Kingdom Theology (last update to this page was made on 06/29/2009; latest updates in RED)
Our purpose for this page is to provide the reader with an idea of what we hold to be true for those subjects that are often raised among many Christian people. By no means are we trying to put our Father in a "box" and we reserve the right to modify our position as the Holy Spirit leads us into all truth.
I . THEOLOGY:
Study of God: As believers, we are to study to shew ourselves approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. We do not study his ways to gain his approval for we are under a covenant of grace and not law. We are clearly approved in the beloved. Yet, we do grow in our faith and learn to know more of our Father in an actual relationship which in turn enables us to demonstrate to others that we are indeed approved, proven, tried, accepted and pleasing to our Father. For without faith, it is impossible to please God.
We believe it is our Christian duty and privilege to learn theology. What is theology? The study or science of God is a basic definition of theology. Breaking the word "theology" down sheds some simple light on the subject. The suffix of "ology" comes from the greek meaning logos. In fact, John stated that the word, idea or logos was God. The science of anthropology is the idea, logic or study of man; while biology is the logic of life, etc. The prefix - Theo (the-os) means God. The study of theology is the study of the word, idea, concept or logic of God himself. Since the God of Christianity is an active and personal being, the study of God or theology expands its definition to include God's work and relationship with it. Therefore, theology often will attempt to understand God's creation, its condition and God's redemptive work in relationship to creation. It also includes all the things he has revealed to us (e.g., Christology is the study of Christ, Eschatology is the study of last things). Theology is not the same as the study of religion for that science deals with how man behaves and interacts in his culture as it relates to acts of prayer, worship and other spiritual practices. Religion is a human practice and is natural in its orientation while theology is supernatural (beyond the natural) and is the study of a greater being.
The study of God always includes a system of thought that is
coherent in manner and orderly in fashion. There is an absolute truth to theology
rather than based on relativism (e.g., in simple terms - what is relative to
you may not be relative to me). God must reveal himself in order to be understood
and when he does that, it is always clear and according to his nature and character.
He is consistent and not the author of chaos or confusion. Whether he reveals
himself by nature, holy script, or another, there is always unity and harmony
with everything else regarding himself. Theology has great value and benefit
to the believer. In fact, any contemplation of God is embarking upon theology
or the idea of God. There are no paradigm shifts in kingdom theology. There
is no new theory replacing what the early apostles have laid for us. We may
have eyes to see and ears to hear something new as the Holy Spirit enlightens
us and quickens a truth that we have not seen before and in that sense it may
be new (e.g., new to us). We believe in the whole framework of the holy writings
and find them to be systematic and coherent. To sum up, we believe it is our
honour to search out a matter (Proverbs 25:2) and that is theology!
Jesus Christ as Revelation: We believe that Jesus Christ was an outward revelation of the Father. More so, as the word or logos of revelation and the image of the Father, he is the eternal revelation and one in whom the Father , to reveal himself, created the ages. We embrace the idea that as the revelation of God, we have the irresistible and passionate arrival of Jesus as the word of God into our souls. When he penetrates our spirit and speaks to our inner man, this is the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Unfolding of Revelation: We believe that Christianity is based on revealed faith and not speculation or philosophy. The truth that we receive comes from God in the light of divine revelation. Prior to our receiving it, it is hidden and veiled and it requires God to unveil it to us. He does this my means of revelation. Revelation is making clear or unfolding what was once hidden or a mystery to us. All truth depends on divine revelation. As creatures of God, we depend on him to reveal it to us. We cannot reach up and snatch from a higher order or kingdom that is above. God is the original source of all truth or the "fountain head of all truth". More so, kingdom theology embraces the promise given by Jesus to all the elect, who are his sheep "The sheep that are my own hear and are listening to my voice, and I know them and they follow me...". These three things are vital and necessary of us to walk in that union and close relationship with our heavenly Father -- to hear his voice, to listen to his voice and to follow him.
We hold to the idea that the spiritual mind is based on revelation. There is a spiritual mind that is born of the Spirit. This mind will think, understand and act spiritual. This is not the same as reforming the carnal mind and change our way of thinking or alter/raise our consciousness into a higher dimension. We believe in the words of Jesus to Simon Peter "Blessed art thou Simon Barjona for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee but my Father which is in heaven." This was revelation from another source other than Peter. This was spiritual enlightment or the unfolding of revelation. We hold to the idea that it is the Father whom imparts revelatory truth and it is this truth that transforms us from one glory to another. Kingdom theology states there is a world of difference between the theories and conclusions of tradition and the heavenly revelation of the Spirit of God as it shines into our hearts.
In the study of theology, there are at least two distinctions on revelation. Some refer to these as "general" revelation and "special" revelation. General refers to unveiling that knowledge of God that is general or given to the entire world. This can be either external such as coming to us through nature or an act of God (also called "natural revelation") -- the heavens declare his handiwork -- or it can be internal as revelation comes from God as he implants an innate knowledge of Himself.(a sense of knowing right and wrong). Special revelation is when God unveils truth (e.g., scripture and it's meaning) to an individual as they advance in their knowledge of the Lord as God now speaks to us by his son. In Kingdom theology, we do not see nature and holy scripture as two equally ranked revelations of God's word. We find scripture as essentially higher as it was the personal unveiling of God's own proclamation or speech (e.g., WORD) in the world.
Inspiration and Authority of Scripture: We believe in the absolute authority of holy script (Bible) and that it has the absolute and highest right to bind our conscience. The primary author or source of scripture is God Himself as He inspired (breathed out) on those to write, therefore scripture is the voice of God. All scripture (both old and new testament) is given by inspiration of God and should be held in the highest regard. The doctrine of inspiration is when God comes upon, and anoints by His power, those to write the word of God. Every word in scripture is in harmony and carries the divine authority and revelation of God. Scripture has a divine origin and inspiration is the nature of scripture.
We believe God is very much alive today and can still speak
a word to our hearts regarding a matter, (and often does this by bringing scripture
to our remembrance), however we warn that such a "direct word" should
not contradict holy scripture. In cases where it contradicts, it becomes apparent
that such thoughts are the result of our own natural or carnal thinking and
not divine inspiration. Kingdom theology believes that "Man shall not live
and be upheld and sustained by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth
from the mouth of God" (Deut 8:3) and therefore we must hear him speak
for his word is our life! Spiritual maturity comes from hearing his word and
having ears to hear what the Spirit saith unto the church.
The scriptures provide us comfort and there is no book that finds me at a greater depth in my being than any other. The Bible is the best book that has ever been and will ever be in the history of all mankind. It is most assuredly the inspired record of words, purposes, acts, plans and dealings of God in relation to mankind. We have the utmost respect and love for the scriptures. Yet, the "Word" of God goes far beyond words on leather, papyrus, parchment or paper. The Word goes far beyond any scroll. The actual Word of God is living and deep within the Spirit. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith and let us have our daily bread.
Infallibility and Inerrancy of Scripture: We believe that every word found in scripture can not fail or is incapable of any mistake and therefore is to be the infallible rule of faith and practice. We also believe in the inerrancy of scripture in that it can never error.
Canon and Interpretation of Scripture: The scripture is a holy book or volume made of a collection of sixty-six individual books or letters. We believe it to be the standard or measuring rod (canon) of authority. Scripture has no peer or other norm in which it can be considered or even judged. Apostolic authority rests in the canon (scope) of scripture as no other book can make such a claim. Christ is the ultimate authority and the church is to embrace the content of scripture as binding rule over us. There are delegation and levels of authority in the body of Christ to be respected and honored, however the "ultimate" or "final" authority in the house of our Lord is scripture alone. Apostolic succession never has authority over the Bible as it is the word of God and profitable for doctrine (teaching), reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness. Biblical doctrine reproves and is profitable for correction in the kingdom. False ideas and notions, false living and such are exposed and adjusted in the kingdom of God as we grow in the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of our Father in heaven.
Scripture is to be interpreted according to its spiritual unity of meaning. Paul provided us a sketch of this method and principle of interpretation (see I Corth 10:1-4). What the Jews think is a crossing of the sea, Paul calls baptism; where they see a cloud, Paul puts the Holy Spirit, etc. Scripture has spiritual meaning, the expression is sensible, the meaning often appears veiled in the expression, and the expression (by means of its intended inadequacy) points beyond itself. This is to say, not every text has meaning in itself. We believe interpretation to have a threefold mode of understanding - literal, moral and mystical. Some things are in no way to be observed according to the letter of the law; some can stand to the letter; and other things to be sought by way of allegory.
II . MAGNIFICENCE OF GOD:
Names of God: God has revealed himself to man in varied names concerning his nature and character. The names of God reveal all that he is, all that he has and all that he can do. His name is hallowed or stands apart from man and is to be considered higher, greater and of more value. He often revealed himself in the old testament as God (Elohim), LORD (Jehovah), the Almighty (El Shaddai) and the Most High (El Elyon). Each name draws attention to a particular characteristic or distinct attribute of the same one God. He has used other names as well to describe his relation to things or persons such as I AM, Lord (Adonai), Everlasting God (El Olam) and Lord of Hosts (Jehovah Sabaoth), although the first four names tell us what God is (his nature) and can all be found in Psalms 91 - "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust". No single name or title fully represents him as each contains something of his glory and special virtues. We can see this in man made in his image. Consider the deep and rich nature of King David a shepherd, a warrior, king, father, husband, prophet, poet, musician, etc.
He revealed himself to us in the new testament in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. This is one name as scripture states and not three names. Scripture clearly denotes baptizing them into the name (not names) of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. This name declares one God for the Lord our God is one Lord. Yet, he expresses himself and gives himself forth in this threefold name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We believe and hold to the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
Kingdom theology embraces the idea that we are to know his name or become intimate and in union (inworking and formation) with his nature and character for his word states "I will set him on high because he has known my name" (Ps 91:14).
Self-Existence of God: God exists. He exists by his own power and simply IS. We believe He IS "for he that cometh to God must believe that he is" (Heb 11:6). His existence is different than that of his creation. While creation depends on his power to exist, God depends on nothing and no one for his existence. In fact, it is impossible for him not to exist. He has the essence of BEING and exists as the supreme and pure eternal BEING. God is self-existent, he possesses essential life in himself. His permanent existence is derived from no other source than himself. He is dependent upon no other being for his continuance. His existence is eternal and inherent within himself. Everything else exists by his will yet he is completely independent of all other things for his existence. His being and divine nature is entirely uncaused. His being did not have a first cause as he alone is self-existent. He did not make himself or cause himself to come into existence. He is not a self-created God. He is the "I AM WHO I AM". This characteristic of self-existence separates him from all other things. He causes all creatures to be yet he is caused by no one or no thing. He makes all things move yet he himself is moved by nothing. He causes all things to change yet he does not change and is eternal. He is unchangeable. He is not becoming nor is he undergoing some sort of evolution or expansion to become 'more' than what he already is. The only way I can exist or be is if God makes it possible for me to be. Apart from God we cannot exist as we are dependent beings. He apart from us can and does exist. He does not need us in order to exist or to be.
Self-existence and pure life in itself was found in the Christ as the word (logos) for "in the beginning was the word". He did not come into BEING for he eternally was and is, as he himself stated "before Abraham was, I AM". As the Father has life in himself, so the son has the very same life in himself. We as human BEINGS did not author and own the essence of being as that belongs to God. As that which was created, we are the will of the creator. Because there was a time when we were not (did not exist), he called things that do not exist into existence. We now participate in his being as he has granted us that privilege as beings. He has given us life and breath. Furthermore, as having been joined to his spirit, we as Christians now have this abiding and unchangeable life by the planted incorruptible seed of Christ which has self-existent life. Yet we are not self-existent as we rely upon another for our existence.
Kingdom theology teaches that God cannot not exist. Self-existence is necessary and it is one of God's unchanging attributes. There was no time when God had a starting point of existence. He has always been, he has no beginning and has no end, yet he encompasses the beginning and the end for He is the Alpha and the Omega. He is the Lord, which IS, and which WAS, and which IS TO COME, the Almighty. He is not a creature and nothing caused him to come into existence. He is independent, self-sufficient and wholly secure in his being and is the source of all being. He depends only on himself for his being. He does not need anything yet he shares himself with his creation and desires to have communion with us.
Immanence & Transcendence: We believe that God far surpasses and is higher than his creation. He is higher and beyond the cosmos. He is independent and exists apart from his creation. He is not simply attached to or involved in his creation, he transcends it. He is superior to the universe. In theology, we say that he is transcendent. Here we are not speaking in terms of location or geographically but rather in terms of his being. His being is a higer order or level to that of his creation, though as created beings we are of the same substance. We are human beings. Some like saying we are spiritual beings having an earthly or human experience. Regardless, the fact still remains that he is the supreme being.
We also say that he is immanent. We hold to the idea that God is active and present within his creation. He "relates" to his creation in many ways, including his providence as well as redemptive work. He is connected to us and is closer than close. He is not yet far from us for in him we live, move and have our being. Addressing three frequent questions of antiquity (life, motion and being), it is stated that "in him we live and move and have our being." In him we live (our life in hid in Christ and he is the source of all life); In him we move (our movement finds its power in God, we move because he moves); In him we have our being (we exist because of his self-existence).
Kingdom theology teaches that God is both above us and with us. We reject the idea that God is so transcendent that he is "wholly other" or all together different than us. If that were true, we would have no way to know and relate to him and have fallen prey to deism. Equally, we reject the idea that God is so "in union" with his creation that he is not transcendent or above it. Many have fallen prey to this concept called pantheism or "all of God". The pantheist believes that everything is God and God is here and now in and as everything. They believe that God does not exist outside of his creation and has no independent status from his creation. Sound kingdom theology refutes this concept.
Immutability of God: God is unchangeable, he cannot change. His own word states "I the LORD do not change". With God there is no variableness neither shadow of turning. With God there is a divine constancy. He cannot increase in anything because he is already complete and perfect. Nor can he decrease. He cannot undergo any sort of modification. God does not change his mind, plans or actions. His actions are unalterable and his plans are always consistent. He decreed all of his purposes from the beginning and they stand forever more. His plan is unfolding and shall come to pass. He is stable, not static (e.g., he is active and dynamic). God is not in "process" nor is he dependent upon the processes of his creation as taught in process theology. However, God is attached, related and involved with a creation that is in process and in constant change. We believe that God does not have to change with the "times". The church system continues to try to adapt to the changing times so that it can relate to people. A current trend of our day is to be "seeker friendly". As one local seeker friendly church in our area states, "seeker friendly implies that we are aware and sensitive to the needs, trends, preferences, and lifestyles of these people (e.g., those who do not attend and have given up on church). We plan our weekend services for them" - end quote. We believe this approach is contrary to the will of God.
Kingdom theology believes that man, including seeker friendly programs, will continue to fail in their attempt to liberate people from bondage with all of their nice and warm feeling programs. There is none that seeketh after God, no not one! He that will lose his life will find it! He whom the son sets free is free indeed! The truth will set people free. Mankind wants change, yet it is God who makes our change. God does not change nor does he change his attitude toward his plan, including judgment unto righteousness. We are to preach the good news and minister life, and that in turn will usher in the desired change.
Omnipotence of God: We believe that God is unlimited in his power. There is nothing (within his will) that he cannot do nor anything beyond the reach of his power. (note: omnipotence does not mean that God can do anything for scripture informs us of several things he cannot do. He cannot die, lie, act against his own will or his own nature, etc.). Everything everywhere is within the reach of his Almighty power. Every element of his universe is subject to his authority and power. He holds all power over his creation. Nothing stands outside of his divine scope and sovereignty. Kingdom theology believes that there is no power at all except that which is permitted by the Lord for the accomplishment of his divine intention and purpose according to plan. There is nothing too difficult for our God.
Omniscience of God: We understand that God knows all things - past, present and future. His understanding, wisdom and knowledge are unsearchable. All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are found in God. He is perfect in knowledge and knows all things. There is nothing he does not know. He knows the end from the beginning. He knows the thoughts and intents of the heart. He is infinite in knowledge. He is omniscient.
Omnipresence of God: We believe that God is Spirit, a personal Spirit (much more than force). We hold to the fact that he is also infinite. Therefore, he can be and is fully present everywhere. He fills his entire universe. In him we live, move and have our being. There is no place where he is not present. If we ascend into heaven, he is there. If we make our beds in hell, he is there! He is ever present and present everywhere. There is no place you can go but God is there. As believers his presence is a comfort. There may be times when he may withdraw his "manifest presence" and hide himself for a moment or even a season, yet he is always present. He is with us always, even unto the end of the age. As Christians, our hearts yearn and pant for his manifest and abiding presence as deep calleth unto deep, a face-to-face personal encounter of his countenance, glory and immanence to shine upon us. We believe in the increased awareness of his presence as the kingdoms of this world (and kingdoms within us) become the kingdoms of our Lord.
Kingdom of God:
We hold to scripture that there is one Kingdom of God. The kingdom of God and
the kingdom of heaven are one and the same. Jesus did not preach two separate
and distinct kingdoms (ref: Matt 10:7 & Luke 9:2). We beleive that the kingdom
has its origin in the realm of heaven and in the person of God. Heaven denotes
from whence the kingdom proceeds, from what place, location realm or dimension.
God reveals from whom (person or being) the kingdom originates. The kingdom
comes from God and is out of the heavenlies. The kingdom comes from God and
only by God, he is the instigator of the kingdom. The kingdom has its inception
in heaven or the realm of the Spirit.
Jesus said "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand". When he rules as Lord in our lives and our will is aligned with him, we have encountered the kingdom. The kingdom is an ever-present reality to be experienced today. In the kingdom of God, it is no longer God ruling over you by sovereignty or providence but rather by his life and will entering into your soul and becoming your own reality.
Faithfulness of God: We embrace with assurance that God is faithful. Great is His faithfulness. He abideth faithful and cannot deny himself. He is God, the faithful God which keeps his covenant and mercy with them that love him. He is faithful to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. He initiated our reconciliation and is faithful in its outworking. Faithful is he that calleth you and who will also do it. He could never commit himself to do something of which he would eventually prove incapable. He is faithful to redeem and his compassions fail not. Equally so, his faithfulness and actions are motivated by his nature of love as we continue to learn to trust in the mercies of God. He is altogether trustworthy and has revealed time and time again his faithfulness as he provides our every need (not want). Kingdom theology believes that he gives ample and consistent reason for us to trust him. He never fails to keep his promise and that our forgiveness and cleansing are his responsibility based upon his own faithfulness. We yield to his inworking and reap the benefits. We know that he never has to revise his word. God is not man that he should lie, exaggerate or renege on a promise.
Holiness of God: under construction
Goodness of God: under construction
Mercy & Justice of God: We believe God moves in perfect harmony and accord with every part of his being and there are no schisms or contradictions in his person. Therefore, he is infinitely just and infinitely merciful and works all in perfect harmony. His justice is linked to his salvation "........a just God and a saviour" (Isa 45:21). He is one because of the other. He is just because he is a saviour and he is a saviour because he is just. His justice and mercy cooperate one with another, having no conflict whatsoever. A complete harmonization of the two, working as co-agents. His justice (judgments) can be disciplinary and correctional, leading to repentance and righteousness yet it always stems from mercy and love (e.g., for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth). He is not the judge of some and the saviour of some, but rather both Judge and Saviour of all.
Unity of God: We believe in only one true and living God, which can be called "monotheism". Moses exhorted Israel to hear God and said "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:" (Deut 6:4-6). While other religions and beliefs may have the notion of many gods, we do not. There is no God besides him, no God existed before him nor shall there be one after him. He is the LORD that made all things, the heavens and the earth. There is only one God and he is the Father. He is one God and Father of all, the universal source of all things. He is indivisible and not made up of multiple persons or members. He is one, perfect in unity; there are no two and three others in God. In reference to his substance, He is Spirit. In reference to his state of being, he is one and therefore is undivided, unfragmented, and united in himself.
Love of God: under construction
REST OF PAGE IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION........ hope to have more essential kingdom teachings posted soon........ please continue to come back and see what has been added.