1.2 Focus and Layout
1.2 Focus and Layout
© 2016 Christ Revealed Bible Institute
Focus and Layout
The guiding idea of this course is that God IS relationships among many walking together as one; that is, God is love.
The original word for God in the Bible is Elohim. Elohim is plural; Elohim is family. Elohim, we now know, is Person inside of Persons expressed through many persons. The Kingdom of God is the Person of the Father, just being Himself through many. God reveals Himself only through and as other persons, through their relationships together.
In this lesson, we first want to refine our focus, how we are to see and to understand the Kingdom of God. Then, second, we will construct a brief layout and explanation of the sessions of this course.
Definition and Purpose
The Kingdom of God is the new creation in which God is known, personally, by all; that is, the knowledge of God arises every moment in and as each individual person. The Kingdom of God is the interconnections of Spirit, of Love poured out, between members of the Body of Christ, first, and towards all created beings second.
Thus the purpose of this course is to search out how this knowledge of Father as He is flows out of us and to live in the practical outworkings of Love among us. In addition, we desire to know how the new creation flowing out of our bellies swallows up the old, eliminating every element of the curse from creation.
Conditions of Knowing
How do we know the Father? We return to the guiding idea. The guiding idea of this course is that God IS relationships among many walking together as one; that is, God is love.
The knowledge of God begins in us as individual persons, but nothing of God ever remains in an isolated state. The idea “just God and me all by ourselves” is not; that is, God has no involvement with such an experience. God-love for me is real and personal, yes, but God-love is always flowing out to connect me with others in some way. Thus we cannot know the Father as He is without knowing Father binding us together as members of His Body.
Christ begins first as every Word God speaks. Christ, every Word God speaks, creates and sustains all things. Thus we understand that the new creation was spoken into existence by Jesus in John 17, moments before Gethsemane.
Next, that Word coming out from God becomes flesh, becomes Christ living as us. But Christ never remains as us only; Christ is always God flowing out, the Spirit released as rivers. This flowing of Christ out from each one of us as a Spirit of power connects us together as one body. Christ IS a many-membered body.
A Many-Membered Body
For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body … and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many (1 Corinthians 12:12-14). Christ is a many-membered body.
This body, brethren walking together, loving one another with a pure heart fervently, is Christ as He IS, the Father revealed. Each one of us is filled with all the fullness of God, but that fullness can never be known as God really is except through a corporate, many-membered body, the Body of Christ.
Church by Father
The conditions of knowing the Kingdom and the first focus are similar. Father just being Himself through us is the condition; the first focus is Christ in fullness, a many-membered Body.
A condition is something established as a requirement before something else (knowing the Kingdom) can happen. A focus is a means of adjusting the seeing of the eyes, that is, to know the Kingdom, we must first look through this lens. Father through us is how we know; Christ as a Body of people walking together in love is the lens through which we see everything pertaining to the Kingdom. We are speaking of Church by Father.
Kingdom means order or arrangement, the patterns of connections among all things that exist. We understand the Kingdom of God as an “umbrella” term inside of which are found all things of the new creation as they are arranged in relationships together.
Just as the old creation, the present world, or cosmos, is a shattered heaven relating together with a broken earth, so the new creation contains the same full connection existing between the new heavens and the new earth. Heaven and earth are two parts of the same thing. Their severance is called death; there is no death in the new creation.
The appearance of the new begins with our resurrection.
Entering the Kingdom
Jesus said that, in order for us to see the Kingdom, we must be born again, that is, conceived of God. But then He said that, if we want to enter that Kingdom, we must be filled with the Spirit (John 3). Here’s what that means.
The Kingdom of God can be seen out from Christ as us, yes, but it can be experienced only as a Spirit of power connecting us together with one another. But that is Focus #1; we want to distinguish, then, Focus #2. The new creation comes out of our bellies; it is formed out from us by the Spirit of God flowing out bringing life to all.
The Patterns of the Age to Come
The new creation is thus shaped and formed by the specific design, by the interests and delights of those of us humans who are the elect, the firstfruits unto God.
Certainly, God reveals Himself as He is through each individual person through all the ages to come. But the original shape and form, the harmony and melody of that new creation, the warp and woof of its fabric, is set first by the delight that fills the hearts of you and me and others together with us across this earth and throughout the heavens. Set first by all who are chosen and appointed by God for the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Your own heart sings forth the patterns of the age to come.
A Costly Redemption
This second focus is of critical importance to us because the redemption of all created beings does NOT come by the “flip of God’s wrist” or the “snap of His fingers,” as too many universalists imagine. The redemption of all created beings comes only one by one. It comes only in response to the heart of each one of us as we, sharing heart with the Father as the Lord Jesus Christ, go out into the wild and lonely places into which each lost soul has wandered, to carry each one step by difficult step into the love and life of God, just as the Father carries us.
The redemption of all things is costly and thus unfolds over more than one age to come.
The Kingdom Unfolding
Yet in the end, Jesus subdues all things to Himself – by love. And He does so through you and me, that He through us might present all things back to the Father restored. Thus we see that the Kingdom is an unfolding over more than one age of time and that the end fullness of the Kingdom is God all in all.
But the outward unfolding of the Kingdom begins and comes out from our resurrection, when our bodies are transformed outwardly into physical incorruption. The Kingdom has been hidden until now. Right now we are in the transition, in the birthing. The appearance of the Kingdom is just ahead of us.
Our understanding of the Kingdom of God is drawn from a clear connection to the kingdoms of this world in three specific ways. 1. The Kingdom of God is, in may critical ways, the very opposite of the kingdoms of this world. 2. The Kingdom of God is completely other than the present cosmos, heaven and earth as they exist together in outward appearance right now. 3. In a general sense and within narrow boundaries, the Kingdom of God can be known as something similar to this world by the larger definition of the world as that definition is replaced by the Spirit of power flowing out of us.
The world is defined as all the interconnections between and among humans through a hierarchy of fallen spirits. There is no relationship among humans in this present cosmos that is not energized by or that does not pass through the powers that rule over the air.
The Kingdom of God begins as the interconnections between and among believers in Jesus through one Holy Spirit in a “similar” way. In other words, both the world and the Kingdom are terms that describe relationships among humans and angels, relationships that exist only through the medium of spirit. This generality is the ONLY similarity between the two.
Let It Not Be So
We need to have these three distinctions in mind because all through the Bible, God presents to us a knowledge of the Kingdom of God by comparing it with the world, usually in an opposing way. For instance: The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called ‘benefactors.’ But let it not be so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who ‘governs’ as he who serves (Luke 22:25-26).
Let it not be so among you. – Let it not be so among you.
Limiting the Focus
Our first limitation is the positioning of Kingdom and Covenant. We limit our exploration of Kingdom to those realities of God flowing out of us, leaving the knowing of God inside of us for Covenant. Thus we limit ourselves in every topic appearing before us to how that truth or reality affects the relationships among the elect or between that Body of Christ and all creation.
Yet we live in a universe of woe. The new creation is birthed out of us in full and continual response to the plight of that which is lost. Thus, a significant portion of this course is limited to the judgment and elimination of evil.
Starting with the Prayer
We begin this course with the words that birthed the Kingdom, Jesus’ prayer in John 17. Three sessions are devoted to this prayer, for, indeed, if these are the words that are creating the Kingdom of God, the new heavens and the new earth, and all the life of the age yet to come, then their significance must be larger than the universe.
Then, sessions 5-7 develop the nature and Being of this One we call “Christ,” beginning with Christ as Word, then Christ made flesh and living as us, followed by Christ as a Spirit of power connecting us together as Christ as a corporate Body. Yet Christ Jesus is always Personal, a single Person in whom dwells the Father and who joins us with the Father.
Coming out of Father
Moving out from Christ as a many-membered Body, we want to place the resurrection of our physical bodies in its place regarding the Kingdom of God. Then we will be able to define the Kingdom of God more specifically as well as show it’s contrast with the kingdoms of this world.
Since the Kingdom is the Father just being Himself, we want to look more closely at Father in order to see what Father being Himself really looks like. Then we look again at Church by Father, at the present in-part church, at the transitional church, and finally at the full Feast of Tabernacles church coming out from the resurrection.
Casting off the Curse
Having established the full church of the outwardly visible Kingdom of God, we then take an entirely different tack, starting with Session 17: Subjected to Vanity. The Kingdom of God is the outworkings of God in swallowing up the old creation, drawing every element of the old through the cross and into the new.
The great task of the sons of God at the end of this age of human folly is central to that outworking, and thus to the Kingdom. We want to look at the curse, what it is and means. And we want to know the authority and the life by which we cast that curse from off this earth.
Restitution of All Things
In Sessions 22-24 we will venture into the specifics of victory over each element of the curse, culminating in victory over death. Again, the resurrection of our bodies plays a significant role in the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is also God proving His word true and the judgment and justice of God in the restitution of all things stolen in the darkness.
Finally, we close out the course with another look at the end of all things, the full nature of the completed Kingdom, God all in all. We want to begin to outline, dimly to be sure, the meaning and reality of an entire creation knowing God.
This course, Symmorphy III: Kingdom, explores the nature of Christ as Father revealed through the interconnections of relationships flowing out of love.
The guiding idea of this course is that God IS relationships between many walking together as one; that is, God is love. Yet we know this Father as a Person, to whom we are connected in all ways by our closest and dearest Friend, the One who fills our hearts with His glory, with all of Himself, the One upon whose breast we always lean our heads.
We walk this journey into the Kingdom, into an endless unfolding of the knowledge of God, KNOWING first that we are carried by Jesus, that we are utterly in the best of Hands.