As another reminder (and this is not a paid ad… I just LOVE my calendar!!) there’s more than one New Year, you know! But make the best of ALL of ’em I say! Calendars are an important – but tricky – thing! Get the BEST CALENDAR IN THE WORLD at www.thegalileeexperience.com !
The Future, Part 3 – and acting upon it.
So how do WE get there? You and I. What do we DO, THINK, PRAY, HOPE? On a daily basis, how do we think within ourselves to be a part of that future in the New Jerusalem?
As we face a new year in the “Year of our Lord,” let’s consider how this future Jerusalem and Kingdom Reign of God can be fully established in our lives – NOW – even though the world around us is crumbling into disaster.
Micah sums it up so well.. “He has shown you, O man, what is good: and what Jehovah requires of you, but to do justly, and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8)
And, in that regard, it’s really important to realize that the Church is called into government and commerce as the Lord leads. There is a “separation of Church and State” myth that has been developed by liberals and atheists but it isn’t what the founding fathers of these United States meant by,
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof!”
As read, it simply means that the Gov can’t stop us now!!!
So get active… and keep on praying, “Our Father… set up Your Kingdom on earth as it is heaven!”
Following is Asher Intrater’s excellent article along these lines. Asher spoke recently at my Church (one of it’s local assemblies, the one I attend, to be more precise) and He shared a similar burden to this. He’s a humble, well-studied servant of God who preaches in Jerusalem at Revive Israel in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv ( www.revive-israel.org ) and you can read more from him here – http://www.tikkunministries.org/newsletters/nl-asher.asp
This is exciting stuff! Your Kingdom Come, LORD! Come quickly!!!
Taking over the Kingdoms of this World by Godly Influence in Business and Government – Comparing Luke 19 and Revelation 11 © June, 2004 by Asher Intrater
The influence of the kingdom of God on society and economy is to become greater and greater as we approach the Second Coming.
Note: That there will also be greater manifestations of evil and tribulation does not negate the fact that the influence of righteous people will also increase. Evil will become more evil; righteous more righteous; until there is no middle ground.
The idea that the kingdom of God continually increases is not a new one; for example:
1. Daniel 2:44 – vision of spiritual rock increasing until it covers the world
2. Daniel 4:17 – lesson of Nebuchadnezzar being overthrown and reinstated to show how God reigns over the governments
3. Matthew 13:32 – parable of the little mustard seed that grows until it shelters the whole world
4. Isaiah 9:7 – prophecy of the Messiah’s government increases with no end
5. The reformation of government as seen in Mordechai, David, Joshua, Joseph and many of the kings mentioned in the bible.
In Luke 19, the parable of the 10 talents, Yeshua gave us a particular challenge to use what He has given us in this world, both spiritually and naturally, to give increase to His kingdom. Yeshua is described as “going away for a long time” in order to “receive authority for His kingdom” and then to return to this planet to set up that kingdom here. In the meantime, we, His servants, are to dedicate all our effort and resources to cause that kingdom to grow. He calls us to diligence in business.
In Revelation 11, we are given a message at the sounding of the seventh trumpet; namely, that “the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdom of Yeshua” (verse 15). This proclamation is considered to be the final revelation of the secrets of God’s plan (10:7). By comparing the parable of the talents in Luke 19 with the proclamation of taking over the kingdoms of this word in Revelation 11, a profound and challenging element of the plan of God is made clear to us.
The kingdoms of this world in these passages have two main components:
1. Government authority (including politics, military, education, etc.)
2. Business ownership (including banking, property, equipment, etc.)
In the parable of the talents, the disciples are called to do business, and then are rewarded with government positions over cities and states. Those two elements of Government and Business represent the power base of human society in this world. That society has been in rebellion, and part of message of the gospel is to bring this society back under submission to the will of God.
Note: The gospel is a spiritual message aimed at the heart of man; however, when the hearts of men are changed, there of necessity becomes a change in human society.
People serving in the secular marketplace and those serving in traditional ministerial positions should both be considered as equally in ministry before the Lord. All of ancient Israel was seen as the army of God, the people of God, and advancing the kingdom of God, while only one twelfth of them were involved in Levitical ministry. The kings and military leaders were seen as much in the ministry as the prophets and priests. Conversely, the priests and prophets were often involved in government and business affairs. The mistaken division of “laity” and “clergy” isolates the “church” into a spiritual ghetto that is irrelevant to the needs of human society. The pride of those of us in “ministerial” positions – to show ourselves as more spiritual than others – is cowardly, hypocritical and damaging to real growth in the kingdom of God.
If we consider only ministerial positions to be in ministry, we have in effect disqualified and negated 11/12’s of the overall service of the kingdom. Ephesians 4 tells us that those in ministerial positions are to “equip” the rank and file believers to do “the work of the ministry.” In other words, it is not the ministers at all who are doing the work of the ministry. Those in the workplace and the home do the ministry. The “clergy”, so to speak, are just the coaches who are to train the “laity”, who are the players doing the real work of the ministry out in the world.
Note: The bible does not indicate that we will completely take over the world before Yeshua returns. However it does challenge us to see the influence of the kingdom of God affect human society, government and economics to the greatest degree possible. The Second Coming is then seen as the culmination of the kingdom in which He finally takes full control of this world. As our spiritual influence increases in this world, so will the evil opposition to us also increase. Therefore, the Second Coming is also seen as the culmination of the battle against evil in which Yeshua finally conquers and punishes those who have acted unrighteously.
How does the influence of God’s kingdom increase in human society?
1. Godly people being raised up in positions of government (including judicial, military and education)
2. Godly people becoming successful in business (including banking, resource management, property ownership, media, etc.)
3. People in government and business having their lives changed by the Gospel.
Note: Of course, you can’t just have godly people in business and government, but those people have to act in a godly and righteous way while serving in those positions. Acting in integrity is a witness of the gospel to those around them, and brings their spheres of influence in human society under the principles of God’s righteous government.
One example of the gospel impacting society is Mel Gibson. His film is not only spreading the gospel, but it is challenging the moral values and financial infrastructure of the Hollywood film industry. Another example is the wife of Ed Kroc, billionaire founder of MacDonald’s, who donated 1.6 billion dollars of his profits t
o the Salvation Army. Another example is the prayer influence of Christians in Uganda, which brought about a transformation of the parliament and even touched the Prime Minister’s office.
Note: If tithe money is used to help the poor to change their status, or to equip men and women to act righteously in business and government, or to share the gospel with people of all socio-economic levels, then of course the kingdom is increased. But just passing tithes and offerings around within the congregation to maintain ministry programs that are not changing lives is NOT a kingdom advance, any more than having a Christian switch from one church to another one.
Immediately preceding the parable of the ten talents are the accounts of two men in Jericho being saved: the poorest man in town (the blind man on the road) and the richest man in town (Zaccheus the head of the IRS). Yeshua treated both of them the same. We do not discriminate against poor or rich. We want to get the gospel to both of them with equal and infinite passion.
In the case of the blind man, his spiritual salvation was intricately connected with his physical body. In the case of Zaccheus, his spiritual salvation was intricately connected with his finances. While the source of the power of salvation is spiritual, it is to have an effect outwardly on our physical bodies and the material world around us. The kingdom of God includes all dimensions of life: spirit, soul and body; micro and macro-economics; family and church; city, state and nation.
There were immediate economic ramifications to the salvation of both Zaccheus and the blind man. Zaccheus’ salvation, in one moment, totally changed the climate of the entire city. Wealth was redistributed, corruption in the tax department eliminated, oppressed people compensated for losses.
Yet also in the case of the blind man there was a financial change. Until that moment he was unemployed and indigent. In one moment he was taken off the unemployment list and became what we can only assume to be a productive wage earner for the first time in his life. (see Ed Silvoso’s Anointed for Business, Regal Books, 2002.)
Zaccheus’ response came in two ways: generosity and integrity. We see generosity in that he joyfully gave half his wealth to the needy as a response to his salvation. That’s the miracle of generosity. Yet he also decided to undo the wrongs he had done before in business. That is the miracle of integrity. The assumption is that he made a commitment not to cheat people in the future. His salvation brought him to a commitment to handle his business dealings with integrity. That was part of his salvation. The influence of the gospel on this man’s life in turn influenced the moral, political and economic situation of everyone in the capital city of Jericho.
Generosity and integrity are the two golden rules of Yeshua’s teachings on finances. We need both. Some people have integrity but no generosity (rich young ruler in Luke 18; he was saved but missed his destiny). Some have generosity but no integrity (unjust steward in Luke 16). Some have generosity and integrity (Zaccheus after his meeting with Yeshua in Luke 19). Some have neither generosity nor integrity (Lazarus’ rich man in Luke 16 who was sent to burn in the fires of hell). Rejecting generosity and integrity in finances is a direct pathway to eternal damnation.
May God give us the grace to walk in both generosity and integrity. May we see those in politics, military, arts, science and business as fully serving in the ministry. May we see the influence of God’s kingdom increase in all areas of human society.