I would like to share with you a revelation the Lord has given me regarding the current layers that exist in the Church. I believe that by seeing the layers, we can also see where He is working to transform the Church into a more mature Bride of Christ. To do so, we will consider Christianity from the perspective of five realms. Every person on earth lives in one of these five realms, and inside each of these realms is a progression, because people are designed to move from one to the next through their lives.
- The World Realm
This is the starting point. Those who live in the world system are not believers. They do not know or walk with the Lord.
- The Church Realm
When people become believers in Jesus, they enter the Church realm. In the Church realm they learn fellowship, communion, baptism, and the basics of the gospel message. Some people live their whole lives in the Church realm, with a very basic understanding of the gospel.
- The Supernatural Realm
Sometimes people in the Church realm begin to realize there must be something more, and they transition into the supernatural realm. Perhaps they start watching Sid Roth, Patricia King, iBethel.tv, or any other well-known charismatic ministry, and they connect with something supernatural that stirs a hunger in them. They realize, “I can’t just sit in church; there has to be something more.” As a result, they go after the supernatural realm. I have noticed that typically the period of transition needed from the Church realm into the supernatural realm works like this. For every ten years a person has spent in the Church realm, that person will need one to two years of adjustment to the supernatural realm. Eventually, after the transitional period, the supernatural becomes part of normal life, part of church life. Thus, people add the supernatural to their church experience.
- The Kingdom Realm
Once people have fully acclimated to the supernatural realm, they are designed to move into another realm called the Kingdom realm. This is what happens when people start to say, “We are healing people in the church, but I want to see my city transformed. I want to see my neighborhood, family, business, local government, and all of those arenas transformed.” That is moving beyond simply the supernatural to thinking about expanding the Kingdom. Lance Wallnau’s seven mountains concept connects with this realm, as well as the teachings coming out of Bethel Church in Redding, California. In the Kingdom realm, people are thinking, “This is about more than just my local group or church healing people at the front on a Sunday morning. We need to reach our neighborhood. We need to be involved in the larger picture.” So, the Kingdom realm is larger than the supernatural realm, and the supernatural realm is larger than the Church realm. Each realm expands a person’s experience and perspective as the person progresses.
- The New Covenant Realm
Finally, we have the new covenant realm, which is the current reformation in the Church. Over the last half century, the Church has come to a healthier and more biblical view of Kingdom expansion and what it means to bring heaven to earth. This is very important. But the new covenant realm is another step in the direction we are headed. Currently there are very few ministries that are heralding this message, Welton Academy would be one of the main ones, and Joseph Prince would be another one that is pushing this realm forward.
What people miss if they do not live in the new covenant realm is knowing the heart of the Father toward them. One of the most obvious evidences is the way people who live in any of the previous three realms tend to respond to tragedy or natural disaster. When a terrible event happens, these people do not know whether it was caused by God, the devil, or human sin. They ask, “Was it judgment, wrath, or something else?” The reason they do not understand this is because they do not understand that God acts in accordance with the covenant He is in. Because they do not understand the progression of the covenants, they do not know how to differentiate between the way God acted within the old covenant versus the new.
This is why people make foolish statements like, “God works in mysterious ways.” That is not true. He does not work in mysterious ways, and He is not mysterious. In fact, when the New Testament talks about mystery, it is speaking of the mystery of unveiling Christ, which is now no longer a mystery, since it has been unveiled. What was once mysterious is now revealed to us in the new covenant:
As it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”—the things God has prepared for those who love him—these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:9–10).
The first part of this passage is a quotation from Isaiah 64:4, from the Old Testament. Paul was telling us that what was hidden has been revealed by the Spirit. God is not hiding it from us anymore. Because God always acts in accordance with the covenant He is in, we can know what He will do. And we can also know what He will not do! That is our new covenant relationship with God. If we know we have this type of relationship with Him, then we will know our hearts, and we will know His heart. Then, when something tragic happens, we can know His heart and position on the event, because we are connected with His heart. All of those questions are answered by understanding the covenant we are in. Those that live in the New Covenant Realm have a deep understanding of the Father’s heart and have answered these questions.
Conversely, a lack of understanding of the previous covenants can veil who God is. If we do not understand the old covenant, it becomes a veil that inhibits us from see His heart and knowing what He is like. Instead, we look at the old Mosaic covenant and live in fear of that covenant even though we are not under that covenant. The important fact people miss is that the old covenant was always a temporary covenant, and God promised from the very beginning to replace it with the circumcision of the heart, which is the new covenant (Deut. 29:12-30:6). Thus, the new covenant realm helps us understand how the King feels about us. So many Christians are trying to advance the Kingdom, but they don’t even know the heart of the King toward them.
If we do not know the heart of the Father toward us, then we will live and feel like orphans and we will read the Bible with a lot of confusion about His heart. One of the common mistakes is how people start to believe everything in the Bible is applicable to everyone. That is not true, because some of what is in the Bible is under the old covenant, under which no one currently lives. We can read and learn from these passages, but they are not applicable to us in the way they were to their original audience. As Paul said, “These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come” (1 Cor. 10:11). So we can learn from their examples, but we do not apply the Law or the old covenant situation to our lives. Some people have tried to say the Bible is a flat book and everything applies in the same way; it is all the will of God. This is very far from the truth of the new covenant presented in the New Testament. This is the reason why in the new covenant realm people do not mix the old and new covenants in their presentation.
Many people reject the gospel because the message they receive from the Church is a mixture of the old and new covenants, and they cannot palate it. Unfortunately, we have this mixture, which has been a problem since the early Church. In fact, Paul spent most of his ministry fighting mixture in the gospel message, particularly from the Judiazers, who were trying to drag the new covenant people back into the old covenant. The whole book of Hebrews as well as Galatians and large portions of Paul’s other letters address this issue. The same issue of mixture between the old and new covenants exists today, and it has filtered into so many different areas of thinking in the Church. This is why the new covenant realm is so important. The reformation God is bringing to the Church will deal with all of this old covenant thinking and establish people’s minds in new covenant thinking. It will demolish fear, end-time paranoia, legalism, gender inequality, racism, and all other areas of lack in the Church. This is where the worldwide Church is heading. This is what the Holy Spirit is doing in our day.
PS. To Learn more about the New Covenant and how to Understand the Whole Bible, consider investing in yourself this year and joining the Welton Academy (Click Here).