When Christ is given His rightful place as the King of our lives and the Chief Cornerstone...
... and when the establishing of an apostolic and prophetic foundation is progressing well, something very essential happens... it is inevitable.
From the letter of the apostle Paul to the believers in Ephesus we read:
"Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone, in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit." Eph. 2,19-22
"For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles - if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you, how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel, of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power." Eph. 3,1-8
"Therefore He says: "When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men ... And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head - Christ - from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love." Eph. 4,8-16
And from one of his letters to the believers in Corinth:
"Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues." 1Cor. 12,27-28
It is most probably clear for every christian that God's words, actions and moves in lives and in history have always consequences, deep and lasting consequences.
Since the days of the John the Baptist every single person coming close to the Kingdom of God becomes aware that the finite will be affected by the infinite, the powerless by. the powerful... actually the Almighty. Darkness will make space for light and death will be followed by life. In an identical way clarity will sort out confusion and order will replace disorder, and functionality dysfunctionality.
Luke wrote about him:
And he went into all the region around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, saying: "The voice of one crying in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the Lord; Make His paths straight. Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill brought low; The crooked places shall be made straight and the rough ways smooth; And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.'" Then he said to the multitudes that came out to be baptized by him, "Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire." So the people asked him, saying, "What shall we do then?" He answered and said to them, "He who has two tunics, let him give to him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise." Then tax collectors also came to be baptized, and said to him, "Teacher, what shall we do?" And he said to them, "Collect no more than what is appointed for you." Likewise the soldiers asked him, saying, "And what shall we do?" So he said to them, "Do not intimidate anyone or accuse falsely, and be content with your wages." Now as the people were in expectation, and all reasoned in their hearts about John, whether he was the Christ or not, John answered, saying to all, "I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather the wheat into His barn; but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire." And with many other exhortations he preached to the people." Luke. 3,3-18
The words attracted people. Then they challenged people. The voice has two functions, it calls to bless and cuts to shape. When a person reconciles with the Father by receiving forgiveness because of the work of His Son and consequently changing life-direction (repentance) to follow Him, not only a salvation is received but a Kingdom. Not only a Saviour is followed, but a King. Not an addition of divine thoughts but a replacement of human thoughts. Not an improvement of our nature but the creation of a new nature.
This is the reason why Paul continues with the following worfs in his letter to the believers in Ephesus:
"This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore, putting away lying, "Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor," for we are members of one another. "Be angry, and do not sin": do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you." Eph. 4,17-32
Here the key words are:
GIVE NO PLACE.
Now this is the case when it comes to our individual lives in God and our walks with God.
However it is also the case when it comes to God's House, the Kingdom Church.
It means that revelation leads inevitably to reformation, and reformation must ne expected to lead to fundamental paradigmshifts. Individually and corporately. When it doesn't happen, God's grace has been in vain and His work in our lives is undermined or sabotaged. Our destiny is cancelled. That's what Paul called 'saved but only as through fire' (1Cor. 3,15).
What John stood for was forgiveness of sin through repentance... leading to fruit.
What Jesus stood for was transformation through fire.
What is recorded by Luke in his first book repeats itself in his second. Water and fire are at work in people's lives.
Firstly a reformation leading to deep paradigmshifts can be expected... it is inevitable.
Most Christians are clueless about the Kingdom and its reality. However everybody who is talking about it, is happy with it. Well, nobody is pleased when its King expectingly sets the agenda. But some are determined to follow it because they can see beyond the death of self and narcissism.
My experience of four decades of investing in people's (read: Christians) lives is that preaching the Kingdom is widely accepted and appreciated. Such words are loaded with life, hope and strength. Loving the Father, appreciating the proximity of the Son of God in our lives and drawing on the Spirit's life and resources in all circumstances of life, is shockingly different than aligning our whole life to the King's agenda and the patterns of His Kingdom.
In the same way you can be a Chinese and live as one inside Chinatown in New York, a Christian can be born again and live like a godless pagan... even inside the church.
Revelation and alignment.
Reformation and paradigm-shifts.
Repentance, change and progression.
Philip DuPont (May 2021)