INCREASING KINGDOM AWARENESS: OUR UPWARD CALL

by Matt King

 

Isaiah 9:7 “Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of Lord of hosts will perform this.”

Philippians 3:14 “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

 

As we draw nearer to the end of this age we can expect an increase of awareness of His Kingdom. For over 2,000 years the Kingdom has been at hand. It is not that His Kingdom is increasing, but that our awareness of His Kingdom is increasing. He is causing the increase because He is a God of increase. As sons and daughters of the Kingdom, our continual call is upward. The directive “come up here” in Revelation 4 was not just a command to our dear brother John, but seems to be the recurrent appeal of heaven for all the saints of God. The direction of Gods intent for our lives is always above what we have known, experienced, and gone before. Yet the upward call, that is, a Kingdom awareness or perspective, may not be “up” in any physical sense. Up in the realm of the Spirit implies an awareness or discernment of something unseen yet authentic; something in heaven not yet manifested in the earth.

A dictionary description of the word “up” yields in part, with greater intensity, in or into a better or more advanced state; into evidence, prominence, or prevalence, and into operation or practical form; into possession or custody.
 

Could it be that a current generation of disciples of Christ are experiencing a revealing from heaven of something coming into evidence, prominence or prevalence? Something, which is coming into operation in a practical form? Something the Scriptures describe as the Kingdom of God?

Generations of believers have been taught the doctrines, the practices, the purpose of the church while the message and concepts of the Kingdom of God have largely been ignored or misunderstood. In fact, most Bible colleges and seminaries train their students in the Christian faith without ever taking a course in Kingdom studies. As a result, I believe a major reason why the Church today is living under the curse of immaturity is because we have many so-called disciples of Jesus propagating the Christian religion rather than the message and concepts of the Kingdom of God. The word “Kingdom” has been both misunderstood and misapplied. It is often relegated to a future millennium or to heaven. However, the claim of the Kingdom that Jesus is presenting is meant to be attainable, tangible, and to work in the immediate circumstances of all who respond to it and appropriate it. The Church cannot appropriate what it postpones as a future hope!

 

For the most part, there is no prevailing apostolic vision for the Church today due to the mischief of eschatology. The focus of many Christians, along with their sense of destiny, has been greatly diverted by eschatology toward events in the future. Because of this many have missed and are yet missing the full potential of God’s provision for them today.  As believers, most of us at one time or another have been taught one or more of the many views of eschatology and a worldview other than the Kingdom of God. The antichrist spirit working through religion has veiled an authentic awareness of the Kingdom with its implications from the Church too long.  However, the light of the gospel of the Kingdom that Jesus preached is once again shining through. Those who have pure hearts are being given ears to hear and eyes to see the Father’s agenda for His people and the world. God’s Kingdom ways will be revealed only to the purified bride. The kingdom of God begins with the purification of the motives of our heart. Only a pure heart can hear the secrets of God’s kingdom. This means a heart free from all other allegiances, a heart healed from all of the enemy’s wounds—a heart that not only intends to serve God but also has the freedom to actually do it. It is a heart that has no needs or desires apart from God. That’s why Jesus saves the lost, heals the brokenhearted, and proclaims liberty to the captives and the opening of the prison to those who are bound. God will give us ears to hear His kingdom truth to the level that we are purified.

There is no more for Jesus to do apart from fully abiding in and working through His sons and daughters to establish His Kingdom over the kingdoms of this world. He does NOT need to return bodily to defeat the enemy and to liberate His people nor the kingdoms of this world from the bondage of the enemy. According to the Scriptures this is the assignment of the sons of God and the function of salt and light—we are that salt and light.

For centuries, Christianity has received a heavy dose of the gospel of salvation or rebirth through our Savior, but Father is making it clear that He desires far more than eternal destiny in some distant future. Many are stuck in the idea of waiting on Jesus and Heaven, while Jesus and Heaven are waiting on us. It’s the gospel of the Kingdom not salvation that makes the Devil nervous, because its no longer about what’s going to happen when Jesus returns, rather it’s “Jesus, by His Spirit, came at Pentecost and I’m manifesting!” Too many Christians are more occupied with the return of Jesus than they are with occupying until He comes. The truth of the matter is, Heaven is His throne and the earth is His footstool. Jesus was told that He must sit at the right hand of the Father until His enemies were made a footstool, which means Jesus cannot return until He accomplishes the dominion of nations.

Remember, Heaven was never the goal of the Father! In Genesis chapter 2 when the Father put man in the Garden and commissioned him to have dominion over the earth and subdue it, at what point in time was the Father planning on taking man to heaven? Never! Man was to live heaven on the earth! The Father’s plan through creation and the new birth in Christ has always been to know Him intimately as Father, while being His light and love to the world!

As we continue our upward call to increase in Kingdom awareness, we will access a new place of authority with Lord and start cooperating with His Kingdom agenda.  The grace to see the Kingdom, and enter the Kingdom, will soon become a grace to establish the Kingdom!

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