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A VIEW OF THE KINGDOM

The Kingdom of God has been an enigma in the church since the New Testament scriptures were assembled into the present form. The Kingdom is mentioned dozens of times but no clear explanation is given. Most writers use Romans 14:17 as THE definition. ROM 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. This tells us what the subjective experience of the Kingdom is in us but doesn't tell us what the Kingdom really is objectively. What is the substance of the Kingdom itself? When we first begin to search out the meaning of the Kingdom we have a lot of confidence in getting our revelation from the parables. However the parables fail to give us a clear definition. If we take 150 scriptures dealing with the Kingdom and try to make a composite definition, we only make confusion. The principle of the Kingdom is the unfolding revelation of God's eternal purpose from Genesis to Revelation. The Kingdom is not easily summed up into a definition of a few words. The Kingdom has so many facets it cannot be defined by looking at one or two. The city of Jerusalem had twelve gates. It was not possible to give an accurate description of the city by looking in one gate. Even by looking in all 12 gates you could only gain a partial view. That's why the Psalmist said to walk through the city and observe carefully the details. PSA 48:12 Walk about Zion, go around her, count her towers, PSA 48:13 consider well her ramparts, view her citadels, that you may tell of them to the next generation. Jesus has commissioned us to preach the GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM. However He didn't tell us exactly what that gospel is. For that reason many have thought the gospel of salvation is the same thing as the gospel of the Kingdom. But the gospel of salvation says come and get it, it’s all free! While the gospel of the Kingdom says come and give, it will cost you all that you have. LUK 12:31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. LUK 12:32 "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to GIVE you the kingdom. LUK 12:33 SELL your possessions and GIVE to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. LUK 12:34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. The Kingdom of God has had a past aspect in the lives of men, it has a present aspect in our lives and it has a future aspect as the eternal Kingdom. The last aspect is what the church has preached. The Kingdom will come someday. But the Kingdom has already come. MAR 9:1 And he said to them, "I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power." We are now living in the dispensation of the Kingdom. But not everyone who is born again will enter into the Kingdom of God. MAT 7:21 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. It is not easy to sort all this out so we could turn the Kingdom into a message that is good news. A diamond has many facets. The Kingdom is a diamond with many facets. To participate in the Kingdom we must each DO THE WILL OF GOD. MAT 6:10 your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. The Kingdom of God will come to earth when the WILL OF GOD is done on earth as THE WILL OF GOD IS NOW BEING DONE IN HEAVEN. That is but one facet. Obviously that facet of the Kingdom has not yet come universally to the earth. However that facet of the Kingdom of God has come in some individuals who have given themselves to do the whole will of God. Therefore, the disciples saw the Kingdom of God come with power in Jesus Christ, as He did the will of God. In this study we want to look at a different facet of the Kingdom but a facet that is part of the whole. This facet has to do with the AUTHORITY and the GOVERNMENT of the Kingdom that has been assigned to MAN. GEN 1:26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." GEN 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. GEN 1:28 God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground." God's original purpose was to make man in His own image and likeness so they could rule over God's creation. When man fell, he lost his capacity to rule the earth as God would rule it. Satan usurped the authority that God had given man and began to rule over man and over as much of the earth as he could. However, God's original purpose never changed. PSA 8:1 O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. PSA 8:2 From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. PSA 8:3 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, PSA 8:4 what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? PSA 8:5 You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. PSA 8:6 You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet: PSA 8:7 all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, PSA 8:8 the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. PSA 8:9 O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! One of the reasons God wants to restore full authority to man is because of God's adversaries and to make the enemy and the revengeful to cease. God's purpose remained after the fall. It also remained after redemption. HEB 2:6 But there is a place where someone has testified: "What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? HEB 2:7 You made him a little lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor HEB 2:8 and put everything under his feet." In putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to him. HEB 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. God has now restored all power and authority to man. The MAN, CHRIST JESUS. Not only on the earth but also in heaven as well. MAT 28:18 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. The first Adam lost his authority but the last Adam has gained it back again. If we are in the first Adam we have no authority. If we are in the last Adam we have his authority to go in His name. Therefore, in His name we shall cast out demons, heal the sick etc. If this truth was universally understood and acted upon the devil would be in a panic. He has labored diligently to hide this fact from the church, although God has not hid it. Very few in the church really act upon the authority that God has assigned to the Person of Jesus Christ and enacted through His name. The tabernacle of Moses is a picture for us of spiritual things and of heavenly things and of heaven itself. It is therefore a picture for us of the purpose of God. The purpose of God is for man to take the name of Jesus and begin to rule over God's enemies. It was for this purpose that man was created, to rule over the creeping and crawling things. Satan is a creeping and crawling thing, that old serpent of old. Since God has saved so many multitudes in the last 20 years, we should see a great and mighty army of God that is waging war on God's adversaries and causing the enemies and the revengeful to cease. The fact is the enemy is not even being slowed down. He is doing as he pleases. How can we explain this contradiction? I believe the Tabernacle of Moses will give us the answer. In many other studies we have shown how the believer approaches God from the first veil called the gate, or door. He comes to the altar with his sacrifice and kills it. The priest catches the blood in a basin and sprinkles it upon the altar and splashes the rest against the base of the altar. The person's sins are forgiven. Then if the person was a priest he stepped up toward the laver and his garments were removed. He was then washed all over in the laver. Then priest's garments were put on and he stepped up toward the second veil, called the door of the sanctuary. He was then anointed with the horn of the anointing oil. It was the anointing that qualified him to be a priest. EXO 40:15 Anoint them just as you anointed their father, so they may serve me as priests. Their anointing will be to a priesthood that will continue for all generations to come." The seventh outer court experience was the consecration offering. EXO 40:13 "And you shall put the holy garments on Aaron and anoint him and consecrate him, that he may minister as a priest to Me. No priest could serve in the Holy place ministry who was not anointed and consecrated. The basic meaning of consecration is to forsake all else to do the whole will of God. Once the priest had completed the consecration offering he could pass through the next veil which was the door of the sanctuary. Then he stepped into the Holy Place to minister as a priest, first to God, and then to the people for God. In the Holy Place there were three distinct pieces of furniture( for the lack of a better term). On the left was the lampstand. On the right was the table of shewbread. Straight ahead, directly in front of the third veil, was the altar of incense. It's smoke rose up toward the Most Holy Place just beyond the veil. The altar was in the Holy Place but it was there to function for the Most Holy Place. Since the Old Testament priesthood had no access to the most Holy place it had to be in the Holy Place in order to be serviced under the Old Covenant. At Calvary it was that third veil that was torn from top to bottom so the altar is now directly before the ark of the covenant, the throne of God. The explanation of the manifestation of the Kingdom of God begins at the altar of incense. Man participates with God to bring the Kingdom of God to the earth at the altar of incense. Since so few people, who are saved, can really qualify for ministry at the altar because of a lack of consecration, it is clear why this ministry is neglected. Then it should be clear why the gospel of the Kingdom is mistaken for the gospel of salvation. Salvation takes place at the bronze altar. The Kingdom functions at the gold altar of incense. This then is the introduction to our study on the Kingdom function of the church. This study must begin with GOD'S SOVEREIGNTY. We began with man's dominion and God's eternal purpose in capsule form. Other studies have focused on God's sovereignty. God Himself gave man sovereignty upon this earth to rule over the earth in the character of God and to fulfil God's eternal purpose. It is at the altar of incense that the purpose of God, the sovereignty of God and the dominion of man upon the earth come together. The sovereign God gave man dominion on the earth to carry out and fulfil God's eternal purpose. Man was given delegated authority, rulership and sovereignty upon the earth, under God's sovereignty. Man had no autonomous authority to act on his own behalf. All man's authority was subject to God's sovereign authority and was by God's permission. Man was to co-operate with God in fulfilling God's purpose. The place this happens is the altar of incense. God is not going to over step man's authority. God sovereignly gave it and He will wait for man to co-operate with God to Do His will. This is precisely why the consecration offering must precede the Holy Place life and ministry. The carnal prayer of an unconsecrated believer who demands his own way and has no concern for God's will and purpose will not co-operate with God to complete God's eternal plan. Therefore, even though there may be a level of prayer, praise, thanksgiving and worship, no incense is burnt. The incense is for a sweet smelling savor unto God. Incense is wholly for God. The priests were forbidden to make any for themselves for a perfume. EXO 30:34 Then the Lord said to Moses, "Take for yourself spices, stacte and onycha and galbanum, spices with pure frankincense; there shall be an equal part of each. EXO 30:35 "And with it you shall make incense, a perfume, the work of a perfumer, salted, pure, {and} holy. EXO 30:36 "And you shall beat some of it very fine, and put part of it before the testimony in the tent of meeting, where I shall meet with you; it shall be most holy to you. EXO 30:37 "And the incense which you shall make, you shall not make in the same proportions for yourselves; it shall be holy to you for the Lord. EXO 30:38 "Whoever shall make {any} like it, to use as perfume, shall be cut off from his people." If the church understood this principle of prayer, praise, worship and thanksgiving it would change it's attitude in praying to be heard by people or to make an impression. Praying, as a sweet smelling fragrance for ourselves, is not the revelation of incense and is forbidden by God. The incense is to be salted, pure and sacred. Salt speaks to us of God's covenant. The basis and authority of prayer is given by God and is His idea. God has designed the altar of incense to complete His purpose. God has made an agreement that is part of the incense. This incense is not to be used for ourselves! It is to be used for God! This gives a whole new emphasis on prayer, praise, worship and thanksgiving( the four elements of New Testament incense). But how and why does it work? First it works when these four elements are blended in equal parts and in a perfumer's mixture and the fragrance arises up to God for His benefit. It doesn't work when man just pleads with God for more blessing or provision. Jesus said if we seek FIRST the Kingdom of God and His righteousness ALL the necessary things will be added. Praying for things is another subject and not part of this kind of prayer. It is not wrong but it is not incense. Incense kind of prayer will never fail to be answered and will never be irrelevant. Most prayer is not related to incense at all and therefore is sometimes irrelevant. The purpose of this study then is to elevate our prayer to the level of incense. God's absolute sovereignty, God's eternal purpose, God's omnipotent power and man's delegated authority to rule on this earth are the motivation behind the function of the gold altar of incense. It is at the altar of incense that God brings man into the circle of His sovereignty, to exercise man's delegated authority in order to complete God's eternal purpose. That is how man participates in the Kingdom of God NOW. It is by co-operating with God to establish His government in us and then through us and around us. Jesus Christ has been given all authority in heaven and in earth and He must rule until He has put every enemy under His feet. We can say" praise God" and just relax until it happens. The problem is this; Jesus as head of the church, which is His body, has given authority to use His name and to go in His authority. He is ruling until every enemy is put under His feet. His feet are in His body. Therefore Jesus is ruling through His body until every enemy is trampled under the church's feet. ROM 16:20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. Satan has been generally successful in confusing these issues and in getting the church caught up in insignificant projects and work that present no threat to his kingdom. The church has been deceived like Eve and kept powerless, helpless and without vision. Satan will even sacrifice a few souls to be saved to make the church think she is successful. Still that in itself is no threat to Satan. He will permit the church to evangelize but his evangelism far outshines the church's evangelism. He is winning more souls than the church. One reason God has given such authority to the church is because of God's adversary and to cause His enemies and the revengeful to cease. All Satan has to do is hide this fact from the church and there is no threat to his kingdom. The church's real authority is exercised at the altar of incense. This is where the church steps into the circle of God's sovereignty and begins to co-operate with God to rule. It is at the altar of incense that the church begins her apprenticeship training for the Kingdom of God. The church , over the years, has taught a very short sighted view of God's sovereignty. The concept crept in that God's sovereignty means that God chooses and does whatever He wants to do. God does not consult with man. There is really nothing we can do to change God's sovereignty. While in a sense that is quite true, it is also true that God does permit man to make decisions upon this earth. We see Abraham speaking with God and God relenting of the destruction He was about to bring. We see Moses pleading with God to spare Israel and God relenting. It is true that God is sovereign, but God's desire is to bring man into the circle of His sovereignty and permit man to enter into the decision making process of this earth. That was God's original plan and it is still God's plan. In this way God lets man function within His Kingdom government. If God's sovereignty set aside man's asking then why did Jesus speak so much about man asking? Why pray for God's Kingdom to come? If God is sovereign, His Kingdom will come whenever He determines it will come and there is nothing we can do about it. Unfortunately this has been the attitude of the church. This is a wrong concept of God's sovereignty. Within God's sovereignty is God's power, His wisdom, His knowledge and His judgement. But all are directed toward carrying out His eternal purpose for His creation. Within God's sovereignty, He has given man responsibility to rule over this earth and all that is on it. Including the Devil and the forces of darkness. That is why if man does not pray God will not act, except to complete His purpose. God has not relinquished His sovereignty over the earth but has agreed to bring man into the circle of His sovereignty and to permit man to participate in the decision making process for the earth once again. Man cannot change the course of this world by his own wisdom, power or knowledge! Politics, demonstrations, lobbying and public outcry is not the way to change things. Now when it comes to this earth and what happens on it, God has given responsibility to man. But man is helpless in his own power to change anything. However, when man steps into" the circle of God's sovereignty", all the resources of heaven are available to change things to flow into God's eternal purpose. When man has gotten a glimpse of this, he has tried to use it for summer homes, Cadillacs and prosperity, instead of for God's purpose. We are not saying God does not prosper His people, but His sovereignty is toward His purpose. God will always prosper us toward His purpose. However, the cleaver man can prosper himself toward his own purpose. God has given man dominion so He permits it, but it is very shortsighted compared to God's Kingdom and His purpose. Man has been given authority and with authority comes privilege but with privilege comes responsibility. Most are looking for authority and privilege without responsibility. To whom much is given much is required and we will be judged by how we used what we were given. REV 5:8 And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. PSA 141:2 May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice. This is the fixed revelation of incense. We can't deviate from this and assign our own interpretation. Incense is a picture of the prayers of the saints. Prayer is the general term for all that takes place at the altar of incense. The incense was made up of FOUR ingredients formulated from equal parts of each. This shows us one activity or one kind of prayer is not what God has in mind. Prayer should be a perfumer's mixture. The incense has but one primary purpose and that is to be burned. The purpose of the altar is to provide a place for the incense to be burned. The incense was not to be a museum piece for exhibit. It wasn't made for storage. The purpose for the incense was to be burned. Because it was burned, new incense must be continually made. It was the fire that changed the incense from a solid to a vapor that would ascend up to God. Even though it was burned it was not wasted and it is not lost. When it ascends it is kept in bowls or in an incenser. Even prayers that are offered before the exact time of fulfillment will be kept until the time to release the answer. The altar of incense is all arranged in fours. (1) The altar is first made of wood. (2) It is overlaid with pure gold. (3)There are four rings, one on each corner. (4)There were two poles that fit through the rings for carrying the altar. The incense was made of four different substances. (1)Stacte, (2)oncha, (3)galbanum and (4)pure frankincense each in equal proportions. No other incense was permitted. There were four specific things that were forbidden to be offered on this altar. (1)Strange incense, (2)burnt offering, (3)meal offering and (4)any drink offering (libation). (1)The altar was made of wood, covered with gold. (2)It also had four horns, one on each corner. (3)There were four rings on the corners to carry it. (4) there was a gold crown that ran around the top. What then is the significance of all these fours? The altar of incense is the place and the work where The Father, The Son, The Holy Spirit and man all come together to make the decisions for the four corners of the earth! It is the place that the triune God permits man to step into the circle of His sovereignty and to begin to rule. It is the place of man's apprenticeship training for the Kingdom of God. From before the foundation of the earth, it was God's purpose for man to rule over God's creation. Man must be trained to do even simple jobs in the world. How much more must man be trained for ruling in the Kingdom of God. The question then is: When and where does God train us? If we look at all the possibilities in the different areas of the tabernacle, we have to conclude the altar of incense is the only logical place. We are called to be co-laborers with Christ. Christ is seated at the right hand of God making intercession. At least one aspect of co-labor must be in prayer. Co-labor is working with Christ rather than working FOR Christ or working independently of Christ. Altar of incense kind of prayer is not man entering into dialogue with God trying to get God to see things our way and change His mind concerning the things that effect us. Incense prayer is man entering into discipleship and joining with Christ in fulfilling God's purpose upon the earth. A disciple is one who is taught. A learner. A disciple is not one who instructs God but one who learns from God. Most of our prayer is telling God what He should be doing and even telling Him how to do it. The altar of incense is the place of absolute authority. It stands directly before the throne of God, the ark of the covenant. Since God is sovereign, He has absolute authority. All valid authority then must be under His absolute authority. That means the Devil has no authority. Christ has been given all authority in heaven and in earth. That means the Devil has none. He is like a fallen dictator who has no authority but is still ordering people around. He is using a counterfeit authority. The question is; How is man now going to make the adversary, God's enemies and the revengeful to cease? The revelation of the altar of incense is that man steps into the circle of God's sovereignty. The man Christ Jesus has been given all authority and His body, the church, has been given delegated authority in His name. However we don't have delegated authority to decide our own agenda and work independently. We must realize, apart from Jesus, we don't have any authority. If we co-labor with Him we have His delegated authority in His name. If we try to use His name to promote our own program, we run smack into the sovereignty of God. JAM 4:3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. Now it should be clear why the incense must be a precise blend and a perfumer's mixture and why we can't make any like it for ourselves. It must be a blend of God's sovereignty, God's will, God's purpose and man's delegated authority. When these are put on the fire, God's power is released. God has all the sovereignty, all the wisdom, all the knowledge and all the power to bring to pass all that He has determined to do from the foundation of the world. Whenever God decides to bring the history of this earth to a close and cast the Devil and his angels into the pit, He can very easily do it. Then, we might ask, why does God not just do it, if He can? The reason is because of His plan for Man. God has determined to bring man into the circle of His sovereignty, give man delegated authority now on the earth and let man train for God's eternal government. If man is going to rule over 10 cities he must be trained, tested and approved. God is not going to bring into His eternal government another bunch, just like the bunch He threw out with the Devil. The bride who will rule with Him will have His very same characteristics. She will have grown up in all things into Christ. She will have come to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. She will be conformed to His image. She will be as pure gold, transparent like clear glass. She will be as a very costly stone, as a stone of crystal clear jasper. And the GLORY of God will shine through her , and her lamp will be THE LAMB. Each believer must have a great work of God done in him to prepare him for that place. Each believer must be transformed into the bride . Each one must be trained for the throne. Many quit simply because they don't understand God's eternal purpose and why they must be so radically changed. All the gold for the Holy Place must be pure gold that has been through the fire and all impurities removed. Then it must be beaten into shape. This is not fun but it is endurable if we have a vision of God's eternal purpose and the perfection of the bride. If we understood that God wants to share His throne with us, we would understand why we must be trained, tried, tested, found faithful and approved. It is just logical! God's purpose from before the beginning of time was to produce a co-sovereign bride for the Son of God. His bride will be His judicial equal. ( not His divine equal). She will rule with Him. The bride is identified by her relation with Christ. We see her as one who loves Christ , who is humble, obedient, totally submissive and always seeking to do His will. However, with God's enemies she is violent, well trained, fully equipped, relentless, unmerciful, a powerful conqueror and as terrible as an army with banners. She is active in driving out God's enemies, possessing their land and destroying their idols. Included in her training will be on the battle field training in spiritual warfare, overcoming and subduing spiritual forces of darkness. The end time army of God is seen in Joel 2. JOE 2:3 Before them fire devours, behind them a flame blazes. Before them the land is like the garden of Eden, behind them, a desert waste-- nothing escapes them. JOE 2:4 They have the appearance of horses; they gallop along like cavalry. JOE 2:5 With a noise like that of chariots they leap over the mountaintops, like a crackling fire consuming stubble, like a mighty army drawn up for battle. JOE 2:6 At the sight of them, nations are in anguish; every face turns pale. JOE 2:7 They charge like warriors; they scale walls like soldiers. They all march in line, not swerving from their course. JOE 2:8 They do not jostle each other; each marches straight ahead. They plunge through defenses without breaking ranks. JOE 2:9 They rush upon the city; they run along the wall. They climb into the houses; like thieves they enter through the windows. JOE 2:10 Before them the earth shakes, the sky trembles, the sun and moon are darkened, and the stars no longer shine. JOE 2:11 The LORD thunders at the head of his army; his forces are beyond number, and mighty are those who obey his command. The day of the LORD is great; it is dreadful. Who can endure it? In all of church history we have not yet seen a militant church like this. Therefore we assume this prophesy is yet to be fulfilled. This is not a church who is demonstrating on the streets or lobbing in Washington or participating in public debates. This obviously is a spiritual army who is leaping over mountains in prayer. Who are invading cities in spiritual warfare. Their weapons are not carnal but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds. In verse 11 in N.A.S.B. it says: The Lord utters His voice BEFORE His army, surely His camp is very great, for strong is he who carries out His word. The day of the Lord is indeed great and very awesome, and who can endure it? The Lord is leading this army with His voice and great are those who carry out HIS WORD. The church in training must become the church in fulfillment. It other words the church must become the church that God has designed. The bride must become as terrible as an army with banners. If Joel 2 is speaking of the end time church then there must be a fulfillment of these scriptures in the church. The church must actually fit this description. Knowing the doctrine of these things does not fulfill these things. LIVING THESE THINGS, FULFILLS THESE THINGS. God has given the church a legal position NOW by positionally seating her in heavenly places in Christ. Through her death, burial, resurrection and ascension in Christ, she has a throne position in Christ. Jesus Christ is at the right hand of power and has all authority in heaven and earth. The church IN CHRIST has amazing power and authority over the affairs of this earth. The question is; will she fulfil her role of ruling this earth in this time period? Obviously it will depend upon her revelation of her God given position, her God given authority and her God given responsibility, and whether she will actually uses what she has been given. The church certainly has a legal position in heaven, but enforcing that legal position upon this earth is another matter. We may even declare our legal position in Christ, doctrinally, without a serious conflict with the rulers of this earth. But when we enforce our authority and dominion in Christ and begin to drive back the works of darkness, we face violent warfare. It is understandable that the lukewarm and uncommitted are not interested in spiritual warfare where there are real casualties and continuous confrontation. Christ's work on Calvary was completely complete. He totally destroyed Satan's authority on earth, took away the keys of death and canceled out all Satan's claims on mankind. COL 2:15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. Then He ascended back to heaven to sit at the Father's right hand. He is now ruling until every enemy is put under His feet. His feet are in His body. From this we see the church has been given the responsibility to enforce Christ's victory at Calvary upon all God's enemies on the earth. In order to do this, the church must use the delegated authority that Christ has given to the church, she must enforce the victory of the cross upon God's enemies. This then is the revelation of the incense altar. Man has no power to accomplish that. God has all power to accomplish it but he has given dominion of the earth to man. Now if man could step into the circle of God's sovereignty and power and co-operate with God, the darkness could be destroyed and God's enemies could be driven back. Then man could be assigned the title "overcomer". But It was God who overcame. That's true, but it was man who overcame at the altar of incense. For God to overcome the enemy is no problem for God. But for man to overcome at the altar of incense is a great victory for man. Without a clear revelation of God's eternal purpose and man's predestined purpose in God's plan, prayer becomes just a program of ineffective asking. A kind of religious treadmill. A self centered exercise in futility. Asking to heap more upon ourselves. The church that is functioning within the Kingdom of God is doing the enemies of God great harm. The church that is not doing God's enemies harm and taking a spoil, can hardly be called successful.