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#387 Kingdom: Reevaluating the Work of Ministry

As we move from one country, culture and tradition to another it is obvious that the level of ministry is about the same everywhere. It is pitifully shallow everywhere and it is very seldom that we encounter any eternal vision or a ministry that is even trying to prepare a church to participate in God’s Eternal Purpose. This universal “GOSPEL OF CHEAP GRACE” has reduced the church down to just believe something about Jesus and you are saved.

The general feeling in the churches is this; How can you get more than saved?

Once we “believe” something, we are ready to go to heaven and sit with Him on His throne. Since it is very clear that this Bible promise is ONLY rewarded to the “overcomer,” they teach that to believe is equivalent to overcoming. This level of ignorance among the “ministers” is so embarrassing and discouraging that a hopelessness sometimes comes over us. How will God get a glorious bride for His Son when so few even know he is preparing a glorious bride for Jesus. Instead it is boldly declared that all believers are automatically the bride of Christ when they believe something about Jesus.

We recently encountered a minister from Syria who was a “grace” preacher. He was confused about how there could be three places in heaven and still participate in the grace of God. When Raul showed him the scriptures he asked him to come to Syria and teach these things. It is amazing that this fellow could preach for so many years and never recognize that there was much more required of the church than the primary experience of forgiveness of sins. Instead of seeing that forgiveness of sins is just one step into God’s Purpose he assumed it was ALL that was necessary. None of the many other scriptures dealing with growth and preparation were considered as important because of the “grace” of God. Because the “grace of God” covered over our lukewarmness and apathy nothing was required from us except to believe.

It is my opinion that when the church lost the message of Kingdom it also lost all understanding of the demands of the Kingdom that reveals what it costs to be counted worthy of the Kingdom. Most assume that since we cannot be “worthy” of salvation, we also cannot be worthy of the Kingdom. Therefore, the Kingdom must also be just by grace. Of course that is true but it is NOT the sloppy grace that is being preached that puts NO responsibility upon man except to believe something about the Kingdom. In some places it is acceptable to just believe as little as “the Kingdom will come someday!”

2Thes 1:4 therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure. 5 This is a plain indication of God's righteous judgment so that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering. 6 For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you,

The “super grace churches” have done more to cripple the church and render it ineffective than the devil has ever done. It appears that they have been working against God and His eternal purpose and have completely ignored the Holy Spirit, His teaching and His work of leading the church into ALL truth. This is exactly why we are making a broad distinction between the pitiful condition of the “visible church” that men are building and the glorious pure Gold Lampstand church that Christ is building. These two “churches” are not even similar! Both appear to have different goals. The one men are building just wants to go to heaven someday. The one He is building is designed to complete God’s Purpose and to be prepared to participate in the Eternal Kingdom Government of God.

I have very little desire to attend another church that men are building. In some places that I go the “song service” is the church service and the preaching / teaching of the word of God is just an extra program that we are expected to sit through but is not that important.

There is little wonder that there is no vision in the visible church and the people are ignorant of God’s Eternal Purpose or how to be made perfect, even as your Father in heaven is Perfect. Growing up in all things into Christ and coming to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ has become another cliche that has no expectation of reality in our experience. On the contrary, the concept seems to be that “no one is perfect” therefore, why even consider such a ridiculous doctrine. Perfect in the Bible means to bring to completion or to a harvest condition. To a full maturity. Everything in God’s “field” is designed to come to full growth for harvest. Most will consider the church as the great exception. They assume that because of “grace of God” the church does not need to come to a harvest state of full maturity and completeness.

Since the “ministries” are assigned the duty of bringing the church to perfection or full maturity we need to understand what that “perfection” standard really is. It is clearly stated in Ephesians 4:11-15 that “perfection” means to grow to the measure of the stature that belongs to the fullness of Christ and to be NO LONGER just babes or children in the things of God.

Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge [epignosis or full knowledge] of the Son of God, unto a [one] perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:

Eph 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

Eph 4:16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.

To “be no more children” indicates that the “child stage of growth” is not acceptable in the church He is building. The fact that multitudes pass through the earth church system and NEVER grow does not even cause us great distress. Why? Because we are saved!

The “grace churches” boldly declare that this growth is optional and has to do with rewards. If we just believe something about Jesus we are automatically accepted into the body of Christ.

If this “growth” is not the actual experience of the visible church then we MUST conclude that the ministers have totally failed. However, there does not even seem to be a hint that the ministries are even aware that this church system is not working or that the church has been in a stagnant growth pattern over the last many years.

Teaching the “foundations” (as the beginning for growth) is considered as teaching the people to tithe and be faithful in attending the meetings. Even in “progressive” churches the basic doctrines of forgiveness of sins, faith towards God, the different Spiritual births, water baptism, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the consecration of the body to do the whole will of God and a progressive salvation is nearly unknown. If the “doctrine of going on to perfection” is unknown, how much less is the actual experience of growth a reality in the lives of those that do believe.

When the “foundations” are so neglected and non-existent, is it possible that God will not even permit the church to go on to (maturity) perfection?

Heb 6:1 Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2 of instruction about baptisms, and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And this we shall do, if God permits.

If this was just a seldom encountered problem we could dismiss this as just the pattern for “dead churches.” However, we have encountered this “problem of no growth” as the normal pattern in all different kinds of churches, including Pentecostal and Charismatic assemblies. The same is true of many “faith” churches, prophetic churches, prosperity churches and what is now becoming a popular label is the “Kingdom” churches. The failure of vision and understanding in these latter groups is the most disturbing to us because they claim to have more power and revelation than the “other” churches. It is my opinion they will come under greater condemnation and judgement than the ones who don’t see or refuse to see.

John 9:40 Those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things, and said to Him, "We are not blind too, are we?" 41 Jesus said to them, "If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, 'We see,' your sin remains.

Some ministers complain that when they try to teach the foundations the assemble soon loses interest because this issue is too boring for the average church goer. Anything that requires the assembly to listen and understand a series of points and connect the points together into a doctrine is considered as too complicated for our assembly. Our philosophy is to just keep the gospel simple so our members can easily understand.

To teach all the foundations will require several meetings connected together and our people only attend about two meetings a month so they can’t follow the logic. Our church was established to encourage believers in their daily lives, teach them about finances, work ethics, family values and build in them a hope for success in this life. If we just believe something for this life, we believe eternity will take care of itself.

The “church” will generally reflect the attitude and philosophy of the leaders. When the philosophy is clearly understood, the believers will settle in to become members if that philosophy reflects their own. Otherwise the believers will leave that group to attend another group that more honestly reflects their own philosophy and understanding of Christianity. There is a larger and larger number of believers that simply stay home now because of the shallowness and irrelevant activities of the churches that have nothing to do with their concept of Christianity.

With the moral failure and the casual way “ministers” get divorces and break their wedding vows, it is little wonder that the divorce rate in the church exceeds the divorce rate in the world. Some will give the excuse that in the world many never bother to get married so they don’t need a divorce. Living together and trial marriages are now accepted in some churches. In other words, the church has lost its salt in the world and is no longer the moral compass for the nation.

Financial improprieties, greed, hype, promises of prosperity and lavish lifestyles among the super star ministers are a disgrace for public display. The “perks” in ministry are approaching the perks for large corporations when executives vote themselves extravagant pensions and bonuses even when the business fails. Business used to reward success but now they reward failure. The fact that the church no longer considers the growth and personal function of their believers as important, signals the failure of this system of church that is universally accepted today as normal.

While many ministries are “winning souls” we still need to evaluate the result of bringing so many new people into a church system that only prepares them for stagnation in the pew. What really is the standard we acknowledge for “winning souls?” Is “winning souls” complete if the “new believer” attends the meeting and pays their tithe? If the “new believer” accepts our “formula for salvation” does that mean they are born again? If they believe certain predetermined facts about Jesus, is that the same as becoming a New Creation? If the “old things” do not pass away has a new Christian been birthed so they can see the Kingdom. If our “winning souls” is according to the Bible Standard of the New Testament, why is the church in the pitiful condition it is in? We must assume that the deficiency of growth and quality in the believers must be laid at the feet of the ministers. It is easy to criticize the existing church structure because it is obvious that the church / believers are not growing to a complete harvest stage or up to the fullness of Christ. Still, there must be a solution that we can suggest to correct this very serious problem.

There are certainly basic foundations that are essential to beginning the growth process and becoming experiential Christians. The most obvious are repentance, faith, baptism in water, baptism of the Holy Spirit and full consecration to do the whole will of God. Each of these “foundations” must add some dimension to our Christian Life in a experiential way to be valid foundations. IF our baptism in water that does not bring the reality of Romans 6 into our life experience, it is just another worthless ritual that produces no lasting effect. In my paper entitled “Water Baptism; Why?” I show about 20 things that are supposed to happen when we are baptized. Many pastors say that nothing is supposed to happen when we are baptized except to give a public testimony. Of course nothing like that is even mentioned in the scriptures.

The fact that the natural man or the outward man after the first Adam CANNOT be saved seems strange to the visible church that puts all their effort in trying to help the natural man after the first Adam to become a Christian. They tell the outward man what he must believe to become a Christian but neglect the birth and growth of the new inner man that is essential to become a Christian. It is the new inner man that is the ONLY one God will accept as a Christian. The “new creation man” or the “new inner man” is the one that Christ has birthed, saved and commissioned to fulfill and complete the eternal purpose of God. It is the “new inner man” that is designed to grow up in all things into Christ, who is the Head of His body, which is ONLY made up of new creation men.

If every church / minister/ group would just begin again with this basic “gospel of the Kingdom” and insist upon ONLY new creation persons being accepted into the church system, the problem would soon disappear. At least by the next generation we should see the church return to a Bible standard.

2Cor 5:1 For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven; 3 inasmuch as we, having put it on, shall not be found naked. 4 For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed, but to be clothed, in order that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge. {a down payment upon that time}

Trying to bring “this tent” to some kind of maturity or to make it a Christian tent is a big waste of time and effort because it is clear we MUST lay this tent aside. “The tent” (body) is just mortal and temporal and we MUST all put on the immortal and the eternal. Paul says that what IS Mortal MUST be swallowed up by LIFE! Everything we have received from Him, that is capable to ascend into the eternal realms, is “the new inner man” that lives in this tent. If we fail to feed, mature and equip the new man to fulfill God’s eternal purpose, we have totally failed as ministers of the New Covenant. Where will all the baby Christians go when that time comes? In addition to the stunted growth that we see in the visible church it is clear that we have prepared NO ONE to function in the Kingdom Government of eternity. The seriousness of this negligence is, for the most part, ignored by the various ministries.

Since the “new man” doesn’t eat messages or song services or prophesy, it is getting clearer why the new man (if there even is one in the pre-Christian believer) is hungry, thirsting and even starving! At the same time the inner man is starving the outward man is fed more and more intellectual information and facts from the Bible and Christian entertainment or just more hype. Of course, even this deception of ministering Christian Philosophy is called “ministering the Word of God.” Even the entertainment oriented ministries are saying they are preaching the Word of God.

The problem is that the new inner man only eats that which is Spirit and Life. It is the new inner man that can eat His flesh and drink His blood. However, the outer man can take the Lord’s Table but these are two different things. One has to do with remembering Jesus until He comes and the other has to do with receiving His LIFE. The conclusion is this; this (Zoe) Life must be continually growing in us if it is to be able to swallow up ALL that is mortal! The ministry that has no concern for feeding, developing and growing this new inner man has totally failed in providing for God’s Eternal Purpose. How can that minister ever receive a “well done, good and faithful servant” if his only concern was to gather a big group of people on Sunday? Assembling thousands of people together on Sunday but with no one being prepared for the Eternal Kingdom Government of God is very popular but hardly something that impresses God.

We should review some of the scripture that focuses upon the “new inner man” that we might be fully informed about what is actually Christian.

Rom 7:20 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. 21 I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wishes to do good. 22 For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, 23 but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind, and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members.

2Co 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. 17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Eph 3:14 For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man; 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fulness of God.

Eph 2:14 For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one, and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, 15 by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, 16 and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.

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.

Col 3:9 Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, 10 and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge {Gk- epignosis} according to the image of the One who created him 11 --a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.

There is enough scripture evidence to firmly establish that God has declared that the Old Covenant is obsolete and that He has established a Totally New Covenant to provide for a “new creation inner man” that is birthed, created, formed, developed and matured within the Last Adam, Jesus Christ! That means that there is a new Genesis in which there is a whole new creation in the Last Adam. This “New Creation Man”, birthed into Jesus Christ, is a completely new species of man upon the earth. No man was ever born from above before. No man had ever been conceived by the Holy Spirit or was born from the Divine Sperma from heaven before.

ALL who were born within the first Adam were automatically part of the old, natural, earthly creation and took their place in the fallen species of the first Adam / man. This fallen first creation began in Genesis 3.

This new species of man, that is called Christian, starts with Calvary and the resurrection. This event signals the beginning of a “new Genesis” (a new beginning of a different kind of creation). This “new Genesis” requires “a new creation man” within the Last Adam who became the Head of a New Genesis Creation.

This new species of man [the Last Adam] and all His genealogy, of new creation men, never existed upon the earth before the appearance of the Last Adam. Jesus Christ made the provision for fallen man to repent, be forgiven and then receive the incorruptible sperma { the Living and Abiding Word of God} directly from God. When this sperma takes root in us and begins to grow it produces “a new species of man” that never existed upon the earth before. This incorruptible sperma, planted in the dirt man, conceiving, growing and coming to the full measure of Christ is designed to multiply Christ on the earth. This “conception” is the beginning of Christ being formed in us.

John 1:12 But as many as received Him, { the Living and Abiding Word of God} to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13 who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

1Peter 1:17 And if you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each man's work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay upon earth; 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. 20 For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you 21 who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

1Peter 1:22 Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, 23 for you have been born again not of seed {sperma} which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and abiding word of God.

The Living and Abiding Word of God, the Spirit of Christ, has been released from

the eternal realm to come and dwell in us as that incorruptible seed {Gr. Sperma} planted in this earth / dirt body [ the tent]. As that incorruptible seed grows in us it produces a completely new species of person upon the earth that is called “Christian.” If anyone is NOT born from above by God they can never be a valid “Christian.” That means they are not really “born again” and will NOT be able to see the Kingdom of God.

John 3:3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."

John 3:5 Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Obviously, there is more that one birth into the eternal realms. Being “born again”, being “born of the water” AND being “born of the Spirit” are all necessary to enter into the Kingdom realm. In the natural realm there is only one birth, one life and then death, then eternity. In the New Creation realm of the New species, in the New Genesis in Christ, there are multiple births in one time period. Being birthed into Zion is also included in these progressive births.

John 3:4 Nicodemus *said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born, can he?"

The natural man will always try to comprehend the eternal things with the natural mind and seek for a natural explanation of the things that are only understood in the next realm. The natural man will always relate eternal truth to the first creation realm of first Adam and confuse the eternal issues by relating them to the earth realms. Being “born again” has become so confusing to the natural man that it is ignored by much of the visible church as non-essential. It is reasoned that this is “too complicated” for the average believer who can only accept that which is purely logical.

It is obvious that the severe lack of revelation and even basic understanding in the ministries and a definite lack of teaching on these subjects is responsible for the ignorance of eternal things in the believers. The lack of growth of the inner man is responsible for this pitiful state of the church. Now, this presents another problem.

1Co 3:6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. 7 So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.

It appears from this scripture if it is God that causes the growth-- and there is a definite lack of growth in the visible church-- God must NOT be doing His job. If we planted and another watered and then it was up to God to cause the growth, why don’t we see the growth?

I guess it depends upon what was planted. Was it the real gospel of God or was it another gospel that men have designed because the gospel of the Kingdom is too difficult? It is my opinion that God is not obligated to make something grow that is more weeds than the good seed of the Kingdom. In the parable, the sower didn’t go forth to sow weed seed or Christian philosophy but the seed / sperma of the Kingdom.

Mat 13:24 He presented another parable to them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 "But while men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares also among the wheat, and went away. 26 "But when the wheat sprang up and bore grain, then the tares became evident also.

Each of these parables is relevant when applied to the correct context that is associated with the Kingdom of God. Obvious there is more than just sowing the seed and going to bed and sleeping with some kind of confidence that we have done our job and now it is up to God to cause the growth. One of the problems we see is that today the enemy is not even troubled about sowing weeds because the ministries are already sowing weed messages that have no relationship to the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.

Mat 13:18 "Hear then the parable of the sower. 19 "When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road. 20 "And the one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word, { of the Kingdom} and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away.

There is no question that the seed that is supposed to be sown is “the Word of the Kingdom” and NOT some feel good Christian philosophy. Too many messages are designed to make the backslider and the lukewarm feel satisfied and confident in their shallow experience and provide assurance in their pathetic Christian witness. It is true that God loves you just like you are. However, He doesn’t want to leave you that way because He has an eternal purpose for you to fulfill and you cannot complete that purpose unless you grow up in all things into Christ.

In the context where Paul said “God was causing the growth” it is clear that Paul was NOT referring to an increase in numbers but the growth of the new inner man. The context of his exhortation is still needing milk, being fleshly, having jealousy, causing strife, and the necessity of laying firm foundations upon which to build. The warning is that every man’s work will be tested with fire so be careful with what you use to build. Their carnality was demonstrated because they were attached to men who were only workers through whom they believed. Paul is condemning the foolishness of using the wisdom of men and boldly declaring that all this human reasoning is useless.

If we could see how this current church system is operating it would be clear that human reason and the wisdom of men is the underlying principle upon which the visible church functions. Many could accurately charge me with operating in that dirt dimension when I pastored a church. I couldn’t deny that but the time has come to forget our failures of the past and press on into the dimension where the Lampstand church is supposed to exist and function. We cannot always blame the “bad soil” as our excuse for not having a growing assembly. Most of us were “bad soil” {dirt men after Adam} when we began.

Every pastor would like to have all “good soil” in his assembly but then could he properly sow the Word of the Kingdom? Would he continue to sow weeds, human reason and earthly wisdom? Could God trust him with “good soil” if he doesn’t have a clue about the Word of the Kingdom. What if he just continued to sow “the Word of Grace” with no requirements or responsibility? Will “good soil” produce a harvest of “the sons of the Kingdom” even if some other seed is sown?

It may seem overly critical to reevaluate the ministries under the light of the Seven Spirits of God but that is exactly what MUST happen in the church He is Building. Jesus reveals Himself as the one who has the Seven Spirits of God and is walking among the Seven golden Lampstands. Nothing escapes His notice because He also has the Seven Eyes which are the Seven Spirits of God. He warns the churches to hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches. Why? There are serious consequences for those who ignore these things. No where in His exhortation to the seven Lampstand churches does He mention that the “Grace of God” will cover these defects.

The “grace of God” for forgiveness of sins should NOT be randomly applied to forcing our way into the Kingdom and living under the Sovereign Government of God. In this dimension the “grace” is the ability to submit to these things and grow up into all things in Christ. The “grace of God” wants to redeem us from every lawless deed and purify us for the coming of Christ.

Titus 2:11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus; 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.

In this dimension the Grace of God is a Person whose name is Jesus. He is teaching us about these things. Why? So we won’t be ignorant!