The Call to Kingdom Responsibility
The Kingdom: Physical But Not Fleshly
For two millenniums we have been caught between the warring realms of the flesh and the spirit:
Gal. 4:17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.
This war has shaped our perception of the kingdom. Knowing that the flesh is contrary to the spirit, we have rightly concluded that our kingdom is spiritual, not fleshly. But under pressure of this conflict, we have lost site of a third dimension. It’s that, while not fleshly, our kingdom is nevertheless very physical:
Lk. 24:39 "See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have."
When our King was here, he was here with a physical body. When He arose, He arose with a physical body, not as a spirit. In that perfect sinless physique, He manifested the essence of the kingdom in body, not just in the spirit. And when He ascended, He ascended in a physical body, and resides in heaven now in a physical body.
You see, our kingdom, while very “spiritual,” is also very physical. Our physical Lord sits on a physical throne and interacts with pure physical realities outside our world. While heaven is a “spiritual” place, that doesn’t mean its realities are composed of mere “spirit” without “substance.” Heaven is a place of substance, not of airy essence you can just put your hand through.
But due to our present war against the fleshly world, we’re been so trained to distrust physical reality and to define spirituality by its present invisibility that we’ve grown to equate “spirituality” only with “spirit,” to ignore the physicality of heaven, and have built a mental block against any substantial concept of the kingdom, considering them to be “fleshly.” (Nor has it helped that most people advocating kingdom physicality have prematurely assigned manifest kingdom qualities to present fleshly realities—as in “kingdom now”).
All this has blinded us to any real expectation of the coming physical kingdom we profess to believe in as well as to any real sense of responsibility to prepare for it (I am writing to the wilderness community here.) Consequently, if someone comes along and says we need to “start preparing for the physically manifest
on earth,” our anti-substance spiritual minds conclude this to be just more fleshly “kingdom now” speak. kingdomof God
My task in this series is to break through this anti-substance mindset and alert us to God’s call for a change in mind so we can prepare for our necessary part in this nearing physical changeover without stoking more of the premature “kingdom now” assignments to present earthly realities so common in the mainline prophetic movement.
Let’s take a further look then at the harvest truths given to help bridge us from the present spiritual / fleshly conflict mindset to the nearing harmonious spiritual / physical kingdom manifestation at hand.
Present Essence vs. Effect (Reflection)
In this present 2000 year dispensation between kingdom planting and harvest, it’s critical to understand the difference between the present essence of our kingdom in the earth versus its effects upon the earth. Failure to distinguish essence from effect lies at the heart of our struggle to rightly interpret our kingdom’s identity in the earth relative to the present order.
As a seed still growing yet not physically harvested, the
on earth right now remains in essence spiritually invisible while bringing tangible effects or reflections of that essence to bear on the present world. The core realities of our kingdom—new birth and sanctification—are now spiritual in the unseen internal sense. This is the essence of our kingdom here at this time. kingdomof God
This unseen spiritual essence is housed within visible “earthen vessels”—mortal bodies of sinful flesh still subject to death, which is the essence of the world. In this pre-harvest period, the kingdom’s spiritual essence in us is reflected toward the world through the sanctified Spirit-empowered works of our bodies; and it makes effects on world systems through the limited powers of the anointing and the results of our prayers. But that is all.
What we must get straight is that these pre-harvest reflections / effects on the world are not the essence of our kingdom, nor make any permanent changes in it. They don’t permanently convert world systems from their essentially fallen nature. They only make “dents” on them (as we saw last time.) The world still passes away, as do our own bodies. All kingdom conversion is always “out from” the world.
The kingdom’s present hidden essence versus its tangible effect must not be confused, nor must the nature of one be used to deny that of the other. Spiritual essence does not mean the kingdom has no physical effects, nor do its physical effects mean our kingdom’s essence is tangibly identified. This single truth resolves the current “Kingdom Not –Kingdom Now” conflict.
The Hope for Physical Manifestation (“Harvest”)
So far so good? OK. But we’re not through! Now although our kingdom’s current pre-harvest spiritual essence is hidden, it is nevertheless growing (laboring) toward a fully physical manifestation in which spiritual essence becomes physical. Spirituality will no longer be unseen.
At the point of harvest, our earthen bodies become “swallowed up” of our inner life to become immortal. I Corinthians 15 with Revelation 14 identify this change to immortality as the harvest—the same harvest identified in the kingdom parables. It is the same point at which the manifest
finally (“now”) comes to earth (Rev. 12:5 >7>10). kingdomof God
The kingdom immortality harvest will happen either by resurrection or by translation (rapture), and is keyed to the physical return of Christ from heaven. Further, when this happens, the temporal powers of the anointing will be replaced with new powers that make permanent effects on the earth.These new powers will include the establishment of never before revealed systems by which life on earth is to function and be governed. These systems are already held in heaven (where Jesus now physically resides), were once patterned by the Law, and will be introduced to earth in their glorified reality when He returns, replacing all current and past earthly systems.
Sonship, the Harvest and the Kingdom
The kingdom harvest is also described as the manifestation of the sons of God (
Romans 8). This is extremely important, for when keyed to Paul’s I Corinthians 15 harvest description of the resurrection, we find exactly what the harvest kingdom manifestation is all about. The kingdom harvest of the sons of God is the final product of the seed of the word planted into the human heart over a period of two thousand years plus.
Keep following now: When
Romans 8 sonship is further keyed to Paul’s Galatians 4 discussion of sonship, we learn that the growth period of the kingdom over these ages before the harvest equates to a period of “minorship” status for the as-yet mortal heirs of the kingdom (—reinforced by Paul’s word that “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.”)
Why is this so important? It’s because it shows what our true position to the world is as kingdom heirs under mortality. And it shows what the purpose of the mortality growing period is! Keep following…
“Slaves” in Rulership Training
As non-manifest heirs of the kingdom, we differ nothing from “slaves.” As mortals who retain only the internal spiritual essence of the kingdom, we are still in a practical position as “slaves” vis-à-vis world systems. We do not “rule” the world or “take over” the culture. We are under “guardianship” of world systems. That is why throughout this age we are exhorted to subjection to employers and governmental authorities in the flesh.
Nor is our kingdom “of this world.” There is nothing we can do by what we possess of eternal kingdom life to convert world systems into the
. As shown already, we can only make temporary impacts on the world through the reflections of our Spirit-empowered works, the limited powers of anointing we steward, and by our intercessions. Neither have we any permanent inheritance in the earth prior to the manifest immortal kingdom period. “We have here no continuing city.” kingdomof God
However, as kingdom heirs destined for the immortality harvest, we are also shown what our world impacts through works, anointing, and prayer are all about. They aren’t for nothing. It is not a side show to busy us until we die. These are our practice at becoming fully bona fide rulers in preparation for harvest. We are rulers in training—a training that determines at what fruit level we will be harvested, thus our qualifications for degree of rulership.
The growing spiritual kingdom essence seed within us is developed and perfected through our interface with world systems over our works, our anointing, and our intercessions (beginning with overcoming our own flesh!) In this period between new birth and glorified harvest, we are each commissioned to take on family ties, religious orders and ultimately world systems in these ways toward this purpose.
As we take on the world through anointed labors and prayer, the work of the cross goes on inside us. And with every death and resurrection over these interfaces, we come one step closer to our harvest—and only by this path. Everything going on inside us by the cross this way is for maturing us to fully qualified inheritance and authority in the manifest kingdom harvest age.
Back to the Call to Responsibility
Can we see now where we are as well as where we are not? We hold the kingdom in us as an invisible essence. We have not yet inherited the kingdom. We are not manifesting the kingdom as kings. We are not “taking over” the world. We are minors differing nothing from slaves. And no amount of strutting around confessing “sonship” and “kingdom now authority” changes that.
BUT, as our harvest time of inheritance draws near—even the time for putting off flesh and blood to assume the full rights of immortal sons with bodies from heaven—the Father is speaking more loudly to the separated wilderness community than ever to awake, to come out of our holes to face the world and grow up to our imminent identity change, to prepare for the assumption of governmental responsibilities that must attend a new immortal “colonization” of the earth outside the crumbling world systems.
A very spiritual Physical kingdom comprised of very spiritual Physical immortals led by a very spiritual physical King and operating through incorruptible spiritual Physical systems is about to appear. It’s time to stop reacting to the errors of others and to put on a new physicality of mind—of hope, expectation and preparation—that makes us equal to the call before us. In the next section, we’ll sum this call to kingdom responsibility into conclusion.
[ Part VI ]
New Meadow Neck, Rhode Island
First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship
BACK TO TOP
Page updated January 26, 2017