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RJ-7 & the BBs
The Meaning of Life
Spiritual Maturity
The Maturing of the Harvest
What or Where is Heaven
The Law
Biblical Affrimations


By Roger Duncan

Today's definition of LIFE seems to denote anything that lives. However LIFE is not about simply being ALIVE, but it is about LIVING. LIFE or LIVING is a process.

God has created everything that lives in this physical universe to operate in the progression of Birth, Growth, and Maturity. Jesus said in the parable of "THE SOWER" that the "KINGDOM OF HEAVEN" is this way (Mark chapter 4). He also said that if you don't understand this parable, you won't understand the rest of them.

I believe that God has constructed everything in nature to contain analogies of His Kingdom and how it relates to man. Everything that lives in nature has a beginning (Birth), a time of development (Growth), and eventually bears fruit (Maturity).

One example would be a tree. Let's say an apple tree. It begins with as a seed. If it is not planted, then that is the end of it. However if it is planted, then from the planting, a tree is born. It is not born full grown, but is a very small thing with the potential to become a full grown tree. Now begins the growth process. It must endure the elements, draw from the soil for nourishment and water, fight against weeds, possibly be wounded by passing animals and insects (ect. ect.). I believe Growth to be the hardest part of the inescapable trio. Now if our tree endures all these things, it will finally come to the point of maturity. When the tree is mature it will produce fruit. Contained in the fruit is seed. The seed is of the same type of the tree from which it came. Now we can say that the tree is mature (or perfect). People, animals, and everything else that grows follow the same three steps.

Jesus used illustration after illustration of Seed, Growth, and Maturity, when He taught about the Kingdom Of Heaven. The Kingdom relates to us personally, while the Church is a term for those who are the Kingdom collectively.

Physical things grow according to an internal biological clock. But things of the spirit grow by use. Like a muscle. The more the use, the more the stamina. The harder the resistance, the more strength is developed. That is why Christians, that press on toward God, find themselves face to face with so much tribulation (or pressure or resistance). I think one of the main reasons that doctrine can get so screwed up, is because believers so often think that tribulation and persecution is the same thing. Tribulation is what helps to produce fruit, persecution is the result of the fruit becoming evident in a hostile environment. It is not the believer himself that selfish people find offensive, but the character of God that is being manifest in them.

Jesus said that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Remember that LIFE is BIRTH, GROWTH, and MATURITY. Hopefully you are beginning to see that "THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN" is actually "THE LIFE OF GOD IN US". Let me repeat this in an amplified mode, THE LIFE (birth, growth, and maturity) OF GOD (His character, fruit, dominion) IN US (those who believe on Jesus and receive Him as Lord). I urge you to re-read the scriptures about the Kingdom Of Heaven, and see if they don't make more sense to you now.

I understand that there is coming a time when Jesus will rule the whole Earth, and the full manifestation of The Kingdom Of Heaven will occur, but that part of it is an inheritance yet to come! While we have spent so much time fantasizing about the Lord's Return, we have become spiritually anemic. It's like starving to death while waiting for rich uncle so and so to die, so that you can live off the inheritance. The Kingdom Of Heaven, in it's fullness, was BORN at the day of Pentecost, GROWS till this day, and will MATURE with the manifestation of THE SONS OF GOD and THE RETURN OF THE LORD. Not the manifestation of the CHILDREN OF GOD! The term SONS itself denotes maturity.

John the Baptist, Jesus, and the Disciples all preached "THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN", the GOOD NEWS OF THE LIFE OF GOD IN US. Today we preach "THE GOOD NEWS OF THE NEW BIRTH" and "THE BAD NEWS OF THE ANTICHRIST". Most people (preachers included) don't even understand what Antichrist is all about anyway. So, without getting me started on all of that, let me just say that we concentrate on evangelizing the world, and hope for maturity to somehow happen as we encourage each other to stand around looking into the sky. While the Gospel of the New Birth is important, it is only one third of the Gospel. And the manifestation of the gifts and the Spirit of God is by no means the Full Gospel either. Hopefully we all understand that God, over time, has been reveling to His people, little by little, revelation that brings us one step closer to the manifestation of the Sons of God. Each new revelation does not reveal the fullness of God's plan, but rather is another brick in the wall of understanding of a building that we can only speculate at the finished size and form. I understand that the fullness is the image of Christ formed in us, but we are constantly being updated by God on what the fullness of Christ is. Of course if you DO understand the fullness of Christ, and need no further revelation, please feel free to drop me a line, and don't forget to include the return address of your compound.

As I was saying earlier, Spiritual Growth comes by spiritual use, by tribulation (or pressure). Suffering is so grossly misunderstood in the Church today that it's amazing that any of us are still members. When we find ourselves in a trial, most of us are not told, "Count it all joy, for heavenly character is being developed in you!". We are either told that it is our penance or we are told to, "GET THE SIN OUT". Well, although I do all that I can to lay aside every sin and weight that would so easily beset me, I CAN'T GET SIN OUT! Oh wretched man that I am. However, God is perfectly capable of SQUEEZING it out of me. And to think, I actually prayed for THE BAPTISM OF FIRE. At any rate, I thank God that He sent someone to Disciple me, and has given me true friends that help me to stay true to God in the times of testing. And that is really what DISCIPLESHIP is all about, and is the primary ingredient for spiritual growth. Many try to produce growth through programs, lecture teaching, outreaches, ect. All of these have their place, but they are the icing on the cake, not the cake itself.

It is my prayer that you will allow God to begin to revel to you the true nature and application of ELDERSHIP and DISCIPLESHIP. But first you must take another look at THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. Please don't settle for a dead religion, or a pious "OUR DENOMINATION IS THE REMNANT", it's not, the remnant is THE CHURCH. And THE CHURCH has no divisions or schisms. Please believe me when I tell you that if you will seek after God with all of your heart, you will find Him, through Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And desire to GROW in Him. We must invest the time it takes to Grow. Then we shall begin to see Spiritual Maturity.


Copyright ROGER DUNCAN 1996