Posted: 10/08/2008 at 1:05pm
Cleansing, Preparation for Kingdom
By Ron McGatlin
Except our righteousness exceeds that of the passing ministry mixtures of both the old lukewarm church and much of the more current models of Charismatic, Prophetic, and Apostolic ministries we will not successfully enter the kingdom of God / kingdom of heaven age.
Jesus made it clear to His disciples that they could not enter the kingdom of God with the level of righteousness of the prevailing ministry leadership in the first century. The Pharisees and their scribes were extreme in their sincerity of worship, rituals and the study of the written word (Old Testament). Yet, Jesus saw their lack of righteousness in the hidden motives driving much of their religious actions. They were a mixture of God-seeking and self-seeking.
Mat 5:20: "For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Mat 23:13: "But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.”
The major shift that we are facing today began in the first century. Jesus brought a whole new order. The kingdom of God had come from heaven to earth in Jesus. He began teaching the far greater righteousness of the kingdom of heaven in Matthew 5 and 6.
The kingdom of God was and is at hand for everyone including the religious leaders of that day. It seems strange that non-religious sinners would obtain the level of righteousness to enter the kingdom before the Pharisees. Apparently the Pharisees’ religion had blinded them to their lack of righteousness. They must have thought that because they were doing their religious things they were righteous enough and did not need to look to anything or anyone else for more. However, the tax collectors and harlots knew they were in need of more righteousness and were more willing to receive the new order.
Mat 21:31: "Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you.”
We are yet seeking to collectively enter into and experience the kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven. After many centuries, restoration of the greater revealed light of the kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven has come forth. And as it was in the first century, the fresh light and anointing has become tainted by men with the same old mixture of self-seeking and God-seeking. The old pattern of religious mixture is again trying to prevent those who are entering the kingdom lifestyle from going in. Most of us seeking to fully enter have been sadly disappointed as many leaders have brought real light and fresh anointing but with mixture hidden beneath the surface. Mega churches and ministries have been built and their leaders made wealthy by merchandising the precious kingdom light and anointing from God.
God has allowed the past mixtures to be profitable in bringing some light. Currently we can also prosper from seeing the negative example of the uncovered desperate need for cleansing. One after another the mixture of good and evil in leaders and groups has been exposed in recent years. Increasingly the examples have become more frequent and more visible. One recent example became a witness to the whole world through daily broadcast to over 200 nations on God TV. This mixture was blatant and “in your face” to everyone. It was a mixture of extreme supernatural anointing and extreme corruption. Some saw the true anointing from God that flowed and did not see the evil mixture in the wineskin. Others saw the blatant evil and could not see the real anointing of God in the supernatural new wine that flowed. As a result many became turned off to anything supernatural. However, afterwards some have had their eyes opened to see both the supernatural anointing of God and the reality of the hideous mixture. This same type of mixture has been in and yet remains to some degree in many current ministries.
The blatant exposure of mixture in old forms of religion and the more recent Charismatic, Prophetic and Apostolic expressions is calling for massive cleansing.
The kingdom of God is at hand. The gospel of the kingdom is again being preached on a broad a scale for the first time in almost 2000 years. The cleansing fires and shakings have begun. The cleansing fire spoken of in Malachi is approaching to burn to ashes the evil and the purging laundry soap is cleansing the mixture away from God’s contaminated people and ministries. The way is being prepared for the fuller expression of the kingdom of God. The refining processes have begun. The irresistible kingdom is coming forth in the King Christ Jesus-abiding that is taking place in the maturing sons of God by the Holy Spirit.
Kingdom Revival is not a return to the great revivals of the past two centuries. Kingdom Revival is not a reproduction of the great American repentance revivals, the Welsh revival, the Pentecostal and charismatic renewal or the big tent healing revivals in America. Nor is it a continuation of the revivals of the past several decades such as the Billy Graham salvation crusades or the Argentine spiritual outpourings, Toronto blessing, Pensacola revival or the Smithton Outpouring or any of the many other revivals and outpourings God has brought. It is the culmination of all the past moves and works of God and builds upon them.
All of the great revivals, renewals and outpourings of the past have been a part of leading us toward the culmination of the Kingdom of God reality that began with Jesus preaching and demonstrating the gospel of the kingdom in the first century. The same kingdom outpouring continued in the disciples after Pentecost as the Spirit of Christ continued to preach and demonstrate the same gospel of the kingdom by the Holy Spirit.
Kingdom revival is more than a return to first century power and total devotion. It is, in a sense, a revival of the works of the first century, but it is more. Kingdom revival is the extreme expression of the kingdom of heaven come to earth, causing a worldwide transformation from the kingdoms of man to the eventual reality of the fullness of Christ preeminent as all and in all.
Col 1:18-20: “And He is the head of the body, the church, Who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.”
All authority on earth will be restored to Christ Jesus. Christ Jesus, the preeminent One, must reign on earth until He puts an end to all rule and all authority and all power.
The mission of the people of God is to carry the authority of Christ into the entire world, bringing all nations and all things unto the headship of Christ Jesus.
There must remain no mixture of "self" competing with the life of Christ within the sons of God. The first order of cleansing is the purification of the sons of God. As the Holy Spirit floods us with the abundance of life and light of Christ, self is dissolved. Christ working in and with the purified holy sons of God will bring the authority of Christ to the world. The sons of God speak with all authority as the preeminent Christ, Who has all authority in heaven and earth, lives and speaks by the Holy Spirit through them.
Mat 28:18-20: “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’Amen.”
1 Cor 15:24: “Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power.”
1 Cor 15:25: “For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet.”
Titus 2:15: “Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you.”
The end result is that Christ Jesus, working in and with the sons of God, will deliver the kingdom to God the Father and all the kingdoms of earth will have become the kingdoms of our God.
Mat 24:14: "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”
Rev 12:10-11: “Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, ‘Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.’”
Rev 11:15: “Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!’"
Brothers and sisters, we have entered a most glorious season of extreme worldwide change. We are fully assured of the goal and the reality of the irresistible kingdom of God coming forth on earth. We also are now recognizing that God is not bringing forth His kingdom without the participation of purified holy people of God in whom the King can fully dwell and manifest His great glory. Many are also beginning to see that what we thought was acceptable to God in the past will not get us to how we must live in the kingdom. The religious and worldly ways mixed with our devotion to God will not suffice in the kingdom age.
Now, also be aware that there are apocalyptic, cataclysmic events, according to the book of Revelation, that will occur between now and the final victory as the cleansing fire and shaking from God destroys evil works. Men’s hearts will fail as the grace and love of God prepares the way for the full expression of the preeminent Christ in His glorious kingdom. There shall in no wise anything remain which, exalts itself above the knowledge of God. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad in your trials and persecution for the Spirit of glory rests upon you. God can protect and keep His purified holy people from the fire or through the fire. Amen
For more detail word on the gospel of the kingdom, I heartily recommend the well received Kingdom Growth Guides available for free download.
Edited by Ron McGatlin on 06/02/2010 at 5:37pm