The Value of Historical Life
Soul Exchange, Landmark Memory and Kingdom Witness
The Value of Temporal Witness to the Eternal Kingdom
Besides serving as the medium of exchange for eternal life and the touch point for spiritual reconciliation and instruction via memory, historic life has another key helping value to consider. This is as a theater for demonstrating eternal power—articulated at the heart of the Lord’s Prayer, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth [history] as it is in heaven[‘s everlastingness].”
This life’s function as a display stage for eternal kingdom power remains one of the most confused points in the Christian mind throughout the church’s generations.
- The True Meaning of “Kingdom Come”
To accurately understand this value, we must first lay foundation by answering the question, what does “kingdom come…in earth as it is in heaven” truly mean? The reason we must ask this is because we are talking about two different realms whose driving energies are fundamentally incompatible.
God’s kingdom in heaven is eternally charged, as is His will done there. Regardless of how heavenly time may be measured inside of eternity (for there are “months” in the heavenly city, and of His “years” there is no end—Rev. 22:2; Ps. 102:27), the fact is that everything in God’s heaven is endless. Nothing there fades, disintegrates or wears out, and God’s will there is calibrated to this. The will of God is eternal—as is the one who does His will, abiding forever (I Jn. 2:17).
On the other hand, everything on this earth is historical. It has a beginning and an end, measured by the fleeting nature of creational time and soul archive we have been writing about. Everything about this earth—including its kingdoms—“passes away” (as John and Daniel say (I Jn. 2:15; Dan. 2:44)). So too pass away the creational heavens—the sun, moon and stars by which history is measured (Ps. 102:25-26; Rev. 20:11; 22:5). Everything of this earth is reduced to memory once it has passed through its moment of manifest experience, until this earth itself becomes a memory (II Pt. 3:10-13).
What this tells us from the start is that Christ’s vision of “kingdom come” has nothing to do with converting this earth into heaven, any more than history can convert into eternity. Earth’s historicity is so unlike heaven that it is precluded from hosting or becoming a reproduction of heaven in the full utopian sense. This is seen throughout the coming ages of restoration wherein sin and death yet co-exist with eternally glorified saints (see Is. 65:20; Rev. 20:7-9). So there can and will never be “heaven on earth” here or even a return to the state of the original pristine “Eden” as commonly misbelieved and falsely taught.
When we look more carefully into this, we find that the factual energy-compatible fulfilment of God’s will coming “on earth as it is in heaven” does not occur until the heavenly New Jerusalem descends on the new earth after the destruction of this earth:
Rev. 21:1 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God…. 24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the [new] earth will bring their splendor into it.
It is only to this ages-long view that the Lord’s Prayer can look for consummate fulfilment because only the new earth will have the spirit interface capacity necessary for hosting eternal will and properties.
Because this is so, it means the Lord’s Prayer applied now is entirely fulfilled only inside the realm of witness. The “coming” of heaven and of God’s eternal will to this earth can only ever refer to the releasing of demonstrations that testify to a reality yet to replace this earth, but with which this earth and creation can themselves never “mate.” We will also see that Jesus’ instruction to pray for “kingdom come” as applied to present historical context is defined by this idea of witness.
- Witness vs. Reality
A reality and a witness to a reality are not the same thing. If one enjoys a reality, he needs no witness to it. The thing is already here and speaks for itself. A witness is offered only in lieu of the actual presence or reproducibility of the thing to which it witnesses.
For example, John the Baptist witnessed of “one who was to come.” Once the “One” came, the need for the witness faded away. “He must increase, but I must decrease,” said John. And that is what happened. The reality replaced the witness. In turn, Jesus spoke of Himself as a witness of reality yet to come (Jn. 3:11-13). He was here, but not the eternal reality to which He testified. He went on to tell the disciples they too would become witnesses to Him after He was no longer here. And so on, all the way through the book of Revelation.
This is why Jesus always spoke of the kingdom being “near” rather than “here,” and of entrance into the eternal kingdom as a future event (e.g., Mt. 5:20; 25:34). It is why He used the word “witness” to describe everything that communicated heavenly reality into the present historical context. All commissioning and ministry is about giving to this perishable earth witness of God’s kingdom and His heavenly will—realities which are not “here” in living history nor can be because of their energy incongruence. Historical energy can never become eternal energy, just as “unprofitable flesh” cannot become “living spirit” and perishability cannot inherit the eternal kingdom of God (I Cor. 15:50).
We in fact see the Lord’s Prayer specifically fulfilled in this limited present context of witness when Jesus sends out the seventy. Note especially the word “come”:
Lk. 10:1 Now after this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them in pairs ahead of Him to every city and place where He Himself was going to come. 8 “Whatever city you enter …9 … heal those in it who are sick, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10 … and say, 11 ‘… be sure of this, that the kingdom of God has come near.’”
See how it is only in this ministerial witness to eternity’s reality that we find present fulfilment of the prayer, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” This was an active prayer expecting present answer in historical life by anyone who prays it—but only in the context of witness. Jesus was not instructing the disciples to pray eternal utopia or “paradise regained” or “return to Eden” into being on this earth—or to develop teachings to support such a notion. It can’t and won’t ever happen.
- Dispelling “Kingdom Come” Mentality Darkness
This is the grounding point of confusion we must expose before we can continue with our subject. The prayer for God’s heavenly will to be “done” on this earth is the prayer only for continuous witness to eternal reality to keep advancing on this fleshly, physical reality until the historical reality has completed its auxiliary purposes and so passes away “with fervent heat” (like a booster rocket!). It is not the prayer for heaven to come to earth wherein present history is ever contemplated to “alchemize” into eternal reality.
Specifically, the “kingdoms of this world” will never convert into “the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ” (as Rev. 11:15 is constantly misinterpreted to mean). The bases of law and knowledge between these two types of kingdoms are completely irreconcilable. Earth’s flesh-empowered authorities can only become captive unto replacement by the Spirit-driven kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ—as the rest of Revelation shows. In their sinful soul-fed essence, all the worldly kingdoms and cultures pass away into memory, while the Lord’s eternal kingdom alone endures “forever.”
The confusion, deception and delusion inherent in utopian kingdom-come “convertibility” doctrine is the arch result of overvaluing historical life as we previously discussed—an overvaluation always due to the lack of crucified soul life and identity severance. (For dedicated prosecution of this issue, please review all the treatises on True Dominion, the Body and the Beast, the Cultural Engagement Series and all the articles in the section on Purified Identity.)
- Two Dimensions of Kingdom Witness
Having now defined the witness-level value of historical life for evidencing God’s eternal kingdom, we want to discern its two specific dimensions. These dimensions fully explain that value.
- Eternal Spirit-to-Spirit Conversion
Firstly, this life displays eternal life’s power to convert the spirits of historical people (not systems and cultures) into eternal creations, and further convert their souls as they steadfastly engage soul death exchange (see II Cor. 4:10-11; Php. 1:20). This witness rises from within the hidden depths of the heart to the surface of this life.
Such inner conversion and transformation is the primary meaning Jesus intended behind “Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done.” He adamantly expected eternal converts to show living historical evidence of their inner eternality. It is the truest meaning of His charge, “and you will be my witnesses,” and is the substance of His final instructions the night of Gethsemane (Jn. 14-17). His closing prayer there reveals the full idea behind “kingdom come” from the Sermon on the Mount (Mt. 6:10):
Jn. 17:18 "As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. … 20 "I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; 21 that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.
Here, we are told that this life’s witness to eternal life is valued for the purposes of 1) converting others out from the world, 2) establishing internal spirit-kingdom oneness between Father in heaven and all His converted earth dwellers, and 3) validating and vindicating the Son before the rest of unbelieving mankind. Elsewhere, we are additionally told that earthly witness to the eternal validates God before rival spirit principalities and powers (Eph. 3:8-11).
The idea of fleeting mortal people bearing eternal life for leading others to the same conversion and for vindicating God before netherworld powers is an arch helping value of this life hard to overvalue and never to diminish. Eternal life witness is profusely exhorted, expounded and exemplified throughout the New Testament, and all great moves of God have been built upon it.
- Physical Demonstration of Eternal Power
The second kingdom witness dimension of this life is that wherein supernatural power from the coming world (called the “anointing”) is released to circumstantially affect (not convert) historic life. Circumstance-altering power is witnessed through miracles, healings, deliverance, prophetic predictions, angelic interventions, heavenly signs and any number of similarly history-impacting evidences.
The anointing is a second degree witness, once removed from that of eternal life transaction within mortal believers. (The contrasts and comparisons between these two dimensions of kingdom power witness are thoroughly outlined in our book, The Transformation and the Anointing: Reconciling God’s Two Great Works of Salvation in the Earth Today.)
- Correctly Valuing the Eternal Power Witness of Historical Life
Jesus and the first apostles fully displayed both dimensions of eternal kingdom witness power, doing so in right priority and emphasis: eternal life testimony (referred to as “fruit”) was primary, physical miracle proof was secondarily supportive of the testimony to internal Life. And they were never confused about this.
Jesus and the apostles were fully persuaded of historic life’s necessary value for hosting eternal witness in both its dimensions. Eternal life confessions were important for reaching still others. Demonstrating the anointing was valued to the same end. In fact, preaching the eternally spirit-converting gospel together with exercising the powers from the world to come were taught and practiced as a single package. (Hmmm. Why don’t we automatically heal the sick and cast out demons when preaching the gospel as they did?)
Yet also, in all cases, neither Jesus nor the apostles ever taught that supernatural witness from the eternal world could ultimately convert present life into the manifest eternal kingdom of God! They did not overvalue this life to believe of it something it could never become in its intrinsic unprofitable perishability. Rather, they show us the correct valuation of historical life as a limited auxiliary medium for hosting a revelation of inward and outward eternal power, neither discounting nor overestimating their relation to this frail existence.
Meanwhile, these men drilled down to correct valuation imbalances by others toward their eternal ministry. Jesus spent more time rebuking people for undervaluing His physical supernatural witness through unbelief, while Paul spent more time rebuking the church for overvaluing the same witness unto idolizing miracle-working emissaries. How interesting.
- Citing the Imbalances
Detailing these imbalances is where we will close this article on historical life valuation.
- Devaluing Historical Life’s Physical Eternal Witness
The first valuation imbalance belongs to those who still devalue this life’s role for witnessing to physical miracle power in assisting eternal life conversion and growth. They just don’t believe present historical life can or should bear such witness, even though they safely “believe” it in the historical past because they say they “believe” the Bible is true.
(My question would be, what sense does it make to believe that only past history could have any role in bearing physical witness to God’s eternal power? If I can’t believe for present witness to physical eternal power, why do I think I would have in the past, which was itself the present when the miraculous occurred and had to be believed then to take effect? And how can I also honestly pray the Lord’s Prayer which asks the Father to bring forth the exact present witness I say I don’t believe in?)
Many who deny present miracle witness do so on the correct but misplaced value assertion that the inner miracle of eternal life is of far more value than any circumstantial power demonstration. That is indeed true, but is used illegitimately to deny the complete witness God has ordained for manifesting His kingdom. It is unbelief masked under cover of a half truth taken to a false never-intended conclusion.
The larger hypocrisy surrounding this (un)belief is that, most (not all) who promote the half truth of eternal life’s superiority over miracles are otherwise supremely devoted to preserving their present historical lives, investing what small eternal life fruit they may have reaped back into their fleeting careers. While professing eternal life’s superior heart changing value, they don’t actually live by the soul-death exchange that bears fruitful eternal life! They value the preserving of historical life’s perishing cultural causes more than eternal life.
- Overvaluing Historical Life’s Physical Eternal Witness
The opposing imbalance lies with those who esteem supernatural demonstration over inwardly transformational eternal life witness. The perpetual, sensational overvaluing of anointing power eventually leads to the mistaking of historical life itself for eternal life wherever the power of the next world makes any demonstration inside of it. (It’s called “miracle worship.”)
Unsurprisingly, this physical witness dimension is abused to support the false kingdom convertibility doctrine discussed above. That is to say, overvaluers of physical kingdom power seek to employ their anointing in the effort to teach and prove that God’s will is to make earth over into heaven—specifically that earthly kingdoms can be Spirit-baptized into the manifest kingdom of God.
The overvaluing of physical kingdom power witness, as we have noted elsewhere, yields the disobedient exercise of that power contrary to the Father’s kingdom will, leading to Christ’s condemnation of lawless miracle workers. (Please review our study on Faith in Perspective: the Word of Faith vs. the Word of the Father.)
In the end, and as we have already said, we find that these value imbalances over this life’s role as a witness to eternal power are due to a greater underlying imbalance: the overvaluing of historic life itself.
Whether we undervalue historical life’s physical witness dimension by denying its role for expressing supernatural anointing, or whether we overvalue that witness by overvaluing the anointing to the false end of recreating Eden on earth, our present lives will show that, in most cases, our imbalance is because at heart, we overvalue historical life itself. We seek to preserve our lives, identities and “destinies” in this perishable existence—and that to our own detriment and even destruction. We are either unwilling to stir our flesh to discomfort by dealing with supernatural power, or we want to gratify our flesh by means of that power.
Hopefully however, by the grace of God, we can rise above these pitfalls to come to the fully balanced estimation of historical life’s value to God as a witness to His eternal kingdom will.
This concludes our study on accurately appraising the value of historical life and our series on relating living historic life and eternal life.
May the whole body be circumspectly edified,
New Meadow Neck, Rhode Island
First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship
Page created September 16, 2019