Not of this world

The Kingdom of Heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three pecks of flour until it was all leavened. — Matthew 13:33

Transformative power 

Lake in Alapuzha

Leaven is a piece of dough that is pulled out of the mass and set apart to undergo fermentation. This results in the transformation of the original pinch that has been taken from the lump. When the transformative work is complete, the leaven is embedded back into the batch.

This is a striking illustration of the nature of the remnant community: the church. It is the ekklesia — the people who are called out of the world. But the Church is not pulled out of the world to live in isolation from the world. This community undergoes the transformative work of sanctification so it can impart a new quality of life into the world.

As the crucial hour of the cross and atonement neared, Jesus prayed both for His disciples at that time and those who will follow Him across history:

I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they them- selves also may be sanctified in truth.John 17:14-19


The point of Jesus’ remnant people being separated from the world is not that they may live blissfully apart from the world and its miseries. The purpose of being set apart (sanctified) is to undergo a process of personal growth in the Spirit (sanctification) for the sake of being put back into the world, to penetrate it with the Gospel of the Kingdom (see Matthew 24:14).

This is in view when the apostle Peter wrote of the church,

You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9

The church’s mission leading up to the coming end-times revival will be — as it always has been — the proclamation of Christ and His Kingdom, which is intensified and advanced in the world in and through authentic revival.

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