A Sound Three Dimensional Kingdom Grid
Location, Duration & Demonstration
[Ed. Note: The following brief outline of the kingdom of God in three dimensions is excerpted from a letter to a friend who requested I write an evaluation of a treatise he was authoring on the kingdom. Putting these kingdom dimensions with their polarities into balanced focus will help stabilize the church as we outwork our salvation toward final manifestation of God’s rule in the earth. May you be blessed as you read…]
I would like to frame my critique by first painting my own basic thoughts on the kingdom. My vision of the kingdom of God is of a multi-faceted dominion, operating in a variety of realms with different polarities and prioritizations: “heavenly vs. earthly,” “future vs. present,” “internal vs. external,” etc. What is more is that these facets are on a slow but steady march to manifest integration where the polarities between the realms and their facets are to be eliminated.
The challenge in teaching on the kingdom is to recognize the polar facets within each realm, assign them their proper prioritization within their realm, and avoid isolating any facet to itself so as to form a false picture of the kingdom.
More specifically, consider the three realm sets listed above which for simplicity let’s call Location, Duration and Demonstration. Each realm set has polar facets in which one facet is foundational (“source facet”) and the other is dependent (“dependent facet”).
In Location, we have the polarity between heavenly and earthly in which “heaven” is the source facet and “earth” is the dependent facet. Heaven and earth are not made one yet, which is why there is a locational polarity.
Both locations offer demonstrations of God’s authority, but the source location for that authority is heaven, not earth. Hence the statement: “My kingdom is not of this world.”
The challenge? To keep from divorcing and isolating the source facet from the dependent facet to create a false picture of kingdom location.
On one hand, the average institutional believer sees the kingdom located only in heaven. On the other, you have the historic church-statists who saw the kingdom as primarily on earth (viz. everything from the “Holy Roman Empire” to Rushdoony-Reconstructionism).
In Duration we have the polarity between eternality and temporality, between future and present authority. Under the veil of the time continuum, hence as an eternal reality still awaiting manifestation, the kingdom is fundamentally “future.” This is repeatedly borne out by the apostles (especially in their word “hope”) and based on the Lord’s own continuous prayer, “thy kingdom come.” (One does not pray for something to come that has already come.)
Yet to the degree that eternality has, does and increasingly impinges on the temporal world, the kingdom is dependently “present” (viz. the Lord’s statement, “The kingdom IS among you.”) In other words, what present tense kingdom authority does appear remains dependently rooted in a reality still to be revealed.
Again, the challenge is to not isolate or reverse-prioritize the facets. As we know, the average institutional believer sees the kingdom as future only. On the other hand, you have the “Kingdom Now” and “Third Day” proponents who see it as present tense only, even to the point of entirely denying the concept of future hope. (This same denial was played out on a smaller scale in the Faith Movement, which was precursor to Kingdom Now and Third Day.)
In Demonstration, we have the polarity between internal and external authority. In this realm, the internal power facet is foundational and the external power facet is dependent. Internal power refers to the authoritative work of the Cross in the life of the believer toward full-bodied discipleship. Its demonstration is in freedom from the power of indwelling sin replaced by the fruit of the Spirit in the image of Christ. It pertains to the operations of the spirit and soul.
External power refers to the authoritative work of the Anointing to demonstrate effects on the physical and circumstantial realms, or effects that otherwise operate apart from the internal work of the Cross. This includes the “gifts of the Spirit,” especially those generally referred to as the “power gifts” and “signs and wonders”—healing, deliverance, miracles.
Now, in standard institutional church circles, this entire realm of Demonstration is mute inasmuch as they believe neither in the internal power of the cross to deliver from sin nor in the gifts of the Spirit. But demonstration is germane to those circles that have been taught of the Lord primarily regarding either internal or external power.
The greatest historic evidence of Demonstration polarity is seen between those who championed inward demonstration (early Methodists, the Holiness Movement, the Deeper Life-Keswick Movement, and Latter Rain Sonship proponents) and those who have championed outward demonstration (Azusa Street Pentecostalism, 1940’s era Power Revivalism, and the Charismatic > Faith > Prophetic Movements.)
The challenge in the Demonstration Realm (and which has virtually never been met in any movement) is to build an external “Anointing empowered” demonstration on the foundation of internal “Cross empowered” demonstration. The Cross Demonstration proponents withered and died for refusing Anointing Demonstration truth, and the Anointing Demonstrationists have been largely brought down in disgrace under the power of sin for refusing to submit to the internal authority of the Cross.
So this is basically my “kingdom grid.” Naturally, my perceptions of your book are seen through it. Much of your book is in harmony with this grid. Here and there, you make a statement that appears to violate or push the limits of the grid. In these cases, you may be speaking more out of reaction to an aberration that inadvertently has the effect of advancing an opposite aberration.
Or sometimes it could be that the scope of words available to you is inadequate to paint the whole picture behind the point you are trying to make. Beyond this, there are various other points I would comment on. I’ll go chapter to chapter from cover to cover. So, let’s begin…
[End of excerpt]
New Meadow Neck, Rhode Island
First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship
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