Everything took place on the natural realm in the Old Testament. The enemies of God’s people were real people, and their battles were real battles. David, for example, conquered a real Goliath. It was different in the New Testament, and that was one reason why Jesus was not received as the Messiah. He didn’t come on the scene as they expected. They were under the domination of Rome, and they expected the Son of David to deliver them from the Roman oppression just as David did when he went out and defeated the Philistines. But Jesus didn’t do that. He came in a very different way. Instead of casting out the Romans and establishing the kingdom of Israel, He came casting out demons and ministering the Kingdom of God. That wasn’t what they were expecting. His coming and ministry dealt with a different realm than the natural. This time the Goliath was the demons He was casting out of the people.
After His crucifixion and resurrection we have another new order that is presented to us in the Book of Acts. Now Christ is not one person, but a many-membered Body. This new level is called the Church Age. It didn’t start out as a Church Age, though. It started out as a new level of the Kingdom of heaven. It degenerated into a Church Age. Then after the Dark Ages the Restoration began (formerly called the Reformation), and Christianity has been changing since that time.
Teachings of New Testament Church order have been coming for a number of years now. New Testament Church order involves the ministry of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers with special emphasis on the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Those ministries are given to the church to lead us into the Kingdom of God. The New Testament Church is like an ark of safety to bring us into His Kingdom.
Sometimes the Scriptures will present a truth or principle using certain symbols of typology. Then later the same thing will be illustrated using completely different symbology. For example, the Book of Revelation speaks of seven churches, seven seals, seven trumpets, seven vials, etc. Some try to explain them in chronological order, one after the other. What is not realized is that they cover the same time period using different symbols. One may give information that the other doesn’t, but they coincide. It is like two people taking the same journey separately. Afterwards each one gives his account of the trip. Each one noticed different things and gives a little different information, but they covered the same territory.
In Genesis 6:5-6 God said that man was so wicked that He was sorry He had made man. In verse 7 He said that He would destroy man from the face of the earth. Then in verse 8, But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Next, the Lord tells Noah to build an ark for the safety of him and his family. So Noah built the ark. After he and his family entered the ark, it rained for forty days and nights. Noah and his family floated on the waters through the days of judgment. After the waters dried up God told Noah to go out of the ark (8:16). Then Noah built an altar and worshiped the Lord (verse 20). And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. Genesis 9:1. The ark took them through the days of judgment into a new age. They didn’t need the ark anymore. They got out of it and walked away.
In the next stage God acquires a people, beginning with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob. The twelve sons of Jacob become the heads of the twelve tribes of Israel. Because of the great famine Jacob and his household go down into Egypt, and there they are enslaved for about 400 years. But God has a man in Egypt, Moses. Moses is born in Egypt during a time of great oppression. Pharaoh had given orders for every Hebrew male child to be slain. So the parents hid the baby Moses in a little ark. And just as God used Noah to bring some through the flood to safety, He uses Moses to bring His people out of Egypt.
After Moses brings God’s people out of Egypt they wander in the wilderness for forty years. Once they get to Canaan’s border the ministry of Moses comes to an end. What happens then? Joshua leads them into the land of Canaan. Everything changes. All during the wilderness wanderings God was dealing with His people. Only two of the men who were twenty years old or older when they came out of Egypt lived to enter Canaan, Joshua and Caleb. So Joshua as their new leader takes them across the Jordan into the land of promise. No longer is God having to deal with them to remove the influences of Egypt; now they are warriors driving out the demonic Canaanites from the land.
When you get to the New Testament you see the same thing again. God’s people are in bondage again. This time they are slaves to a religion of man-made traditions. Again a man comes on the scene, Jesus the Nazarene, and those that God gives to Him He delivers from a dead religion into a new order. But in time His ministry comes to an end, too. Then you have the beginnings of the Apostolic Church.
There is a shift in realms when you get to the New Testament. The Old Testament was on the natural realm. Joshua led the Israelites in war against the nations of Canaan. There were real battles against flesh and blood. But the New Testament shifts to the realm of spirit. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Ephesians 6:11-12. And have you noticed that much of the spiritual wickedness in high places is above the shoulders where the carnal mind is? Yes, the battle is different. Now we have to learn how to function in the realm of spirit.
Moses led the children of Israel. He was the man from the ark. He led them through troublesome times, just as it was with Noah. Then Joshua took over and led them. Coming to the New Testament we have Jesus the Nazarene in fleshly form leading them up to a point. Then He says, It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Spirit will not come unto you (John 16:7). Again He says, When the Spirit of truth comes, He will lead you into all truth (John 16:13). Then on the Day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit is poured out upon His disciples. What happens now? Well, Jesus still leads them but now He is Spirit, not a man of flesh. They no longer have a leader like Noah or Moses or Joshua. They no longer have a man to lead them. It is necessary now to know the Spirit of the Lord. Suddenly they are being led by an invisible force.
How does all of this relate to us? We’ve had New Testament Church order. We’ve had apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers to lead us. But now a higher realm of the Kingdom is confronting us. What is God telling us by all this? He is saying, “Grow up! Now you will have to know Me. I’m going to lead you.” From this point on there will not be a single leader to lead us. We will not have a man, in that sense, to lead us through days of trouble.
This tells us something. When the change takes place from a personal leader to being led by the Spirit, then the flood and wilderness you have known is over. Now there is a new order, a new order of the Kingdom. A lot of people have used Kingdom terminology, saying, “This is Kingdom,” when it isn’t Kingdom at all. What are we talking about when we say “Kingdom”? We’re talking about the King, the Lord Jesus Christ, and our submission to His Kingship. We must be led by Him. That means we have the responsibility of being aware of His presence, to know His Spirit, and to know His voice.
Kingdom ministry is ministry commissioned by the Lord, and how you relate to that ministry is important. If you relate to the ministry that God has commissioned to help you in your spiritual growth as a position, the Lord Himself will block it. It won’t work! When you get off the Ark of the New Testament Church and enter the realm of the Kingdom, you are led in a different way. You can’t take the New Testament church with you. You have to leave the Ark behind. You don’t need the Ark anymore. “Oh, but I have to have my apostle!” We will continue to have apostles and prophets. But they won’t have a position. The ministries of the Kingdom are different; they have no position, just a commission.
For all our lives we have been motivated and influenced by our senses: smell, touch, taste, sight, and hearing. We’ve been motivated by our emotions, good and bad circumstances, things outside of us. Now we must know by our spirit, because we are not going to know the Lord on the physical realm. We must learn how to be led by the Spirit, to hear Him with our spiritual ears, see what He is doing with our spiritual eyes. Even now we make decisions too often by what is happening on the soulish realm, by the way we feel, the way we think, environmental influences, etc., rather than by the Spirit. Our spirits must come alive unto the Lord.
The Kingdom has come! That doesn’t mean it has come for everyone. Do you understand? It depends on where you are. Many have the idea that we’re going through the Church Age, and then suddenly the tribulation period begins. Then Jesus comes and the Kingdom begins. That is all chronological history. Well, there is a man over in the book of Genesis named Enoch that had a revelation. He said, “I saw the Lord coming with ten thousands of his saints” (Genesis 5:24; Jude 14). And he was gone! Was he raptured? It doesn’t say he was raptured; it just says that “he was not” (Genesis 5:24). That’s the very thing we’re trying to become, a “was not,” a zero with the rim rubbed out, so that self isn’t getting in the way anymore. Only then will we be totally directed by the Lord. When we are continually being led by the Lord, then self “is not.” So whether Enoch physically left the earth, or not, is questionable. He was not. He broke into something that wasn’t supposed to be available at that time. Elijah also reached into another day and was translated (II Kings 2:11).
Many times the Bible says that in the last days such and such will happen. For example, In the last days, saith God, I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and daughters shall prophesy… (Acts 2:17). Many things happen in the last days. So what do Christians do? They throw those last days into the future. It is generally thought that at about the age of fifty you are entering the last half of your life. You are, so to speak, in your last days, the days of your adulthood. The days of babyhood, adolescence, and young adulthood are over. In this sense, the days of maturity are last days. The same is true spiritually speaking. When you become mature spiritually, you are entering your last days. It is a time of fulfillment, when things can take place that couldn’t while you were immature.
The Book of Revelation talks about a time when Satan is bound (Revelation 20:1-3). Wow! One day Satan will be bound and he won’t be able to assault us. Listen, Jesus said, The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in Me (John 14:30). He was in a realm where Satan could not motivate Him, influence Him, or touch Him in any way. As far as He was concerned Satan was bound. And you can come to the place where you are subject only to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and because of your submission to Him Satan can’t get to you either. He that is begotten of God keeps himself, and that wicked one touches him not. I John 5:18. When Satan can’t touch you, he is bound. But for someone else he may not be bound.
Too many make the Scriptures history only, viewing it all in the natural. But God wants us to be spiritual people. “Well, is Jesus coming back?” What makes you think He is gone? If He is gone it’s because you don’t know Him. You’re not aware of His presence; therefore, you think He is gone. But to someone who knows Him and is walking with Him, He isn’t gone. Jesus said, Lo, I am with you always (Matthew 28:20). Who is He talking to? He is talking to the disciples who know Him, those who are aware of His presence. What about the Pharisees? He wasn’t with them, because they didn’t know Him. And there are those today that He isn’t with because they don’t know Him; to them He is gone. You can’t take every scripture in the Bible and make it a blanket statement for every Christian. What the Word means to you is determined by where you are spiritually. Besides, the Bible isn’t meant for everybody. Everyone isn’t supposed to be able to understand it. It is meant for those who have a heart to follow the Lord wherever He goes.
And (God) hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:6. This is a good verse for a rapture, if you want one. It’s past tense, though. Does that mean that every Christian is in heavenly places in Christ Jesus? No, it doesn’t! If you are there, you are there. If you’re not there, you’re not there. You can’t make it a blanket statement for every Christian.
Some will say, “Well, I accepted Jesus Christ as My Savior. I am born again; old things have passed away, and all things have become new.” You got saved and became a Christian, but all things new? No! Born again? No! You have just gotten to the place where the born-again process can begin. You are born again when you have taken on the divine nature of God. Then you are born from above, born with a new nature. That is born again. When you receive Jesus Christ as your Savior, your sins are forgiven. But you are still influenced by your soulish emotions and being led by your carnal mind. All things aren’t new yet. The process of all things becoming new begins after you become a Christian, not at the moment of salvation.
We must experience what the Word says. When the apostle Paul says, “We have been raised up into heavenly places in Christ,” for example, he is talking about himself and everyone in the same spiritual place, not everybody that picks up the Bible and reads it.
People want to divide God into three persons. “Well, there’s God the Spirit, and over here is God the Son, over there is God the Father.” Three separate entities. It is according to relationship. You relate to Him as Holy Spirit or Son or Father. Isaiah called Jesus Christ the eternal Father (Isaiah 9:6). It is according to where you are spiritually and how you relate to the Lord that determines what He is to you.
Romans 1:9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the Gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers.
We must serve the Lord with our spirit. People want to do good works for the Lord. God is not looking for you to do things for Him. He wants you to serve Him with your spirit. The attitude of many is, “God, tell me what You want done, and I’ll do it.” It is not what you do or don’t do. It is what you become. When you serve the Lord, you must serve Him with your spirit. Appropriate the Lord! Do you understand the principle of displacement? You get rid of the uglies of your sinful nature by drawing Him into your life, and as you draw Him in the uglies are pushed out. It’s the principle of displacement, and it really works! But knowing that doesn’t help you at all if you don’t know how to appropriate His presence. A major problem among churches today is that they don’t teach their people how to serve the Lord with their spirit. We must be able to function with our spirit.
John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the
Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made.
God is the Word. The Word is God. John 4:24 says that God is Spirit. If God is Spirit, and God is the Word, then the Word is Spirit. These Scriptures are truths and concepts, and you need to know them. But you can have all these in your mind, understand them, and still miss God if you’re not able to tune-in to Him (He is Spirit), because the Word is Spirit. If the Word is Spirit, then it is invisible and inaudible. You can’t hear it with your natural ears or see it with your eyes. These Scriptures are a natural language, and the language is nothing more than a vehicle for the Spirit-Word to travel on.
Many preachers hold their Bibles up in the air and say, “If what is said doesn’t line up with these Scriptures, then it isn’t the Word of God.” Actually, it may line up with the Scriptures and still not be the Word of God. Think about all the different kinds of churches. They all use the same Bible, and yet they are all giving different interpretations because they are interpreting the Scriptures with the natural mind, according to what they think it means. It is coming out of their carnal mind. The Word is the Spirit that rides on the words of the language, and that is what you must be able to hear. You can’t hear a Spirit-Word with your natural ears. You can only hear the Word with the ears of your spirit. Jesus gave the parable of the Sower, and then He said, “Who hath ears to hear, let him hear” (Matthew 13:9). It is a simple thing to understand the parable naturally. But to hear the Word of God coming through the parable is another thing; that takes a special capacity.
The majority of the ministry of the New Testament Church is giving you concepts, truths, and principles to build the Ark, to get you through the troublesome times to the Kingdom. When you come to the Kingdom it is impartation of Spirit and Life that’s important. But impartation of Spirit won’t help you much if you’re not able to hear what God is saying.
Copyright © 1999 by Henry DuBose