Beautiful. Simple. Enlightening. Virtuous. Yummy. Solid. Ample. Delightful. Thundering and yet Tranquil.
These are some of the weak adjectives found in the man’s dictionary that fails to qualify the aptness of the inspired utterance surrounding the following transcribed ministration, which attempts to x-ray the simplicity and elusiveness of the Kingdom.
Non-Negotiable Counsels of God's Kingdom - Part 21
Math. 21:15-16 And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the Son of David; they were sore displeased, And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?
At Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem, the bible says that the whole city was moved and they began to sing, Hosannah to the Son of David’. Both adult and children were moved by the Spirit of prophecy and they sang to Jesus. The Pharisees witnessed these, were sore displeased and got offended. They got offended not because the entire city of Jerusalem burst into song; but because little children cried hosanna to the Son of David.
Pharisees were not ordinary men. They were students of the law and the prophets. They understood the Scriptures and they could interpret prophecy accurately. They knew that the praise of those little ones was a sign to show that the kingdom had come. It became clear that they could no longer dispute that Jesus was the Messiah whom Israel had long been expecting to come. (Psalm 8:1-2. Matt. 21:13-14)
It is clear from Nicodemus discussion with Jesus that the pharisees knew that Jesus was the Messiah . He said “We know that you are a man sent from God”. He did not say, I know (John 3:1). They could see that Jesus was ushering in a new order of service which would render the former order obsolete, and they did not want to leave the old because of the gain and profit that they were getting. They knew that Jesus was the messiah but they refused Him. They went to Jesus so he would stop the little children from what they were saying because the more those children praised that messiah, the more the kingdom arrived.
Psalm 8:2 Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.
When Jesus was on earth, He was the representation of the kingdom of God, so how did the children know that He was the Messiah? The Spirit of God came upon them and they began to praise the Messiah with prophetic spirit
The kingdom of God is for little children because of their disposition- children are lowly, little. When the bible speaks of children in relation to kingdom, it is not talking about childishness; it is talking about childlikeness. Childishness is our sin: malice, anger, fornication e.t.c, but childlikeness is our holiness: meekness, lowliness, tenderness, graciousness etc. Childlikeness is the nature upon which kingdom strength lies, and when a soul fulfills the course of conversion to a little child, such soul has come into the perfection of strength. This is a mystery and the wisdom of God meant to silence the adversary. The enemy does not understand how God will put strength in children because a child does not have strength, but God hides His strength in children, and when they begin to show forth His praise, the perfection of His strength has come upon the earth.
Jesus likens the kingdom of God to the mustard seed which is a type of a little child (Matt. 13:31). It is the least of all seeds which a man took and planted, but after a while, it became the greatest of all trees. Then the fowls of the air came and took shelter in it. That mustard seed is almost insignificant but inside it is compressed great abilities. It takes some training of the soul for the heart to be able to pick a mustard seed, stay with it and water it until it grows, because as you hold it, there will not be any proof outward.
The kingdom of God also is like that. It comes like a very little insignificant seed, so insignificant that you could throw it away if you were not discerning. It is not something too tangible so you cannot lay hold on it except you have been trained to see and hold the invisible. Man has degenerated to the extent that he can relate only with tangibilities, therefore it will take a whole lot of leading of the Spirit for a man to see something that appears so insignificant to be the kingdom because the kingdom is invisible, concealed.
Matthew 13:44 The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
The kingdom of God is not an outward thing; it is first inward. When it comes, it hides itself within the man and begins to do a secret work. As long as the man is holding that seed, the work is in progress, and the kingdom is spreading, taking territories within the man. When Jesus likened the kingdom to three measures of meal that a woman took and hid, He was showing us that the kingdom is packaged in such a way that it is hidden (Matthew 13:33).
When a man becomes born again, the seed is sown into Him, hidden inside (spirit man). That seed is the kingdom, but it must not remain buried within. It must not remain in seed form. The seed must grow to become a mighty tree taking over all the territories of the soul. It is a mystery how a small seed can produce a gigantic tree. It should not be so in human settings, but this is exactly how the kingdom should move from seed (spirit) to mighty tree (soul) and these are the secrets of the kingdom: littleness, smallness and nothingness. If a man can be trained to HANDLE that LITTLE SEED of the kingdom, such man will ENTER THE KINGDOM.
God made it so because of His enemies. In the natural, you would not look for God in such small packages. When you hear the name, God almighty, you are likely to think of one gigantic being, but He packaged himself/his things in the littleness found in a mustard seed. He is an extremely lowly and harmless being, one who could be despised.
When God is coming to a man, He comes in the form of a mustard seed; a little here and a little there. A soul needs to stay with God long enough to be able to hold Him because like the mustard seed, He is so ‘little’ that He could slip out of one’s hand; He could easily be treated with contempt by one who has not learnt to treasure Him. That is why the Bible says we should give the more earnest heed to what we have heard, lest at any time, we should let them slip (Heb. 2:1). What you despise is likely to slip from you. God did that because of His enemies.
God loves to hide Himself so that only desperate and sincere seekers would find Him. For instance, Satan would never have looked for Jesus in the manger. He must have thought that when God would come, He would come through the biggest, most glorious and most grand seed, but God chose to compress Himself in a most unexpected way, just like the mustard seed. That is the operation of the power of God. Just like the in advanced technology today, the smaller the thing is, the higher the capacity. A lot of energies are compressed in little things like chips
GOD HIDES THE KINGDOM IN LITTLE THINGS SO THAT WHEN THE ENEMY COMES LOOKING FOR SOMETHING GREAT, IT WOULD ALWAYS ELUDE HIM. Satan knew that Jesus was not an ordinary man but he did not know that He was God. He knew that Jesus was Adamic but he did not know He was the Lord God Almighty. The Bible says, ‘Had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory’ (1Cor. 2:8). Satan was an enemy and God needed to break into His territory. If He had come like God, Satan would not have killed Him ( James 2:19)
God hid Himself in a carpenter. That was a high wisdom in operation because no one would ever look for God in a carpenter. More still, Jesus came from a town where even the Jews never believed a messiah would come from. They said to one another, ‘Search the scriptures, did any prophet ever come out of Galilee?’ That was because Galilee was the least of all the cities. They were actually expecting the messiah to come a reputable place. God veils Himself whenever He is coming to do something on earth and the reason for this is that He wants to be found by only those that are DILIGENTLY LOOKING FOR HIM.
Those who will diligently look for Jesus are those who are childlike. Children have passion. They do not know how to hide their hunger. Mary of Bethany was one of such. Before Mary met Jesus, she was a prostitute and Jesus cast seven demons out of her. But after being set free, she became a passionate lover of Jesus. She was the one who broke a costly ointment and poured it on Jesus. Unashamed, she openly worshipped Jesus in the presence of many who never thought that Jesus should be worshipped, howbeit have His feet washed and wiped with her tears and hair.
John 20:15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.
After the death of Jesus, Mary went to His tomb and was weeping. The disciples had come and gone since they did not see Him. But Mary stayed there weeping. She wanted to see Him even in His dead state, and was also willing to have His dead body and that hunger was enough to pull the Lord. Can we also ‘romance’ His tomb like Mary did? There are times when it feels as though Jesus is not resurrected; when the life is still in a little mustard seed form. Can you stay and yearn for Him, even when He has not yet appeared? Mary stayed at the tomb. Even if she had seen Jesus’ corpse, there was no way she would have carried him to her house, but she had passion (John 20:10-17).
According to the account of John, she first saw two angels, and then she saw a man who looked like a gardener (John 20). She could not recognize Him, but that was the resurrected Lord at the peak of His power. At that point, He was putting on all His priestly regalia because He was about to enter the most holy place to show Himself to the Father with the blood of atonement. But because of Mary’s hunger, He had to stop and see her before appearing before the Father.
It is possible to pull the Lord. There is a kind of passion that He cannot resist, and God loves such passion. He desires it. However, many of us do not yet know how to worship Jesus; we yet lack that childlike attitude of shamelessly expressing our love and pouring out our passions on Him. We can get very familiar with Him and decide to bottle up things, because childlike expressions of love and passion could be demeaning, but Children aren’t like that.
Children have passion and exuberance and they express it. They can jump on you and sit on your laps. God loves children who can jump on Him, kiss His face and cry to Him; He loves people like that (Matt. 26:7-13) and Mary was of such a kind. Her passion drove her into being the first person to see Jesus’ resurrected body. She may not have been a preacher, but she was an apostle. There are some who may never stand behind the pulpit, but they will have strong encounters with the Lord, and it will never be documented.
Mary’s first encounter at the tomb was with two angels and that was to prepare her for the Lord (John 20:12). Later on, she saw a man that looked like a gardener. That was what touched me the most, how could the resurrected Lord have looked like a gardener? It would take Him revealing Himself before any one can recognize Him in such state.
Mary could not recognize Him, but when Jesus called her name, she understood that was her Master calling her. She had been used to that voice. She could use the voice to trace the person. God sends His voice first because a voice can travel farther than the person. You could be inside a place and send your voice outside. But hunger does not just settle with the voice, it goes further to seek the person.
There are secret things that Jesus must have told her that she did not tell the other disciples. He was at the peak of His power when He called ‘Mary’ so Mary must have experienced a measure of resurrection. No one hears that voice at that point and remains the same. The Bible says that when Mary heard that voice, she turned’ (John 20:16). It was not a physical turning. She turned from Mary to spirit to see the resurrected Lord. That voice turned her. The same thing (a turning) happened to John the beloved when he was in the Isle of Patmos (Rev. 1:9); that was the beginning of John’s journey.
She wanted to jump and cling to Him but Jesus told her not to do so (John 20:17). At that point, Mary connected with her inheritance in God; it was just one encounter. The reason why Jesus told her not to touch Him was because you are not supposed to touch the high priest when is entering the holiest of all with the blood of atonement, but Jesus waited for Mary to come. Your passions can make Him come to you. After that encounter, Jesus went to heaven and performed the sacrifice and then, His disciples saw Him. But the first encounter was Mary.
One thing about children is that they know how to cry. Mary wept because her heart ached to see her Lord and she was not ready to leave that tomb without seeing the Master. Children can express hunger so loud that they would draw the attention of their parents. There is no parent that can shut his heart to the cry of his child, but if an adult is crying, he could be ignored (Rom. 8:15). It is not easy to be hungry and stay in the place of hunger and thirst. It is only a child that can do it. A child can cry for the whole day if you do not answer him.
The children in the gospel of John cried hosanna!, It was a cry; they were not shouting. The Spirit of adoption answers to the cry of children. That Spirit of adoption comes to adopt us more every time we cry Abba Father. That cry is a call. The soul is inviting her Lord to come and the Lord does not resist such cries. We need desperate hunger for this season (Matt. 5:6), the kind that will pull God from His dimension. That is the perfection of praise. OUR HUNGER IS PRAISE; THAT IS WHERE PRAISE IS PERFECTED.
Pst. Danladi Hassan
Hunger for the Person of the Lord
VGC Lifely Stones Fellowship
22nd June, 2014.
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