For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a free woman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the free woman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from mount Sinai, which brings forth to bondage, which is Hagar. For this Hagar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answers to [is equivalent to] Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. (Galatians 4:22-26 KJ2000)
He that overcomes will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the churches. (Revelation 3:12-13 KJ2000)
Yes, what IS the Spirit saying to the churches? What kingdom are we of? Where are our hearts? Jesus said that where a man’s treasure is is where his heart will be found. I often have to ask myself what kingdom I am of when I find myself being tempted to put a political comment on my FaceBook page, “Am I of this world system, the old Jerusalem with its murderous religious and political factions or am I of the NEW Jerusalem of the Father which comes down from heaven? ”
Paul wrote, “Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17 RSVA). Many people claim to be Christians, yet do their lives show the reality of being “a new creation”? Have their “old things passed away”? I was saved out of right-winged radicalism with murder and hatred in my heart and overnight I was transformed into a new creation IN Christ when God put his Spirit in me, yet the temptation is there to revert back to that old political mindset and I have to acknowledge where that temptation is coming from and turn away. It take a lot more faith to rest in Christ than it does to think that real change can come about by political means.
I often thought of myself as a revolutionary and wanted to change America back to its constitutional roots. Yet, true salvation IN Christ is the only total revolutionary reality. We are made NEW creatures, with new hearts, given a NEW Spirit and made one with the Father and the Son IN Christ and are made citizens of the NEW Jerusalem which is above. All things are become new and the old are passed away.
There is a story in Luke that shows that the disciples of Jesus still were still of the old kingdoms of men mindset,
And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, will you that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elijah did? But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, You know not what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.
(Luke 9:51-56 KJ2000 – emphasis added)
How many of us are of this spirit today? If somebody gets in the way of your faction and its goals, smoke ’em! How many churches rallied behind George Bush when he waged a holy war against Saddam Husein for the destruction of the Trade Towers in New York? A Christianized church-going sinner is still a sinner, but one who truly has been born of the will of the Father in the Spirit is a NEW creation and is no longer a citizen of this world, but is of the NEW Israel of God and his life will show it. These will find themselves to be exiles and pilgrims in a strange land in short order. They will be accused by the worldly people around them that they are “so heavenly minded that they are no earthly [worldly] good.”
Men were constantly trying to pull Jesus down to the level of this world and get Him to settle disputes between them over an inheritance or over whether to pay taxes to Ceasar and many followed Him in hopes that they could all join up under His leadership and rise up against the Romans and cast them out of Judea. Yet, Jesus made it quite clear that His kingdom was (and is not now) of this world. This whole concept of “onward Christian soldiers, marching off to war…” and “holy war” is of THIS world! Did you know that the first “holy war” was waged by the first “Christian” Roman emperor, Constantine? He fought under the banner of the cross to take the city of Rome by force so that he could be the new Roman Emperor. With his newly acquired power he began to paganized Christianity to make it more compatible for all parties and often made pagan priests the priests of his new religion. He used force to make sure that there was only one religion in the Roman empire and the “holy wars” continued “in Jesus’ name” wherever people would not submit. The Prince of Peace in the minds of the faithful in Constantine’s Christendom was now the Prince of War. Thus was born “the Holy Roman Empire.” As a result of Christianity not willing to live by Jesus words, “love your enemies” Islam rose up in revenge by the power of the sword under Mohammad just three hundred years later and the Christians and the Muslims have been killing one another ever since. Why? Because neither of these factions KNOW what spirit they are of!
You have heard that it has been said, You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them who despitefully use you, and persecute you; That you may be the children of your Father who is in heaven: for he makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. (Matthew 5:43-45 KJ2000)
When the Pharisees in Jerusalem wanted to take Jesus and kill Him because He told them the truth about what was in their hearts, He told them that they were of their father the devil for he was a liar and a murder from the beginning. I pray that we may all be found to be “children of our Father who is in heaven.”
Reblogged this on Ekklesia Koinonia "Fellowship of the Called-out ones".
Your post today reminds me so much of Luke 17:21-22, that tells us that the Kingdom of God is within us. I remember the first time God started to reveal that truth to my heart. It was such a disturbingly and delightful moment! But just like every day starts with sunrise to sunset; from dawn to dusk; from darkness to light, Pappa’s revelation of Him also came gradually. There was fist only that tiny Ray of Light, and the longer I walked with Him, shedding all those religious lies that were so imbedded in my heart, the Light became brighter and brighter. I think we will only see the complete picture of His Kingdom of Light once we are all safely back home with Him! Now we see only dimly as if in a mirror.
Politics is the realm of power and influence. Everything within me wants others to come into Christ, and to get Christ into them. By my own power and influence, words and great effort, I’m unable to get a single soul into Christ. A person born of the Spirit is a miracle of Father’s will. A person enduring through his long life as a disciple and follower of Jesus Christ is a miracle of grace. Who is adequate to begin this Life or endure in this Life, none.
There is always another option, a path of power and influence, politics, revolution, take up arms, “rise up” as is preached. I lived in Romania in 1983 during the reign of the brutal dictator Nicolea Ceauşescu. I live in a former communist country today. It is very tempting to turn our holy eyes and holy mind off of the kingdom of heaven and upon the politics of this world. Very tempting.
I read your post yesterday and have been thinking on this issue. Honestly I was wondering if I should pursue politics in some way, because of MY impotent inability to influence or change things.
Then this morning I prayed and sought my Father’s voice and He answered by giving understanding to the parable of the tares and wheat in the field. I always wondered over the years how the angles will FIRST gather up the tares to burn them, and then, secondly, gather the wheat into His barn. Even though its an earthly agricultural parable, I believe Father showed me that it is a heavenly realm reality. In other words, the enemies sons will be burnt up in the fire of worldly natural pursuits, while the heavenly sons will be gathered into the heavenly Jerusalem, (barn).
In the Holy Spirit, I know we are not of this world,I truly experience this, but with earthly depraved slave masters like the North Korean “leader”, politics is a great temptation indeed……
Russell, Thanks for sharing your struggles and thoughts. That passage about the wheat and the tares is revealing. He first sends the angels to gather the tares and bind them in bundles to be burned, then he gathers His wheat into His garner (no binding for the wheat). I believe that God is letting Satan generate all manner of organizations, cults, and delusions for men to fall into who have not totally given their hearts over to Jesus and the Kingdom rule of God. This is a bundling process. Satan and his minions are fallen angels. He is also sending HIS messengers (meaning of Greek – angelos) to call the wheat unto Himself. Our hearts are being proven and sifted in this hour, my brother. Be sure that you do all to stand IN Christ.
I believe this passage in 2 Thes. 2 is speaking of this very time we are in that the wheat and tares parable is speaking of:
Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day [second coming of Jesus] will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is [fully] revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple [the church], proclaiming himself to be God. Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time… And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth [Jesus Christ} and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie [binding the tares] and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness. (2Thess 2:3-12, NIV)
Thank you Michael. This bundling process is amazing truth, the first I have heard of it, I bear witness to it as truth and light. May we all not be deterred in any way, but, stand firm IN Christ until the very end.
Stay free IN Christ, my brother. In Him and His kingdom is everything we need.
This came by email from Pat Orr:
I am emailing you because I have lost the ability to send a blog. The Feb. 25 post let me type in a reply but did not give me a way to send it. I am grateful that I can still access the post.
As a Christian youth growing up in Mississippi, I was very interested in political speeches, etc. However, at about the age of 14, I became aware that the politicians did not have answers. I knew that the answer is the Kingdom of God. However, I have been down roads that do not qualify for “seeking first the Kingdom of God”. My hope is that every day I will avail myself of the opportunity to seek first the Kingdom of God.
Thank you for sharing your search with its conclusions. I personally pray that I am not standing outside of both Kingdoms. The Laodicean Church was neither hot nor cold.
Thank you for the words that you write. They continue to encourage and convict.
Pat, Thanks for persisting in responding on here with your own experiences and conclusions. I am glad we are not only on the same page, but are being found in the ONE Kingdom that is eternal and not caught-up in a temporal one doomed to destruction.
Love you in the Son,
We also need to remember that the falling state is from Adam and Eve after they sinned, and the resurrection through Jesus Christ overcoming the power of death. Remember that Jesus said before Abraham was I am. Thank you for the post for it is a blessing Jesus Bless you
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