#70514 – Viewing The Eternal Dimension From the Kingdom Perspective
In Genesis 1 we read; “ In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”
In John 1 we read; “John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
This is obviously speaking about the Word of God who is God. This is NOT speaking about the Man, Christ Jesus, who was born about 2000 years ago.
In Hebrews 1 we read; Heb 1:1 “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.”
When God speaks He speaks the Word of God! Now He is speaking through His Son.
The Scriptures that focus upon the Eternal dimension always begin with God and then reasons down to man. This gives us the proper perspective to evaluate eternal things. God is central to ALL things and all things Must revolve around God. The questionable concepts that have plagued the church for centuries have begun with man and his problems and then reasoned up to God for a solution. This is has given us a twisted perspective of God and His eternal dimensions. It assumes that man is central to everything and God is subservient to man .
Even though this sounds ridiculous it seems that man and his problems, his concerns and his needs, still dominate the issues of the man centered church systems. The shift that must take place, to sustain a permanent solution to this earth bound church system, is WE MUST BEGIN with God and His Eternal Purpose and then reason down to man and how MAN must be transformed in order to FULFILL GOD’S ETERNAL PURPOSE. This lukewarm gospel we hear really begins with the wrong emphasis! Man MUST begin the Christian Life by recognizing his responsibility before God is to meet God’s need and not the other way around. This was the error of the faith movement and many other emphases over the last 1700 years. This has resulted in a man centered gospel that is at odds with the Gospel of the Kingdom.
This “man centered focus” is also the problem with what is being presented as the Kingdom of God today. This corrupted viewpoint has reduced the Kingdom down to some social change for the earth. This focus must be reversed before the Kingdom can have its God given supremacy and produce the personal effect in man that is necessary for his transformation. This Kingdom MUST have its dominion IN MAN and become an genuine inner life experience so that the Kingdom can become manifested in its power and reality. Until the Kingdom Government of God has become a personal experience and becomes the governing basis of the Christian Life, we cannot really understand the Kingdom. Why? Because the Kingdom is not a doctrine that can be learned. It is not a logical result of man’s reasoning or defined by his limited understanding. The Kingdom is a progressive and growing life experience that brings an inner discipline to the individual! This experience is far beyond the logical dimensions of human reasoning. It is, ideally, out of this experiential dimension that the Gospel of the Kingdom is preached.
Why is this discipline essential to presenting this Gospel? It is because of its Eternal Dimension! Also, it is because the Kingdom is NOT presented in word only but in power and demonstration of the Spirit.
The Kingdom perspective begins in eternity past and before the world was! The Kingdom has no beginning and it has no ending. There was never a time when there was no Kingdom. As long as there has been GOD there has been His immutable Government. All eternal government has its very beginning in God and is an integral part of the fulfillment of all things. That is what we mean by God’s Eternal Purpose. Therefore, to evaluate any religious concepts or church concerns, methods of function or any ministry without the stabilizing factor of God’s Kingdom Government, as its basis, is a waste of time.
The church has generally approached the Kingdom of God from the view point of the earth, man, society or the church, rather than approaching the church and other natural things from the viewpoint of the Kingdom. Consequently, the Kingdom has been restricted by the church. The church is not the window through which we view and evaluate the Kingdom. The Kingdom is the window through which we view and evaluate the church, AND ITS MINISTRIES. The church and its ministries definitely have a different appearance when viewed through the discipline of the Kingdom. In that same way we must begin to view the Christian, and his life experiences, through the lens of the Kingdom of God. From that viewpoint “conversion,” “redemption” and “being saved” would be evaluated differently from some confession or belief system which is acceptable to man.
If we formed our opinion of God by looking at the church we would have a distorted understanding of God. If we formed our opinion of the church by looking at God we would develop a Kingdom viewpoint. The church would be much smaller in our eyes and all her defects would be visible. Seeing the perfection of God reveals the immaturity of the church. This is the revelation of Isaiah 6.
If we preach the church, few are impressed. If we preach the Kingdom of God, the sinner must either reject it or repent. A clear understanding of the Kingdom will put the church in perspective, while a clear understanding of the church says very little about the Kingdom.
Now let us transfer this disaster of the visible church to the sanctity of a home meeting. Does this danger of a man centered gospel go away in the home meetings or is just carried with us to this other system. The fact is this; The exact same result is experienced in the home meetings as we experienced in the visible church system. Then what is the solution? We must move from a focus upon man to the eternal focus upon God and His eternal purpose.
The church has traditionally measured a believer’s faithfulness by the believers faithfulness to the church. We ask, have they been faithful in paying tithes, in attendance, in taking responsibility in the Sunday School, in witnessing and in fellowship. The danger of this is we can declare a believer faithful who is still very far from the Kingdom of God. If we maintained a Kingdom viewpoint, our measure of faithfulness should be re-evaluated from God’s point of view. In the Kingdom, if a believer faithfully walked in obedience and according to the inner laws of God, we could declare him faithful. But what if the Kingdom believer didn’t measure up to the church’s standards? Then the standards of the church are irrelevant.
We have caused enumerable problems by evaluating the church and judging the church according to our moral and ethical standards of what we think the church should be. That is why we have such a wide variation of standards from one group to another. If each group took the standards of the Kingdom as their measure for their group, all groups would be judged alike. There would then be one measure of perfection for all. That of course is how God is judging the church. Certainly not in the ambiguous way that the church is now evaluating herself. Some groups have, from time to time, gone back to the first century church and patterned their church after what is called the apostolic church. Some forsake personal property and live in commune. Some structure the church after the five fold ministry in Eph. 4:11. Some see an ecclesiastical structure under a bishop as the normal. Some see a presbytery of elders as normal leadership. Others understand the congregation of believers hold the combined authority, submitting to one another. Others hold to the doctrine that “the pastor” is the highest and only authority in a local assembly. Of course the word “pastor” only appears once in the scripture and NO MAN of this species is called by the name of “pastor.” Nevertheless, many churches are run by “pastors.”
From all this diversity, some are hoping for unity. It is obvious there is little basis for unity in all this. It is also obvious the Kingdom of God and its internal Government is the only basis given in scripture for some universal unity. If every diverse group could submit wholly to the Government of the Kingdom of God there would be some hope of an outward unity.
Every group has adopted certain ideas about salvation, water baptism, the Holy Spirit, sanctification, the tribulation and when the Lord will come. Some are still trying to decide “ if “ the Lord will come, or if He already came. Only God can straighten all this out and the Kingdom is the only relevant basis for any assembly to move forward into the eternal dimensions.
We send people out to plant churches and we measure their success by how many people are in the church or in the Sunday School or by how many churches they have planted. Some, then, who have worked for many months and have very little to show for their labor, consider themselves as failures.
If we sent people out to manifest the Kingdom of God and to demonstrate Kingdom life and they did that, they would be successful. If we live and preach the Kingdom of God, we should receive a “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
However, if we plant 10 churches that are full of people who refuse to grow or are just man centered social clubs with carnal members, we should understand very little is accomplished. Even though there may be lots of people in the pews, we could say the “ministries” have failed.
Restoration today is not going back to first century Christianity but is restoring to the church all the prophets spoke, plus all that God is saying today. Restoration is a forward move not a backward recovery of a lost system. The ministries and structures of the first century church are not all that clearly spelled out in scripture. When a twenty first century church tries to pattern their concept of the early church into the existing structure, they are already wrong. The accepted pattern of the church today is a group of members with a pastor leading, counseling and teaching basic concepts. Even if they talk about the five fold ministry, it must fit into the existing structure. If the social structure of the church today is different from then, the result experienced is entirely different. We may even develop solid doctrines to support our system but the results will be different.
For example, in the structure of the church today, only about 15 % of the people are actively involved in any productive work. The other 85 % are pew sitters or maybe serve on some irrelevant committee in order to have their name on something that appears to be active. The pastors average stay in an assembly is about three years. He most likely had nothing to do with the church’s conversion or with laying foundations in the believers lives. He stays long enough to preach his best cataloged sermons and then moves on. By the time he should be developing a relationship and burden for the people, he is gone.
If a pastor raises up a church and the church grows, he will soon lose contact with all but about 10 to 15 % of the congregation. That is the time that is ripe for a church split. Now, trying to bring into that situation some kind of five fold ministry to set things right is a joke. Some of the so called prophetic ministries are trying to do just that. They want to train someone, give them the title of prophet and set them in a church structure that is already in chaos.
Then we have the ministers that are just trying to finish out their years so they can get their retirement. They have long past given up hope that their ministry will make any kind of difference, but they have their future to look after, so they want to maintain the status quo. Even if they had a revelation from God, they still couldn’t change the system that has become fixed and stagnant.
We have another situation with people who were pursuing a vocation with job openings when they decided on becoming a pastor or worship leader. No call. No recognized gifts. No God given abilities. No burden for souls. Still by going to some sort of school they are taught how to be a pastor. They are ordained by man and sent out into an established system and just begin to flow into the existing structure of that group.
If the root is wrong, the fruit will also be wrong. Then what will be the solution to this seemingly unchangeable system? God must replace it with a system 100% of His own design. One that is designed for the twenty first century. The population is exploding and the church as we know it today is falling far behind. The Moslems and Hindus are doing a much better job recruiting real members than the church.
The news media reports on the largest churches with the most members because that is impressive to the world systems. We hear a lot about these mega-churches but only about 5 % of all church members are in that kind of church.
All that may sound like a tremendous success story until you understand that only a small percentage are involved in anything other than sitting in an air conditioned auditorium, in a padded seat, with a vast number of unrelated people and have never met the Pastor. This has to be a church with very limited relationships and very limited spiritual growth.
Most of these church problems can ONLY be solved by the inner Government of God disciplining the person from within. Most of those who attend the really large buildings want to remain anonymous and not be confronted by their actual spiritual condition. They like the bigness but don’t want anyone invading their personal lives or to be confronted with their sin.
So many frustrated congregations are dismissing their Pastors because of an inner doubt that they have been personally growing. Many reasons could be given for this change but one fact overrides them all and that is, the old way of having church is not working. There are new people, with new problems and new needs and the old kind of “ministry” is not meeting the needs of these souls. Besides this, the churches are not growing up in ALL things into Christ!
More and more churches are reporting their members are becoming isolated “ Christians” that have stopped the fellowship which is thought to be essential. However, some perceived fellowship with carnal believers is not evaluated as essential.
The bottom line is this: The church must make some radical changes in the next few years. Man inventing another carnal system and call it “church” will be no more successful than the last system man invented.
If we look at the Kingdom through these churches we would have to say this system has fallen short of its purpose of preaching the Kingdom. If we look at these churches through the Kingdom we would have to conclude they have failed to meet the challenge of the eternal standard. No matter what system is used, it should be evaluated from the standard of the Kingdom. Whether people gather in small social clubs or large social clubs is irrelevant.
The question that must always be before us is this; Are we raising up Kingdom people or just nominal believers? The multiple systems we use just become irrelevant when we understand that the ONLY system that works is according to God’s design. However, most anybody should be able to clearly see that this general system of having church is not working. Of course, any new system that men come up with should be investigated to see if it is designed by God or just another idea of man. However, we now believe that the Kingdom of God AND the Person of Jesus Christ MUST be the central focus of any system. I’m convinced that when our work is judged by the Lord, our work will be judged by looking at it through the Kingdom magnifying glass. The common system of church structure seems to prevent the spiritual growth in the church. Many of the church “leaders” do not promote church growth but actually hinder most growth in the believers. Their focus may be traditional or doctrinal, it may be liturgical or free of ritual but if the believers are not growing up into Christ, they have failed in their ministry.
The Kingdom of God is HIS universal and absolute Government. It can only be identified in the individual and in the minister by changed character, obedience, faithfulness, integrity and holiness. Only those who walk in the Kingdom way and live according to the laws of heaven are identified as Kingdom people. If the Holy Spirit is continually leading us into all truth and sanctifying our lives toward an eternal salvation, we are advancing toward the Kingdom of God. If the ministers are still carnal, liars, selfish, foolish, and self-centered, even as believers, they are only babies! Then in a “ministry” they cannot be Kingdom ministers of the New Covenant. Many just “minister” out of their old life.
We hear preaching that talks about “ONE CHURCH BECAUSE THERE IS ONE BODY”. However, in reality, we only see a fragmented body divided by irrelevant things that may have nothing to do with the Church He is building within the Kingdom of God. We may wonder why God doesn’t bless our efforts. This is exactly why God never told us to preach “The Church” but to preach “The Kingdom”. If we are preaching irrelevant things, explaining Bible verses, or preaching word without life, we are not preaching “The Kingdom”.
The church is local and is relative, where the Kingdom is universal and absolute. The Kingdom is fixed and unchangeable and the church must judge herself in relation to the unshakable Kingdom.
When the church judges herself, by earth standards, she can preach private doctrines, denominational concepts, big buildings, small buildings, programs, church structure and diverse ministries, etc. These things then become the major identifying marks of that particular group. Some want to be known as “Apostolic churches”. Some now are known as “Prophetic” churches . Others are known as “Prosperity” churches. However, some cults identify themselves as the Kingdom “HALL” church.
How different it would be if we ONLY preached the Kingdom . Then if the Kingdom became experiential, the identifying marks of each group would be the Kingdom. That would present a totally different picture to the world. If every church’s foundation was the Kingdom of God and the Lord Jesus Christ then every church could co-operate in evangelism, with one goal! That is to seek souls and to develop leaders for the Kingdom. Where they attended assembly would be no problem. “One church” would not just be a doctrine, it would be a life manifested as the life of the Kingdom.
Perhaps that concept is too idealistic today because of the serious fragmentation and various goals of the diverse system of individual churches. It is for that very reason the Kingdom must be preached as God’s absolute to which all churches must be pressing into if we are to fulfill the great commission. Just preaching the word “Kingdom” without a “Kingdom ministry of Life” that is able bring growth to the believers is still ineffective.
It should be clear that the Kingdom is the greatest need of mankind and the church universally. Since the corrupt world order is universal there must be a universal government to replace the corrupt governments of this world. The carnal governments of the various church systems can only be corrected by the divine order of heaven.
However, since the church has failed to preach the Kingdom of God as the only solution to the fallen nature of man, one type of “church government” seems as good as another. The Kingdom is the church’s best keep secret and she has also kept it secret from herself. How could this be? Because, the Kingdom must become experiential before it can be understood. The Kingdom preached as another Christian cliche is without power or understanding. The flesh or natural preaching can never reveal the Kingdom. The Kingdom is a matter of the Holy Spirit revealing this universal government within the believer first of all. The Holy Spirit will give the revelation of the King Eternal who was the manifestation of the Kingdom in visible form, as the prototype Son. Jesus Christ was the Kingdom of God among us and to have a revelation of Him is to have a revelation of the Kingdom. Why? Because, He lived the Kingdom Life!
But did the Apostles actually preach the Kingdom of God or were they limited to a gospel of the forgiveness of sins?
ACTS 28:23 And when they had set a day for him, they came to him at his lodging in large numbers; and he was explaining to them by solemnly testifying about the kingdom of God, and trying to persuade them concerning Jesus, from both the Law of Moses and from the Prophets, from morning until evening.
ACTS 28:30 And he stayed two full years in his own rented quarters, and was welcoming all who came to him,  preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all openness, unhindered.
The King Eternal and the Kingdom of God is one message. When we divide the message we divide the power of the Word. To merely preach Jesus as Savior and neglect His eternal government, of which He is King / Priest is more serious than is thought. His “salvation” must move us from this corrupt world government to the righteous and holy government of the Kingdom. Salvation, as we see in the type, must carry us from Egypt to Canaan and not just to the Jordan River but to the city of God, Jerusalem. Then the vision and goal takes us on to Zion.
ISA 9:6] For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.  There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.
Why is all this too complicated for the average church member? Why must we keep everything so shallow? Because the saints do NOT grow in the current system. Why is this so important? Because, those who are Kingdom saints will receive the Kingdom and rule over all the “kingdoms under heaven.” Therefore, the Kingdom cannot be too complicated to preach to the real church people!
DAN 7:27] `Then the sovereignty, the dominion, and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One; His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him.’
The “true church” today stands stationary between the born-again experience and the goal which is the Kingdom of God. The vast majority are closer to the “first” experience than the Kingdom. The vast majority don’t even know there is a kingdom, where it is established, how it works or who can participate. Why is this? Because the ministries have failed to fulfill their calling!
For that reason the visible church is in need of evangelization with the Gospel of the Kingdom because it was only evangelized with a watered down gospel of salvation.
Without the experiential government of the Kingdom of God as the central issue, the church has become all but irrelevant. It is proven irrelevant by all the programs and ideas of men that have failed over the centuries. Why? Because, they have ignored the central message of the Kingdom of God.
Being transformed from alcoholism to a church pew is good but to be transformed from the church pew to the Kingdom is the goal. That will involve being transformed from church programs to the Kingdom Government of God! Programs without the ultimate government are irrelevant. The “government of man” can never substitute for the government of God. This is proved each week somewhere! These various “church governments” must first be transformed by the Kingdom Government of God in their personal experience or they will only rule in the flesh, by carnal authority and no real Government will be seen.
Ruling “ the church” by majority opinion is just another attempt by man to subvert the Government of God. Electing a leader to take us back to Egypt is not difficult to find. Finding a leader who can take us to the Kingdom is the goal. He is available today and His name is Jesus. However, His goal is to build a Kingdom of Priests and not building another building full of basic believers! The great problem is that He cannot and will not lead those who are not 100% under His Government. In the Kingdom dimension we must either be with Him or we are considered to be against Him. We are either gathering with Him or we are scattering. Realistically, something has got to change! Right now it appears that neither the church system or its ministries are working toward the goal of the Kingdom as our Life experience.
Is this message offensive? Yes! But it may have to be offensive to get our attention change our vision perspective. Is the Kingdom a positive message? Yes! It is to all those who can hear it and who will surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and consecrate themselves to His Eternal Government and walk according to His Divine Order. Then it IS eternally Positive! Seeking some lessor alternative to the Kingdom Government of God, as an inner reality, is too serious to even consider as a possibility.