CHURCH IN THE KINGDOM AGE – By Ron McGatlin
The greatest and most glorious expression of church is the soon coming Bride of Christ, New Jerusalem, kingdom age church. The major shift from the “church or man emphasis age church” to the “kingdom or God emphasis age church” is perhaps the most exciting event since Pentecost The outpourings of the Spirit that brought the Pentecostal revival of a century ago and the renewal revival of a decade ago have reset the stage. The ingredients are now in place for the spiritual events that were planned and begun 2000 years ago.
….I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, Eph 3:14-15
The Bride church of New Jerusalem as described in Revelation 21 is a clear picture of the purified holy church of the kingdom of God age. The patterns and focus of the Bride church are heavenly. The focus of the “church age” church has been meeting the needs of man beginning with his salvation or redemption from sin. The focus of the “kingdom age” church is the glory of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
There are many aspects of the kingdom of God and all of the parts are necessary to make up the whole. There are two basic aspects to consider, Heaven and Earth or God and man. The kingdom that Jesus preached and taught isfrom heaven and for earth. His kingdom is not from earth but it is for earth. It is the kingdom of heaven come to earth. Therefore there is a heavenly side and an earthly side to the kingdom of God. The kingdom is of and from God; it is in and through man by the Holy Spirit.
Focus on the heavenly family.
The self nature of man has perverted the primary focus of the work of many churches and ministries in the past. Christian institutions have catered to the needs and desires of man creating a primary focus first on self and secondly on earthly family. Certainly the provision and well being of ourselves and our families is an important aspect of the kingdom of God. Truly God’s desire is that earthly families reflect an image of our heavenly or spiritual family. However, having made our self and our family or even our church family the primary focus has robbed us of the reality of the fullness of our heavenly family.
A major principle of the kingdom is that seeking first (primarily focusing on) the kingdom of God causes all the other earthly things to be added in order. Focusing first on ourselves, and our natural or church families can actually prevent the provision of the very things we are seeking. First things must be first in the kingdom.
Mat 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
Luke 18:29-30: So He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or parents or brothers or wife or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, “who shall not receive many times more in this present time, and in the age to come eternal life.”
The first focus of selfish life is myself and just next to that is mine. My family, my friends, my stuff, my reputation, and so on. Catering to the desires of self in people is eroding the crumbling institutional church as individual lives corrupt and families fall apart. An intense focus on correcting the symptoms and fixing the problems through training by psychological and intellectual methods may have provided some surface healing of the problems but has totally failed to cure the problems and bring forth the kingdom of God lifestyle.
The kingdom of God church reality must be revealed in our spirits.
The kingdom church is a spiritual reality. It is the FAMILY OF GOD. The FATHER and the SON from heaven on earth indwelling the many sons of the Body of Christ by the Holy Spirit.
Our first kingdom priority is our spiritual family relationship with FATHER who is above all and His only begotten SON who is King of earth and Heir to the throne of heaven with the many sons who are joint heirs.Sons who are born spiritually by the Holy Spirit into Christ are sons with Him. As they live and walk in the Holy Spirit as mature sons they experience the fullness of the kingdom as heirs with Christ.
Rom 8:13-17: For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs; heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. (The Greek word translated adoption above is: huiothesia:G5206 – sonship or the placing as a son)
One of the characteristics of a natural blood line family is something called DNA. There is a spiritual equivalent to DNA. Birthed by the Spirit of God into Christ and receiving the Spirit of Christ, implants the family line spiritual DNA of God which transforms our spiritual DNA to the family blood line of God by the Spirit of adoption. By the Holy Spirit, the very life of Christ carrying the spiritual DNA of Father abides within true sons. Only by the Spirit can we relate to our spiritual family in heaven and earth.
The kingdom age order of church is “spiritual family” relationships.
Kingdom church gatherings are spiritual meetings of the HEAVENLY FAMILY IN THE HOLY SPIRIT. Not just natural family and not just church family – HEAVENLY FAMILY IN THE SPIRIT. Our gatherings in the kingdom church age are a coming together with God our Father and Jesus our mediator and with holy angels and spirits of mature just men (sons).
Heb 12:22-24: But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.
In a gathering including God the judge of all and Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, who among you is willing to stand and take charge of the meeting? We all will want to know the Holy Spirit is moving in us and directing us before we speak. Every word not spoken by the Spirit is an idle word and is of no value in the kingdom family assembly. Also who is ready to resist and not move or speak when and as the Spirit directs.
Heb 12:25-26: See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.”
People walking in the flesh who are by nature carnal minded cannot possibly relate in heavenly family gatherings. They can relate to natural family and man focused “church” gatherings but not to spiritual family gatherings. Religious institutions that are focused on the natural can grow rapidly by feeding the needs of carnal Christians and by employing intellectual wisdom and psychological adjustments toward lessening the symptoms and coping with the problems generated by self focused living. These works can never solve the deep problems generated by a lack of intimate relationship with God through Jesus by the Holy Spirit. It is only by the Holy Spirit that the word can become alive and powerful in changing lives and eventually the world.
This pattern is very different from most of our past experiences. This indeed is one of the major changes and paradigm shifts that we have heard was coming and didn’t know what it was. Now it is coming clearly into view. It is one major step in regaining our destiny as a people of God and as a nation.
In America the destiny of God has again been delayed by another generation that has been overtaken with self and religion. The Holy Spirit is again seeking to bring forth a new generation of young and old, rich and poor, male and female, and of every race who will regain the passion of the destiny of the kingdom of God from heaven coming forth in our nation and across the world. The shaking and crumbling of life and religion as we have known them are just part of the great change God is bringing through Jesus in His maturing sons by the Holy Spirit. Yet once more God is reaching for a people of passion who will receive the kingdom of God.
Heb 12:27-13:1: Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire. Let brotherly love continue.
Pursue Love, It Never Fails,
Previously posted in 2005
First written in the mid 1990s