"THE KINGDOM AND THE GIBEON MIRAGE"
- Waking Up From the American Dream -
Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed.
The kingdom of God is a kingdom "made without hands." It is founded on the wisdom of God, not the prowess of human legal intellect. It is inherited—not by those of a certain human ancestry, but those born of the Word of God. It is enforced by the power of the Spirit, not the power of the gun or the human vote.
The kingdom of God is propagated by a gospel—a spiritual message about an earthly dominion—one as real as any human kingdom—but that conquers from the inside-out of the human heart. The message itself is the weapon of that takeover.
The Lord’s kingdom is alien to all human kingdoms—in lineage and destiny, in composition and construct. Wherever its message is revealed in the earth, God's dominion conflicts with all the kingdoms of men—the "kingdoms of this world." This conflict is to the death.
Being kingdoms of mere flesh, the kingdoms of this world cannot endure but must pass away. But of God’s kingdom there can be no end. The Kingdom Gospel has the power to ultimately end all other human rule. As Jesus said of it: "This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world…and then the end [of fleshly rule] shall come."
Gibeon: The Allure of the "Friendly" Human Kingdom
In the age-long conflict of kingdoms, God’s rule has at times succeeded in quelling the open opposition of earthly kingdoms. It has impacted such kingdoms for good and made its Presence to be at relative peace in the world of men.
But such peace is not final. It is only a "truce." For as long as fleshly government remains at all in the earth there can be no permanent peace. The kingdom of God is not satisfied with bringing about beneficial effects and superficial peace in human kingdoms. It is sworn to ultimately replace them, taking their dominion away altogether.
Underneath all truces with fleshly societies, a state of war still exists between the kingdoms of God and man. It's just that once a truce is effected, the conflict moves to a different theater, a deeper level, under more subtle conditions.
Wherever God's rule prevails to bring surface tranquility, freedom and prosperity to a land, the fleshly power behind the human kingdom resorts to a different more devious strategy. What it fails to accomplish by openly opposing the Lord, it turns to accomplish by a cunning spirit of subversion. It wages a quiet campaign of political and cultural seduction against the Lord's army. We could call this the "spirit of Gibeon," after the spies who feigned peace with Joshua.
The mission of the Gibeon spirit is to convert the human truce with God's kingdom into a treaty, and so create a false league between the two powers. Gibeon's tactic?—smilingly comply with God's authority until the Lord's people are convinced the two powers really possess the same nature after all. Its lure?—woo the Lord's king-priests with flattering dreamy images of union with the human government—until like Samson, we fall asleep in its arms—there to be shorn of strength, blinded and made to grind at the mill of human politics.
In a word, Gibeon's motto is—
"Can’t beat ‘em? Then 'join' 'em—til they submit to our will under color of their own name!"
Once a human kingdom says "yes" to Christ, a mirage begins to appear in the land. The mirage superimposes the image of God’s kingdom over the fleshly rule of man. It calls for the "adoption" of God's ways, and even takes on some of His kingdom's language. From there, the mirage works to obliterate all distinction between God’s rule and the human kingdom, until the fleshly kingdom—politics and all—is accepted as the kingdom of God itself.
Rather brilliant, wouldn’t you agree?
For those of us born and raised in countries where we feel "free" to pursue the Lord, the real challenge is to keep discerning God’s kingdom from earthly kingdoms, to maintain undivided loyalty to God’s kingdom, to keep our eye on the goal of Divine Immortal Dominion in the earth, and to keep prosecuting the war against the flesh underneath the social peace.
In countries like these, the Gibeon Mirage seduces us with its deadly images, blurring the two dominions in our mind and heart—until we pledge our allegiance and labor to the "friendly" fleshly kingdom with the virgin zeal and affection we owe only to the Lord’s dominion. The more the surrounding human society adopts the "trappings" of our spiritual kingdom into its fabric, the more powerful the mirage.
Here in the United States, where freedom to pursue the Lord abounds and the society has adopted many of the trappings of our Lord's name, the church has been very hard put to discern between God’s reign and the surrounding fleshly rule of republican self-government. The Gibeon Mirage has proven more powerful here than in any other land at any other age in history—to the point that the inhabitants have given the mirage its own name:
—the "American Dream."
Over the generations of peaceful coexistence between the church and American society, we have been successfully redirected from preaching the kingdom gospel into preaching a hybrid mixture of the gospel of salvation mingled with the fleshly "gospel of America"—ie, the gospel of external "freedom" and "democracy." In spiritual matters of salvation, we are devoted to the truth of the Scriptures. But in matters of the kingdom, we’re committed to promoting the 250-year-old human American ideal of natural liberty.
Perspectives in Time
The Spirit of Truth seeks intently to awaken us from this false dream and to shake us out of this compromised hybrid mindset. To do this, He wills us to see the United States in the larger picture of time and eternity—to know that the United States is a kingdom in the lineage of all human kingdoms—and to know that as all human kingdoms, it not only had a beginning, it also has an end.
Because the life of empires is so long, and the life span of men so short, it’s very easy to grow up under an illusion of national eternality—the idea that "our nation will never pass away." It’s easy in turn to believe that what is so predominant in our minds—namely, the affairs of the greatest empire on earth—is what supremely drives the heart of God, and so should drive our spiritual passion as well.
Had we lived during the time of any of the previous great empires, we would have thought they too had no end. In their seasons, the peoples of Babylon, Greece and Rome all believed their dominions to be invincible and everlasting. But today, we just marvel at them in history books. "Where are they now?" as Isaiah asks. In the greater hindsight of time, we mark those people as foolish.
Yet in our own time now, we believe the same thing about America.
No, we don’t actually profess that America will live forever (though some do believe this). But we live and act and think as if America is ordained to live forever. Duped under the influence of our own weak stewardship of God’s Presence in the land, we’ve led ourselves to impute our own eternal life to this very temporary human kingdom in which we live.
The United States has not always been. If you are an American, you should think about the land you are standing on. Four hundred fifty years ago (less than half the life span of Adam), the only "kingdom" on the soil was that of roaming bands of heathen natives. (A good question to ask is, where was the kingdom of God at that time?)
But the more provocative reality our generation must face is that the American kingdom has an end. America’s rule is a mortal one that cannot endure forever. It must come to an end. After the season of its purpose for existence is accomplished, it too shall pass away. (Another good question is, how near are we to the end of that existence?)
Where Are the Real Sons of Isaachar?
Jesus called us to discern the signs of the times. The signs clearly shout that we are in the closing hours, not only of the kingdom of America, but of all kingdoms of flesh and blood.
All nations—their governments, their laws, and their carnal ways—are shortly to be pre-empted by the one true manifest Kingdom of God led by the Lord Jesus Christ and his glorified saints. The one true realm that has no end because it is ruled by a people who will never die is about to take over! This is the "kairos" time we are called to discern—the time of the end of fleshly human rule in the earth.
Yet where can we go anywhere in the prophetic community to hear the truth of such plainly discernable reality? Who is preparing us for the great exodus out from under dying human government—a dying to which all signs bear clear witness? It seems that in our push to be so "present-tense" prophetic, we’ve lost all mooring in the obvious truths of Scripture regarding kingdoms, time and eternity.
I marvel at the tireless emphasis of prophetic intercessors on propping up the rule of America, Israel, and all the political leaders of the world with their policies—with little to no context in the transcendence of God’s impending immortal Takeover. We’ve gone past prophetic "salting" of the land to prophetic "embalming" of mortal governments and cultures.
Those most acclaimed now as "sons of Isaachar who know the times" have entirely shrunk our concept of God’s purposes into a box of 50 earthbound states on this side of the Atlantic aligned with a fractious gentile-fashioned parliament in the Promised Land. Is this the true size of our God and His Kingdom? Is His vision no bigger than this? Does His purpose lead no higher than to indefinitely preserve the natural construct of these 51 human states?
- Joshua or Samson: Which Are We?
We’re at the end of an age, folks! The times beg for a vision that transcends the present arrangement. They cry out for the declaring of God's purpose to deliver us from the bondage of sin-laden human rule itself. The times call for preparation toward massive shifts in heart and mind concerning our sense of identity and allegiance in the earth.
The Lord has transitory revelation to impart now to help us make this changeover from government under man to government under glorified man. This is what the prophetic and the intercessory should be leading us toward.
But we must awaken from the American Dream and renounce our treaties with it before weakness and blindness is permanently forced upon us.
Are we ready for this? Do we want it? Can we make the break? For surely—with or without us—the kingdom of God will prevail in the earth. The only question is, How will we be found in the way it prevails?
Will we prevail like Joshua who recovered from his error with Gibeon to boldly take Canaan? Or will we prevail like Samson prevailed at the collapse of the Philistine temple—prevailing, alright—but having to go down with it in humiliating blindness?
Can we wake up from the Gibeon Mirage before it is too late? (Or is it—for some of us, even many of us—too late already?)
Introducing: "The Body and the Beast"
Those familiar with this ministry already know that I fully acknowledge the place and importance of praying over governmental and other temporal issues. We participate in such intercession regularly. But this ministry is about gaining a guiding context in the larger view of the epochal changes at hand—changes which even the world is aware must come.
Shortly to be released is a new series: "The Body and the Beast." In it we will take a stab at laying out larger perspectives for redefining our relationship as God’s people to the empires of the earth—this as the "times of the gentiles" and the American dream come to an end. It is designed to help prepare you to prevail like Joshua, and not like Samson.
Please stay tuned.
New Meadow Neck, RI
First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship
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