We know we’re to be experiencing the kingdom of God now. One look around reveals that we’re not experiencing it completely yet because there is still darkness around us. We also know there is an appointed time for it to be realized fully on earth—when that Day comes, the Day of the Lord. Then how do we reconcile this near and far view of the kingdom?
Psalm 34:8 is the answer. “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man you trusts in Him!” Tasting is not feasting. The time for feasting is set at the close of the Day, and it’s known as the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.
But we don’t have to wait in every sense of the word. We can taste the kingdom now. We can experience it in part. To what extent? The more we see that the Lord is good and the more we trust in who we are in Him, the more we experience those kingdom realities in our lives now. As we taste, the world gets to see and smell the kingdom. Yes, smell. Check out Ephesians 5:2 and 2 Corinthians 2:16.
This is one of the mountains that needs to be brought low concerning the role of the Church in this time. As we spend time with God to discern His specific will for each of us, He may lead some to go into the cultural institutions to bring His light into the dark places. But we must be careful to remember what our primary commission from Christ is for the Church now: to preach the gospel and change the hearts of individuals. Society and all the earth will be under the kingdom of God at the appointed time, and we have a pivotal part in that. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Let’s consider the “twin peaks perspective” of prophecy again. Let’s look specifically at the “mystery of the kingdom” and how this impacts our daily lives. The near view (historically) was seen through Jesus’ earthly ministry almost 2,000 years ago. Christ declared, “The kingdom of God has come upon you,” as He healed the sick and delivered people from demons.
He taught us in the Model Prayer (aka: The Lord’s Prayer) to declare, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.” In Jesus’ end-time teaching recorded in Luke 21, He explained that the Church in the last days continues this kingdom of God experience on earth (verse 31). The sick are to be healed and the people delivered.
If we’re not careful, though, we’ll see this “near view” as the complete picture. We must not ignore the “future view,” especially since it is not that far off. If you have studied end-times doctrine, you probably know this “far view” as the Millennial Reign of Christ. Millennial is Latin for a thousand, so it refers to the 1,000-year reign of Christ. It is the literal and complete manifestation of the kingdom of God on the earth.
As a Leveler, you may know that this 1,000-year reign is also the Day of the Lord. Stay tuned to this blog for more details about God’s timetable and how we number the Days accordingly. For now, we need to see that there are two distinct mountain peaks that represent two distinct events in God’s timetable. They are separated by the “valley” known as the Church Age—the time from Jesus’ ascension to Heaven and the outpouring of God’s Spirit at Pentecost, until the Day Christ gathers His Body and Bride to Him at the rapture.
If you want to go deeper in who you are in Christ, study Ephesians—it’s the theme of the book. Reading further in Ephesians 5 we get yet another Leveler tip. “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”
This may mean sacrificing some of the things we’ve grown accustomed to doing in order to spend more time with God to get His direction and be changed as we behold Him (2 Corinthians 3:17-18). It may mean laying aside some of our preconceived ideas in order to feed our spirits.
Hear what Paul advises in this chapter. “Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation [self-indulgence]; but be filled [literally, be filled and keep on being filled] with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God.”
This passage is a great checklist that all Levelers need to consult from time to time to keep ourselves on track. It’s not so much a checklist about things to do, but a checklist of how strong our relationship with the Godhead is. If you’re not sure what any of those phrases entails, send us a question on the Contact page.