JUMPING THE GUN – PLUCKING MILLENNIAL FRUITS AHEAD OF THE APPOINTED SEASON
In my article I Will Restore, I observed how the believer must beware of the adversary’s offer of compromising opportunities to realise his visions and aspirations. The point is that, while we have a responsibility of pursuing our godly visions in the present life, should the “open door” we encounter require us to compromise on our Christian values, we should content ourselves with what we can righteously accomplish and take consolation in the promise of incomparable restoration in the coming earthly kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ.
A similar thing applies to the corporate body of believers, more so as we witness an increasing quest by the professing Church to pluck millennial fruits ahead of the season. Folks are seeing the vision of the great exploits the “sons of God” are to do on God’s Green Earth, but unfortunately they are not giving diligent heed to the written Word that outlines the divine plan, by which our Lord and Saviour overcame a similar snare (see John 6:14,15;18:36).
Take an objective and critical look at it and you would receive the sure witness that much of the professing Church’s engagements and aspirations – politics and governmental influence, flamboyant religion, big-time business, secular education and training, gaiety and grand entertainment – are not really in the Spirit of its present mandate, the Great Commission. They are indeed activities God has on His agenda for His people, but they were to be in another world order, “in the regeneration,” when the promised kingdom comes – after the present redemption of the saints has been accomplished.
And I cannot overemphasise the fact that it is the involvement of the Church organisation in these secular activities, as distinct from those of individual Christians, that is the issue. Since the Bible teaches that we are the light of the world, and in the world but not of the world, I can see enough room to accommodate a “Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship” (or whatever we want to call it) comprising individuals involved in some of these enterprises, with a bias for the present spiritual kingdom, its citizens, values and responsibilities. But when the line cannot be drawn and those secular activities become what the Church is organised to do, then we are loosing focus and derailing, and the consequences could be catastrophic. It would amount to preaching a diluted and adulterated Gospel that breeds malformed children unfit for the kingdom and unworthy of the name of the Lord.
This disturbing situation of the Church takes after what happened in Israel. No sooner had they possessed the Promised Land of Canaan than they looked around and saw how the neighbouring nations practiced a monarchy with the attendant frills (see I Samuel 8). They forgot that their God had chosen them to be “his peculiar people” (Deuteronomy 26:18), that Israel “shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations” (Numbers 23:9). They despised their peculiar heritage of a prophet, the priesthood and the Tabernacle worship, and demanded for a king to reign over them and go before their armies to battle. They lusted after the practices of their heathen neighbours. They wanted to be like them.
The prophet Samuel, God’s man of the moment, took the matter before God in trembling. He realised the grave betrayal that the attitude of the people amounted to, but thought he was the one they had turned down. God told him, “They have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them” (I Samuel 8:7). They did not know it, but it was a grave thing that they had done, the consequences of which they never escaped. They were already on the way into captivity and tribulation in Babylon.
According to an inspired commentator, if the children of Israel had been patient and continued in step with their God, He would have given them a king – the King, I should say – at the proper time. They latter realised that they were indeed going to have this great King, but when He came, or was coming, it was contrary to their interpretation of the programme. Like a people accursed, they rejected Him.
There are two lessons for us in this plight of Israel. It is my view that their premature demand for and receipt of a king actually had to be, for it paradoxically also provided a way for God to give them a preview, albeit a weak and flawed one, of the promised king and His dominion! This preview was particularly given in the reign of Solomon, who fell into idolatry (see I Kings 11:4), a confirmation that he was a premature king borne of the people’s rebellious desires. Did you hear that? They had several kings through whom they could have learnt a thing or two about the real thing, but there was an especially unique one among them! Think about that.
The second lesson is that the revelation of the true King involved a First Coming in virtual weakness and literal humiliation. “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedech [the King-Priest]” (Hebrews 5:8-10). That initial experience was to mould His character and prepare Him for His future reign – just as our own present suffering with him should (see Romans 8:17).
This leads us to another reason why the professing Church has been jumping the gun the way it has: sheer arrogance! We are yet to follow Christ all the way into the furnace to where humility is learnt. We are out to prove to the world, “We have a God that performs, a God that can do for me more than what you are doing.” Yes, we have a God that performs, that can and will do more than anything the world could ever do, but He runs on His own programme, not our whims.
Yes, God could use His saints to take over every aspect of the present world today if He wanted to. But that is not His plan. And if despite Christ’s warning that His kingdom and the outward dominion of the saints are not of the present world order (see John 18:36), any people still set their hearts on it, pestering God to grant it to them, He might be constrained to do so – just as He granted the Israelites the rebellious desires of their hearts. But very soon it would catch up with them, as it did with the former rebels, and the folly and deceitfulness of their lusts would be made manifest.
To be sure, our involvement in some of these things has created an alteration in the Christian landscape that can’t be helped. We are caught with it and our Lord in His benevolence has been constrained to bless and use some of these activities that are against His perfect will for us in the present time. It was the same way that His enduring love gave David and other godly kings to Israel after their rebellion had enthroned Saul whose heart was not perfect with the Lord. Nevertheless, I sincerely believe that there is still some significant amount of cleaning of the stable that those who are truly in love with the Lord can do (see Acts 13:22).
But as I said in I Will Restore, nothing of the present time, nothing we are able to achieve in the present life, can compare with “the glory which shall be revealed in us” in the promised kingdom (see Romans 8:18). It behoves us therefore to take heed, “Lest there be any fornicator or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears” (Hebrews 12:16,17).
So keep the faith, and remain posted. God bless you always.
In the King’s Service,
David Olagoke Olawoyin.
NB: My coming book THE COMING GLORY presents a more detailed and chronological examination of this awesome kingdom agenda of the Almighty that we have been peeping into on this site. The manuscript has been completed and I would greatly appreciate your joining me in prayer for its speedy publication.