THE UPWARD CALL
Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet;
but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God
IN CHRIST JESUS.
(Philippians 3.13-14 NASB)
TUC #10-1618
by – Stuart H. Pouliot
November 30, 2016
God's Highest Order
So also it is written, "The first MAN, Adam, BECAME A LIVING SOUL." The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. The first man is from the earth, earthy; the
second man is from heaven. As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are
those who are heavenly. Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the
heavenly. Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the
perishable inherit the imperishable. (1 Corinthians 15.45-50 NASB)
One thing that became clear as a result of the US 2016 presidential election is that there are a number of people,
including some of the Lord's people, who are looking back to the founding of our nation and longing that the country
return to its roots to be governed as the Founding Fathers envisioned. They call themselves patriots, conservatives,
and constitutionalists, as well as Christians. This group believes they have their man, actually God's man, heading
to the White House and that it is God's will we return to our roots; instead of a new direction forward, we are
moving toward "the old direction that God set for us in 1776." What is fascinating is that some of these same ones
are in the camp of those seeking to advance the Kingdom of God on earth by infiltrating the Babylonian system
(e.g., the seven-mountains teaching).
From a secular perspective, all of this is quite understandable, especially if one's entire hope rests on the
governments and laws of men. But is it understandable, even acceptable, for Christians, especially those who are
so-called Kingdom-minded , to rest their hope on this same thing, which I would call man's order , not God's order?
It is as if God's people are willing to accept something that, at best, could be called good , rather than seek for the
best.
Don't get me wrong; as I have written in an article on The Abrahamic Covenant , I believe America is a modern-day
Israelite (not Jewish) nation planted by God. See: http://www.kingdomandglory.com/art/art63.pdf Our roots are
firmly established in God and this is a good thing, but we were never and are not now a perfect nation. As man's
document, our constitution had flaws back then as it does today. It is not a perfect constitution nor a heavenly one;
it is a document of mortal men. I believe our destiny is to be a perfected nation that truly brings glory to God, but
this will be brought to fruition only under the leadership of the King of kings in the age to come. Placing our hope
in the kingdom of this world, that is, man's order, of which the USA is part, is blind folly at best and deception at
worst. Until heaven proclaims, the kingdom of this world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ ,
we are stuck in man's order and all its weaknesses and failings, as well as its strengths and successes.
The answer to the nations of this world, all of which are continuing down a path of darkness, is the Kingdom of
Christ, which will establish God's order on earth among the nations. However, this Kingdom is not established, built,
or advanced by men. It is a kingdom based entirely on God's Divine order. As such, we inherit it and enter into it;
we don't create or do anything to establish God's heavenly order. It is the reign of the heavens . Another way to
state this is that we are to be conformed to this order, to be brought into the reign of the heavens under the full
governance of God's Son, and, from a conqueror's perspective, this comes about with immortality through
resurrection/transfiguration, at which point we are fully conformed to the image of Christ.
Dear brethren, there is a real danger today as some of the Lord's people are looking back and not looking forward;
they are seeking for the good but not the best. Over eight years ago, I wrote an issue of The Upward Call titled Don't
Look Back that is just as germane today as it was then. See: http://www.kingdomandglory.com/tuc/tuc39.pdf
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God's Highest Order
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Our history is in the past, but our hope is in the future, and this hope rests in the Person of our Lord Jesus and God's
Divine order established and manifested through His life in a people conformed to His image. We need vision of
God's highest order, and we need to hold to this vision in the days ahead that will lead us into the Kingdom of Christ
and the oncoming ages of His glory that will fill the earth.
What is God's highest order? To answer this, for a moment, we need to move off the ground of the nations (i.e.,
governments) and move onto the ground of man, for it is here that we discover the genesis of God's highest order.
As the opening verses make clear, this order is discovered in the first and last Adam.
There are some that teach that God is going to restore man back to the state of Adam before the fall. Thus, Jesus'
redemptive work is simply to recover the first Adam's pre-fall or unfallen state. In light of Paul's teaching, this cannot
be so. God is not interested in conforming us to the image of the first Adam. No! His entire focus and plan is to
conform us to the image of His Son, the Last Adam, the Second Man. Anything else falls far short of God's glory.
God has left the first order of mankind behind, and He is pressing on toward the fulfillment of the second order
based entirely on the Last Adam, the Son of God, our Lord Jesus.
According to Paul, the first Adam was a living soul, of the earth, earthy; and the Last Adam is a Life-giving Spirit, of
heaven, heavenly. He encourages us: "Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image
of the heavenly." Another way to state this is that the first order of man is soul-based; the second order of man is
spirit-based. They are two entirely different orders constituted on entirely different ground. The second order is
the highest order of God, for it is the order of His Beloved Son, the Pattern Son of an entire new race, a new creation,
bearing the image of the heavenly, which is another way of stating "of the Spirit." The Second Man is out of heaven,
and this is why Paul encourages us to wait for His Son from heaven (1 Thessalonians 1.10), and seek above where
Christ is (Colossians 3.1). Why? "For our realm is inherent in the heavens, out of which we are awaiting a Saviour
also, the Lord, Jesus Christ, Who will transfigure the body of our humiliation, to conform it to the body of His
glory, in accord with the operation which enables Him even to subject all to Himself" (Philippians 3:20-21 CLV).
This is the bringing forth of the second order that will continue to increase in the oncoming ages.
There is no order higher than God's Son, and all things in heaven and on earth will be summed up or headed up in
this order. This is our destiny and the one thing for which we are to press on toward, not looking back to the first
order or anything associated with it. We are of the New Creation where all things are made new. There is to be no
turning back to the old order once we have set our hands to the plow to enter into this order. Seek above! Press
on! Don't look back!
This highest order is not just about individual new creations in Christ but about the Body of Christ, the Corporate
New Creation of conquerors who will be raised up in His likeness as a company of people that will help lead all of
creation under the Headship of Christ. Today, it is called the ecclesia (church), which is the Body of Christ. This order
is New Jerusalem and Spiritual Israel. The first order of Jerusalem and Israel have passed away and a new order has
been brought in (Hebrews 8.13). New Jerusalem and Spiritual Israel are of the highest order of God. To the Galatians,
Paul declared that Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother (Galatians 4.21-31). The present Jerusalem is of the
first order and all associated with it must be cast out. God has a much higher order, and this order is in His Son and
all that are in Him. John saw New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven having the glory of God and residing on a
new earth suspended in a new heaven. Many focus on the physical aspects of it, but its symbolism speaks of a
people who are the city, the city of the called-out ones who are now the center of the universe and the highest
order of God's government and authority, and the highest order of all that God has purposed to fulfill until the
consummation of the ages. See New Jerusalem : http://www.kingdomandglory.com/books/book4.pdf
Dear saints, it cannot be stressed enough how essential it is for us in these last days to press on toward the second
order, the highest order of God, and to turn from the first order. If we are in Christ, let us not try to restore or clean
up all that is associated with the first order, no matter the good that might be found in it. We are not to be of the
present world order. As Jesus prayed: "They are not of the world [ kosmos , present orderly arrangement] , even as
I am not of the world" (John 17.16). Let us pursue to enter into the fullness of God's highest order, for here we
discover the best, which is none other than the Son of God, our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One who is the
embodiment of the ALL NEW of God that comes forth from heaven having all the glory of God.