A few thoughts are useful in light of the recent overturn of government in the United States Congress (Nov. 2002). Leading up to the election, prophetic intercessory groups had been sending out prayer alerts, and since rejoice in the Lord over changes that appeared to hold promise toward a greater agenda of social righteousness (as many did in 1980 with the election of President Reagan).
It’s well known that both U.S. President Bush and Attorney General John Ashcroft are professing believers in the Lord (I even have a copy of a hymn composed by the Attorney General)—as are many other leading figures in the Republican administration. This is of course very heartening to Christians.
But what does this say about those who, equally under the Spirit’s anointing, have prophesied the demise of America, and rightly point to the cumulative evils that have come to define the American culture? And what about the fact that, despite the intercessory successes of late, there really has been no systemic change in the essential materialism and self-centered, spiritually dark bent of the American people?
If we follow these questions far enough, they lead to the mire over kingdom teachings—the divide between those who say total restoration through intercession is at hand and those who say judgment is nigh—between those who say the kingdom is here now, and those who say the kingdom is yet to come after this one falls.
Is there anything we can say about this still unresolved tension to bring clarity?
Musing on it all the other day, a picture came to me that helps give a fuller perception of what is going on and where this is all headed. See if it helps you as it does me….
Kingdom Engineering and Kingdom Maintenance
I live alongside a capital city whose downtown has undergone extensive transformation the last twenty years. Many old buildings have been torn down and replaced with altogether new ones. Many streets and bridges have also been replaced.
Two things stand out about such transformation. First, the engineering plans for the new are laid out long before anything is torn down—years in advance of the actual work. These plans are in fact designed long before the eventual demolitions and replacements are even publicized.
But also, during the planning, the worn buildings to be replaced remain in use. Not only do they remain in use, they continue to be maintained—as if they were never going to be replaced. This maintenance can continue til shortly before the time of demolition, to where the surveyors planning for demolition are on the grounds and in the buildings taking samples and measurements while the maintenance people are still keeping it up.
Together, these two points show one thing: During this whole process, there are two kinds of people. There are planning engineers with an eye to demolition and new construction. And there are maintenance people keeping the buildings intact. And they both work for the same government.
We can learn a lot about our place in the kingdom and God’s plans for the earth from this picture. The struggle in kingdom theologies, prophetic visions and intercessory burdens is about two ministries in the Kingdom that need to be fully realized by those engaged in either type. There is Kingdom Engineering ministry and Kingdom Maintenance ministry.
Kingdom Engineering ministry embraces the advance planning, vision and burden for the nearing demolition of all things in the present world system and for the establishment of an entirely new system under Christ and His immortal ones. This is the ministry underlying the hearts of those who perceive the incurable systemic evil in today’s world, who prophesy its downfall, and patiently await its entire Replacement. [Note: Kingdom Engineering is my own predominant burden from the Lord, as is witnessed by many of my other articles.]
Kingdom Maintenance ministry is the portion of those who have the understanding, vision and burden for affecting and preserving the present world systems through the immediate power of the Holy Spirit as represented in Jesus’ earthly ministry. It’s the ministry beneath those who are burdened for present social change toward righteousness under what remains of the mortal era.
The problem of tension between these burdens is imaginary and unnecessary. But it stems from, as we have said before, the “owning” of a partial burden in the Lord and the defining of the whole Plan in terms of either.
Kingdom Engineering hearts struggle with interceding for present governments and earthly situations which they know God has already doomed. To pray to preserve the present arrangement in its irredeemable evil seems utterly futile. And to become actively involved in doing so seems doubly so. But without preservational intercession, the engineers have no stable environment under which to prepare for the Eternal. The world could collapse on them before the New is ready to be implemented.
Kingdom Maintenance hearts struggle with trying to permanently transform the ultimately unconvertible. They can’t accept ultimate doom of the systems they are rightly burdened to maintain. Blind to the eternal hope, they reinterpret all future doom prophecies as past events, and all future glory prophecies as for the present—even though flesh and blood can’t inherit the Kingdom of God. So their intercessions are driven by the tyranny of the urgent and they remain unprepared for ultimate demolition of what they are maintaining and the true Replacement Kingdom.
The reality is that, in the big Kingdom plan, as with city redesign, the engineering and maintenance visions are one and each is necessary to the other. On the Titanic, the people who saw the ship’s doom and worked to get the lifeboats out needed the time purchased by the people who labored to maintain the ship’s limited seaworthiness. And the people who labored to keep the ship afloat longer than it would have on its own needed the preparations of the people who got the lifeboats out.
Pray for Pharaoh? Why?
A prophetic lesson from Exodus helps us see these two aspects of Kingdom intercession. Five times during the plagues, Pharaoh asked Moses to pray for him—and Moses did. And the result of that praying was one thing: the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart culminating in the final true deliverance of Israel.
The fact that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart didn’t mean Moses should not have interceded for him. Yet that Moses interceded for Him didn’t mean God’s Purpose was to finally convert Pharaoh!
This is a perfect type of Kingdom Engineering and Maintenance Intercession applied to society at the end of the age. As a Kingdom Engineer, Moses didn’t expect his intercession to convert the unconvertible. His eye was on final Deliverance into a new state, replacing the rule of man for God’s manifest rule.
But as Kingdom Maintenance, Moses’ intercession was necessary to effect the way for that final revelation of God’s True Kingdom—typified in Israel. His intercession effected temporal but vital maintenance changes under Pharaoh, albeit very short-lived changes.
If there is one thing we all need, it is an integrated understanding of the temporal limits and permanent goals of earthly intercession. Though some of us are more commissioned to engineering and others more to maintenance, the truth is we all must develop in both these dimensions if we are to come into our own final perfection. We must know what we are called to pray for in the here-and-now—with its limits—while staying sensitive and committed to the ultimate plan for demolition of this world and its entire Replacement by the iron rule of Christ at His appearing.
May the thoughts presented here help us find that harmonization within, and perhaps even make some friends among Engineering and Maintenance Kingdom saints!
First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship
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Page created June 17, 2004