The Unshakable Kingdom Newsletter by Sam Soleyn - April 2012
This is what the Lord Almighty says: “In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. I will shake all nations, and the desired of all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,” says the Lord Almighty. “The silver is mine and the gold is mine,” declares the Lord Almighty. “The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,” says the Lord Almighty. “And in this place I will grant peace,” declares the Lord Almighty. Hag 2:6-9 NIV
“Things are being shaken!” and “A new season has come!” are no longer prophetic declarations. The word of a new season was announced prophetically over half a decade ago, and it has been upon us actively since then. This new season has been generally ignored, and the world now struggles to comprehend the relentless, daily, monumental changes that are reshaping the very structure of human activities. It is time to move beyond the shakings, which have occurred personally, nationally, and internationally, toward their emergent consequences; and to prepare, as one body, for these changes.
This shaking is preparation for a greater incursion of the kingdom of heaven into the earth. Global changes will put the human population in a state of flux. Those who might seek refuge in the kingdom of God will be free to do so. However, those who have merely feigned an interest in the things of God, as a cover to pursue their own self-interests, will no longer be able to hide behind the veils of religion. The earth is being made ready for a greater manifestation of heaven’s realities.
In this swirling chaos, the divine order of the kingdom of God is advancing inexorably. That order will soon become the subject of common discussion. The availability of access to this order and the bankruptcy of human world systems will compel people everywhere to make the choice between the “kingdom that cannot be shaken” and all else. Heb 12:28 NIV. This choice will be both stark and deliberate.
The convergence of manmade and heaven controlled catastrophes is producing previously unimaginable shifts in all aspects of human societal order; from geopolitical alliances to economic and social upheaval. The economic world system now shows the deep cracks created by decades of unrestrained avarice and is crumbling, because of the shaking. Jesus and the early apostles taught that “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” 1 Tim 6:10 NIV; see Matt 6:24 NIV (Jesus teaching, “You cannot serve both God and Money.”). At no time has this teaching been more accurately descriptive of the destructive power of greed on a global scale. Nations are being brought to financial ruin as a direct consequence. This present financial decay did not suddenly come about. It has been like a spreading cancer, whose accelerated growth reached the point of becoming incurable in recent years. Even though the destructive power of greed is now a matter of obvious consequence, people the world over have not turned from its seduction, but continue to indulge in its allure in the hidden recesses of their hearts. It endures because its origins are firmly rooted in the orphan culture; a culture of self sufficiency that is obligated to seek its own provision and protection. The stability of political and social structures in developed nations and emerging nations alike depends upon global economic certainty and predictability. The shaking of the financial system is yielding multiplied changes among the nations and people groups of the world.
The world of the Arabs is being shaken to its core, as the tension between ruling governments, the people, and the religion of Islam is being laid bare, representing a step for the Arab nation toward its prophetic destiny. The prophetic Scriptures state plainly where these changes will lead, ultimately, for the Arab people: “All Kedar’s flocks will be gathered to you, the rams of Nebaioth will serve you; they will be accepted as offerings on my altar, and I will adorn my glorious temple.” Isa 60:7 NIV. Nebaioth and Kedar were the first and second born sons of Ishmael, the son of Abraham and the father of the Arab race. Gen 25:12-13 NIV. Though there appear to be few outward signs that the populations of the Islamic states in upheaval are moving away from the religion of Islam, the kingdom is advancing among the Arabs.
These descendants of Abraham have a prophetic destiny to be accepted into the House of God. This disturbance will result in an irreversible enmity between the sons of Ishmael and the religion that has repressed and enslaved them by the hundreds of millions. Although current and future leaders who wrap their policies and mask their intentions in this oppressive religion will continue to violently opposed this outcome, God’s intent cannot be denied and will triumph in this season of change. The outcome of this shaking is inevitable.
The Godless philosophy of communism that enslaved wide swaths of the human population and produced an official state religion of atheism has been brought to ruin. Although the West is fixated on economic changes, socialist and communist nations are well aware that their economic experiments have failed and are seeking answers in a new direction. Neither the leaders nor the populations of these nations are seeking answers in a Western model of free market enterprise and democratic institutions. Their search is for happiness and well-being. From Russia and China to North Korea and Cuba, populations are seeking answers to the questions of purpose and destiny that go well beyond changes in their material circumstances.
China and Russia, having moved away from the hard line communism of the Cold War era, are aware that national identities based in such focuses as money and sports cannot lift the population out of its emotional doldrums. China, in particular, is aware that the answer lies in a spiritual rebirth. There is a resurgence of Confucianism, in part because it has rejected the Christianity of the West. In its spiritual resurgence, China is seeking the peace and stability that comes from knowing Christ, but has mistakenly confused Western Christianity with the reality of Christ and his kingdom. China’s current interest in its traditional religion indicates a dissatisfaction with political and economic secularism and is an indication of the nation’s search for the truth. Confucianism is not a substitute for the truth that is to be found only in Christ. This journey will culminate in a hunger for the person of Christ himself.
Natural disasters have abounded in recent times. Earthquakes, fires, floods, mudslides, tsunamis, hurricanes and typhoons have brought with them stunning consequences on first-world and poorer nations alike. They have strained global relief services, bringing local and national governmental services and international aid to the breaking point. The cumulative effect of these disasters is a severely shaken human confidence in the ability to protect themselves from what many describe as “nature’s wrath.”
Because people have learned to distinguish nature from acts of God, mankind has deprived itself of the opportunity to consider what message the sovereign Lord is declaring by these acts. Instead, people see nature as acting independently of God’s control. An apostate church has encouraged this view, because it has adopted a secular view of the love of God. Both secular society and the apostate church cannot admit the sovereignty of God over nature. Secular society has chosen only to believe in a God of boundless benevolence. The secularized church is loathe to explain a God who employees nature’s fury to arrest humanity’s descent into depravity, offering it an opportunity to reflect upon mankind’s collective condition and to make a conscious decision to change and seek God. Humans now routinely explain the phenomena of nature by reference to the physical sciences, and consider the “how” to be the “why.”
In the ecological movement, nature is viewed as God, to be alternatively feared, worshipped, and protected (ironically) from mankind. In this worldview, nature is arbitrary, capricious, and indiscriminate, possessing a mind of its own and unaccountable to anyone, including God. God becomes the helpless observer of nature’s destructive whims. Despite humanity’s ignorance, nature remains one of God’s instruments for shaking all things on the earth that can be shaken. Such is the folly of humans who no longer retain God in their knowledge. Rom 1:28 KJV.
The religious systems also are being shaken. This surely should not be news to anyone. The brutal and perverse conduct of numerous prominent religious figures has shocked and outraged even the seared consciences of those in secular society. Both local functionaries and their handlers higher up in the chain of authority have committed gross, unconscionable, and criminal acts of abuse on the most vulnerable of their charges. Secular courts have imposed monetary penalties and approved financial settlements that threaten to bankrupt even the mightiest of these institutions. The hidden wickedness that has been incubated in historic denominations has broken forth from the cover of darkness, in which it was nurtured for centuries, to the headlines of the daily news.
People no longer hold these institutions as representative of Christ, not even those whose understanding of Christ is unclear. The only residual influence that remains to them comes from the leftover traditions and history of certain racial or national people groups. Historically, these churches used their influence to intertwine themselves into the culture of people groups so completely that the people could not view themselves apart from the church traditions. Older generations, who are reluctant to change, lend diminishing support to these churches’ influence. The younger generations have detached themselves from active involvement in the religion of their parents and grandparents. The young people are part of the information age and possess all the skills required to distinguish truth from tradition. They also have no loyalty to either the traditions of their parents or the abusive church systems, viewing issues of spirituality pragmatically. Their community tends to be virtual, and their traditions are yet unformed.
The traditional churches are not the only ones that have lost meaningful influence over the people. Self-styled bishops and prominent evangelical ministers are self-destructing at an increasingly rapid pace. Their appeal is primarily to an orphan culture and to the most immature of church goers. By emphasizing a message of personal well-being, focused mostly on health, beauty, and the acquisition of wealth, these preachers resemble secular motivational speakers in every way except that they target a church going audience and use biblical texts in support of their pandering speeches. Their own lack of understanding together with their shameless greed and self-promotion is increasingly revealed before the unblinking eye of media cameras.
The shaking of the Church system is perhaps most noticeable in American politics. For the last thirty years, the evangelical church has made itself a harlot to the Republican party, having invested its influence and integrity in the argument that the best way forward for its gospel is to possess a seat at that table of political influence. The trend toward this religious/political nexus began more than fifty years ago when prominent religious leaders began to employ political methodologies to gain influence in order to advance the social agendas of people groups—a trend without precedent in the New Testament church. At the same time, others positioned themselves as the personal advisers of the politically powerful.This group was led by the deception that the kingdom of heaven needs the support of any secular political party, Republican, Democrat, or otherwise. This view required the church to abandon any real belief in the ability or willingness of the Spirit of God to support and empower a way of life that brings the glory of God among the people of God.
The previous generation of leaders was susceptible to this deception, because they gloried in their independence and personal credibility. That generation used the language of the kingdom of God while permitting divisiveness within the followers of Christ to continue unchallenged. The most influential leaders used their standing as much to glorify and enrich themselves as any consideration of the kingdom of God, and their successors are finding it impossible to carry on this model.
The leadership has lost its influence with the people. Recently, the present generation of evangelical leaders gathered to endorse a political candidate for national office. Immediately following the endorsement was a disastrous loss by that candidate in the conservative religious state of South Carolina. Whether the loss of influence is observed among a council of bishops or an ad hoc convocation of evangelical leaders, the message is still the same.
Yet another aspect of change that God is making is in the prophetic administration within the church. He is sweeping away the inept and unresponsive prophetic voices, because they have diminished in the accuracy of hearing God while they have increased in the skill of marketing their reputations. Many previously prominent prophetic voices have been reduced to soothsaying. God is replacing them with a new leadership that has not learned the fine art of merchandising the prophetic gift. Other prominent prophetic voices have been silenced by their fear of public disapproval and media criticism. They have ignored the word of the Lord announcing a season of change and have confined themselves to irrelevance.
This loss of influence across the board has created a gulf of separation between the leadership and the people. “The falcon cannot hear the falconer[.]” W.B. Yeats, “The Second Coming” (1919).
The Irish poet W.B. Yeats wrote a poem in 1919 titled “The Second Coming” that is prophetically descriptive of this shaking that has now come:
THE SECOND COMING
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
Two results will emerge shortly, each opposed to the other. One will be a consolidation and formalization of global systems that will trap the majority of people in them, by appealing to the human desire for provision and protection. These systems will offer stability and predictability in a time of intense uncertainty. ([W]hat rough beast, its hour come round at last,/Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born? Id.).
The other reality that will emerge contemporaneously with the unity of the global systems is the House of God. This Holy Nation, adorned with the glory of God, will draw all those who desire the peace, stability, and good order of Christ. The House of God is becoming a functioning reality. The Holy Spirit will beckon all those who are seriously interested in walking in the light and glory of God to the mountain of the Lord’s house. Isa 4 NIV; Mic 4 NIV. The recently published book “My Father! My Father!” discusses the order of the arrangement of the House of God.
God’s intends a twofold purpose for this shaking. The first is to expose completely and to show the contrast between righteousness and evil so that everyone has a clear choice. The righteous will be righteous still and the wicked, wicked still. Rev 22:11 KJV (“He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.”). His second purpose is to supply all those who would flee from the depravity of the world systems with an accurate vision of the kingdom of heaven, by revealing the glory of its government. These two kingdoms will stand side-by-side, each in stark contrast to the other, and God will offer His kingdom to mankind in the days of their distress. “What answer shall be given to the envoys of that nation? ‘The Lord has established Zion, and in her 12 his afflicted people will find refuge.’” Isa 14:32 NIV. God intends to reveal His kingdom That Cannot Be Shaken and to fill His House with glory.
He has already begun to put on display the glory of his kingdom, and everywhere men and women are turning to God. They are rejecting religious systems of any kind and are seeking the understanding of the ways of God. It is not that they despise order. They are rejecting as illegitimate all manmade religious order. As they seek the heavenly order of relationships, God is responding by revealing the order of His house.
Some leaders who have themselves experienced the abuse of religious forms are responding to this shaking by rejecting all forms of order. Their point of view is understandably influenced by both their experience and their desire to correct the abuses that they have suffered. Their views are not informed by God’s revelation of His own house. Rather, their rejection of all forms of order is driven by little more than their own objective reasonings. Although they may have a temporary appeal to a limited constituency, people earnestly seeking God understand intuitively that there is divine order. This order is the alternative to the chaos that inevitably results when “every man [does] what is right in his own eyes.” Judges 17:6 KJV.
The present church system is due for the violent shaking that it is currently experiencing. The religious world system has presented a manmade alternative to the true kingdom of heaven since its inception, more than 1700 years ago. The shaking will continue to expose this system’s corruption. Its life cycle is being brought to an end. It will be folded into the other global systems and will emerge as the dominant and ruling system among them.
In this time, one should expect that everything out of line with a heavenly mandate will experience a divine challenge. This will be experienced both personally and universally. God will permit the shaking in order to disclose the roots of people’s beliefs and where they put their trust. The choices will be between the eternal order of the kingdom of heaven or the systems that constitute the kingdoms of the world. At the end of this process, each person will have chosen to belong to one kingdom or the other. Those who choose to continue in the kingdoms of this world will harden their hearts and reject the truth. Those who choose the kingdom of heaven will be part of that Holy Nation now emerging upon the earth to display the fullness of the glory of God.
See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.” Heb 12:25-29 NIV 14