Beam Me Up, Scotty!

The Apostle Paul assures us, “For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son” (Col 1:13). The Greek word for “transferred,” means “to carry across” or “to transfer location.” In Star Trek language, we have been “beamed up” from the darkness of earth to the kingdom of heaven!

The early church father Chrysostom was astounded by this truth, commenting on Ephesians 2:6, “Amazing how He has raised up the Church! As if He were lifting us by a machine, He has raised us up to a vast height and installed us on that throne. . . . If a diadem, a crown of gold, was placed on our head, would we not do everything that would seem worthy? But now, what is far greater, Christ is made our very head. . . . Conceive for yourself the royal throne; conceive of the excess of the honor!”

Think of that: “Conceive for yourself the royal throne!” Throne Life—we are beamed up to a life out of ourselves, beyond ourselves; not our life, but Christ’s life in us and through us. It is not we who lift ourselves, but Jesus Himself lifts us up to be seated with Him on the Father’s Throne.

We Are Lifted by the Death and Resurrection of Jesus . F.J. Huegel declares the ancient truth that the Cross of Christ is the Throne of God. Apostolic Father Ignatius of Antioch, writing about 107 A.D. to the church at Ephesus, built upon the Apostle Paul’s teaching to the Ephesians on the higher life nearly fifty years earlier. He declared, “You are stones of a temple, prepared beforehand for the building of God the Father, hoisted up to the heights by the crane of Jesus Christ, which is the cross, using as a rope the Holy Spirit; your faith is what lifts you up, and love is the way that leads up to God.” The term “hoisted up” translates the Greek term anaphero, which means “to carry up higher” to the heights.  He is saying that the work of the Cross, the atonement, carries us to a higher plane of life. In The Holiest of All, Andrew Murray explains:

  • “We have Jesus as our Forerunner into God’s presence, with all the power of His death and resurrection-life working in us, and drawing and lifting us with divine energy into the Father’s presence. Yes, Jesus with His divine, His heavenly life, in the power of the throne in which He is seated, has entered into the deepest ground of our being, where Adam, where sin do their work, and there is increasingly carrying out His work of lifting us heavenward into God’s presence, and of making God’s heavenly presence here on earth our portion.”

The divine resurrection energy of Jesus has beamed us up into the heavenly places at the throne of God. He has beamed us up to join the Round Table of the Heavenly King and the Heavenly Kingdom.  Come, join the King’s Round Table!

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Thirsty for More!

Lays Potato Chips once had an advertising slogan that proclaimed “You can’t eat just one.” It was so good, you wanted more. You were satisfied, but with an unsatisfied satisfaction. That is what God desires for us—that we desire Him, yet want Him more. In the 1940s, A.W. Tozer published his classic book The Pursuit of God, calling people to this highest life:

 

In this hour of all-but-universal darkness one cheering gleam appears: within the fold of conservative Christianity there are to be found increasing numbers of persons whose religious lives are marked by a growing hunger after God Himself. They are eager for spiritual realities and will not be put off with words, nor will they be content with correct “interpretations” of truth. They are athirst for God, and they will not be satisfied till they have drunk deep at the Fountain of Living Water.

 

His call to hunger after God is just as timely and timeless today. My book Come Up Higher! is  about hungering after God Himself. It is my prayer, along with Tozer, that you become eager for spiritual realities and that you will not be content with less than all God has for you. Join with what Tozer called “The Fellowship of the Burning Heart.” Pray with Tozer this prayer for more:

 

O God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need of further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, that so I may know Thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, ‘Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.’ Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

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Look Down—Living Above the World

Jonathan Oatman, Jr., in his classic 19th century song of the Higher Life entitled “Higher Ground,” writes this verse:

 

I want to live above the world
Tho’ Satan’s darts at me are hurled
For faith has caught the joyful sound
The song of saints on higher ground.

Lord, lift me up and let me stand
By faith on heaven’s table land
A higher plane than I have found
Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.

This often seems so illusive—living above the world. How can we do that? When I was diagnosed with 3rd stage rectal cancer in 2007, I did not know if I was going to live or die. I sure did not feel like I was in heavenly places.

 

Soon after hearing of the diagnosis of cancer, I received an encouraging phone call from a retired pastor friend, which helped to change my perspective, attitude, and replies when people asked how I was doing. He told me of a card he had seen, which said on the outside, “Look down.” I did not understand what my friend meant—“What do you mean, ‘Look down.’ Aren’t you supposed to be encouraging me to look up?” Then he explained that on the inside of the card were the words, “You are seated in heavenly places.” He was encouraging me that I was seated above the worst of life with Christ in the heavens (Ephesians 2:6).

 

Jonathan Oatman gives six keys to this higher, heavenly life in these verses of his song:

 

  • Desire—We have to want to live above the world.
  • Determination—Regardless of whatever fiery darts are thrown at us, we are determined to press on.
  • Faith—Visualizing what God sees, seeing ourselves with the eyes of faith in the heavenly places, living above the world.
  • Joy—James wrote, “Count it all joy when various trials come upon you.” Nehemiah declared, “The joy of the Lord is your strength.”
  • Corporate Song—A woman pastor I know overcame cancer, saying “I praised my way through.” But notice, this is not just solo praising, but “the song of saints on higher ground.” It is joining in songs of praise with others, encouraging one another and being encouraged by the community of faith, not fighting our battles alone.
  • Dependency upon Jesus Christ alone—repeatedly praying, “Lord, lift me up. . . . Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.” We cannot achieve this heavenly life by our efforts. We are lifted by Him. The old hymn says it well, “When nothing else could help, love lifted me.”

 

That is what this blog is about—looking at life from the throne of God, where we are seated in the heavenly places. Sometimes when we are going through a trial, people ask us, “How are you doing?” And we reply, “OK, under the circumstances.” The next time someone asks you that, say, “I’m looking down—on top of my circumstances, looking down on them.”  For, if you are a believer in Jesus, you are, indeed, seated in heavenly places—above your circumstances. View your situation from mountain-top perspective, not a view from the valleys of your life.

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Pressing on for Higher Ground

“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil 3:14).

 This verse from Philippians has been my life Scripture, the passion of my life. This is what the Higher Christian Life is all about. Jonathan Oatman’s classic 19th century song “Higher Ground” was the theme song of the Higher Life Movement, expressing this desire yearning for the heavenly life, the throne life.

 I’m pressing on the upward way

New heights I’m gaining every day

Still praying as I onward bound

“Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.”

So often we press on to new heights, only to have setbacks or failures. The Higher Life does not mean that we never have lows, that we are always successful. What it means is that in spite of the troubles of life, we keep our eyes, not on ourselves or our problems or on those who have hurt us, but fixed forward and upward upon the goal of Jesus Himself. We are onward bound regardless of what tries to stop us or blow us over.  We are still praying, still depending upon Jesus, still pursuing higher ground.

My heart has no desire to stay
Where doubts arise and fears dismay
Tho’ some may dwell where these abound
My prayer, my aim is higher ground.

Our attitude determines our altitude. We determine not to dwell in the “lowlands of bondage,” as Spurgeon puts it. No mediocrity, no pity parties, no complacency, no plateaus, no little thinking.  We are always aiming for something more, something higher.

I dream of the day when the entire church of Jesus Christ would catch the vision of the highest Christian life.  It would transform and unite the church. When everyone dies to self and exalts Jesus, denominational divisions and theological debates fade away as everyone looks to the throne and lives Throne Life. It is a message the whole church needs. For this purpose I have written this blog. This is my heart, to bring to maturity and fullness in Christ every believer and every church.  Let us pray with all our heart:

I want to scale the utmost height
And catch a gleam of glory bright
But still I’ll pray till heaven I’ve found
“Lord, lead me on to higher ground.”

Lord, lift me up and let me stand
By faith on heaven’s table land
A higher plane than I have found
Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.

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Come Up Higher!

Come Up Higher!

The King’s Roundtable

Kingsroundtable.wordpress.com

Hi, I’m Paul King. Welcome to my blog–The King’s Roundtable.  This blog is devoted to the two Scripture themes of the message God has placed upon my life:

That I may know Him. . . . I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:10, 14).

“And He gave some . . .  for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry to build up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith, unto a mature man, to the measure of the stature that belongs to the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-13).

God has called me, in the words of one of my mentors, to be an “apostle of the Higher Life,” to call people to the highest life in Christ. God is always bidding us to “Come Up Higher,” the theme of my most recent book.  Related to this, He has also called me to equip believers and the church to be all that we can be in Christ—to reach our fullest potential, both individually and corporately.

This blog is for those who, in the words of A.W. Tozer, are “in pursuit of God.” Or in the words of C.S. Lewis, “Come further up and further in!”  In The King’s Round Table, I will share classic quotes from men and women of God throughout church history and fresh insights about:

  • being seated in the heavenly places in Christ (Ephesians 2:6), what early Higher Life writers like A.B. Simpson called “Throne Life,” life at the throne of the King of Kings.
  • life on wings,” as Hannah Whitall Smith wrote about in her classic, The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life. 
  • nobility, being a “royal priesthood” (1 Peter 2:9-10), a knight at the Round Table of God’s Kingdom.  As Puritan Thomas Watson explains: “we walk as nobles.” A.B. Simpson challenges us to “dwell on high, above all low and groveling things, and bear the dignity of princes of heaven.”
  • Entering in and living in the Throne Room, the Holy of Holies
  • Being equipped as knights, warriors of the Round Table of God’s Kingdom, praying, “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

Charles Spurgeon understood this truth and challenges us today: “What fully enchants you to remain in a pit when you can sit on a throne? Do not live in the lowlands of bondage now that mountain liberty is conferred upon you. Do not be satisfied any longer with your tiny attainments, but press forward to things more sublime and heavenly. Aspire to a higher, a nobler, a fuller life. Upward to heaven! Nearer to God!”

You will find more in my latest book, Come Up Higher: Rediscovering Throne Life—The Highest Christian Life for the 21st Century.  Check out my website paulkingministries.com.  Connect with me on Facebook and Twitter. Share your thoughts and questions.  Join me in this Round Table about the adventure of the quest to the Higher Life in Christ! Invite others to join The King’s Round Table.

Join the King’s Round Table in the Quest of the Higher Life in Christ!

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