Riches of the Kingdom 3
(week 08, 2007)

Olubi Johnson

In our article last week we saw that pride and offence will hinder us from partaking of the feast of the wisdom of God that will bring us into the experience of the kingdom of God: the total dominion of God in our lives: over sin, sickness, ignorance, poverty and demonic powers.

Offence means holding a grudge against God or His servants because of some perceived wrong you think they have done to you.

Offence is a spiritual poison that will cause you to get off the end (off-end) or destiny God has ordained for you.

For instance, John the Baptist was offended at the Lord Jesus, after Herod locked him up in prison and he began to doubt if Jesus was the Christ after God had clearly revealed this to him.

Luke 7:18-23(NKJV): 19 And John, calling two of his disciples to him, sent them to Jesus, saying, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?” 20 When the men had come to Him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to You, saying, ‘Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?’ ” 21 And that very hour He cured many of infirmities, afflictions, and evil spirits; and to many blind He gave sight. 22 Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them. 23 and blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”

John was probably offended because Jesus did not come and visit him in prison.

John should have followed Jesus after he (John) said:

John 1:28-39(NIV): 28 This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, where John was baptizing. 29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.” 32 Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. 33 I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God.” 35 The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 36 When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!” 37 When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. 38 Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?” They said, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are you staying?”

39 “Come,” he replied, “and you will see.”

John should have shut down his ministry of water baptism and followed Jesus as a disciple since the purpose of his ministry (to reveal the Christ to Israel. See verse 29 above) had been fulfilled.

Jesus’ disciple’s also baptized people with water and when Jesus saw that the Pharisees were comparing the ministry of John with his, Jesus graciously withdrew from Judea into Galilee:

John 4:1-3(NIV): 4:1 The Pharisees heard that Jesus was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John, 2 although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. 3 When the Lord learned of this, he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.

If John had stopped baptising to follow Jesus he would not have fallen into Satan’s snare through Herod and be subsequently killed prematurely. The destiny God had for him was to be Jesus’ foremost disciple, but offence took him off that end.

It probably would have been John the Baptist who would have written the book of Revelation (Revelation. 1.1) and taken custody of Mary after Jesus’ death (John 19.26-27) rather than John the beloved, since God gave John His name through the angel Gabriel (Luke. 1.13) in anticipation of Him fulfilling this destiny. God had to find another John to fulfil this destiny after John the Baptist was killed by Satan through Herod and Herodias.

So offence blinds the heart from revelation previously received and can cause one to miss the fullness of one’s destiny.

You overcome offence by walking in love and submission towards God and His Word and His servants who reveal the will of God through His Word.

Psalms 119:165(KJV): 165 Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.

If John had consulted with Jesus personally on that day the first two disciples followed Jesus, Jesus would have told him to stop his own ministry of water baptism, join Jesus and His disciples and then continue the water baptism ministry under Christ’s leadership and not his own.

Eventually this was what God enforced after John was put in prison: the water baptism ministry continued under Christ’s leadership after Jesus’ resurrection and the church was born.

The lesson here is that we need to submit to the will of God by actions and not words only: John the Baptist verbally acknowledged the superiority of Christ’s ministry (John 3.22-36) but did not submit to and follow it as Jesus did to his (Matthew 3.13-17).

He later became offended and began to doubt if Jesus was the Christ. The offence blinded his heart from the previous revelation he had received.

Do not allow offence in your heart: it will blind you and take you off the end: the destiny God has in store for you.

Overcome offence by love for God, His Word and His servants that show you the revealed will of God through His Word: like Jesus did to John.

In our article next week we will look and learn from the example of Ahithophel of how to avoid and overcome offence so we can enjoy the riches of the Kingdom.