THE ACADEMY OF HEAVEN
Having come this far in our examination of the promised earthly kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, we have discovered how the saints’ joint rulership with Him would be effected through their taking over and dominating every facet of the global society of that time – the government, law enforcement, intelligence and security, arts and entertainment, commerce and industry, science and technology, education and human development, healthcare, religion, the mass media, and what else have we. As we saw in The Next Wave and Kings and Priests, this would be executed through their mediation of the promised explosion of the divine know-how in the kingdom – that is, through their specialized and distinguished practice of every human vocation of the world as we know it today.
This envisioned scenario of the kingdom raises the question of how the saints, captured in the Revelation as the Armies of Heaven, acquire their diverse competences, especially considering that many of them belong to the unfancied segment of the present world. Paul said of their present estate, “For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called (I Corinthians 1:26). So what brings about their transformation into the sophisticated and extraordinarily competent leaders and technocrats that they would be in the kingdom? The secret is in something remarkable that happens during the short period between their Rapture at the end of the present world order and their return to establish the new world order of the promised kingdom. It is in their training and preparation at the “Academy of Heaven”!
To see the remarkable picture, we’ll read from the Revelation: “And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints” (Revelation 19:6-8).
The “ready” Wife of the Lamb is the Church, the corporate body of the redeemed saints, the Armies of Heaven. And from the words of the apostle Paul, “I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ” (II Corinthians 11:2), we know that the place and time of her preparation for the marriage is here and now. The present world is where she washes her linen wedding gown with her dowry, the Blood of the Lamb (see Kings and Priests). For about two thousand years, the Groom and Bride have been in protracted courtship, but one day soon the great love affair of all time will be consummated!
Now notice. The cited Scripture from the Revelation speaks of the “marriage supper of the Lamb” and the “marriage of the Lamb.” This is noteworthy, for there is a difference between the marriage supper and the marriage proper, even as “there is a difference also between a wife and a virgin” (I Corinthians 7:34). The marriage supper, or “wedding,” is related to the ceremonial joining of the groom and bride and strictly doesn’t make them husband and wife. The bride is still a chaste virgin and not yet exactly a wife. What actually makes the couple husband and wife is the “act of marriage,” which, in the language of the Scriptures, involves a knowing (see Genesis 4:25), a going into (see Genesis 29:21). It is the consummation of their relationship when they enter into the most intimate sharing.
Yes, “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.” It is time for the two to fully become “one flesh,” one heavenly band of perfect co-ordination. It is time for Christ to fully take and demonstrate His position as the Head of the “one body” of many specialized members (see Romans 12:4,5).
Of course the consummation we are speaking of here is not about a physical union between Christ and His Bride Church. But just as the Scriptures use the analogy of the man and woman to expound the relationship between the two, what really happens at this time is in continuity with the natural type. The apostle wrote, “For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church” (Ephesians 5:30-32).
When the act of marriage occurs in the natural, the man cleaves to the woman. It is a knowing borne on the wings of the most intimate sharing. The husband goes into and invests his strength in his wife. It is an infilling, an empowerment to be productive! You just can’t miss the connection between what we are talking about here and the promised explosion of the divine know-how during the Millennium. It is at the time of this intimate experience of the earthly Bride Church with her divine Groom that she is implanted with the seed of the all-embracing “knowledge of the LORD” (Isaiah 11:9) – and she would go forth to bring forth the equal fruits through her mediation and demonstration of the same in the kingdom! As I said, it is the investment of the Groom’s strength in His Bride, the infilling, the empowerment to be productive!
That is the “great mystery” of how the redeemed saints of the Armies of Heaven are equipped and prepared for their millennial functions. That is their training and preparation. That is the “Academy of Heaven”! That is where they are “caught up” to (see I Thessalonians 4: 17) in the closing days of the present world order, before their meteoric return with their King to establish another. Yes, that is what creates their transformation into the highly competent professionals and powerbrokers that they will be in the promised kingdom!
We know that in Christ dwelt “the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9), “for God “giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him” (John 3:34). All that was in God He invested in His Son, and it is this same fullness of the strength of God – His all-embracing knowledge, wisdom and understanding – that the Son severally invests in the members of His Bride for their millennial reign and dominion. We have been experiencing and demonstrating these inner riches of the Groom during the Church ages, but only in a measure, seeing “through a glass, darkly” (I Corinthians 13:12), and primarily for the purpose of His redemptive work. It has been with restricted and unsure footsteps, as in the time of courtship when both restraint and reservation are demanded. The dowry has been paid and Christ is effectively the Head of the Church, but until the relationship is consummated she knows only so much of Him and can reach only so deep into His treasures. But, one day soon, all restraints will be thrown overboard and we would go on to do great things with the power of His might! “For thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth” (Revelation 5:9-10). Amen.
What we have discussed in this article only gives a foundational insight into how the redeemed saints are prepared for their millennial reign and dominion. The big picture of their preparation, developed with several other Scriptural witnesses, is unveiled in my coming book THE COMING GLORY. So keep the faith and remain posted.
God bless you always.
In the Kings Service,
David Olagoke Olawoyin.