benefit us if these facts lead us to an experiential salvation in Christ. Teaching the “facts” about eternity is good but developing the life of eternity is essential to participate in that dimension. We are not really called to know facts but to be conformed to His image. However, facts may precede the experience but the facts are not the goal so that we can stop there. Being conformed to His image is the goal of God’s predestined plan.

It may be too repetitive to restate again the principles of putting off the old life and putting on the new life of Christ. In sharing in different places it is evident that much confusion still exists concerning this basic Christian requirement. “Dying to Self” is a Christian doctrine that is usually treated as another cliche simply because we know the words but are still confused about the experience. The basis of the experience of “putting off” is seen in Phil 2: 5-9 in the Life of Jesus.

Phil 2: 5] Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, [6] who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, [7] but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.

The term “emptied Himself” is from the Greek word “kenosis” and means a self- emptying.” Or an “emptying of self” and becoming a bondservant. The way into the “fulness of God” is through the “emptying out of self” or losing “our self” to experience His fulness. The next item to be seen is the “death on the cross.” Of course this now refers to our personal cross that is essential to His discipleship.

Luke 9: 23] And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. [24] “For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.

If we aspire to follow in His footsteps, it is essential that we experience the “kenosis” or the emptying out of our “self life.” Some of us in the “ministry” have established our own kingdom and erected our own throne. We may have even been told that is our right and is connected to our calling. Still, even if that was true we don’t have to exercise “our right.” We can be like Jesus who even though He was in the form of God did not insist upon His right or position. He emptied Himself of His self and self-interest and became a bondservant.

Mat 16: 23] But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.” [24] Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.

The way to the “next level” is through the “kenosis.” There is no possibility of becoming a “Bondservant” without consecration and there is no way to consecration except through the “kenosis. After we make the “consecration offering” we are always confronted with the problem of self and “self interest.” It should be obvious that the “kenosis” will be most difficult for “Ministries” that have a name and fame. In the KJV Bible this “kenosis” is translated “made Himself of no reputation.” This door of “kenosis” was Jesus’ access to the next level of being highly exalted and given a name above every other name. It disturbs me when a prophet gives a word that God is going to highly exalt someone but fails to tell them the “kenosis” comes first.

The “kenosis” comes with the personal cross. We say that Jesus is “the pattern Man or the pattern Son” and we are to grow up in all things into Him. If the “ministries”fail to tell us how to do that, I fail to see their function as legitimate.

Gal 2: 20] “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me.

I have quoted this verse for years before I recognized that this “crucifixion” is the “kenosis” or the emptying out of the self life. I hesitate to say “My self life was crucified with Christ, nevertheless, I live but not I but Christ lives His Life in me.” However, I think this is the interpretation of this verse even though it may not yet be my experience. I will try to explain my theory.

This “kenosis” or self emptying is not of the natural breath life or soul of man. It is certainly not of the new spirit life [ Zoe] of the new spirit. Therefore, this “kenosis” must be of the fallen life of Adam that is passed down to every generation. This “self life” is what we call flesh.

It is this “self life or flesh” that is always battling the “new spirit life [Zoe].” The question is this; Which of these two lives will overcome? If the “flesh life” overcomes the “spirit life” will have no power and no place for development and growth. This is an extremely important thing to understand its reality. How can we discern this great difference between one and the other?

The Adam life or fallen life will always function on the principle of Adam and the flesh and by self interest. According to what Jesus told Peter this life of Adam is open to Satan’s thoughts and deception.

James 3:14] But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. [15] This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. [16] For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.

Those who are “In the flesh” can never please God. Why? Because they are functioning out of the lower, earthly and natural life. Peter was able to go from revelation of Christ in one moment to the deception of Satan in another moment. We are subject to the same disgrace until we experience the “kenosis.” The “emptying out of our old Adam, self life, is not an option for anyone who expects to participate in the next restoration and the Holy Place Life and ministry.

It is obvious that some are more intent upon developing the natural, fallen, Adam life than they are upon laying it aside and developing the new spirit Life of Christ [Zoe] in us.

When we hear of child molesters in the ministry or in the natural priesthood we suspect that they just developed the natural, fallen, Adam life and were therefore, subjected to the deception of Satan. Many of these were caught up in pornography or other fleshly things that feed the lower life that God has condemned to death on the cross. The time of “kenosis” in ministry has come!