by Isaiah-Phillips Akintola
The foundation of all knowledge
We cannot venture into the knowledge of things, whether they be things in the heavens of heaven or things beneath the earth or within the innermost being of man without first having the knowledge of the Holy One. This basic point I am flagging is essentially crucial to the issues we are going to further consider, and I desire us to reexamine the foundation that ought to give us that proper orientation in both engaging and interpreting the mind of the Lord with regards to the knowledge and culture of his kingdom.
As a student of the scripture, I have discovered that even those who have been given to the body to teach and instruct us on basic principles, values and precepts of the word of God to some degree, share a bit of misconception, prejudices, and misrepresentation for various obvious reasons.
And therefore, I believe that reexamining the core footing that defines our theological prism of ideology inconsistent to biblical truth is highly necessary in order to have a correct, solid, holistic, unbiased spiritual footing as we press into the reality of what constitutes a precise, standardized knowledge of accessing the kingdom of God.
The true purpose of salvation
Firstly, the very spiritual footing that both carries and form the shape of the foundation of what is intended to be built as a spiritual edifies plays one of the most important roles in the journey of life. The outpouring substance of what is intended to be shaped as a template of our inner, cast spiritual structure must first align with the revelatory design of the heavenly temple pattern.
However, this is a huge challenge since not everyone had the right spiritual discipleship program to access the knowledge of the Spirit through a precise, standardized, revelatory knowledge of Christ and the kingdom. One may quickly argue that isn’t that one of the reasons why salvation, through being born again was given?
Yes, that is one of the reasons, but we can equally also agree that not everyone duly understands, or have come to agree that the core purpose of salvation is not just to make it to heaven but to mature us in all knowledge and dealings of life.
True, biblical, precise teaching on salvation ought to teach us how to bring heaven down into our present domain, in a manner that affords us the grace to reflect the glorious beauty and grace of the kingdom of God to creation and humanity through our reborn and regenerated spirit-man. Salvation and redemption were given to create an equalized position for everyone to perfectly access the doorway into the revelation of Christ and his kingdom for all.
Hence, redemption becomes the schoolmaster that prepares us for the position of the sonship nature of the second man, the last Adam, who has become the pattern and template of how we see, receive and function in the ministry we’ve all been assigned. This further background knowledge gives us insight into what we are examining as we are being called to ascend to another reality in the climbing unto the mountain of the Lord.
Understanding the ministry of suffering
The further we move into the day of the lord, the more resolute and determine we must become in embracing the virtue of suffering and the challenges presented to us in the spirit of joy and the fruit of the spirit as a necessary divine requirement in the preparation to be better equipped for the service of the ministry of Christ and his kingdom.
2 Corinthians 4:17
16Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
The word suffering among most Christians today has been tagged with a negative unacceptable experience. Yet, when we consider scripture carefully we see how the lord use the ministry of suffering to refine and perfect his vessels of honor.
Suffering is not just about the lack of food, good clothing, money, nice house, the lack of education, job and so on. There’s [tribulation] suffering the lord has ordained and called his own into in an order to get the best of himself out of them.
The fact that Christians across the globe live in different political and socioeconomic realities, and to a large degree, those realities affect and shape their spiritual orientation and outlook of their faith. In order words, what some others consider as the norm in their part of the world may turn out to be persecution in another region or context.
Environment and perspective
By default, the environment we grew up plays a huge role in the shaping and the construction and formation of our lives orientation and general outlook. Here’s a good example, a believer who grew within a war zone environment, and a Christian who developed within an environment of peace, financial security and wealth will certainly not have the same faith perspective, insight to correct life’s value, and the preferred, operational value template and the opportunity to annex resources for productivity.
While this may not be categorized as a general principle, the fact remains that the realities of these two groups are a world apart, and that does impact on their life’s view and spiritual prism.
Another example I have personally noticed in the last 15 years or so of my stay in South Africa, having the opportunity to pioneer a fellowship, preach and teach in various churches within the provinces, I can confidently say that I’ve noticed a significant difference in the response system of the people to the gospel message.
Furthermore, there’s a unique character attitude many Christians display as they interact, perceive and even react to both the message and the messenger of the gospel from place to place. This concept I am relating to carries both a positive and a negative viewpoint that may not necessarily be seen or noticed on a face value relationship except the Lord opens one’s eyes to see it.
When you gather ministers of the gospel together in one place and give the task of preaching from the same text scripture, you are certainly going to get varieties of insight and interpretations, and that is true. However accurate is their revelation, you can rest assured that forty percent of what they might have said or taught are shaped directly or indirectly from the environment that shaped their perspective and life orientation.
This is a fact that cannot be denied. We are all products of our environment, either good or bad, and that’s the reason the Lord uses what is called a standardized knowledge of the spiritual [principle] truth to refine, balance or equalize our spiritual orientation so we don’t only reflect the experience of the environment that has shaped us, but rather see life and its various complex dealing through the eyes of Gods eternal design for us.
This simple, but, profound truth helps us to precisely interpret the whole concept of our lives, either from a positive or negative experience through the prism of the kingdom of God. Regardless of where we came from and the color of our skin or gender, our spiritual lens view changes to the father’s eternal designed blueprint for. Whether we are born with royal blood, or we are from an African linage of the slave trade, it really does not matter again, as our stature and identity in the kingdom of God bring us all back to that point of our true original state in the father, the state of sonship.
Unfortunately, not many understand this concept of life within the Christian faith, and therefore, the Lord often use certain parallel kingdom value principles like tribulation, or even temporal lack to awaken the spiritual faculty of his own chosen people, and to also to help them create that sense of spiritual understanding in measuring up to that spiritual standard in accessing the portal of humility and the rest of the fruit of the spirit that truly enriches their soul.
We are told that we can only enter the kingdom through much suffering. This suffering is the glorious pathway into the life and virtue of kingdom culture. Whatever way or condition we’ve been naturally born, or whatever place or location we maybe current located, if we’ve not been through the access point of suffering, the experience of our spiritual orientation will certainly not be completed or lopsided. Therefore, it will be highly challenging for you or me to relate and understand the key spiritual building components for the kingdom life and its representation.
There’s a single binding principle that allows every member of the church of Christ to see and interact with each other according to the stipulation of the ministry of the tree of life. Before we can truly and effectively access the glorious life of the kingdom, the valley conditions of our lives must be filled up, the mountains must be made plain, and the uneven roads must be straightened out. These are dimensions of ideological beliefs and standards we’ve inherited that must be given up to the new life and culture of the kingdom we are entering.
Everyone whose desire to ascend into the reality of true kingdom lifestyle must come through this doorway of tribulation. The wealthiest people within the body of Christ have their own seasons of suffering. My point is, this is not about the lack of money. Spiritual suffering is not poverty and poverty is not spiritual suffering.
A believer can amass all the wealth of this world but he or she is completely poor unto the true riches of the kingdom. There’s a poverty every believer must experience, regardless of how rich they may be, they must constantly seek this dealing of the spirit from the father to keep and maintain the sense of spiritual wealth in their journey towards the tree of life.