Another important aspect of the Patterns and Principles of Christ is the rediscovering of the original message and mission of Jesus Christ, because this is fundamental to the ultimate purpose of the Church.
Without doubt, the Church will lose her prominence and significance in the community due to misconceptions of the message and mission of Jesus Christ. If we lose the essence of the message of Jesus then we have lost the purpose of our salvation, and have missed the mark of His high calling as a Church.
The aspect of the gospel message of Christ cannot be over-emphasized. The primary gospel message of Jesus Christ is the Kingdom of God. As you go through the scriptures, it clearly reveals that this was the only gospel message Jesus preached and taught according to the New Testament.
“From then on, Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, because the kingdom from heaven is near!” – Matthew 4:17 ISV.
“And He (Jesus) said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore Am I sent” – Luke 4:43.
“And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people” – Matthew 4:23.
“And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people” – Matthew 9:35.
“Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel” – Mark 1:14-15.
“And it came to pass afterward, that He (Jesus) went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve (disciples – apostles) were with Him” – Luke 8:1.
The same gospel message of the Kingdom of God was what Jesus ordained and commissioned His followers to preach. The apostles of Jesus Christ in the New Testament preached nothing but the Kingdom of God, with Jesus Christ being the center of it all.
“He (Paul the apostle) proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ—with all boldness and without hindrance!” – Acts 28:31 NIV.
“But when they believed Philip as he proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women” – Acts 8:12 NIV
If the Kingdom of God was the primary message of Jesus and that of the New Testament Church and apostles, it means this same gospel message of the Kingdom of God is the same message the Church of today must proclaim. Anything less than the gospel of the Kingdom of God is not the message of Jesus Christ.
“And this good news of the kingdom (the Gospel) will be preached throughout the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then will come the end” – Matthew 24:14 Amplified Bible.
Every true New Testament Apostolic Church must receive and proclaim the Kingdom of God, as it is the only message that must be preached to all nations, because the Kingdom of God is the principal assignment and function of an apostolic people.
It is worth also noting the central theme of the message of the Kingdom of God, which is “JESUS”. The Kingdom is about Kingship. The Lord Jesus Christ is the KING over the Kingdom of God. We must continue to emphasize ‘Christ Jesus’ in the message. Any message void of Christ and the revelation of His Kingdom is a distraction from God’s original purpose, and it does not fulfill His will. If we miss the focus of Jesus in the gospel message of the Kingdom, then we have lost the true essence of the message, and have not preached the gospel of the Kingdom of God. The gospel must be christocentric. Christ should be the center and the only focus of the message.
Whenever the message of the Kingdom is preached it must activate the Christ in us and release us into the reality of our New Creation in Him. Any gospel message and revelation that is preached which obscures this truth of Christ is inaccurate and false, because it obscures God’s Self-revelation to us.
It behooves me to say, ‘the message of Jesus Christ is not the gospel of escapism or the Law, which is the Mosaic tenets of legalism by works. More so, the gospel of the Kingdom is not healing, deliverance, miracles, prophecy or prosperity. Don’t get me wrong! I absolutely believe in the supernatural acts and manifestations of the Holy Spirit as well as prosperity because they play an integral part in the reality and manifestation of the glory of God. However, these concepts are NOT the message itself that Jesus asked His followers to preach, they are the things that accompany the message of the Kingdom when preached.
“Then He (Jesus) called His twelve disciples (apostles) together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. And He sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick” – Luke 9:1-2.
“These twelve (apostles) Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying….And as ye go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand!’ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give” – Matthew 10:5, 7-8.
We must understand clearly the instruction of Jesus to His disciples. He summoned to Him His Twelve disciples and gave them power and authority over unclean spirits (demons) to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease. He then sent them out, charging them, saying, ‘as you go, preach the Kingdom of God, and heal the sick (healing), cleanse the lepers, raise the dead (miracles), cast out demons (deliverance). Freely you have received, freely give (prosperity).
Jesus never said to them go preach healing, miracles, deliverance or prosperity, He charged them to go preach the Kingdom of God, which is the gospel message, but while they are preaching the Kingdom of God, they are empowered to perform these divine acts of healing, miracles, deliverance, prosperity etc.
This is where the Church has missed the divine commission of Christ to the nations. The challenge we face is the perversion of the true essence and purpose of the gospel of Christ, which is the Kingdom of God. This is because of the dogmatic theology that has been handed over to the Church through the ages, hijacking and diverting the focus and purpose of the saints away from the knowledge of Christ and who we are in Him, and teaching instead human philosophy and the ideology of demons (doctrines of demons).
We have preached the supernatural signs and wonders of God that should follow the message, as the message. But we have not preached the Kingdom of God which is the message of Jesus. Therefore, the Church of today must rediscover the original message of Jesus Christ, which is the Kingdom of God], and return to this ancient truth as we proclaim the reign and rule of God in the earth.
The present proclamation of the gospel of healing, miracles, deliverance, prophecy, prosperity and so forth as the primary focus of the message at the expense of Christ, is not the message. ‘We cannot continue to preach ONLY on the temporal things and call it the eternal gospel of the kingdom’. We must be very careful not to prostitute the ministry and manipulate the people in ignorance because of miracles, prophecy, fortune and riches.
The message of the kingdom of God is foundational to the building of God’s House. Once we lay hold of the revelation of the Kingdom and the concept of it, then we can begin to advance in other areas and fulfill our part in establishing and advancing God’s will on earth as it is in heaven.
Let me re-emphasize this again. I absolutely believe in the supernatural acts and manifestations of the Holy Spirit in healing, miracles, deliverance, prophecy and prosperity etc, because God continues to manifest them through our lives and ministry today. They are part of the principles of Christ. What the scripture is saying is that these things or concepts are the supernatural signs that should follow the believers and be a confirmation of the message but, they are not the message, the Kingdom of God is the message.
“But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides” – (Matthew 6:33 Amplified Bible).
The Kingdom of God must become our absolute priority and goal in all things, because this is the mission and mandate of God.
Our mindset and understanding must shift to a place of accurate revelation of what the Kingdom of God is not, and what it is, if we are going to fulfill God’s purpose on earth.
Firstly, we need to define what the Kingdom of God is!
The Kingdom of God is His Kingship, His Rule, His reign, His authority. The Kingdom of God is a concept in which the will, wish and desire of the King is the same as His laws. The Kingdom of God is righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17) and it reigns in the heart of those who have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ.
We must get back to the preaching and teaching of the Kingdom of God. If Jesus Christ is the standard then we must all flow together in one direction as a unified body proclaiming His message, the Kingdom of God.
Copyright © 2017 by Israel Onoriobe
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