Observe! Be Astonished!

Much has been written and taught concerning the Kingdom of God. There are even groups who pride themselves in teaching “Kingdom theology.” But one thing is always overlooked: The kingdom of God does not come with signs to be observed (Luke 17:20). The kingdom of God comes within us as an inner work. The kingdom of God is the transformation that takes place in us as Christ’s nature displaces Adam. Jesus said that unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God. We are born again into successive levels of God’s kingdom. Ultimately, the completed work that God will accomplish in His sons will no more resemble what has passed for Christianity than what was opened up on Pentecost resembled Judaism. 

Acts 13:41
“BEHOLD, YOU SCOFFERS, AND MARVEL, AND PERISH; FOR I AM ACCOMPLISHING A WORK IN YOUR DAYS, A WORK WHICH YOU WILL NEVER BELIEVE, THOUGH SOMEONE SHOULD DESCRIBE IT TO YOU.’”

This passage was pulled from the book of Habakkuk by Paul in his discourse with the Jews. He was pointing out to them that God had fulfilled His promise that first came to Abraham. Acts 13:14-41 is an excellent prophetic portrayal of how God first gave the promise and then fulfilled it. What’s important to recognize is that the fulfillment of the promise looked nothing like what the Jews expected. That’s why they crucified Jesus.

With all their orthodoxy and adherence to the Scriptures, the Jews still missed what God was accomplishing in their midst. This is why Paul quoted to them the passage from Habakkuk. Let’s read it again from the actual book of Habakkuk.

“Look among the nations! Observe! Be astonished! Wonder! Because I am doing something in your days— You would not believe if you were told.”

As far removed as Christianity was from Judaism, so is the Kingdom of God from what we have called the church age. Several times in the Gospels Jesus made such statements as, “It was said of old, but I say to you…” He was showing the contrast between what was in the past and what was currently in their midst. It was very difficult for the Jews to grasp what Jesus was trying to teach them. They persisted in relating to everything He said from the perspective of the Old Covenant. But Christ came forth representing a New Covenant. Heb. 8:13 states: “When He said, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.” The old covenant was made obsolete by the new covenant in Christ’s blood.

God has been speaking for many years now that as the fullness of His kingdom comes forth in our generation, it will be as different and difficult to enter as that first generation of Christianity had in separating itself from the Old Covenant of Judaism. We must not suppose that this new day of His kingdom is but an extension of Christianity as we have known it. If we persist in holding onto traditional Christianity, yet teach a new day of His kingdom, we will be the most disillusioned of all people. Isa. 43:18-19 states:

18  “Do not call to mind the former things, Or ponder things of the past.
19  “Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert.

Many promises that God has given for this current generation have been held in abeyance because we have been slow to understand that all things must be made new. We have tried to walk in promises without the necessary transformation first taking place within us. In order to walk in the new day of His kingdom, everything we have known and every way we have related to the Lord must die. What God has been to us in former days will not sustain us in the higher realm of sonship. We must be freed from all constraints. Hidden in the Adamic nature is an innate religiosity. It exists in everyone, even unbelievers. It’s a realm devoid of true reality. For example, superstition springs from this innate religiosity. Believers and unbelievers alike adhere to habits and rituals that carry no lasting reality. We don’t realize how leavened Christianity is with this root of religiosity. We don’t recognize it. It’s very imperceptible. Much teaching has come forth emphasizing the need not to be religious. The obvious trappings of religion have been recognized. But we are speaking of something buried deep in our Adamic nature. It’s only as God brings to an end all that we have held true and sacred can we begin to see the kingdom of God as He wants to manifest it now.

John 3:3
Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

The term “born again” has been tossed around so much. It is used constantly in fundamentalist Christianity. It has been used so much its true meaning has been lost. What does it mean to be born again? It means a new life, not an extension of the old one. Being born again is a work God accomplishes in His sons. The expulsion of the religiosity within us cannot be overstated. We want to see the kingdom of God with clear vision. We want a relationship with the Lord such as Adam had before the Fall. Above all, we want to walk in the promises of God for this generation. This will be accomplished in us as we understand the devastation God must put us through to make it a reality. Back in the passages we read from Isaiah it said God would make a roadway in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Life always springs from the death wrought in the wilderness and desert. The only way the old things pass away is through death. The new will always spring forth with life and vitality as a result.

 

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