Top o' the mornin' to you.
I'd forgotten to mention earlier that we were hosting the Washington, DC Victory Campaign with Kenneth Copeland live on the big screen here at River Worship Center this weekend. We got under way Thursday afternoon at 4:00 PM, and then Friday morning at 6:00 AM (yeah, I know that's a bit early for some folks here in the Pacific Time Zone). The afternoon sessions began at PST, and the evening sessions at .Â That said, now you know why I didn't get this Coffee Break out on Friday as expected.
Saturday morning's session began at 6:30 AM PST with
Gloria Copeland. It was her usual Saturday Morning healing school that
she conducts at all of these conferences and conventions. For whatever
reason -- and maybe its just my perception -- this particular healing school
was far more impactful than many of them have been. Kenneth joined her
for the individual ministry portion of the morning and his prophetic message to
those expecting their healing was nothing less than dynamite. Wish I'd
recorded it, but -- hey -- I can order the set of
Coffee poured yet? Well? What're ya waitin' fer? Last Christmas? The day's a wastin' case ya hadn't noticed.
OK. 'Nuff of the funny stuff. Let's pick up today where we started yesterday with the apostle Paul's statement again from Philippians 3:13-14.
"Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."
Think David Dorsett got that message? Forgetting the past? Forgetting everything he thought he knew and not rationalizing the Word of the Lord to him?
Nope. After several days and even weeks of talking and sharing and trying to help him understand exactly what the Lord was saying, I came to the conclusion that he DID understand, and just didn't want to accept it. Whether my analysis was right or not, a wall of separation began to build between us.
He saw me as the picture of what the Lord was saying to him and didn't want to be reminded again. Nevertheless, the Lord was going to give him a third opportunity to hear and obey.
Remember the story of the rich man who came to Jesus, having kept the Law all his life but who was unfulfilled? Remember Jesus' instruction to him? "If thou wilt be perfect [the Greek text uses the word, teleios, for "complete and fulfilled"] sell [all] that thou hast and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in Heaven: and come and follow me."
That's a tall order for someone whose entire frame of reference is the Law. That stretches the imagination beyond any fleshly norms because it requires folks to think "outside the box."Â For someone whose trust has been in the world system -- the world's economic system, and the way it operates -- this is a command that is totally illogical.
And this is exactly what God was going to say -- once again -- to David Dorsett.
Communications between DD, his wife and family, and Della and me had been rather sporadic over a period of perhaps two or three years. We certainly kept up with his business endeavors, and we were aware that he had left the computer business for a family-owned business in "health" products. I put the word "health" in quotes because the products he was selling were supposed to improve certain health problems. More on this shortly.
The business took off for DD and his wife like hotcakes. Before long, he was earning two and three times the best money he'd ever made in his life. Make no mistake. David Dorsett was a good salesman -- a great salesman. I used to tell him he could sell ice to Eskimos.
One day he showed up at the ranch in Idaho where Della and I were living, using it as our base of operations for ministry in the northwest. He and his wife came ostensibly for one of our spontaneous worship gatherings. He was, however, anxious to show us his business and wanted to get us involved with him.
As soon as he began to explain the nature of his business and what he was selling, I shook my head. "David," I said, "this isn't something I could sell. I can't sell something I don't believe in -- and these products are based on a theory that is neither scientific nor provable in anything but the rare individual case where a person, by some fluke or psychosomatic case, experiences some improvement."
I took it a step farther with David. "Doc, I can't get myself involved in something which is a substitute for the health and healing that Jesus provides us, and I'm frankly surprised that you would. For someone who has known the realm of healing and the power of God like you have, why would you exchange that for something as questionable and pseudo-scientific as this?"
He became immediately defensive. "You know that it is God's will for us to prosper and be in health, and this business is making me to prosper like I've never prospered. In fact, I earned over $70,000 last month alone."
The groan in my spirit may not have been audible to the human ear, but DD could hardly have missed it.
"Whatever happened to the Word of the Lord that came to you -- that Word, 'sell all thou hast'? You're trading monetary prosperity in place of the totality of the prosperity God wants His people to manifest. You're selling a cheap, temporary fix to someone's ailments using a methodology that provides a false hope for healing. You've become wrapped up in the fun of having lots of money without the love, the faith, and the genuine power of God to both gain and use that money to further God's Kingdom."
I tried to be gentle in the way I expressed myself, but there was the power and authority of the presence of the Lord in my speech.
FYI, the products DD was selling were based on "magnetic therapy." With my background in science, engineering, research and development with NASA, I'd worked with magnetic fields and electro-magnetic fields and knew the science pretty thoroughly. My comments to DD, therefore, had more than just spiritual impact: they came from a scientific perspective as well. I don't want to get into a scientific treatise on magnets or "magnet therapy" in this Coffee Break since that's not what this discussion is about.
Suffice it to say that David Dorsett packed his goods up and left the ranch in a rage. Michael and I had never compared notes and didn't discuss DD's "health business" until some years later, but DD approached him sometime after he left the ranch and pretty much got the same exact message from Michael that I'd given him.
He wouldn't hear it. Though I knew he left us in anger, I made several attempts to communicate with him in the hopes that he would hear the quiet plea of the Holy Spirit. They fell on deaf ears.
In the years that followed, I came across a medical doctor in Houston who had been in the U.S. for more than thirty years, having moved here from China. When asked about "magnet therapy" he grew very sober and said, "You must warn people away from it! We know it in China as a hoax. This is where all of this business about "magnet therapy" originated. I've spent many years researching the long-term effects on people who've used magnets and in most of the cases, long-term exposure results in severe physical problems, unwanted and undesired side-effects, and in some cases even death."
DD himself believed the lie and used the "therapy" to deal with his own aches and pains. Today he is in serious physical condition. His "prosperity" was short-lived. Within a matter of three to five years, the business had folded under him, he was broke, in debt, crippled in more ways than one and facing the complaints and claims of many former business associates and customers for whom the hundreds and thousands of dollars spent on this "wonderful and therapeutic health" business had gone sour. Worse, he has absolutely shut the door to any counsel from his brothers and sisters in the Lord -- counsel, that is, that is contrary to his own reasoning processes.
To add insult to injury, he was having to live with his own children who would scarcely speak to him because of the bitterness and continual anger he erupted with.
The tragedy is that none of this was necessary. Had he received the Word of the Lord and "sold" his reasoning and thought processes, and instead received revelation the Lord wanted to give him, how different would his life have been. The Kingdom of God does have true prosperity, but that prosperity is a whole lot more than money.
There is a principle of Kingdom Economics that I want you to see in this picture of David Dorsett. We've already touched on this principle in previous Coffee Breaks, but let's see if we can explore it in a little more depth.
Consider Adam and Eve in the Garden. Go to Genesis Chapter 1, beginning in verse 26.
"And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth."
The very first thing about our creation was that we were made in the image and likeness of God. The two Hebrew words used to describe our creation in Genesis 1:26 are tselem, and demuth: an exact image or copy, a duplicate in appearance, function and character.
Thus Adam was a duplicate of God in his appearance, his manner, his makeup and function. For clarification's sake, the fact that he was a copy meant he wasn't the original, and therefore couldn't supersede the original. Nevertheless, he functioned just like God, and God gave him the same creative power and authority of speech that He had and was.
Adam, being in the likeness and image of God, was given dominion and authority over every living creature -- and I emphasize that word, "creature" -- upon the earth. (I'm getting ahead of myself, here, but Adam was NOT given dominion over other men because they would also be in the likeness and image of God.) He was also given dominion over the earth itself. He was the ruler of the earth.
Some folks react to that statement with, "Big deal! There was nothing to rule," but that's not true. Adam had an assignment from God.
"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day."
You see the assignment, don't you? "Be fruitful, and multiply (that is a declaration of blessing on Adam -- the empowerment by God to fulfill the assignment), and replenish (this word in the Hebrew text is maâ€™laâ€™) the earth, and subdue it." The Hebrew maâ€™laâ€™ is an active verb which literally means to "fill up, to make full, to complete that which has already begun." The Hebrew grammarian and scholar, Dr. William Gesenius, in his Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon tells us that this word comes from an original Hebrew idea for abundance, overflow, excess so that there is no room for anything more. This is the same word for "intoxicate" -- to fill to excess.
Thus Adam's assignment from God was to duplicate and expand the Garden of Eden until it literally filled the entire earth to overflow. It is a picture of God Himself.Â Everything about the Lord manifests abundance, overflow, fullness to excess, completeness. It is how He created Adam, and what He intended for Adam to accomplish with the earth.
Let me digress for a second to quote to you from something Jesus said (see John 10:10b): "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."
When you read this from the Amplified text, it spells out the very same picture we have in Genesis 1:28.
"I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance, to the full, till it overflows."
Life, therefore, under God's dominion incorporates abundance, everything in abundance to the full until it overflows. Adam had an assignment from God: duplicate that abundance in the earth. In exchange, he would want for nothing. Life -- for Adam and Eve -- would be a life of abundance, a life without need of any kind, a life without sickness, without disease, without infirmity, without any threat of death at some point in the future.
Adam's assignment also included "subduing the earth." That word, subdue, in Hebrew is the word "kaÌ‚bash". We have a rather humorous word in English colloquial usage which actually comes from this Hebrew word.
When we say that we will put "the kibosh on" something, or someone, we are actually using the Hebrew term which means to subdue, to put under, to exercise force upon, to bring under subjection.
The earth was under Adam's dominion. He was its supreme ruler. For something on the order (once again, this is my considered opinion based on several statements in Scripture, but I can't prove this definitively) of 2,000 years prior to the fall, Adam was second only to the Lord Himself.
David put it this way in the Psalms (115:16), "The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD: but the earth hath he given to the children of men."
Adam had another assignment as well from the Lord. Genesis 2:19-20 tells us, "And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field..."
A funny thing happened on the way to Adam's lordship and rulership over the earth. He gave it away. When Eve succumbed to the serpent's trickery and deception, and Adam went along with it instead of exercising his place of dominion over the serpent (and the serpent WAS under his dominion as a beast of the field, never mind the fact that Satan had entered the serpent) he violated the only commandment God had given them, "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." (Genesis )
That tree was -- for all intents and purposes -- the tithe of the Garden. It was the holy portion. It was restricted territory. It wasn't like God was withholding something from Adam and Eve: they had everything they could possibly desire. They lacked for nothing. They had complete dominion. Whatever knowledge they needed came by direct revelation in the place of communion they had with the Lord.
Nevertheless, the partaking of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil deprived them of their place of fellowship and communion with the Lord. It also deprived them of His provision for their every conceivable need. The yielding of authority and dominion over the earth to Satan brought a curse upon the earth: a curse that meant they now had to work for a living.
From that day to this, man's entire priority and focus has been on how to provide for himself. Man's primary objective has been to have enough food to survive, enough clothing to stay warm, a place of shelter in which to live.
Let's bring it to the present. Society's focus today is how to get enough money to pay the bills, make the car payment, pay the house mortgage, keep up with one's credit card payments, pay the utility bills, buy gasoline, etc., etc., etc., ad infinitum.
That's a curse, folks! But it isn't a curse that exists in the Kingdom of God. And there's where contemporary society and the Kingdom of God are so different from each other. We're running long today, so let's pick it up at this point in our next Coffee Break.
Kingdom Economics is a system under which we return to the priorities of life established by God in the Garden. Our assignment from God is our priority. Our provision is His priority.
The Blessing of the Lord be upon you.
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