The Foundational Series
"Him who overcomes... I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God,... and I will also write on him my new name." Rev. 3:12
April 27, 1989
When we minister to individuals, we give a personal word. But when we minister to a body, we have to give a word that is able to span the spectrum of all our differences, a word that can minister to everyone because it is applicable to everyone above the differences of nature.
As I ponder over all you who receive these letters-- all your natural differences and spiritual differences-- that presents me a good challenge. I want to write today on a theme that will minister without exception to everybody-- a theme that will help all of us refocus our ultimate purpose for whatever we are doing, applicable to all of us, despite our distinctions in background, location, and calling.
In particular I want to minister to those who find a lack of fulfilment as yet in your personal calling. You've moved out in God by faith in many ways, but you still don't enjoy any appreciable sense of fulfilment for having done so... There appears to be a cycle in our lives as we pursue God over time-- an alternating current between seasons of joyless unfulfilment and seasons of fulfilment, happiness, and satisfaction in life with God on earth.
My theme today is designed more toward those on the unfulfilled side. But for those of you presently experiencing satisfaction, my theme will also give you a way of proving and evaluating your sense of fulfilment. Today, I want to write about identity in Christ. Specifically, purified identity....
I. Salvation and New Identity
"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is become a new creation. Old things are passed away. Behold, all things are become new." II Cor. 5:17
If there is one word that best describes our salvation, it is the word identity. Salvation is a change in identity. It is not just something that happens to us. Rather, we are instantaneously created over, becoming someone we never were before. The distinctiveness of this new identity is that it is one with and formed from the essence of Jesus Christ. Our new identity derives all ultimate sense of meaning and purpose from who Jesus Christ is. This identity of ours has no other reference point for measuring its self-worth and self-esteem. None.
Identity speaks of self-awareness. Our new identity is rooted in Jesus Christ. Therefore our self-awareness is rooted in and intrinsically linked to our awareness of Jesus Christ. Our new self-awareness gravitates toward Him in personal relationship and intimate personal knowledge. The fact of our new identity and our awareness of God's indwelling Presence go together. By this new identity we know God and are able to dwell in His Presence. (This knowledge of Him is called "eternal life"- Jn 17:3).
So then, to sum: When we are born-again, we obtain a new identity, a new self-awareness, one that is rooted in our awareness of Jesus Christ within, one that derives all final sense of self-worth, self-esteem, purpose for existence, and meaning to life from who He is-- outside of anything He has made or our involvement with it.
II. New Identity versus Old Identities
Now we want to contrast this new self-awareness in Christ with our original identities pertaining to this world. Before we are born-again, we have many senses of identity relative to this life. Many are inherited. Others are acquired. Let's look at some of these:
A. Inherited Identities
Consider our inherited identities. We are born with gender; male or female. We are born into family relationships; children, fathers, mothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents. We are born into family clans with surnames; Anderson, Smith, Pearson, Merritt. These in turn give us identity according to people groups and nations; Scandinavians, Indians, Dutch, English, Americans, Canadians. We are born into races; white, black, etc. Let's call all these identities our blood identities.
B. Acquired Identities
On top of blood identities we obtain many, many acquired identities in life, some permanently, others not. We acquire occupational identities; piano teacher, banker, car repairman, etc. We acquire civic and social club identities; boy scouts, 4-H Club, Kiwanis, Lions. We acquire rank and office identities; president, general, captain, treasurer, etc. All these things give us multiple acquired identities.
So there we have it. On one hand we have a new fundamental spirit-born identity rooted in the nature of Jesus Christ. On the other, we have all these multiple inherited and acquired identities left to us from our original life, fed by the force of natural life operating in our bloodstream.
The thing about all these earth-based identities is that they carry their own force and pull on us to make themselves our source of self-worth and esteem. They call us to find our ultimate meaning in them according to the pride of life. This sets up a state of conflict within us, bringing us to consider the ultimate purpose of God for us in this life.
III. Purified Identity: The Ultimate Purpose of God
Given the state of enmity between our new identity and the natural life force behind our earth-based identities, it is God's ultimate purpose to purify our identity in Christ and bring it to maturity through its contention with our original identities.
God allows our new identity to be put to the test against the lawful and unlawful demands of our other identities until the appeal of our sin nature through our earth-based identities is broken and no longer able to touch us. It is the will of God that our new identity grow to subdue and swallow up every other natural identity remaining to us. He wills to eradicate from us all sense of self-worth in every identity but that of our new one.
God is looking for people who are identified only by his Son and who are willing to find the remaining fulfilment of their personhood over the process of the purification of that identity (more on this to follow).
IV. Purified Identity: Corporate As Well As Personal
To this point, we have been speaking individually and personally. But all we have said thus far also applies to us corporately as a body of people throughout the earth. As a body, the people of God locally, nationally, and world-wide have been given a new identity found solely in Jesus Christ. This identity conflicts with all other corporate earth-based identities of people groups; nations, economic systems, culture and language groups, labor unions, political parties, governments, etc.
And it is the will of God for His people-corporate to lose and overcome by conflict their earth-based corporate identities. This is the meaning behind the word "church." This word comes from the Greek word "ekklesia" and means "called-out ones.” This calling-out refers to purified identity in Christ at the expense of every earth-bound identity. It is described by the celestial elders who surround God's throne:
"For you were slain and have redeemed us to God by your blood out of every tribe, and, language, and people, and nation; And have made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth." Rev. 5:9-10
Notice what the elders are saying. They are declaring their purity of identity. They declare themselves to no longer be identified by the earth-based identities listed. All those have been subsumed under new identity in Christ for them.
In place of these earthbound identities, the elders say they are made unto God kings and priests. This is new identity purified. Some of these elders may have once been women, others men. Some may have been Americans, others Saxons, others aboriginal Australians, others ancient Jews. But no longer.
V. Purified Identity through the Presence of God and the Work of the Cross
The key to winning the purity of our identity in Christ is our abiding in the Presence of God to whom our identity is drawn. The Presence of God becomes the anchor of the soul as it endures the work of the cross in severing it from the force of natural life through its conflict with earth-based identity.
Whether at peace or war therefore, we have to immerse ourselves in the awareness of the Presence of Jesus Christ. It is to be our consistent reference point for inward focus. We have to spend much, much time with God. By this we feed our true identity, re-affirming who we really are, and, through the work of the cross, subduing the remaining awarenesses of old identities.
· When national governments make demands on us which challenge the purity of our Christian identity, appealing to us through our natural sense of national identity, we have to turn inward to the Presence of God and declare, "By God's grace I am no longer an American."
· When political parties tempt us to compromise our new identity the same way, we turn into God and say, "By God's grace I am no longer a Republican (or Democrat)."
· When family puts pressure on us contrary to the Spirit, appealing through the force of blood identity, we have to turn into God's Presence and affirm, "In Christ I am no longer a Jones."
· When sin tempts us through the force of our sexual identity, we have to move into God and declare, "By grace I am no longer male (or female)."
Feeding on the Presence of God is the key to victory of the purity of our new identity while enduring the work of the cross over every evil challenge of natural life through earth-based identity.
The less we come to respond to life according to our sense of natural identities, the less we become subject to temptation in that area. ("He that has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin." I Pt 4:1). Eventually, we will come to the place where all sense of earth-based identity is drained out of us, sin has no more avenue to us, and the wineskin of our mortality has no alternative but to be swallowed up of life. So will we attain to the resurrection as Paul longed for (II Cor. 5:4; Phil. 3:11).
This is the climax goal of purified identity. The key is enduring the conflict through abiding in the Presence of God. All of this is the meaning behind "putting off the old man and putting on the new." It's a matter of putting off awareness to old identities, replacing them with the singular awareness of identity in the Son of God. It is also the meaning of "losing your life for Christ's sake." It's a matter of losing sensitivity to and awareness of every conceivable identity outside identity in Jesus Christ.
Finally, this is the entire meaning of "holiness." Holiness (or "sanctification") means "separation" or "setting apart.” Separation from what? From all awareness of earth-based identity. Unto what? Unto identity in Christ.
VI. Purified Identity versus Polluted Identity
Earlier we considered two categories of earth-based identities: inherited (blood) and acquired. Beyond this however is a third category. This category results when the saints take their new identity and use it to reinforce their earth-based identities instead of overcoming them. This category is artificial religious identity.
Artificial religious identities are created when saints compromise their new identity with various old ones, creating separations among themselves in the name of Jesus based on race, nation, family, culture, differences in theological understanding. These identities include manmade groups and offices. Samples of polluted identities include: rector, priest, Southern Baptist, Dutch Reformed, calvinist, charismatic, etc. All sectism and denominationalism is artificially created religious identity.
While failing to overcome earth-based identities is bad enough, creating polluted identities by joining identity in Christ to earth-based identities is chief among abominations. It is behind all spiritual harlotry and at the root of false kingdom teaching (see manuscript Flight From Babylon for a fuller discussion of false kingdom teaching).
Using our new identity to reinforce our old ones has no rival for evil in the Church. The big problem in the Church and among saints is confusion over identity. The people of God by and large do not know who they are. We do not know what it means to be called-out. Moreover we know precious little of cultivating the Presence of God for the purifying of our new identity.
Therefore we tend to use our new identity to reinforce old ones and create false religious ones. Christians use their Christianity to reaffirm their national, cultural, and ethnic origins. This is sin. Christians use their Christianity to reaffirm their blood identities and family ties instead of transforming them to Spirit-based relationships. This is abomination.
That is why you can't get Christians to leave home to serve Jesus, or to abandon their political allegiances in "Christian" America. They are afraid to leave their job, so they Christianize their occupational identity instead of losing it. Because of our blindness (ignorant and otherwise) to our true identity, most of us are in little position to help one another break free from old identities, and most of our gatherings tend to reinforce our old corporate identities rather than purify our "called-out" one.
VII. Purified Identity and Ministry Identities
It has pleased God to institute certain secondary "helping" identities into His body of people. Also called ministries, the purpose of these secondary identities is to help each member obtain full and complete purity of his identity in Christ:
"He gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ (i.e., purified identity)." Eph. 4:11-13
Ministry identities are given to help man in his infirmity to span the gap between his weak humanity and his destined perfection. As helps, they are temporary. This also means that they are not focal. Ministry identities are a means to an end. They are held by men who themselves are yet somewhere short of perfect and who yet wrestle to overcome their own earth-based identities.
Therefore it is important not to mistake helping identities for identity in Christ. We must all press in to identity in Christ beyond ministry identities. The greatest temptation and danger concerning ministry identities is to use the titles of these positions to reinforce old sources of self-esteem.
When this happens, descriptions like "pastor", "elder", “apostle", etc. assume the spirit of artificial religious identity. This is polluted identity at its very worst, and is at present a great plague and cancer in the body of Christ. Earth-based ego dressed in the garb of ministry identity is second in evil only to the declaration by a man who would say, "I am Jesus Christ. Worship me."
VIII. Purified Identity: Purposes and Problems in Relationships
All sin appeals to us through the avenue of our earth-based identities. We get hurt because we esteem our self-worth in our identities outside Christ.
· If I find my self-worth in Jesus alone, I don't get hurt if somebody criticizes my piano playing. But if I esteem myself as a pianist and somebody criticizes me, watch out!
· If I find my self-worth in Jesus alone, I don't get upset if someone criticizes my parenting. But if I esteem myself according to my natural identity as a father or mother, and someone takes me to task, watch out!
· If a female does me wrong on a date, and I haven't subjected my identity as a male to my identity in Christ, watch out!
The problems we have in our family relationships are because we haven't yet succeeded in subjecting our blood identities to our identity in Christ. The problems we have in our fellowships are because we identify ourselves according to our lines of thought rather than in Christ. Then we take it personally when somebody questions our doctrine, and we split from them.
In all things we have to get past the place where we relate to each other primarily because we are spouses, or parents, or culturally attuned as Canadians, Americans, Southerners, or Northerners. We are to use all our earth-based relationships without abusing them, eventually shedding those identities, never reinforcing them (I Cor. 7:29-31). We must press in to learning to see one another primarily for who we are in the image of Christ.
This includes blood relationships! Because blood relationships are so intrinsic to our first nature they are the hardest identities to grow out of in our quest for purified identity. They are the hardest ones for us to see through in letting one another go into the release of new identity. The pains, separations, and strains in overcoming gender and family identities is the most severe to us.
That's why Jesus described the household as the place of greatest strife in overcoming into new identity in Himself. Yet He demands that we come to despise these identities behind one another. (Note: we are to hate the identities and the natural life that supports them, but not the personalities!) Mt 10:34-38; Lk. 14:26.
Does this sound like a hard thing? Sure is. Yet this is precisely what we have been called-out concerning -- all these identities.
Wow! This gives us a whole new perspective on the purpose for human relationship.
It gives us a true yardstick for knowing how to approach all relationships -- both those to which we are obligated by blood, and those we have the power to choose.
The purpose of all relationship is to purify new identity.
So let's judge. Let's evaluate. Let's ask questions: What am I doing with my relationships? What is my goal for my relationships? What is my goal for my relationship with my spouse, my family, my people in the Lord?
Am I capitalizing on our earth-based identities in order to purify our identities in Christ? Or am I using my faith to reinforce our old identities? What about new relationships I'm contemplating entering? If I get into this relationship, will it be to purify new identity or will it only serve to reinforce old identity?
We need to choose new relationships carefully this way-- especially new blood relationships. For example, this is why Paul is concerned about marriage (I Cor. 7). He recognizes that marriage tends to reinforce old identities based in human nature. Its tendency is to compete with the purity of our identity in Christ. So he urges caution.
When a single person such as myself contemplates marriage, he has to ask,
"Will this temporal relationship help us both purify our identity in Christ, or will it only work to reinforce our old sexual identities as man, woman, family member? Will we be able to be free to push into Christ together, or will we be sucked into a web of family identities that continually makes demands on us through our old identities, competing with our quest for purified identity?"
I urge all of us to examine all our relationships. Ask God to illumine to you the purpose for each one -- how you can use it to purify identity in Christ. How many relationships do you have for which you see no clear purpose? How many relationships of yours are working against your true identity?
Be willing for a separation to be worked out in you concerning such relationships. For relationships to which you are obligated, ask God to transform them so they will work to your purification rather than against it. And remember, no relationship -- however close or dear -- is sacred for its own sake.
IX. Purified Identity: The Key to Manifesting Spiritual Unity
Our common identity in Jesus gives us intrinsic spiritual oneness. This applies to all Christians. But it is our dedication to pursuing purified identity that is the key to manifesting that unity. The purer our singular awareness of who we are in Christ alone, the more manifest unity we display in the Spirit of Christ. We demonstrate our ability to love one another and function together without respect to natural differences due to earth-based identities, or even due to differences in our personal callings or levels of understanding in the Lord.
When we are together, it is enough to know that we are each and all striving for the same purified identity -- through whatever means -- so we are able to manifest oneness despite the variations. I have my calling to fulfil. You have your calling to fulfil. There are many places where our common quest has brought us down the same roads. Yet there are places where our common quest has taken us down different personal paths. Yet because our quest for pure identity is still our common denominator, we are able to manifest unity whenever we come together, personal variations notwithstanding.
Knowing our quest to be the same, we don't judge one another over our variations in calling or differences due to earth-based identities. I don't have to "buy into" your entire personal vision or fully understand it to be in unity with you. I don't have to think like you think to be in harmony with you. I only have to recognize your desire to purify your identity, and trust that you are able to recognize the same desire in me without feeling compelled to have to totally "buy into" or understand what personal vision directs me.
I stand back to marvel at the great spectrum of various earth-based identities, levels of understanding, and differences in personal callings embraced by the number of you who receive these letters. So what is it that affords such unity between one such as I and the rest of you? - and what is it that affords such unity between those of you who know one another?
- Certainly not my blood identity (None of you are related to me and almost none of you has any fellowship with anyone else in my family.)
- Certainly not any of my acquired identities (Almost none of you has any particular relationship to me because, say, I'm a piano teacher.)
- And certainly not my personal vision surrounding my calling (Very few of you relate to functioning in such a broad way to so scattered a number of people as I do.)
So what gives us our unity when we are together? It is our common commitment to the purification of our new identities.
Conversely, it is wherever we are unwilling to outgrow our old identities or where we ignorantly reinforce them that our manifest unity is hampered. It is where we esteem ourselves in terms of things outside of Christ and judge one another by them -- doctrines, perspectives, callings, lifestyles, backgrounds -- that produces discord.
Our self-esteem over these things and other earth-based identities produces factions and sects. And using our faith to reinforce our commitment to these identities is what produces false religious unity. This explains why we often find ourselves forced to separate from other (bodies of) Christians. Not because we want to, but because we recognize that many use their faith to reinforce their old identities and to give life to artificial religious ones. This is a threat to our own spiritual health and calling to pure identity. So we are unable to have any part of it.
We know that we must keep pushing into Jesus alone at the expense of our old identities. We can use our old identities to help us do this, but know we must never reinforce them, and that they must ultimately drop off. No then. We only have manifest unity as we are committed to purified identity one with another. This alone is the definition of true spiritual unity, and the key to its display.
X. Purified Identity and the Promises of God
Purified identity is the explanation behind all the delays, disappointments, and disasters we experience in our attempts to find fulfilment in this life through faith. He has ordained to tie the process of our purity to our basic need to find fulfilment through our relationship to creation. But to understand this, you need to follow very very carefully what I'm about to explain:
If you're sharp, you've just picked up what sounds like a contradiction. At the beginning I said that our new identity finds all sense of meaning, fulfilment, and purpose only in Jesus Christ, without reference to anything He has made. If so, how is it I'm now talking about finding some kind of fulfilment through our relationship to creation?
If Jesus is our only source of fulfilment, and if our relationship to earth is thoroughly polluted by our earth-based identities, how can I now be talking about fulfilment of earthly needs and desires outside Jesus? Isn't the person of Jesus enough? Shouldn't we rather be shedding off all awareness of earthly need and desires outside Jesus as part of the process of purifying our identity in Him? Shouldn't we deny our entire relationship to creation as "worldly"? (This is what stoics, ascetics, buddhists, Christian mystics, and holiness teachers - including myself - have wrongly taught at one time or other.)
The answers to all the above questions is "no." No, there is no contradiction; and no, it is not for us to deny all awareness of creation even though our relation to it is polluted and Jesus is our only true source of meaning and fulfilment. But to understand this, we have to understand a certain mystery about creation. Come back with me to Eden a moment ...
- The Role of Creationary Fulfilment
God created man for fellowship, for relationship with Him. But God did not create man to worship or enjoy Him in a vacuum. He put him in context of a beautiful creation where He left a certain measure of man's fulfilment to be found through the creation.
So He created man with needs and desires with respect to creation. He left man a certain sense of purpose and destiny to be fulfilled through the creation. Specifically, He gave man creationary calling (a garden) and creationary companionship (a woman).
He gave man something to do and someone to do it with. Yet all this sense of fulfilment in creation was part of man's total sense of fulfilment in God alone. There was no distinction, no dichotomy, no dualism between finding meaning in creation and finding meaning in God alone. Fulfilment in creation was part of fulfilment in God.
If you can grasp: this, you can grasp what I will now say. God has not changed. In His purpose to restore us to Himself through purified identity, His will is to include restoring us to that same fulfilment concerning creation. It is part of the total restoration.
Therefore, in calling us to Himself, God still issues calling and vision and promises over the fulfilment of our sense of needs and desires in this life. He plants all this in us as part of our new identity.
And here is the mystery:
God believes he is able to call us to this "creationary fulfilment" in him without reinforcing our idolatrous ties to creation through earth-based identity, but rather as part of His strategic process of purifying our identity in Him!
But how can this be? How does it work? How is God able to call us to lose our earth based identities and to purify our identity in Christ alone by giving us all these other callings, involvements, dreams, and desires for creationary fulfilments?
The answer is simple, but follow it carefully:
God's creationary promises to us are only through the new man. God makes no promises to us on the basis of our old identities. So the only way we can obtain the fulfilments is to first obtain purified identity.
- Fulfilling Creationary Promise “Over My Dead Identity”
This happens as follows:
Every time we respond to God's promises, we respond out of a mixture of our new man and our old man. When we believe, our new man believes, but so does our old man. Our old man understands the promises a certain way. Our old man acts on his understanding of the promises. Our old man has his earth-based expectations.
But what happens? Our old man gets hurt! Our old man has his expectations destroyed!
Our old man suffers humiliation! God does not come through for our old man! Consequently, our old man dies. He dies through the travail of smashed dreams, desires, and expectations in hope of God's promises.
As our old man dies, what is left? What happens? As our old man life-force shrivels up, dies and surfaces out of our body, our new man rises from the depths of our soul to replace our lost personality. He rises up to manifest himself through our personality more perfectly. This is none other than the purifying of our identity in Christ!
When the new man has sufficiently surfaced through our personality to be able to receive the fulfilment only he can receive, that is when the promise comes to pass! --all in perfect enjoyment of Jesus Christ.
This is how heaven and earth are brought to meet in our lives. And this is how God uses His creationary promises to achieve our purified identity. The meeting of heaven and earth in our lives begins first with purified identity, then blossoms into creationary fulfilment - -as it was in Eden.
- The Endurance of Purified Identity
At the beginning, I said I wanted to especially direct this letter to those of you who are yet sensing lack of fulfilment of God's promises and vision to you, lack of fulfilment of your earthly needs and desires. We all have callings from God in hopes for this life.
What do we do when the longer we wait for God, the less we see from Him, the less evidence we have that He will do what He said? What do we do the longer that time goes by and everything we ever hoped for from God loses all its original desire and meaning, dissipating into oblivion?
Where do we turn without abandoning the promises when faith just doesn't translate out into sight for us -- when our faith just can't bring heaven and earth to connect? How do we stand up to the shame we incur for having acted on the promises only to be left holding the "prophetic bag"?
How do we overcome the taunts of "Job' s Friends" who, on the proof of visible evidences, cause us to question whether we heard from God --to question the legitimacy of our vision, our call, our desires? (In dealing with a God for whom nothing is impossible, visible evidences are proof of nothing.)
How do we resist the urge to deny our already costly faith and to "start over" with something that appears more promising?
The answer is purified identity:
- Purified identity is what is left when nothing else is.
- Purified identity gives us meaning when creation has lost all original meaning.
- Purified identity is our ever unchanging reference point for reality when our natural life has been poured out.
- Purified identity is our haven of rest under the altar when we have been martyred.
- Purified identity through the Presence of God gives us back lost assurance that God has not lied, only that we have died.
- Purity of identity provides us release without having quit.
- Purified identity is our personal proof and badge of witness to all men that we truly know God and have heard from Him when creation bears no witness -- until the confirmation of creation appears.
All those to whom the promises came received them through purified identity.
- Before Abraham could become a father, he had to become a Father of Many Nations.
- Before Hannah could become a mother, she had to obtain the identity of a prophetess---one who could release a son into his own identity as a prophet.
- Before Joseph and Moses could be elevated to receive their callings, their old identities had to pass away. They became new men through the demise of their original identity and through the knowledge of God acquired in that death.
Identity comes first! Then the creationary fulfilment under its dominion.
God is not interested in answering prayers only to reinforce our old identities. He's not willing to give us marriages, babies, families, healings, provisions, involvements and ministries just to reinforce our original identities of gender, family, and culture. We have been called out! And our creationary fulfilments are to be called-out fulfilments whose promises are a means to purified identity before they manifest.
If we can keep our perspective straight, then we will keep our root sanity when our first identity undergoes demolition, nothing is left to hope for, and creationary meaninglessness sets in. Acknowledge the supremacy of the purifying of your identity in Christ -- not the hope of your creationary fulfilment. And when you are destroyed, your identity will survive, and your creationary fulfilment will be revived, here and now -- in earth, as it always was in heaven.
[NOTE: For further in depth study of this topic, see the letter "God's Promises to the Hidden Man.”]
XI. Purified Identity: Bringing the Kingdom to Earth
In light of the last section, purified identity solves the meaning of "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven." Purified identity is the root reality in bringing the Kingdom of God to manifest in the earth.
Refer again to the words of the elders in Rev 5:9-10:
- "For Thou … hast redeemed us to God ... out of every tribe ,- language ,- people ,- nation.
- And hast made us unto our God kings and priests
- And we shall reign on the earth."
Notice the three steps presented by these words:
- loss of earth-based identity
- purified new identity
- creationary fulfilment
First the elders declare their loss of earth identity. Then they declare their new identity. Then they declare their open manifestation on earth according to that mew identity. That is the fulfilment of Jesus' prayer “in earth as it is in heaven."
Purified identity is the key to bringing heaven to earth. The kingdom begins with purified identity. Purified identity precedes all manifest rulership and creationary fulfilment. (This is the broad corporate application of everything we said in the last section.)
If you want to rule with Jesus you must first enter into His identity at the expense of all your old ones. The degree of entrance into His identity determines the degree of rulership over creation.
Today there is a lot of talk about "bringing in the kingdom." There are different ideas around about the kingdom, what it means, how it appears. Some think of it in political terms. Others think of it more in terms of miraculous works and ministry.
Surrounding these ideas is lots of involvement -- lots of visions being seen and prophesied for great things-- corporate visions, personal visions, lots of teaching, lots of prayer over governments and situations, lots of issues being hammered and discussed leading to prayerful social action and mass ministry -- a veritable network of spiritual energy being released around the world around the clock all in the name of bringing in the kingdom of God to earth.
Yet in much (most?) of this, our ideas about the kingdom begin with the manifestations of creationary fulfilments, not purified identity!
For example, many of us focus on bringing to pass the works of Jesus. But you can't separate His works from Who He Was. His works resulted from who He was. It was Jesus' identity as king that made His works significant.
In reality, the kingdom was here as long as Jesus was around, even when there were no "works" going on. The kingdom was always being manifested through His identity even when it was not appearing through His works on a given day.
So it must be for us. If we want to talk about bringing in the kingdom of God, we've got to start where it did with Jesus: pure identity. (As He Himself said, "The kingdom of God is within you.")
Otherwise we are only serving to use our prayer, activity, ministry, and miracles to reinforce our original earth identity.
(People with spiritual anointings and people who are experiencing creationary fulfilments and manifestations in their ministries have to be especially careful. God sometimes blesses people with such anointings who have not first purified their identity in Jesus. While purified identity will always eventually result in creationary fulfilments, creationary manifestations are not final proof that people having them have purified their identity! In my estimation, most people manifesting present fulfilments through their ministry do not have sufficiently purified identity to back it and therefore are reinforcing old identities in their followers through their works. Please be careful!)
Again, then. If we want to talk about bringing in the kingdom, we have to begin with purified identity. When Jesus finally sets up shop here, there will be no Americans, or Republicans, or Andersons, or charismatics or "kingdom teachers," or "anti-abortionists," or any such like reigning with Him -- only followers of the Lamb.
However, there will be plenty of Americans, Republicans, Andersons, charismatics, kingdom teachers, and anti-abortionists in the outer court, where it is darkness away from the throne, where there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
We say we are a "kingdom people." Do we know what this means now? Do we know what the "Church" is?
Can you answer these questions:
- Do you know who you really are?
- Do you know who you are becoming?
- How well do you know?
God is looking for a people who are identified only by His Son, and who are willing to find their restored creationary fulfilment over the process of the purification of that identity.
written from Pleasant Valley, Prince Edward Island, Canada
First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship
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Page created June 19, 2015