The Kingdom of Heaven bears fruit; that is its nature.
We are fallen creatures, expelled from Eden and the Tree of Life. Our existence is not what God intended, and He has taken the initiative to restore us. God has provided the Flaming Sword of revelation to slice off from our existence everything that He cannot allow into His divine Presence, so we can regain access to the Tree of Life. We have the opportunity of this life to embrace His revelation and restore our lost heritage as family members of God.
A critical element of that divine heritage is redeeming our lives here in a fallen world by living like people who belong in Eden. God’s first step along that path was calling out the Nation of Israel. When things worked as intended, Israel lived according to their Covenant as a demonstration of what Eden might be like in a certain context. They were a beacon to other nations. But Israel strayed from that path again and again, shredding the Covenant and their mission to the point that no one was conforming to the divine moral character of God so as to return to Eden.
God came Himself once again in the Person of His Son to reestablish the meaning of the Flaming Sword and the call to return to Eden. It meant a new covenant, but the essential mission was unchanged. God still calls to a fallen world to join His new nation under a New Covenant.
It started something big that changed the world. For reasons we will never understand in this life, just as He allowed Israel to depart from their covenant, He allowed His new nation to depart from the New Covenant. We have reached another breaking point, as in the days of Christ. There are a lot of parallels, though He’s not going to send His Son back again in physical form. The original New Covenant still stands, but the called out church seems to have lost track of fundamental nature of that Covenant. In a sense, they have surrendered to the same slippage and shredding that characterized the failure of Israel.
We are no better than those who have lost their way. For reasons we’ll never understand on this side of Eternity, God has chosen to reveal His New Covenant afresh to us. Some of us have rediscovered the Flaming Sword, allowed it to carve up our lives, and had gained a fresh taste of Eden. We can talk to Creation and hear its voice calling us back to Christ. He is the Flaming Sword, the Living Law of God, the paramount expression of God’s divine moral character in human form. It’s all about Him, not us.
As God’s children, we cannot get enough of His attention and favor. It’s the ultimate privilege of life itself that He allows us to tag along as He works in this world, restoring Eden. It’s as if we are skipping along, giggling and singing and celebrating His warm attention on us, allowing us to participate in His mighty work. We get to put our hands on some of this work as He directs, but it’s really all His hands doing things. The lost souls around us see this; God uses this blazing light show of love to draw them into His family. He uses our giddy delight in the privilege of His doting favor to draw attention to His glory and His open offer. The Flaming Sword is not all pain; it’s healing and restoration as part of divine privilege. The Sword becomes a part of us, and we of it.
“Religion” is the word we use to describe our individual manifestation of that Flaming Sword. Religion is the thing we can show other people to give shape to the invisible faith that burns with the flame of that sword. It’s obvious that no two of us will have the exact same religion. Conforming to someone else’s religion is not faith. But by the same token, there must be enough held in common to allow us to live together as a divine family of faith. What we share here at Kiln of the Soul is just one small household of that vast nation God intends to grow on this earth. It’s just one franchise in a vast empire.
If this franchise looks like home to you, don’t just sit out in the courtyard. Come on in the door and take part in the life of his household. Make yourself known; get to know those already here.
A part of our story here is a powerful conviction that God is about to shake our world. Sometime in the very near future, America will enter a crisis. Not an apocalypse, but it will be a severe crisis nonetheless. God’s patience with America has run out. The people aren’t going anywhere, but the way of life and system of government will be shattered. It’ll be the American people, but it won’t be the US any more. This is far more than just Creation snapping back into place, but God’s personal attention and wrath is falling on the US (and other places, too, but I’m called to prophesy to America). It’s going be crazy and chaotic, and the sense of order will be shredded. People are going to question what they thought they knew about life, their world, and reality itself.
In my own personal experience, people shoved out of their comfort zone are folks who are best able to hear the gospel, to consider facing the Flaming Sword. There are some folks you and I could never reach from where we stand, but there will always be some who gravitate to our message, to our sense of shalom in the midst of the storm. God is going to herd them into our household. Build up the structure and make way for more souls.
Indeed, pray for souls. Ask God to add to our number. Such a request demonstrates that we understand the gospel. Pray that we are made able to welcome them, that we have stocked up enough provisions to share. We’ll have our hands full. And don’t get lost in the idea that this is a virtual parish; where you are geographically is where most of this activity will happen. I’m sure the virtual parish will grow, and we surely do need a network of other blogs as a faith community online, just as a real household has many different people in it. But bloggers are people in real places and some of you will never be bloggers. That’s just the way it is. If you aren’t here in Central Oklahoma with me, then in geographical terms you will be an anchorage for souls where you are.
This is the vision I share. I’m not God and I’m not the head of a religion. I’m just the elder, the head of household. We still need a pastoral priesthood. If you are part of this household, it’s because you are comfortable with my religion; it bears some resemblance to your own. You feel like family. Let me provide some divine moral covering while you do your part to build the Father’s empire. Eden is huge, with room for a whole lot more people.