The Call to Kingdom Responsibility
Kingdom Paradoxes and the “Successive” Mindset
The reason for our conflict in understanding the manifest kingdom is the paradoxical way the kingdom comes into earthly domination. Jeremiah was told he would both “tear down” and “build up.” We think of these as successive operations—one after the other. But in God’s mind, they can be concurrent. God can and will destroy the world system while unveiling His eternal system at the same time.
Also, a word prophesying one operation can temporarily result in the opposite manifesting first. This is not news to disciples. When God promises blessing to us, we often first experience trial. It’s the way of the cross. Death precedes life.
All this is true of the kingdom’s final unveiling. Rev. 12-13 illustrates this powerfully. In Rev. 12, we see God’s manchild people ascend to glory and the defeat of satan with the declaration, “NOW is come…the kingdom of our God!” Yet the very next event due to this is the rise of the beast kingdom and the worldwide tribulation! From there, the tribulation and the kingdom manifest concurrently—if only for a season.
Why is this important to see? It’s important because if we think the kingdom can only appear and be built after the tribulation and the fall of the world’s kingdoms—then we will miss the imminently manifest kingdom role God is trying to prepare us for now ahead of and during the tribulation.
The Great Tribulation stands before our “successive mindset” as a stumbling block regarding the kingdom. Since the Tribulation is contrary to God’s rule, and since we don’t believe the two can manifest together, we are forced into debating their sequence. Which comes first?
This forces us into the Kingdom Not vs. Kingdom Now debate. In Kingdom Not, we believe the Tribulation comes “first.” Tearing down always precedes building up. Therefore, anticipating the Tribulation paralyzes us from any sense of a manifest kingdom building role. This is the majority wilderness prophetic vision: “Let’s just sit and wait out the judgment. Then we’ll help build the kingdom…”
But in Kingdom Now, because we feel called as Paul to build the kingdom, and we see the Tribulation concept standing in our way, we feel compelled to deny the Tribulation. We just can’t deal with it. “Let’s just ‘write off’ the Book of Revelation saying it all happened back in 70 A.D.” Many in the mainstream prophetic hold to such “eschatological cessationism.”
“Kingdom New:” Another Way
Here is where God would impart another mind to us. The Lord does want us prepared against the Tribulation. He wants us to fear it enough to quash our love for this life. But He doesn’t want us fearing it unto paralyzed blindness so we can’t see the concurrent protected kingdom wilderness role we are to have in bringing forth new revelational systems of our glorified kingdom in exile. This calls for another view of the kingdom. It calls for a Kingdom New mind.
The Great Tribulation is not going to be a time of mere hunkering down in nuclear fall out bunkers. Because of divine protection, it is going to be a time of unprecedented birthing of new invention, discovery and revelation under pressure in conjunction with the first glorifications of God’s fully sanctified people. It is going to be a time Daniel describes as “great exploits.” It will be a time in which the first glimpses of perfect physical spirituality—“heaven on earth”—are seen since Christ first came!
What about the Second Coming?
“That’s all interesting, but what about the second coming? How does Christ’s coming fit into all this?” That is a good question, but too large to fully answer here. But since you asked, let’s just say this:
Our vision of the second coming is impaired by the same sequential mind that messes with our view of the Tribulation and the kingdom. Whenever we think of Christ’s coming, we think of it as a “once-off, slap-dash, done-deal” event we need to “fit” somewhere on our neat prophecy chart. But the second coming is not like that. It is a drawn out event described prophetically as the “dawning of a day.”
As a single day arises in stages, so is Christ’s coming. It is one event but develops in phases over a fair period of time. This is why His coming is described differently in different places. In some places, it is as a thief in the night that only a few see. That is how it will start. Elsewhere it is a bombastic event everyone sees. That is how it will culminate.
These are different phases of the one coming.
Everything the Lord does “point-in-time” is preceded by and proceeds into development. The scriptures rarely describe the development between the point-in-time observations it makes on events. So too for the Lord’s return. As part of the harvest, the Lord’s coming is a very developmental event.
All this will come clearer in time. It should not hinder us from grasping the call to kingdom preparation and readiness now. It will all dovetail.
: “Worshipping Workers” Kingdomof Priests
God has called us to be a kingdom of priests. But what does it mean in light of His nearing kingdom unveiling?
“Priests” speaks of worship and worshippers. It speaks of inner sacrifice. “Kingdom” however speaks of works and workers. It speaks of systems, of order, and of government. It speaks of action and substance. The term “priestly kingdom” (or “worshipping workers”) captures in two words the entire plan of our salvation and destiny.
Our “priestly” identity captures all the hidden heart truth about new birth and sanctification by “living sacrifice” before the Father. It describes our personal submission to the way of the cross in song and deed. For most of us in the wilderness, our priestly identity and its disciplines occupies the lion’s share of our awareness. And so it rightly has for 2000 years.
But our “kingdom” identity captures the externalizing of our inner truth in the form of systematic, orderly governmental “works.” Paul tells us we were created in Christ Jesus “unto good works.” These kingdom “works” include everything we do and undertake in this life—both in relationship (love), in ministry (anointing), and in systematic activity in every field of human life (all that we do)—by the Spirit.
The point? As we grow nearer to the unveiling of the manifest immortal kingdom, we are beginning to sense a shift in emphasis from our priestly identity to our kingdom identity. We are beginning to get revelation on the practical manifest kingdom outworking of the priestly sacrificial training we have been putting in for two millenniums. That is what this series is about.
God wants to secure in us the vital connection between our traditional priestly and nearing manifest kingdom identities. We cannot have one apart from the other and fulfil our calling in these times. Kingdom Not focuses on the traditional inner truths of our priestly identity. Kingdom Now focuses on our externalized identity at the expense of our priestly identity. But Kingdom New balances the union of these identities as we keep developing toward harvest.
Right now, our kingdom works are still under the continuing mortal tests of priestly sanctification. But shortly, those works will put on the full perfected inheritance of immortality. And when that happens, look out world! We will truly be able to say, “NOW is come salvation and…the kingdom of our God.”
Between Now and Then
But before we put on perfected priest-kingdom immortality, there is still so much to happen, and still so much to realize. One thing we must realize is that the arrival of the Great Tribulation and the first dawning perfected physical manifestations of our kingdom are going to happen concurrently! The Lord Himself will be in dawning appearing to His first fruits glorified people—even amidst the greatest world darkness ever known—“like a thief in the night.”
A second thing we must realize is there is yet much development ahead of all this, and we must not lose our hope in the face of the growing darkness now. God has not exhausted His revelation of creative inventive economy for our provision and deliverance! As Elisha prayed his servant would see past the surrounding enemy, so we must be enlightened to the new prosperous divine strategies, inventions and discoveries that will take us past the apparent dire issues of world systems and technologies threatening to snuff us out in days ahead.
Yes, the internet is going to crash—and with it all the electric grids, food chains and world economies. Yes, there will be riots, civil war and nuclear war. And yes, the beast is ready with prison camps and death chambers for all of us who oppose the man of sin! (They are already built, folks.)
But God has new discoveries, inventions and revelations ready to reveal to offset all these threats and create the fledgling yet prosperous Kingdom oasis in the desert for his people. Angels are waiting with scrolls in hand to deliver these revelations now to the responsibly prepared!
Yet—we will never receive these revelations if our hearts remain paralyzed over the dark side of what is at hand or we are disincentivized through denial of what is coming. If all we feed on is the news, kingdom-not judgment prophesies or kingdom-now wishful drivel, we will never rise to the place of a Kingdom New mind necessary to receiving new revelation for our times.
“Kingdom New:” The Mind of Choice for the Fully Liberated
“Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
The purpose of this series has been to drive home our need to start assuming a new attitude of personal and corporate responsibility equal to our professed expectations of nearing freedom from the world’s systems at Christ’s appearing—a freedom described by Paul as “the glorious liberty of the sons of God.” True freedom has a cost—a cost of responsibility transfer. And it applies to the freedom we expect at Christ’s return. It’s not just going to “happen.”
Whenever a new kingdom manifestation is at hand, the Lord calls us to repent. Now is the time to start changing our mind about all that’s happening. It’s time to start losing our slave mentality, and to let God grow our priestly worship into a new level of kingdom responsibility. It’s time to stop fear-mongering over rumors of wars and cowering in the shadows of Christian wilderness ghettos until Jesus comes. And it’s time to stop the vain task of converting the world’s systems into the
. kingdomof God
To deliver us from our serf mentality, the Lord must deal with inadequate priest-king views we have harbored in our time as minors in the earth. These views are now obsolete, even though they are yet spouted with a sound of authority. We are called to put away childish things. To grow into the freedom of adult sonship maturity, we’re going to have to put away childish kingdom thinking.
Before Pharaoh let
go, he made their bondage exceptionally hard. We are coming into a period of exceptional world difficulty now. How we respond to that difficulty will determine our make or break point of readiness for immortal manifestation and rulership. It is not God’s will to destroy us but to graduate us! Israel
In light of all this, let’s accept the prophetic call to Kingdom New responsibility. If we should be called to give our lives in the process, let’s do it with grace and dignity. But otherwise, let’s believe for the best amidst what’s ahead. Let’s embrace uncertainty. Let’s trust, rest and rejoice. Let’s fly.
[ Part VII ]
New Meadow Neck, Rhode Island
First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship
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Page updated January 26, 2017