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Kingdom Vision Unto Mission

Kingdom Vision Unto Mission

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This teaching was taught at Bethany College of Missions during a class. It focuses on how our understanding of the Kingdom and God’s mission affects our message and mission in everyday life.

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Kingdom Vision Unto Mission

MISSION OF GOD: BIG PICTURE

MISSION OF GOD: BIG PICTURE

    1. Proper Perspective
    2. We want to see life through the proper perspective and story line of God.  In order to have that proper perspective, we must know where it is that God is aiming when it comes to the scope of humanity and keep His vision always before us.

Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.”  Rev. 11:15

“and I will bring them to dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God (in light of the next age after Christ’s coming), in faithfulness and in righteousness.”  (referring to Israel)  Zech. 8:8

18“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”  Matt. 28:18-20  (also in light of after Christ’s return for full fulfillment)

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.  Rev. 21:3

    1. Desired Outcome 
      1. The mission of God is to dwell w/righteous humanity (resurrected believers), in His fullness, once again (like in the beginning), on the earth.  Following Christ’s first coming, the Scripture is filled with language of this reality.  They wanted to “walk worthy” of God’s invitation (calling) to eternity w/Him, “endure to the end”, and keep the “blessed hope” in sight. (Eph. 1:16-23; Matt. 24:13; Titus 2:13)

7But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him (upon His return), not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith– 10that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead (overcome death by resurrected body “then”, through dieing to self “now”). 12Not that I have already obtained this (resurrected body) or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own (endure to the end w/my heart set on “the goal for the prize of the upward call”/invitation to the wedding supper of the Lamb), because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus20But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.  Phil. 3:7-14,20-21

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.  Rom. 6:5 

      1. Jesus has conquered death (first born from the dead-Col. 1:18), and we must allow Him to lead us to the outcome that He has come to Himself.
        1. Our resurrection to eternity w/Christ depends purely on the state of our heart.  Everything flows from that reality, and if we forget that, we have the potential of losing in the end.
        2. The reality that Christ had while on the earth during His first coming, was to overcome death fully (body, soul and spirit), and thus lead the rest of humanity to that reality in order to bring us full circle upon His Second Coming; to spend all of eternity w/Him as was in the beginning.
      2. When you know the desired outcome, then all you do in the here and now (missions) will begin to align with that mission, and flow from it at all levels.
        1. So, the desired outcome for us as humanity is to receive our resurrected bodies unto life, when Christ returns as King of the nations, thus overcoming death as Jesus did and dwelling w/Him forever and ever on earth.

MOTIVATING FORCE OF BELIEVERS

THE MOTIVATING FORCE OF BELIEVERS

    1. Overcoming Death (Resurrection)

And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power.  1 Cor. 6:14

      1. The original intent of God in creating the earth and man was perpetual well-being (i.e. “good”) in the context of existential perfection (i.e. no death).
      2. This perfection was disrupted by sin, and death entered, separating body from spirit and losing the glue that holds the two together, the soul.  God always intended for the 3 to stay together and walk w/Him in His fullness, but sin and death split apart the fullness of what God had intended in man.  From that point, God was on a mission to bring them all back together in wholeness, so that He could dwell w/man the way He originally intended.

16And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”  Gen. 2:16-17

      1. Thus, death is the central problem of existence and the ultimate enemy to be destroyed.  Just as an event of sin brought death into the world, so will an event promised by God drive death out of the world.
        1. Our reality must be rooted deeper in the things above, than in the death (deterioration of creation, humanity, etc.) that consumes this world.

And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head (totally fulfilled at the return of Christ), and you will strike his heel.  Gen. 3:15

      1. This “crushing” event which purges death from the earth is the central hope of mankind.  It is not even the “crushing” event that is really the hope, but rather it is what the crushing event produces—the reversal of death—that is the deepest longing of every human heart.  As death is the central problem of existence, so is its removal the central hope (Rev. 21:3-4).
        1. Man was not meant or created to die! They were created to live forever—to perpetually regenerate.  Death is not natural, normal or ok. Man was not made to decay, have glasses, hurting back, etc. This potential is even becoming increasingly recognized in the scientific community.
        2. Evolution has seeped subtly into and throughout all of our society, exalting man as God, and placing death at the center. Why? Because the underlying theme and goal of evolution is to overcome death on their own and have humans save humans.
          1. Man has been seeking to overcome death w/his own knowledge (puffed up) through transhumanism, thus not needing God.

Part of a larger field called “technological immorality,” current scientific thinking about physical immortality involves three primary areas of study: human cloning, cryonics and nanotechnology.  The purest form is found in the area of nanotechnology, which believes that in the years to come microscopic “nanorobots” will be injected into the human body to perpetually repair it—“we may be able to create tiny medical nanorobots that could go through our bloodstreams, find dangerous things like cancer cells and bacteria, and destroy them… gene-therapies and nanotechnology will eventually make the human body effectively self-sustainable and capable of living indefinitely, short of severe trauma.” (Robert Freitas, quoted in Wikipedia Online Encyclopedia, “Immortality”)

When nanotechnology overlaps with life-extension, you enter into the field of “transhumanism,” which is classically defined as “a class of philosophies that seek to guide us towards a posthuman condition. Transhumanism shares many elements of humanism, including a respect for reason and science, a commitment to progress, and a valuing of human (or transhuman) existence in this life… Transhumanism differs from humanism in recognizing and anticipating the radical alterations in the nature and possibilities of our lives resulting from various sciences and technologies.” [Max More (founder of the Extropy Institute), as quoted in Wikipedia Online Encyclopedia, “Transhumanism”]

A 2002 report, Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance, commissioned by the National Science Foundation and US Department of Commerce, laid the groundwork for the convergence of nano-, bio-, info- and cogno-technologies (NBIC) and their possible use in the area of enhanced human performance and health.  Some theorists have pushed this line of reason to its logical end: “technological singularity” (artificial intelligence reaching equivalence to human intelligence). Major organizations involved include the World Transhumanist Association (www.transhumanism.org), Extropy Institute (www.extropy.org), and Immortality Institute (www.imminst.org).

Julian Huxley, grandson of Thomas Huxley (“Darwin’s Bulldog”) and founder of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), was the first to actually use the word “transhumanism.”  A prominent pre-WWII eugenicist, Huxley became an ardent humanist in the aftermath of WWII, presiding over the founding Congress of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) in 1952.  Thus, there are many similarities between Nietzsche’s Übermensch (super-man) vs. Nazi Germany’s Üntermensch (sub-human) and the proposed “transhumanity” [for example see Robert C. W. Ettinger, Man into Superman: the startling potential of human evolution—and how to be part of it (St. Martin’s, 1979)].

          1. Progressive vs Digressing w/humanity

No longer will there be any curse (i.e. death). The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him.  Rev. 22:3

3For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures…13But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain17And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. 20But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.    21For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead…              24Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26The last enemy to be destroyed is death30Why are we in danger every hour? 31I protest, brothers, by my pride in you, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die every day! 32What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” 33Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” 34Wake up from your drunken stupor (by getting a tangible reality of the resurrection), as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame… 54When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 55“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 56The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.   58THEREFORE, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.  1 Cor. 15:3-4,13-14,17-21,24-26,30-34, 54-58

      1. It is out of the revelation of overcoming death through the resurrection, that we become “steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.”
        1. This is what I am beginning to see ministry founded on within the Word over and over again, as I read it.
        2. People’s war against sin is in direct proportion to their belief in the reversal of death (i.e. the resurrection of the dead).
      2. If Christ’s body wouldn’t have been resurrected, then death would have won.  In the beginning, God designed man to have a body, soul and spirit, and if the body is not redeemed (which it will be for believers and the wicked), then death wins (as well as satan) (2 Timothy 1:9-12).
      3. We all admit to Christ being raised from the dead, but do we truly believe that the resurrected (body) man of Jesus now sits at the right hand of the Father and that we are to still set our eyes on Him there in the reality of God’s throne room?
      4. If Christ didn’t resurrect, then the cross missed it’s mark.  Resurrection must become as essential and deeply rooted as the cross, in the framework of every believer following salvation (2 Cor. 5:1-11*).
        1. It’s setting our eyes on the first born from the dead (Jesus w/resurrected body) in the heavens, where faith is stirred for deposits of the resurrection (signs & wonders) that we will have on that Day.  God is adamantly opposed to death and aims to bring man back to the beginning (Pre-fall) where death was not a reality.  From the fall of man in the beginning, He has had His sights set on this.  Jesus’ resurrection was the sealing of that restoration for all humanity who choose(s) Him.

“In early Christianity resurrection moved from the circumference to the center.  You can’t imagine Paul’s thought without it.  You shouldn’t imagine John’s thought without it, though some have tried…It is one of the key beliefs that infuriated the pagans in Lyons in A.D. 177 and drove them to butcher several Christians…Belief in the bodily resurrection was one of the two central things that the pagan doctor Glen noted about the Christians (the other being their remarkable sexual restraint).  Take away the stories of Jesus’s birth, and you lose only two chapters of Matthew and two of Luke.  Take away the resurrection, and you lose the entire New Testament and most of the second-century fathers as well.” N.T. Wright, Surprised By Hope Pg. 42-43

…Christ Jesus is the one who died–more than that, who was raised–who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.  Rom. 8:34

KEEPING HIM BEFORE US

KEEPING HIS MISSION BEFORE US BY KEEPING HIM BEFORE US: HEAVENLY REALITY 

    1. Looking Up
      1. His Kingdom will one day fully be realized on earth, as it is in heaven (Matt. 6:10).  He has a throne room that exists in the heavens right now and is a real reality described in the Word of God for us to tangibly grasp and pray around.
        1. If we keep Him before us, then His mission will remain before us and our lives will be shaped around it.  Why?  Because we realize that the things above will become the things of this earth, and they serve as a reminder to what is coming (our hope of glory).
          1. Thus, we are compelled to live toward that Kingdom, displaying it, and it comes near to us and the reality of it lives in us. (Matt. 3:1,2; Luke 10:8,9; Matt. 4:17)
          2. It no longer is ethereal (up there somewhere floating and distanced from a real reality) and untouchable.  The more we sit in the place of prayer, “seek first His Kingdom,” and meditate on His Word, the more we will come to life in our inner man and do the works of the Kingdom and preach the gospel of His Kingdom!
            1. It causes trembling, the fear of God, humility, compelling and doing out of a place that is clearly marked by the unseen realm and w/our hearts intact.

1If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.  Col. 3:1-4

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you.  Matt. 6:33  

16So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. 17For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient (come and go), but the things that are unseen are eternal.  2 Cor. 4:16-18

    1. Father In Heaven

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name…  Matt. 6:9

      1. Before we can pray for His Kingdom to come and for His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven, we first must shift our eyes to the Father who is in heaven.  If we don’t see the Kingdom and His will (which is revealed in just looking at His established government in the heavens), then how can we pray that it would come and then declare it?
      2. Jesus took his disciples right to the throne of God in teaching them how to pray.
        1. Throne Room described in Ezekiel 1, Daniel 7, Revelation 4 and elsewhere.
        2. Perspective is everything.  I believe Jesus was telling his disciples that they needed to become familiar with the beauty of God’s throne and with the One who sits on the throne (1 John 2:15-17;25).

3Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, 4rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself.  John 13:3-4  (lived the practical out of heavenly reality)

When Jesus had spoken these words, He lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son that the Son may glorify You…”  John 16:1

These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earthHeb. 11:13

They endured because they saw Him who is invisible.  Heb. 11:27

1let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2looking to Jesus…who FOR the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame.  Heb. 12:1-2

      1. I believe one of the biggest obstacles hindering the Church from praying is a lack of true revelation concerning the nature of God.
      2. There is a lack of the knowledge of God, and not understanding His majesty and holiness.  The high and lofty exaltation of God in our hearts and minds needs to be restored.

And this is eternal life, that they may KNOW You (the Father), the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.  John 17:3

        1. Where we see who He is and fall at His feet.  Like Isaiah, where we say “Woe is me! I am lost…” in seeing His true nature.  Or like Daniel who grew faint at His sight.
      1. When Jesus gave us the Lord’s Prayer, His goal wasn’t to give us something to memorize easily as a religious prayer.  But He wanted to root our prayer lives in the clear and increasing revelation of the One who sits on the throne and of our relationship to Him.
      2. Rev. 4 describes the seat of government in heaven, and chapter 5 you see where authority rests…in Jesus.  But we must understand Rev. 4 in order to feel the full weight of Rev. 5.

1After these things, I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven.  And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here and I will show you things which must take place after this.2Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne.  Rev. 4:1-2

      1. I believe the cry in this verse of “Come up here…” is, in a sense, a cry that God gives to His Church to get vision of the heavenly realm, so that we might be gripped with eternity’s values and realities in order to prepare for Second Coming.
      2. The result of being brought into the right understanding of God is faith.  Faith is seeing, knowing, and understanding the realities of Heaven.  Faith gives us boldness and confidence to live in the unseen, and to call “those things which do not exist as though they did” (Rom. 4:17)
      3. Jesus wanted to root people in this reality before He told them to ask for anything.  Before He said “Let your Kingdom come”, he has a call to heavenly reality.  We are called to “ask” (in prayer), but we must be seeking to know Him and His reality, in order to set that asking in it’s proper place.  Knowing the One we are asking is more important than the asking itself.
        1. I am becoming more convinced as I study that the prophetic cry of the hour is for the church to set their lives on heaven.  Heaven is the least spoken on reality in the Church and yet I am finding that it was the driving force of the early apostles.
    1. Pilgrims Passing Through

Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, whose heart is set on pilgrimagePs. 84:5

I am a stranger in the earth; do not hide Your commandments from me.  Ps. 119:19

Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.  1 Pet. 2:11

20Our citizenship is in heaven, from which we eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able to subdue all things to Himself.  Phil. 3:20-21

      1. Successful business leaders say that the one of the most powerful ways to become successful is to journey decades into the future to find out where they want to be, and they work their way back from that starting point.  It’s when believers understand where they have come from and where they are going, that they are empowered to live life on this earth truly as strangers and pilgrims.

“Jonathan Edwards, the great Puritan preacher, often spoke of Heaven. He said, ‘It becomes us to spend this life only as a journey toward heaven . . . to which we should subordinate all other concerns of life. Why should we labor for or set our hearts on anything else, but that which is our proper end and true happiness?’… In his early twenties, Edwards composed a set of life resolutions. One read, ‘Resolved, to endeavor to obtain for myself as much happiness, in the other world, as I possibly can.’”

Heaven by Randy Alcorn

        1. Four of the most critical chapters in the Bible are the first two and the last two.
      1. It’s as we are filled with a vision of heaven now, that we begin to long for that city, that Kingdom to come to the earth.

RESULT OF KINGDOM REALITY

RESULT OF KINGDOM REALITY

And this gospel of the kingdom (overcoming death/resurrection, ruling King and Kingdom) will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony (witness) to all nations, and then the end will come.”  Matt. 24:14

 

    1. Being A Witness: Proclaim Gospel Of That Kingdom

…for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.  Acts 4:20

10All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord , and all your saints shall bless you! 11They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom and tell of your power, to make known to the children of man your mighty deeds, and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.  Ps. 145:10-11

Yet when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, for I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! 1 Cor. 9:16

      1. When you see the Kingdom above, then everything flows out of that reality…increased faith (signs and wonders), boldness of message (preaching, evangelizing), etc (Romans 15:18-20; 1 Cor 1:5-8).
        1. You speak of what you have seen and heard from your citizenship in the heavens, and then you naturally become a witness or testimony (ei. When you love your home state, you talk about it and promote it).  It is orchestrated by the revelation of the King’s heart, agenda, and reality of His kingdom that is coming to earth, through the place of prayer, that you can then testify of it.
        2. After being a citizen of this dark world for years, it takes re-orientating ourselves in order to lock into citizenship of God’s Kingdom.
          1. Basically, that is why I spend hours in prayer.  I am still at the beginnings of this revelation in my own heart, but realizing the value of taking a whole season(s) of life in order to have the gospel of His kingdom (in power and as reality) engrained on my heart.  That is why it is essential to pray, pray and do more prayer, until He sends you w/the message inscribed on Your heart.
          2. I have been realizing how I did a lot of “ministry” in my past through much fleshly striving in my intellect and study, but an incredibly minimized reality of His kingdom (really it was ethereal).  I don’t look down and linger on what I did or didn’t do, but have been asking myself constantly, “What is Your mission God?”  Which is defining what I do now and validates my prayer life more than ever.
    1. Being A Witness: Displaying That Kingdom (Luke 10:9)
      1. Looking to the things above, empowers faith to display His Kingdom (signs & wonders) and testify through those signs and wonders of the resurrection (the coming reversal of death) (Acts 2:42-47; 4:8-22, 29-31; 5:12-16; 19:8-18; 2 Cor 12:12).

15And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation… 20Then the disciples went out and preached (the gospel of the King and His Kingdom) everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.  Mark 16:15-20

3…how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. 4God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will. 5It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking… 8In putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to him (implying a future “seeing” of universal subjection, of which the signs, wonders and miracles testify)Hebrews 2:3-8

 “True religion is this, that which brings eternity upon time.” A.W. Tozer

    1. At this point, all I know to say is, meditate on the King and His Kingdom above, and it will begin to become tangible in ways that provoke the human heart to live at the level by which the Word calls for.
      1. Many things are compelled within the human heart based on revelation in the inner man, rather than having to strive in the flesh in a way that causes one to be weary.
        1. “His yoke is easy and burden is light” truly is coming in perspective for me, in light of a grasping of the tangibility of His Kingdom above.
Richee Richee (7 Posts)

Richee serves as one of the administrators to the Daniel Training Network. He, his wife Grace, and their four children currently live in Bloomington, MN. Richee has a passion to see those in the Church gain a deeper understanding of the gospel.


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