There is a stirring in the body of Christ today: many are shifting from a religious paradigm to a Kingdom one. In dialogue with others, it is common to hear a question like this posed: “What prevents us from demonstrating kingdom power or authority?” This is a valid question that needs to be answered if we are to step into our roles as Kingdom representatives.
So, What Stops Us From Demonstrating His Kingdom?
The simple truth is that our demonstration is the proof of the Kingdom’s existence. It’s not in our doctrine or structure, but it’s obediently going and doing what we have been sent to do. The challenge we face is that in many (if not most) believers’ lives and churches we are not going. Now I understand there are always exceptions and there are churches and believers out there who are being Kingdom reps. However, as a whole we are not accomplishing the great commission. So the question begs to be asked: “Why are we not going and demonstrating His kingdom?”
Reviewing the early church, it is clearly seen that the apostles walked in a miracle producing authority. They performed the miraculous, and the Lord confirmed their preaching by signs and wonders. This miraculous demonstration of Kingdom authority in the daily lives of the first believers was so powerful and convincing that cities were stirred to riots because of its affect, and a reverential fear or awe of God was produced with many souls being converted.
In the Christianity of today, we find that many of man’s ideas have become a hindrance to the operation of the Spirit, limiting the church’s ability to operate in Kingdom authority. Jesus said,
“Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men,” (Mark 7:7-8). Jesus further spoke of the result of holding the traditions of man in verse 13, “Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered:” According to Thayer’s “Making of none effect” is one word and it means “deprive of force and authority.”
The greatest hindrance to Kingdom authority that is faced in this day and age is the tradition of men* and the resulting structure of traditional* churches. Traditions create a biased paradigm that is used to filter scripture. This tainted view of scripture affects the individual’s faith and ability to walk in apostolic authority. Centuries of man’s tradition have created an organization that is far from the original apostolic church.
In the New Testament, the Greek word paradosis is translated as tradition 13 times, 11 times in a negative context and the two times it is used positive it must have a qualifying statement to make it positive. According to Thayer’s it means: “a giving over, giving up. 1. the act of giving up, the surrender: 2. a giving over which is done by word of mouth or in writing.” Most online English dictionaries that I have looked at include for the modern word tradition a component of a “handing down or over.”
The following is an excerpt from: Living In Kingdom Authority, Every Believers Privilege.
Digging a little deeper, we find that paradosis (tradition) is derived from paradidomi which has significant meanings for our discussion. According to Strong’s it means, “to surrender.” Thayer’s states it is, “to give over: properly, to give into the hands (of another) to give over into (one’s) power or use: to deliver to one something to keep, use, take care of, manage.” The basic idea conveyed here is to surrender or to give over to the power of another. It is used 121 times in the New Testament and only 19 are used in a positive context.
Paul warns the church at Colossi of the potential dangers traditions have to spoil or enslave: “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition (paradosis) of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ” (Colossians 2:8). The ISV puts it this way: “See to it that no one enslaves you through philosophy and empty deceit according to human tradition.” The danger of man’s religious traditions is they hold us captive or enslave us when they are held above the commandments of God.
Further, according to Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary; tradition’s etymology is Middle English tradicioun, from Middle French & Latin; Middle French tradition, from Latin tradition-, tradition and is the action of handing over. It is from the same root word as treason. (emphasis added)
Once again, according to Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary; the etymology of treason is Middle English tresoun, from Old French traison, from Latin tradition-, traditio act of handing over, from tradere to hand over, betray. (emphasis added).
It should be a shocking revelation to us that tradition and treason have the same etymology. They mean a handing over of something. So we see the significance of tradition is that it can be considered treason of beliefs or values that were once held by individuals or a group. In respect to the traditional church, we see that there has been a surrendering, a giving up or handing over of the power of God, as demonstrated through Kingdom authority. This treasonous act has been a replacing of the commandments and power of God for the traditions of men. This is truly making the commands of God none affect.
Now the application of this little rant is that we have a paradigm of church that is centuries old. It has been around so long, very few question its validity. Those that do are considered weird or heretics. It is this ingrained belief system that is the stronghold that resists the demonstration of Kingdom authority.
So our challenge is to evaluate our thinking: what values and beliefs do we have that are limiting our expression of His kingdom?
Dr Martin lives in St Louis MO, with his wife Ava and their dog Zoe. His ministry is to assist church leadership in developing membership ministry involvement and growth. The focus is on teaching and empowering the body of Christ to demonstrate the power of His kingdom in tangible daily life. The results: increased faith and the potential for greater revival and harvest. He is available to speak to your local assembly, organization or ministry. He is also available to assist in the transformation of your church culture. For more information, check us out here
*When I speak of traditions, I am referring to those commandments or doctrines of men that are hindering the actual power of God. Not all traditions are bad, as long as they do not limit the believer from demonstrating His kingdom.