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9.1 A Fresh Definition

9.1 A Fresh Definition
© 2016 Christ Revealed Bible Institute

A Fresh Definition
We have attempted to define the Kingdom of God a number of times in the preceding eight sessions. It is time for a fresh definition, one that is more complete and that can serve us as we explore the arising of that Kingdom and the casting off of the kingdoms of this world in upcoming sessions.

We begin always with this absolute – the Kingdom of God is God being Himself among and then through a Body of people. The fruit of that Kingdom, then, is the ordering of all creation by Life, by that same Father known, now, by all. This definition is all about God Himself in Person, placing God at the center of everything.

A Contrast
We contrast this placement of Father being the One living in and through all with all previous definitions of the “kingdom” we have known, that is, we humans choosing to obey God every moment, thus making Him “King.” You can see how that definition places us at the center of and as the producers of the Kingdom, with God as a distant tack-on, made “King” only by our human choice.

Outward “obedience” to instruction is always about exalting the human self; the Kingdom of God is always about symmorphy, Father walking as one Person in all ways and through all things together with us. And so we distinguish the Kingdom between its core, God among us, and its flowing out, God ordering all things by Life.

An Ecosystem
The concept of an ecosystem is a great way to understand the Kingdom of God. One advantage of using the concept of an ecosystem is that it is clear that there is no existence of “command and control” in such a system.

Christians do not reckon with how “new age” God really is, and how Paul and John really taught. “God all in all” is stated by Paul at least four times. Command and control, as most Christians envision the Kingdom, means a complete separation between the entity that commands and the entities that are controlled. God is and will be all in all and God works all in all.

Defining an Ecosystem
First, here is a shorter definition of an ecosystem taken from  “An ecosystem is a natural system consisting of all plants, animals and microorganisms (biotic factors) in an area functioning together with all the non-living physical (abiotic) factors of the environment” (Christopherson 1997).

But to get a more workable definition, we go to a U.S. Forest service-linked website for kids.  “An ecosystem is a complex set of relationships among the living resources, habitats, and residents of an area. It includes plants, trees, animals, fish, birds, micro-organisms, water, soil, and people.

“Ecosystems vary greatly in size and the elements that make them up, but each is a functioning unit of nature. Everything that lives in an ecosystem is dependent on the other species and elements that are also part of that ecological community. If one part of an ecosystem is damaged or disappears, it has an impact on everything else.

“When an ecosystem is healthy, scientists say it is sustainable. This means that all the elements live in balance and are capable of reproducing themselves. There is usually biodiversity, meaning that there are a variety of living organisms and species in that environment.”

An ecosystem is a complex set of relationships; the Kingdom of God is a complex set of relationships.

Connections Among
The relationships, the connections among all entities in the Kingdom of God, is a function of the Spirit of God.

When you watched the documentary, The Gathering Swarms, you saw the budgies of Australia moving together as one to drive off an enemy bird AND to each get a drink of water at the same time. There was a definite expression of intelligence in their movement, yet no “command and control.” Each individual bird moved in complete freedom in itself, yet each bird coordinated its movements with the birds closest to it. This perfect freedom on the one hand, merged completely with yielding to one another in honor on the other, is the secret of the Kingdom.

A Complex System
The source of the intelligence among the budgies was out from within each bird. The flock moved together in complex maneuvers as one because each bird honored every other bird in close proximity to itself without ever losing its own freedom and distinction.

Yet an overall ecosystem is far more complex than that one part of it, a flock of budgies. And the Kingdom of God is far more complex than any specific ecosystem, for it contains in itself all ecosystems in heaven and earth. The Kingdom of God recognizes the heaven part of any ecosystem, something already essential in all ecosystems.

Further Defining an Ecosystem
Let’s bring in more discussion of what an ecosystem is from “Central to the ecosystem concept is the idea that living organisms are continually engaged in a set of relationships with every other element constituting the environment in which they exist.”

Then: “The term ecosystem is generally understood as to the entire assemblage of organisms living together in a certain space with their environment, functioning as a loose unit. Together, these components and their interactions with and relationships to each other form a dynamic and complex new whole, functioning as an "ecological unit", with additional characteristics that can't be found in the individual components. Nor could any organism live completely on its own without involving any other species of organism.

A New Characteristic
Notice this phrase: “a dynamic and complex new whole, with additional characteristics that can't be found in the individual components.”

That He might create in Himself one new man of the two, thus making peace (Ephesians 2). That “additional characteristic” found in the whole moving together as one has a name – Father Revealed. God fills each one of us with all of Himself, yes, but that is the first part of two. Then, as God in me interacts with God in you in a mutual fellowship of Love, Father appears as He really is to be seen and known by all – The Kingdom of God.

A Complex Set of Relationships
What, then, are we looking for as we look for the Kingdom arising on this earth? We are looking for a complex set of relationships, love among us, to grow in our personal experiences with one another.

Pretty simple, isn’t it? And simple it must begin. HOWEVER – the difficulty is the setting in which God forms this expression of Himself among us His Body.

Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and power, and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down (Revelation 12:10).

Three Most Important Verses
What two things, working together, caused the budgies to put on that beautiful display of working intelligence? A thirst for water on the one hand and the need for a wall against the attack of the enemy on the other hand.

And thus we have the three most important verses in the Bible coming directly under the most important verse. The birds together – that you might be filled with all the fullness of God, drinking together – if any man thirst, let him come to me and drink… out of his belly will flow rivers of living water, and standing together against the enemy – and they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb. Here, then, is the birthing of the Kingdom of God.

A Butterfly in a Chrysalis
A butterfly in a chrysalis has in itself everything it needs to live and fly in the heavens. EXCEPT – the butterfly gains access to everything already inside of it by one means only, by casting off the chrysalis. It is only by casting off the chrysalis that the butterfly draws strength and life out of its core and into every part of its body. If you break the chrysalis from outside to “help” the butterfly, it will be unable to fly in the heavens and it will die.

The butterfly is NOT shaped by the chrysalis nor by casting off the chrysalis, the butterfly becomes what it is by calling forth what it is out from itself in response to its great need to cast off the chrysalis.

Christ inside the Chrysalis
You and me, walking together as the Body of Christ, have in ourselves everything of Christ and everything of the Father. EXCEPT – we gain access together to everything of God inside and among us by one means only, by casting off the chrysalis. It is only by casting off the chrysalis that you and I together will draw the strength and life of Christ out of our core and into every part of our expression. If God removed the chrysalis from outside to “help” us, we would never know the full reality of Christ in the Kingdom.

The Body of Christ is NOT shaped by the chrysalis nor by casting off the chrysalis, the Body of Christ becomes what it is by calling forth together what it is out from itself in response to its great need to cast off the chrysalis.

What is our chrysalis? But first, let’s consider the word “together.”

Nicene salvation and the Nicene “kingdom” are supremely individualistic. Each individual gets born again; each individual “goes to” heaven. Jesus comes back as a solitary and alone King, and individuals remaining on earth decide to “obey” him based, ultimately, on the threat of pain.

In complete contrast, salvation is to us to be gathered together into the Church, into One Body containing all the fullness of Christ inside of whom is the Father, one Body together, walking together, casting off the chrysalis together.

Christ Among Us
You as an individual, sitting there reading this page, cannot, in yourself, be the Kingdom or the revelation of Christ. The Kingdom of God is only many moving together as one.

For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them (Matthew 18:20). This is a different expression of Christ than Christ in our hearts as individuals. This is Christ as the Kingdom of God, Christ as a Corporate Body. Now, one of the wonderful things about the Internet and how it works is that it gives us a clear picture of how you and I can connect together as one by the Spirit – in fulfillment of Matthew 18:20 – even though we are thousands of miles apart.

Casting off the Curse
What is the chrysalis that you and I together cast off in order for us to know Christ as He is – a many-membered body? Contrary to what most Christians imagine, separate from what God actually says, the chrysalis is NOT the flesh.

The chrysalis is three things, clearly portrayed in Scripture, three things that are, together, called “the curse.” The first part of the chrysalis to break is the world/beast. The second part of the chrysalis to break is the presence of the accuser and all of his armies among humans in this heaven/earth. And the third and final part of the chrysalis to break is the death that yet remains in our bodies, death swallowed up by life.

Father Just Being Himself
It is by our casting off of the curse of sin and death from off this heaven/earth in which we live that we come, together, to know Christ as He really is, Christ the Victorious Warrior.

Christ is already full and complete inside of us and inside our present gathering together in whatever form that takes. We just don’t know this Christ. And as Jesus, through us together, casts off all the curse of Adam, we see Him as He is, a corporate Body and a Spirit of power, the One who lives as us and every Word God speaks.

It is our gathering together into the full expression of Christ that is the Kingdom of God arising now upon this planet. We together are Father just being Himself.

Next Lesson: 9.2 The Right Message