The Kingdom Model
Jun 09, 2018
This week we built a video studio in my office and installed a new computer as well. The camera has to be hooked up to my old computer, which first has to be rebuilt. I hope to be ready for videos in early July.
Meanwhile, I could make videos with my original system. I did get a new and better webcam, so the picture quality will be better, but there is still the same problem with lighting. The sound should be better, though, because I got a new lapel microphone. So we are making improvements, but we are not yet set up the way we want.
At the recent seminar that I attended earlier this week, I saw a very insightful quotation from Buckminster Fuller, who said,
“You will never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
I could not help but relate this to many of the commentators who just rail against the existing system without really building a new model. It seems that most people know that there is a problem, and some even know what that problem is, but few spend time building a solution.
Most ministries, too, are more interested in leaving the earth in a rapture than in building new model for the Kingdom of God. Even those who believe that the church will remain on earth and go through “the tribulation” tend to leave the solution for Jesus to do when He gets here. The result is that the Kingdom model remains obscure, and few people have a clear vision of what the Kingdom model looks like.
If people have no vision of the Kingdom, it is unlikely that they will follow Buckminster Fuller’s advice.
For instance, most people are at least somewhat dissatisfied with the existing political and judicial model, but few know what a biblical model is. Most Christians are satisfied that Jesus knows and will implement it when He returns. The coming political model will be a benevolent monarchy with Jesus as King. The judicial model will be based upon the laws of God, clarified by the prophets and the New Testament.
The intent of the political and judicial model of the Kingdom will be based on the New Covenant, or God’s promise to institute real change, both internally and externally. To understand His intention and plan, one must study all of the promises and prophecies given in the Scriptures. To implement the plan of God requires not only the leading of the Spirit but also some knowledge of the mind of God.
What I have tried to do is to teach the laws of God and to show how the prophets applied those laws in past history according to the Old Covenant. Yet the prophets have also prophesied of future applications of the law in the Kingdom of God under the New Covenant. These New Covenant applications are seen more clearly in the New Testament writings, but much yet needs clarification to be understood.
The biggest obstacle, as I understand it, is the Old Covenant veil that remains over the eyes of most people, including most Christians. Paul discusses this problem in 2 Corinthians 3:14-16, where he tells us that veils hide the glory of God. Only when the veil is removed can anyone have “liberty” (2 Corinthians 3:17). Elsewhere Paul defines this “liberty” as “the freedom of the glory of the children of God” (Romans 8:21).
This is not the freedom to sin, but the freedom from sin and death.
My search for this key began at the age of 12 when I received my first memorable revelation that my salvation was neither caused by nor maintained by my own righteousness. God built upon this some years later while I was attending the University of Minnesota, showing me that even though I was not personally righteous (perfect), the righteousness of Christ had been imputed to me. He was calling what is not as though it were.
Much later, I hit bedrock (I believe) when I came to understand the difference between the Old and New covenants. It boiled down the simple truth that the Old Covenant was man’s promise to God, and the New Covenant was God’s promise to man. The Old Covenant always fails in the end, because even a well-intentioned vow is based on man’s will. God’s New Covenant vow or promise must succeed because it is based on the will of God and His ability to perform what He has promised.
True faith, then, which is seen in the story of Abraham, is believing that God is able to fulfill His promise (Romans 4:21, 22). It is not based on faith in ourselves to fulfill our own vows to God.
The New Covenant is the model for the Kingdom, much like the Declaration of Independence was the model for the US constitution. It is a Statement of Intent. We either believe it or not.
As long as men hold an Old Covenant mindset, they retain the veil that hides the glory of God. When Moses asked to see God’s glory, God showed him His goodness (Exodus 33:18, 19). The goodness of God was evident at creation when God pronounced everything “very good” (Genesis 1:31). Jesus “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38).
The goodness of God is seen most clearly in the promise of God to save the world. That which was begun at creation will continue until God’s Statement of Intent is fulfilled at the restoration of all things. This takes time and comes progressively in various stages.
This is the Kingdom model that we are building. Yes, it is important to study the existing model that we are replacing. We should also create some discontent with the existing model, although many people are already discontented in some way, at least with the political and judicial model. Mainly, they must become discontented with the existing religious model being presented to them. Without some discontent or need, they will never search for the answers.
Nonetheless, our mission is to provide a new model that will make the existing model obsolete. Building a model is really building a vision of what the Kingdom looks like. Look back to the time of Ezra and Zerubbabel, who faced a similar problem, The people of Judah and Benjamin had been in Babylon for 70 years. Few remembered what life was like in the old land, and even those people only remembered the flawed model that had brought God’s judgment upon them.
In a way, we are like Ezra and Zerubbabel—or at least it is as if we were living in their day. The problem is how to instill the vision of the Kingdom so that the people may rebuild upon proper foundations. Their building project was yet based on the Old Covenant, but we can still obtain understanding for our New Covenant model by observing their work (and ultimate failure).
Ezra taught the law at the feast of Tabernacles, and the people experienced a great repentance and revival (Nehemiah 8). We too are preparing for the same feast under the New Covenant. The law is the same, but whereas the people in Ezra’s day viewed the law as commandments to be followed by self-discipline, we view the law as promises of God.
Under the Old Covenant, men vow to follow the law, and they are responsible to do it, and the will of man thus works against the desires of human nature. Hence, their success was partial, even though they prayed that God would help their flesh fulfill their Old Covenant vows.
Under the New Covenant, God is responsible to write the law in our hearts so that our nature is changed. When God took His New Covenant vow, He did not vow to help our flesh achieve its Old Covenant vow. He vowed to change our hearts and the hearts of all mankind (Deuteronomy 29:14, 15).
How is God fulfilling His vow? It is done by a second begetting and ultimately by being “born again.” One must be begotten before one can be born. We are begotten by the incorruptible and immortal seed of the word, that is, the New Covenant gospel. When we have the type of faith that is seen in the story of Abraham, where we believe God’s promise (vow), we are begotten from above by His Spirit.
This implants an embryo within us, “Christ in you” (Colossians 1:27), which has an expectation, or “hope” of glory. The conception comes through the feast of Passover, the growth through Pentecost, and the birth through Tabernacles. First the overcomers are brought to birth, then the rest of the church, and finally, the rest of mankind at the great Creation Jubilee, when all of creation is set free from its slavery to sin (Romans 8:20, 21) as God promised through in His New Covenant vow.
So our mission is to present the vision or model of the Kingdom and then show the way that God has set forth to accomplish His plan. Not all will have ears to hear at the present time, but God has a plan for those who do not conform to His image in their life time. There are two Passovers given in Scripture to ensure that every knee will bow and every tongue will confess Him as Lord (Isaiah 45:23, 24; Philippians 2:10, 11).
This will happen at the Great White Throne, and after this, they will all experience the purifying, Pentecostal baptism of fire. They will then grow to spiritual maturity, even as we ourselves are required to do today through the work of Pentecost in our hearts. Then, when the time of the Creation Jubilee arrives, all will be set free and will return to their inheritance, having achieved the purpose for which they were created.
This is part 1 of a series titled "The Kingdom Model." To view all parts, click the link below.
Dr. Stephen Jones