Your kingdom come.
Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
The Scriptures promise a golden era of human history; an era when the kingdom comes to earth and all men will live in peace and justice.
Despite the marring of sin, man (gender neutral), as God’s image bearer, has longed for this era from time immemorial. This was captured poignantly in our time by Martin Luther King’s headliner, “I have dreamed a dream … !”
The birth of a dream
No matter what our political posture, the civil rights, peace, student, and hippie movements of the 1960’s was a watershed. These signalled a shift for this generation—the birth of a dream. For many though, this dream either died in a drug-hazed hippie nirvana of escapism, or faltered in the failed Marxist revolution. And both, apart from some underground remnants, and the outbreak of the Jesus Revolution, were ultimately overrun by the demands of success and survival in the materialist Western world.
Nevertheless, it is significant that this decade of revolution converged with the now well-documented worldwide Charismatic Renewal. As one who zealously dreamed the dream of the late 1960’s, pursuing the student and hippie revolutions, I instead found myself in 1970 – the year the Beatles disbanded, and the flower of the hippie dream was already shrivelling, lost in the desert of drug addiction – in a supernatural encounter with the creator of the universe!
The God of history at work
We may well ask, “What was this all about?” The God of history was at work. Through these deep cultural shifts the materialistic foundations of the West were being upturned. Spiritually impotent values and social mores were being changed. Institutionalised religion had lost its credence and a deep cry for reality went up from the youth of a new generation.
God’s prophetic purpose in the nations had not changed. Jeremiah was appointed over the nations to uproot, tear down, destroy, and overthrow prior to building and planting (Jer 1:1:10).
We are living in a hinge of history. A point in time on which swings an open door to a new epoch of human history. I would suggest the period from the 1950’s through to 2025 represents this hinge—a period of both convergence and transition; an era of deep societal shifts converging under the impetus of the creator-God’s sovereign power with the heart-cry of a generation for reality. An era, therefore, also of transition as the ground is cleared for building and planting, as the way is prepared for the coming of the kingdom of God.
The destruction of every idol
This by necessity demands the uprooting and throwing down, the destruction of every idol, false belief, and value that has supplanted the living God in the affections of men.
We have seen the supremacy of the Church in the Medieval Era, and of Man in the Modern Era (1500- 1950). Nevertheless, we will finally see the supremacy of the creator-God in the coming age, what many are now calling the Post-Modern Era (1950-?). The idol of the Church has already fallen. While this is a new thought to the Church sub-culture ghetto-dwellers it is not to the larger culture. Those of us in the church are playing a game of catch up—we are finally facing a long overdue reality-check. God inexorably moves on in the flow of history with all things ultimately converging in one head, Christ (Eph 1:10). He is currently shaking everything that can be shaken, so that only the unshakeable will remain—the reign of God in Christ (Heb 12:25-29). And he is not waiting for our permission!
Every residual influence of false gods – of the Church (Christendom) and of Man (Humanism) – is coming under the judgement of God.
A forerunner generation, under the Elijah anointing, is crying out in the wilderness of the Western church, `Prepare the way of the Lord!’ In the larger society, the divinely orchestrated shifts of history – in synergy with this new prophetic company – will bring down the false gods of secular and religious Man, blazing the trail for the coming glory of God in a world-transforming spiritual awakening. And this will be of truly cosmic proportions: as promised, Christ, “after the suffering of his soul will see the light of life and be satisfied”—he will “justify the many” and “divide the booty with the strong” (Isa 53:11-12).
Issues of eschatology
This is not the time or the place to engage in a lengthy discourse on the issues of eschatology (end things). And I certainly appreciate there are many and varied views, and all dearly held. Even so, I would suggest, at the risk of being perceived as somewhat simplistic, that there is an underlying principle in this hotly debated area that will always bring us back to true north. It is this: the spirit of prophecy is the testimony of Jesus (Rev 19:10).
In other words, our interpretation of the prophets, as they relate to end things, must be informed by our doctrine of Christ and his work: our eschatology must be governed by our Christology.
This means that if our doctrine of Christ tells us that he conquered death and Satan in real-time history (i.e. in the reign of Caesar Augustus) how can our eschatology then contradict this by claiming that Christ and his church will be ultimately defeated by the Antichrist, also in real-time history?
This is why, right now, there is an increase of the prophetic spirit and of the revelation of Christ as the fullness of God in the church. To the degree we see him in his fullness to that degree we will also see him filling the earth, as victorious in a time-space world (Eph 1:22-23).
God in Christ
The intersection of the ages occurred in the first advent—the coming of God in the person of Christ. The incarnation of Christ, his suffering, death, resurrection, and ascension is the divide of history. At this point sin and death were conquered. Through the `seed of the woman’, the awesome miracle of God becoming man, the serpent’s head was crushed (Gen 3:15). Satan was utterly destroyed, and man completely set free.
And now, through the obedience of faith all those who believe appropriate this reality. The kingdom has come definitively, is coming progressively, and will come consumatively. Christ’s advent in history, particularly his ascension as the God-man to the right hand of the Father, has triggered a process of kingdom advance. A river is now flowing from the throne through the earth, bringing healing to the nations (Rev 22:1-3). Through the outpouring of the Spirit the miraculous work of conversion and regeneration is increasingly under way, culminating ultimately in the glorious return of Christ for a bride without spot or blemish, and for a world conquered by righteousness, peace, and joy (Rom 14:17; Mtt 13:33; 1 Cor 15:24-26; Eph 5:27; Rev 11:15).
Nations & the kingdom-corporate Christ
All that Christ suffered for will be accomplished, he will see it and be satisfied. The nations will flow to the “mountain of the Lord’s house”, to the kingdom-corporate Christ (Isa 2:2; 53:11-12; Eph 2:11-18). He will receive them as his inheritance (Ps 2). Through unparalleled outpourings of the Spirit the earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord. The fullness of the gentiles will come and all Israel will be saved (Rom 11:11-26). Christ, through his body,
will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.
Isa 2:3-4; 1 Cor 6:1-3
How will this be?
The world will be transformed. But how will this be? Through the removal of every non-kingdom thing; through every false god – every idolatrous motivation, value, and system – in the church first and then in the world, being uprooted, overthrown and destroyed (Heb 12:18-28; 1 Pet 4:17).
And it begins in us! Individual by individual, from one people group to another, nation by nation, the God of history is removing all things that offend, bringing all things in heaven and on earth together into one head, Christ (Mtt 3:11-12; 13:36-43; Eph 1:10).
Now is the time to have done with lesser things—for personal revival and for cultural revolution!
It is time to dream the dream again, praying, “Father, let your kingdom come, let your will be done in this piece of earth (me) as it is in heaven”.
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