This article comes from Frans Du Plessis in his book "Revealing God's Intended Finish." We are thankful for his words and writings through which he has left a legacy for generations.
THE UNFOLDING MYSTERY OF HIS KINGDOM
It is of utmost importance that the doctrine of the Church be continuously, critically analysed and apostolically redefined to ensure that it is in line with the doctrine of Jesus and His apostles. We must interpret the Word of God like Jesus and His apostles did: “by the Spirit,”and not let majority or popular views influence us to stray from the unadulterated Word of God. We must allow Scripture to interpret Scripture and remain Christ-centred, interpreting the end from the beginning, to discover the original intent of God and the unfolding mystery of His eternal Kingdom.
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of a man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:20-21).
These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual (1 Corinthians 2:13).
Inaccurate mindsets, traditions, and wrong paradigms can frustrate the acceleration of God’s Kingdom purposes in the earth. Defining this current apostolic season and understanding the rhema word of God by the revelation of the Spirit is essential for the Church to stay relevant and accurate. The leaders of dead religion have always been seeking new ways to gain power, rule, and dominion in order to enrich themselves through others. This season is not about the title of Bishop or Apostle, or of men trying to outrank one another. Entitlement has always been a way of hiding insecurity.
Thus, we must rely on God, through the working of the Holy Spirit, to distribute His gifts in and through us according to His will and not our ambition. We have the assurance of the Lord in Revelation 3:8 that He has given us an open door that no one can shut. In fact, we are in the season of an open heaven. The most important issue in the Church is the issue of God’s Kingdom. The message of the Kingdom was and is the priority of God, and must therefore become the priority of His Church.
THE SEASON HAS CHANGED
Previously, the Kingdom of God was understood, defined, and administered by the Holy Spirit through a pastoral grace in the local church. The shepherd heart of Moses is a good example of this grace, through which God gave Moses the ability to deliver and lead Israel out of Egypt in their journey to the Promised Land for 40 years. One generation later the season changed, and Moses, from the tribe of Levi, had to make way for Joshua, the commander from the tribe of Joseph (Ephraim) who had the grace to possess and prosper through the Book of the Law.
When God changed the season for Israel, He also changed the leadership-grace through which the new season would be administered. After Joshua, Caleb from the tribe of Judah started leading Israel toward their victories in the Promised Land. His grace was different from that of Moses and Joshua. Caleb’s grace was that of a conqueror. He conquered the giants of Hebron and possessed and ruled the land which he had spied. David would be from this same tribe—Judah. This became the ruling and leading tribe in Israel—the tribe from which the kings of Israel and Jesus Christ, the Greater Son of David, the King, would eventually come (see Gen. 49:10).
Caleb operated in this spirit of the Kingdom. Caleb was a type of the leadership-grace God is currently restoring to lead the Church. God spoke through the prophet Amos and said that He would restore the House of David (see Acts 15:16-17). In this current apostolic season of reformation, God is awakening us to the reality of the Church as the restored House of David, the Kingdom of God, and the rule of Jesus Christ as Lord.
Moses was able to take Israel out of Egypt, but it took a commander, Joshua, to take them into the Promised Land. Joshua took them in and taught them to walk by God’s Word and how to prosper. It was only when Caleb, from the tribe of Judah, came that the remaining land was conquered. David, also from this tribe, possessed the stronghold of Jerusalem and established Zion.
Dear friend, God’s season is changing. Like the changing of leadership from Moses, to Joshua, to Caleb, God is currently administering His Kingdom purposes on the earth through the apostolic and prophetic graces, which are foundational and governmental in nature. Therefore, we can expect all Church doctrine to be reevaluated. This is critical because doctrine forms the foundation of the mindset of the Church and ultimately determines our behaviour. We are and behave according to what we believe.
THE IMPORTANCE OF DOCTRINE
Doctrine is of the utmost importance. When the first Church met under the grace of the Apostles of the Lamb, their first and foremost focus was apostolic doctrine, for without accurate doctrine their fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayers would have been rendered inaccurate (see Acts 2:42). Apostolic doctrine is more than creeds and ancient beliefs. It is the proceeding Word that allows the Church to walk accurately in what is relevant for its season, without ever violating the Scripture. The accuracy of the interpretation is that which makes the Scripture alive and effective in our lives.
Jesus defeats the devil with “present-day truth" in the wilderness of temptation through an accurate interpretation of the Scripture. However, Scripture without the revelation of the Spirit can become a dry well.
Paul, the apostle, says in Second Corinthians 3:6: …the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. In this season, we are not ministers of the letter, but of the Spirit. This is one of the most important aspects of this current apostolic season. Apostolic grace has the ability to interpret the scripture by the Holy Spirit. Accurate interpretation can only take place by the Holy Spirit and makes the Church relevant, dynamic, and powerful.
Eschatology is the understanding concerning the end times. True eschatology must be Christ-centered. Apostles and prophets make sure that Christ remains the center of it all. They are master builders, laying the foundation of Christ (see 1 Cor. 3:10). Eschatology is not so much the sequence of end-time events, but rather concerns itself with rulership. Who has the right to rule? True eschatology is all about the finish and the ever-increasing Kingdom of God.
Most books about the end times were written in the previous century by people whose ideas have proven to be inaccurate and outdated. Most popular, modern-day eschatology is fear-based, preoccupied with the antichrist, and pessimistic about the future. Because of its sensational nature, it has become popular and well-advertised, rather than an accurate doctrine that brings God’s Church into dominion.
Modern-day popular eschatology, with its futuristic dispensational theories, creates an inaccurate and incomplete picture of the end. Therefore, most Christians have a negative expectation about the future.
If we are misinformed and have inaccurate concepts about the future, we will come to wrong conclusions that will render us ineffective today. The first weapon of mass destruction used on mankind was the weapon of misinformation. The snake used this weapon in the Garden when he said: “If you eat, you will be like God.”(See Genesis 3:5.) Man was already created in the image and likeness of God. This misinformation led to an identity crisis. If you do not know who you are and where you come from, you will not know your destiny.
If we do not have an accurate picture of the end, our current direction will be unclear, and our overall effectiveness will be limited. This current apostolic season will of necessity involve itself with eschatology. The questions we need to ask ourselves are: “Are we waiting for Him, or is He waiting for us?”and “Whose move is it now?”