Revisiting "Kingdom" Part 3
The Content and Extent of the Kingdom
John R Gavazzoni
Thousand Oaks, CA
Many years ago when I was co-pastoring an interdenominational charismatic church, a very elderly gentlemen (I remember clearly that he was 92 at that time) visited our church at least twice from a neighboring community and on one of those occasions we struck up a conversation at the close of the meeting.
As we spoke, it became obvious that he was a brother still, at 92, possessed of a sharp, inquisitive and probing mind, who had come to some very firmly held convictions that were rooted in very real Spirit-imparted revelation.
Our conversation touched on the subject of the kingdom of God and his summation of the kingdom as "Christ universalized"---was so insightful that it fixed forever in my memory that moment of conversation together. I'm quite sure that he didn't know that the great missionary evangelist, E. Stanley Jones, had used the same expression in his marvelous book, "The Unshakeable Kingdom and the Unchanging Person."
Yes, the content of the Kingdom of God is Christ, Himself, and He is its unlimited extension, for in Him all things were created and in Him all things consist. We are often reminded by preachers and teachers that Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world," but we need to be reminded that He did NOT say that His kingdom was not of this earth or this universe. The kingdom of God and of His Christ is in the deepest sense relative to and constitutive of all things.
His Kingdom is not of this world (this present evil arrangement), but it is in all things, in the breadth, length, height and depth of all things, and embracing all things as far as our ever-expanding universe will ever reach. God has, in His wisdom, arranged that the god of this world should momentarily inflict a dimension of re-arrangement into God's arrangement, but the god of this world cannot, I repeat, CANNOT change the Christ-constitution of creation.
We, and all creation, have been afflicted by this infliction but Christ restores all things, but not merely back to the glory-potential of all things, but takes all things in Himself on to the fulfillment of that potential.
The nature of biblical restoration has a reconstituting element whereby Deity's fullest potential for glory is realized as the whole of Godness afflicted by anti-Godness; Christ crucified by anti-Christ---that whole awful mix--- results in a reconstitution of all things so that the latter house is greater than the former, the Omega is an infinite advancement out from the Alpha, and the End is greater than the Beginning, justifying the means to the End.
To be sure, there is an aeonian conflict going on within all creation extending out to the whole staggering scope of its macrocosm and penetrating into the vastness of its microcosm, but beneath the adversarial disorderliness resides the incorruptible order of God, and that order is Christ. He is the first-born of all creation, for all creation is the aeonian extension of the unique, only begottenness of the Son of God.
Christ is not only the first-born of many brethren, but also the first-born of all creation. Inner Reality always emanates outward becoming Its own habitation. The container and the contents are One; one Christ, all in all. This begs the question: How can anyone, anything, any portion of creation finally be lost to God?
The question is rhetorical, the answer obvious; Christ, God's Son, and the all to which, and in which, He is all, is infinitely too precious to God for any portion of all that is to slip through the fingers of our Father.
Stay tuned for future serious, seminal samplings.
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John R Gavazzoni
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