“And he said unto them, unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:” (Mark 4:11).
“Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:” (Romans 16: 25-26).
Let us first establish the meaning of the term “mystery”. The word “mystery” comes from the Greek word, “musterion”, and it means a secret. A mystery in a biblical sense is not something mysterious, nor dark. In scripture a mystery is something that has been kept through times eternal, but is now disclosed. It is a divine purpose God has designed from eternity, but has been hidden from men until a certain time.
The concepts of the Kingdom of God as portrayed in this book have the potential of bringing a global reformation of our true nature and identity in the original purpose of God. If the manner of the Kingdom of God is not clearly unveiled and defined, the Church will continue to wander in a wilderness of unfulfilled purpose. Therefore, our perception of the Kingdom of God should not be temporal and misconstrued.
The parables of Jesus set forth the mystery of the Kingdom –a new truth about the Kingdom of God which was not revealed in the Old Testament, but now it is being disclosed in the earthly ministry of our Lord. What is this ministry? What sort of Kingdom did Jesus come to set up? What is the nature of His Kingdom? Who is the remnant to whom it is given?
To realize the rule of the Kingdom of God, it is first necessary to submit to the rule of that Kingdom. This aspect of Kingdom submission cannot be overemphasized. The Kingdom of God is the goal of all history and the reward of all believers. It is a new order that is upon us even now, and it demands a response. There must be a radical change towards the ethics and principles of this Kingdom.
There is a dimension of the Kingdom that is future, which will be the reign of Jesus Christ and the saints in the earth. However, the Kingdom of God is not an eschatological passively awaited future event that is only to come; it is a dynamic active Kingdom that is in existence even now. The rule of God’s Kingdom triumphs and is a present fact and reality.
“And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:20-21).
“In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Meaning “It is here now.”) (Matthew 3:1-2).
The Kingdom of God is the absolute sovereign rule of God to establish His will and purpose. The Kingdom of God is not primarily about inhabiting a place like the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia when we die, but rather we speak primarily about an authorization of God’s rule that we receive now in the earth.
“And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear. He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, we will not have this man to reign over us. And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.” (Luke 19:11-15).
“But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.” (Luke 18:16).
According to Luke 19:11-15, as stated above, the Kingdom to be inherited was not a place, hence the noble man said, “occupy till I come”. He was not going to permanently inhabit a place (a kingdom) somewhere else, rather he was going to receive this kingdom for the purpose of coming to rule and reign. His journey was to go and receive the authorization (a right) to rule, and to return to his place and exercise his authority.
Much of the teachings and understanding of the Kingdom of God has been about a spiritual reign and sphere of God in heaven that is to come. Such eschatological theory obscures the revelation of the present manifestation of God’s Kingdom that exists within us now.
Eschatology comes from the Greek word, “eskhatos” – which speaks of last things or the theology of death and final destiny. Much of our eschatology is based on the wrong concepts, teachings and theories. They must be redefined. In redefining the teachings of last things or eschatology, we must bring a balanced word of revelation and insight that will help us upgrade and position ourselves towards the purposes of God. Inaccurate doctrines must be clearly defined, as a clear definition of terms will bring a reconfiguration of our mindsets and theories.
We are not born again to reign in heaven, because there is only one absolute ruler and authority in heaven, and He is the Elohim God. It is high time we realize that our domain of rulership is on earth, even the prophesied 1000 years reign is on earth (Revelation 20:4). Rebellion will not be entertained in heaven if we are seeking to reign there as an absolute king.
“And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” (Revelation 5:10).
Much of our eschatological theories are not from revelation, but from the conclusion that the earth is corrupt. As such, the earth has become a difficult place in which to live, so the desire is to escape to a better place. The Bible speaks much about the purposes of God for the earth, yet the primary focus of religion has been to prepare men for heaven. There is a need for fresh revelation that will cause a paradigm shift and begin to align us with God’s original plan.
As Anthony Hoekema states, “The Kingdom must not be understood as merely the salvation of certain individuals or even as the reign of God in the hearts of His people; it means nothing less that the reign of God over His entire created universe…..The Kingdom is not man’s upward climb to perfection but God’s breaking into human history to establish His reign and to advance His purposes”.
Let me amuse you and say that, “Jesus’ train” is not going to come until the purpose of God is first established in the earth according to His word. So if this is the case we need to cancel our ticket and get a refund!
“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” (Acts 3:19-21).
The apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ declared the first message after His ascension. They were filled with the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost as they waited in the upper room. Their message brought great revival and reformation and the people marvelled at the signs of God. The injunction of the apostle Peter was “repent”. The word “repent” in the Greek translates as “metanoeo”, which means to reconsider, to think differently or to change our mind or turn around. Repentance is not just an emotional feeling or remorse, but it is an act of deliberate change from our own ways to the ways of God. It is important to note that to become a part of God’s Kingdom we need repentance.
When people repent (reconsider, to think differently or to change and turn around) with a Godly repentance; their sins are obliterated, they are forgiven. There is a time of refreshing awaiting them that comes from the presence of the Lord. It is a spiritual union with the Lord Jesus Christ; but note that the heaven must receive Him (Jesus Christ ) until the times of restitution of all things. (Acts 3:19-21).
The Greek word for “receive” is translated as “dechomai”, which means to accept, take or hold back. The Greek word for “restitution” is translated as “apokatastasis”, which means to reconstitute or to restore back to a former condition.
The Lord Jesus Christ is not coming back to the earth until the purpose of God is first established in the earth. Let me make a bold statement here. The Lord is not coming to establish His Kingdom, but His Kingdom will be established before He comes. The Lord Jesus Christ will not come to the earth, until there is first a consummation of all things in the earth back to their original order as it was in the beginning. Jesus is coming to receive the Kingdom that has been established by the Church in the earth (1 Corinthians 15:24-28). The heaven is restraining Jesus, holding Him back from coming, until the times of restitution of all things. (Acts 3:19-21).
The counsel and revelation of the Lord are concealed, but are intended to be revealed. God has set spheres and limitations on the secret things that belong to Him. We cannot access them except He reveals them to us. This unveiling occurs in times and seasons that align to His purposes and dealings with us in His kairos moment.
“The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.” (Deuteronomy 29:29).
The secret counsel of God’s revelation (musterion) is unfolded to us through the ministry of the apostles and prophets. This is the reason that the ministry of the apostles and prophets are foundational in the Body of Christ. They serve to impart the mysteries of Christ and His Kingdom, and are vital to the well-being and maturity of the Church.
“Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.” (Amos 3:7).
“If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ). Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;” (Ephesians 3:2-5).
It is important to understand the spheres and limitations that God places on us and upon each ministry. We must learn to be content with where God has placed us and give room for His word to prevail in us and amongst us, lest we begin to cross the boundaries of our limitations and step into apostasy and cross the threshold into falsehood.
We ought to speak those things that the Lord has clearly and accurately revealed to us that belong to our generation.
Copyright © 2017 by Israel Onoriobe
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