Biblical Kingdom Reality
What did Jesus really say about kingdom?
By Ron McGatlin
Transition from the “Church Age”
In transitional periods of biblical restoration many thoughts and views can emerge in the deeper fresh revelation of biblical truth as pieces of the puzzle are progressively revealed and fit into the picture of pure biblical truth. As more pieces of the puzzle are put into place, the picture is more clearly seen.
There was never a lack of clarity on God’s part. However, centuries of mostly darkness regarding the kingdom of God on earth has caused a film of darkness to be laid upon the minds of men that for the most part has for centuries hidden true biblical kingdom reality from our understanding.
In the limited light of past centuries, sincere men and women of God sought to gain truth from detailed and precise dissecting of the Bible, word by word and verse by verse. Unfathomable amounts of effort have been expended in an attempt to understand and fit together the many facets of seemingly contradicting pieces of knowledge gleaned from centuries of extensive Bible study.
One of the unwanted results of this massive effort has been that multitudes of different views and opinions emerged among the theological scholars and created many different schools of thought and conflicting doctrines. This created divisions and separations among the followers of the many theological systems that developed. Unfortunately, in spite of all the good things that this intense study produced, the disunity and separation actually took us further from true biblical kingdom reality.
During the part of history which is now come to be known by some as the “church age,” the major theme was and is the gospel of salvation to save sinners to go to heaven when they died. This was seen as a primary focus of most of the church theological systems.
Benevolence or meeting the needs of the poor became another practical aspect of the focus of the church age. This was sometimes used as a tool for the primary purpose of getting people saved to go to heaven as well as a charity work of meeting basic needs of the poor. Some other streams were focused on human knowledge of the Bible. Spiritual maturity in those streams was seen as knowing more about God by knowing more of the written word.
This and many other focuses and doctrines developed many streams of systematic theology that formed multitudes of denominations of “Christians” each with differences in focuses and doctrines.
Disunity and even despising that was common among the denominations caused the many attempts to bring unity among the churches to soon fall apart and return the people to their divisions of differences.
The World Culture and Society
For all that the church age was able to do in preserving the Bible and introducing many to the gospel of salvation, its religious systems failed miserably to deal with the issues that caused people to be corrupt and poor. The work of the church was largely in helping the poor and corrupt people to survive and to be “saved,” that is to go to heaven when they died.
The best the church age systems could do was to help the poor corrupt people to have a hope of heaven someday and strengthen them to hold on till they died and went to heaven or till Jesus bodily returned to earth, whichever came first.
Church Age World View
The prevailing view of most of the church age people regarding the world was that the planet and the systems of man’s governance of the world had become very bad and without hope of being changed. Generally, it was believed that the world could not be saved and God was going to burn up the planet and all that is on it and make a new planet for us to dwell in later. While the destruction of this planet and all that is on it was taking place, Jesus would meet the living “Christians” in the air and take us to heaven to wait for the forming of the new world.
For this reason the church age ignored the culture and society of the world and separated itself from them. The practical working of this was to have as little to do with the world and this life as possible. Yes, work at a job or business to get money to provide resources and provide for church ministries.
Therefore, the world was left to the devil and his systems of darkness to exploit the people and rule most of the world with evil spirits of greed, self-promotion, covetousness, violence, immorality, and every dark thing that is against the rule of God on earth.
THE MASSIVE SHIFT TO TRANSFORM THE WORLD
A little over a hundred years ago, the return of the work of the Holy Spirit began to be recognized and restored to the people of God. A fresh restoration of the Pentecostal experience of the first century, which had been covered under the darkness of religion and the world for two millennia, was again manifesting into this world.
In the rush of the Pentecostal renewal of the twentieth century, the baptism in the Holy Spirit swept across the world. Even though the existing church systems fought bitterly against it, the power and gifts of the Holy Spirit were poured out upon those who we willing to receive the fresh move of God.
As Spirit God communed with His people, intimate love relationships were formed between man and God. Through that pure holy love relationship, man began to be purified. The contamination from the fallen world and religious erroneous beliefs began to be washed away. The power and love ministry of Christ Jesus in the Holy Spirit began to bring deliverance and healing to the people of God.
Spiritual gifts that had been dormant for almost two millennia began to be restored through to the people of God by the Holy Spirit.
Prophetic gifting began to function again bringing power and wisdom into ordinary believers. This has led and is leading to the demise of the separation of clergy and laity of the old system. The restraining of God’s people in religious orders or systems is breaking away. Walls of the boxes of church systems are coming down. Pure hearted holy people of God are moving from the boxed-in structures into a new deeper reality of intimate relationship with God.
THE REVELATION OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD
In the last quarter of the twentieth century, many things began to come into a clearer focus. Though rejected or misunderstood and misapplied by the church systems, the gift of apostles and apostolic ministry began to again be recognized and began functioning in the world.
Apostolic ministers began to hear and proclaim again the foundational message that Jesus had introduced two millennia ago. It had been hidden by the veil of religious darkness over the minds of God’s people.
The Need for Apostolic Ministry
Apostolic ministers had to be restored to lay again the foundational work of Christ Jesus. Neither the pastor nor the teacher could bring forth the restored true foundation of the GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM.
The prophets could see it coming and began to prophesy and prepare the people for it. However, they could not lay the foundation for the complete restoration of the kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven. Christ Jesus and the first century apostles proclaimed and demonstrated the foundational reality of the kingdom. Christ Jesus, the King is the foundation and the chief cornerstone.
The revelation of the foundation of the kingdom of God now coming forth on earth in the hearts of pure-hearted, humble, apostolically gifted sons of God is ushering in the age of the kingdom.
[PLEASE PRAY NOW: Ask the Lord to awaken the Spirit of truth with you and to open your spiritual eyes to see and your spiritual ears to hear what the Spirit of God is speaking. Ask the Lord to wash away anything within your heart and mind that is not from God that would stand in the way of receiving His kingdom truth.]
Part Two next week. “Religion Gives Way to Kingdom Reality”