#450–1A: Walking Through the Kingdom: Introduction
In the forthcoming series of studies we hope to learn about walking through the Eternal Kingdom by touring and observing the realms of New Earth, New Heaven, and New Jerusalem along with Mt. Zion. Our desire is to better understand the Eternal Government of God and who may be counted worthy to be intimately involved in His Government, within the “All Things New” dimensions. (All dimensions in the Eternal Heavens are of a distinctly higher, invisible order, totally different from the visible orders of our present heavens and earth.)
Scripture reveals that one aspect of the eternal purpose of God is to have a people for His own possession, who will be prepared to serve as King/Priests in His Sovereign Kingdom Government and under His Sovereign and Ultimate (no nonsense) Rulership. We realize that not all of “His saved people” will be governing in the highest dimensions of the Eternal Kingdom. Seeing that this may be a “new” concept to those who read this series, it may be necessary to consider what we mean by “walking in the Kingdom.” It would be a shame if this “walk” is perceived as a journey into the Kingdom to spy out the land, similar to the way the twelve were sent to spy out Canaan. We all know how that affected their walk and their destiny. With Korah and his company it changed their eternal destiny.
We will begin in the “old” dimension, at the earth level, and transition into the heavenly, new creation dimension. When sharing from the “earth realm” it is important to see that we are viewing the Sovereign things of God from the “first creation” natural perspective. Although we may consider this to be too far “beneath our maturity” and we would rather view our walk from a heavenly, spiritual, (divine) perspective, we are reminded that we have inherited “first man” characteristics from Adam which fill us with imaginations concerning our present “spiritual condition” and we tend to think of ourselves as elevated to a higher spiritual level than our “actual earthy condition” warrants. We believe ourselves to be ascended farther into the higher realms of Spirit than our life experiences and testimony can support.
Man was created with the inherent ability to stand and walk upright in the earth dimension on two legs. Many creatures, such as chimps, chickens, or ostriches also walk upright on two legs and are usually able to do so within minutes of being birthed, or hatched. Man, however, advances through a process of conception, growth inwardly, birth, growth and development outwardly which usually takes several months to complete and includes “first steps” that may consist of rolling over from our back to our belly, sitting up, crawling, standing, then walking. Some of these “steps” may be bypassed but no man will ever walk until he stands, no matter which of the previous “steps” were taken.
Standing and walking as a Christian may be understood in various ways; However, let us focus our attention on two: (1) Standing and walking upright, “positionally” and, (2) Standing and walking upright, “dispositionally / experientially.” The former is rooted in what we believe while the later is rooted in Whom we obey. If our walk is determined by our doctrines, traditions, rituals, ceremonies, etc., it is very likely that we are walking positionally, (Ordering our lives according to a “faith” based on the knowledge, (our perception), of good and evil. If we falter or fail, we just grit our teeth, pull ourselves up by our boot straps and try a little harder. We determine our own “Uprightness” (Righteousness), by comparing our behavior to the behavior of those we consider more “fallen” than ourselves, and find it easy to justify ourselves for not measuring up to the same stature as Christ. After all, we are just sinners, saved by Grace, and He is the Son of God.
Many who are standing and walking positionally have claimed possession of God’s highest inheritance for themselves, based upon “scriptural reasoning” that concludes: “God said it, I believe it, and that settles it.” These “super grace” people rely solely upon our “positional standing” through forgiveness of sins and God’s “great mercy” that requires NOTHING from us except to believe something about Jesus. We may have been taught that what we believe by faith guarantees us “all” that God has for us, because of “His grace.” We may have said the sinner’s prayer and assume we are saved. Therefore, we have developed a certainty that we are going to heaven and will reign with Jesus on his throne. We may be convinced that every expectation, desire, and promise of the “gospel” has been fully met by what we believe. We can now say, as Jesus said, “It is finished” and we have achieved God’s highest reward because we believed something about Jesus.
It is, therefore assumed that “my conduct” is irrelevant because, “He paid the price for me. All of my sins are forgiven and I’m washed white as snow by the blood of the Lamb. I am assured that I have inherited the Kingdom and I’m a part of His Eternal Government. When He overcame, I overcame. When He ascended, I ascended. When He sat down, I sat down. I am an overcomer by faith.”
This may seem logical and is how many religious believers interpret God’s word; However, this kind of thinking actually negates (invalidates) and makes the rest of the word of God of no effect. While all of these things may be true in a positional sense, the reality still must be assimilated into our lives as experience in order to stand in the purpose of God. Christian reality is measured by that which we manifest as our actual testimony.
If our standing and walking is determined by the measure of His life within us that we have actually experienced and we are standing and walking in today, then both our “positional standing” before God and our experiential / dispositional (or inherent qualities and character lived out) will reflect His Life and becomes our testimony. We might say our “positional standing” is 100% by grace and requires only faith. Our “dispositional standing” represents our “works” or our actual experience of manifesting our salvation outwardly.
Dictionary; disposition (1) a person’s inherent qualities of character. (2) an inclination or tendency. (3) the action or result of arranging people or things in a particular way.
That means ordering our lives, experientially, according to His Life, His character, His attitudes and His Government and Laws within. This is basic to the Kingdom existance. We have come to the conclusion that we must continue to grow up into Christ, who is the Head and mature until we come to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. We may KNOW that our righteousness is as filthy rags and that our justification is by grace, through faith, by the blood of Jesus! Of course this much of the gospel will save us from the wrath of God. However, we may never advance to the maturity of obeying his Voice and doing His will ot living by His Laws. If “salvation” is by His Life in us, as the scripture clearly says, we may have to reevaluate our doctrine of salvation. The super grace people never worry about growth because they are “saved by faith” only and anything more than forgiveness of sins is considered as “just works that will never save us.”
Rom 5:1-10 Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
It appears to me that we will only be able to see into the Kingdom realm in the degree that we see the Christian Life and purpose from the Father’s viewpoint.
Seeing just from the earth viewpoint and from the perspective of man’s great need will always focus us upon “forgiveness of sins and forgiveness of all other fallen attitudes and character defects!” In my opinion this ignores the necessity of a total transformation into His image and likeness. This results in a super grace doctrine and remains ignorant of all kingdom demands.
Even if we have stopped comparing ourselves with others and we look only to the pattern Son as the standard for our life and conduct, we surely must also know there are conditions and requirements to becoming a joint heir with Christ and to reign with Him in His Eternal Kingdom.
The following is what Paul spoke to the Ephesian believers concerning how Christians ought to walk:
So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles, (those outside of the family of God), also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. But you did not learn Christ in this way, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, 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, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
Therefore, laying aside falsehood, SPEAK TRUTH EACH ONE of you WITH HIS NEIGHBOR, for we are members of one another.
BE ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity. He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need. Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.
Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them; for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light. Eph 4:17-5:8
All these kind of scriptures are labeled as “works that will never save us.” “Save us” is set forth as God’s ultimate purpose and when Jesus said “It is finished” it meant that nothing else was left to be accomplished.
Each of us must get an inner revelation and a clear understanding that we are destined to “walk with God” until “we are not”, i.e., we are no longer the earthly, dirt people who started our journey into God; rather, we are becoming one with His Christ, Head and body, until we are totally transformed, become pleasing to Him, and are being “taken” into the heavenly dimensions as a new creation man functioning as a completely new species upon this earth.
It would be wonderful IF each of us would have the testimony of Enoch, who “walked with God; and was not, because God took him.” (Gen 5:24)
Enoch began to walk with God when he was 65 years old and walked with him for 300 years, before he “was not,” and God THEN took him. We are trusting the Lord to hasten our time of processing and that He will take us into the higher realms when “the process is finished,” rather than just because our number of years on earth have come to an end.
As we begin to explore the “New and Eternal” dimensions of the heavens, we need to be aware that we will only “KNOW” and comprehend the Kingdom of God, according to the measure of His Light, Life, and Glory that we possess . (This is a measure determined by how much of the Kingdom He has established within our inner man.) (This is also measured by the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ that we have actually experienced as eternal reality.)
Walking through the Kingdom here upon earth is just preparation for functioning within His Kingdom Government in eternity. Walking through the Kingdom requires special discipline and a transformation in this dimension of the Christian Life! Therefore, we are passing through many diverse and transforming experiences that prepare us for our function in the eternal realms of His Sovereign Government.
When the super grace people read this it will be immediately dumped into the trash. Therefore, if you are reading this only from an earth perspective it will be best if you just set it aside because everything about the Kingdom will appear to be “just works.” If you haven’t yet understood the difference between Paul’s grace and James’ works this series of studies will be a waste of time.
The purpose of this preface is to show the very practical outworking of the “Divine Sperma” that came into us by which we were born again. This “high calling” of the Kingdom Government within is not the result of human effort but of feeding, exercising and developing the “divine Sperma” from which Christ is formed in us!
I hope that through these specific studies the reasons why much of the visible church is floundering in a series of failed human programs and carnal ideas become evident! To just repeat the same failed systems of religion that produced nothing in the past is the height of ignorance or blindness.
The earthly vision, the lack of eternal perspective, the misunderstood reality of our call, the ignorance of God’s Eternal Purpose, the obvious lack of maturity in the believers, and the deficient place of God’s will being fulfilled by every member of His body is frequently encountered no matter what country we visit.
The focus of many visible churches is a totally selfish and self-centered approach to the gospel. The predominance of “human need, God’s ultimate provision for man and man’s maximum satisfaction” seems to be the goal of most messages. For every believer to be changed into His likeness, do His will and grow up to bring Joy to God’s heart has been all but lost in the popular messages we hear preached today.
Our thesis will be this; All ultimate Truth will ONLY be found within His Life in us and not by the doctrines of learned men or by anointed preaching. These things are designed to bring us to Him who IS ultimate Truth so that He can be the Ultimate Truth in us revealing Himself to us within our new inner man.
For example; By faithfully teaching our children polite manners, we can teach them to always act in an acceptable way and to always say “thank you.” However, we can never teach them to be grateful for eternal realities because that only comes by revelation. True eternal gratitude is something that is a heart issue and only is realized within the new inner man and gratitude grows with maturity. If we have to “teach the church to be grateful and faithful” something is seriously wrong with our gospel!
For the Eternal Father to actually see the fulness of His Eternal Son manifested by His many sons in this earth dimension may be too high of a hope for the visible church but is the foundation of the Gospel of the Kingdom. God’s “satisfaction and joy” in seeing His Eternal Purpose coming to fruition in His Manifested Sons is the message of the Kingdom.
There is now a certain awakening to the “Kingdom message.” That is if we can measure “revival” by the number of books about the Kingdom that are available or by the number of times the word “kingdom” is being used in messages today. While this is exciting, the shallow and casual way the “kingdom” is being presented is disappointing to those we talk to who are seeking the real Kingdom Government of God.
Too much of the visible church is still preaching the “kingdom” as the place we will go in the sweet by and by after we cross over the Jordan River and pass out of death into life. Going to a “place called heaven” is very far from our calling to full maturity in this life and fulfilling His purpose for each of us and living to bring full joy to the Father’s heart. This is just basic to the Kingdom Message.
It is getting disgusting to hear big name preachers speak about the kingdom as the honor, glory, pleasure, satisfaction and prosperity that God bestows upon His children in order to manifest His abundance to the world.
This “man centered kingdom” that is being preached, focuses upon the magnitude of what God can do for us who believe. The real Kingdom message focuses upon what we can “be for God” as we live in the eternal viewpoint of growing up into the character, disposition, attitude and obedience of the Prototype Son. The modern gospel generally ignores the severe discipline by which the Father corrects us and perfects us so we can share His Holiness. Imputed “holiness” seems to be the message of grace that is so popular today.
I was recently confronted by pastors that have never advanced in their understanding beyond “forgiveness of sin” as total salvation. This was in a pastor’s conference where we were to share on the Kingdom Message for the modern church. Twenty pastors left the meeting before we could share on the Kingdom because they perceived that “salvation in Egypt transported us immediately to our eternal home in Canaan.” The wilderness journey was by passed because of grace. Water Baptism, the eating of the Manna, Drinking the Water out of the Rock, Warfare with Amalek and Pentecost at Mount Sinai were irrelevant now because of God’s unmerited grace. I didn’t interrupt the pastors “preaching their doctrine” because I was interested in seeing what the actual vision for the church was for this group. Their vision and goal seemed to be “going to heaven someday.”
There was no opportunity to turn this group from an earth / self / man / centered gospel to the real God / Purpose / Character / centered Gospel of the Kingdom. The “glorious present tense reality of the Kingdom” is lost to the “someday concept” of the kingdom. What “he has done for us” is the central issue of the “someday” gospel. What He has done IN US, in the present, so we can “participate in His Life and Purpose today “ is generally lost to the “we will be transformed into His likeness” as we are resurrected out of the grave futurist groups.
After we have had a “glimpse of the Father’s Heart” we will never be satisfied to return to the routine of religious earth bound system of having “church.” We are certainly NOT against the visible church but against the religious systems that have kept the church in this pitiful condition of falling very far short of the Kingdom requirements.
While this has been a very long “preface” I felt it was necessary to prepare those who might read this to change their viewpoint to the Kingdom perspective rather than remain in the earth bound perspective that is so popular today. My purpose is to turn us from the “what God has done FOR me” to “what God must do IN me” so I can participate in His Eternal Purpose and live to bring joy to His heart.
My next purpose is to turn us from the shallow message, being preached today, that transforms the Kingdom message into some personal advantage or advancement beyond others and a message by which I can build a predominate ministry among an isolated group of “Kingdom seekers.”
These “messages” reveal that such ministers are in reality only “children” in the Life of the Kingdom. This is not wrong but it represents a terrible limitation on the Truth of the Kingdom. With the increase of the Life of the Kingdom in the minister comes the increase of the Truth of the Kingdom. In the Kingdom, the revelation of Truth is tied to the maturity and Life of the minister.
In each generation there are some in whom the Father can develop the nature and character of the King and He will bring these many sons to the same glory as His only begotten Son. These will become the Son’s of the High Priest who has this priesthood after the order of Melchizedek. The King / Priest of Genesis 14 has His fulfillment in Revelation 21. However, the metaphor here is the “Bride, the Wife of the Lamb.” This is another viewpoint of the same thing and points us to God’s Heart and to His Purpose!
Another viewpoint we receive is “the City of God that has foundations whose builder and maker is God.” Here we see “maturity, perfection and transparency is not just an individual growth, maturity and purpose but is revealed as the corporate work of God in the “many sons.”
The Lord, the man, Christ Jesus, is the Prototype Man who is the revelation of what full stature, obedience, ministry, and purpose means for us to become “sons of the High Priest.” That means that has “grown up in all things into Christ.” The Prototype Man is the revelation of what God has purposed for us who seek first for the Kingdom and His righteousness.
To be continued…