ANOTHER COFFEE BREAK: KINGDOM ECONOMICS XIV
Jan 7, '08 5:27 PM
Once again, Happy New Year!
Good Morning, Everyone! Blessings on you and your day ahead!
Let's not dawdle today and get right to it. Pour yourself a good cup of nice dark coffee -- you know what I'm talking about, that double French Roast stuff -- grab one of those Christmas goodies from the very slowly dwindling supply (bet it'll last a couple of months at this rate!) and pull up a chair.
I want to pick up a portion of my comments from K-E XII so as to connect the dots with today's discussion.
Jesus couldn't care less about the rights or authority of governments to collect taxes from us. It didn't matter! The tax money the government collects from us has no bearing on our bank account, our liquid resources on hand (cash, etc.), or our ability to continue in our assignment(s) from Him without being shortchanged.
To prove it, he instructed Peter to go and do what he normally did: fish! "Supernaturally natural" provision to pay the tax obligation came forthimmediately. The very first fish that was caught had enough money (value-wise) in his mouth to pay both Peter's and Jesus' tax bills. Peter didn't have to sweat it! He didn't even have to wait for the tax-collector to come around. Jesus made such provision that Peter was able to go and pay their taxes even before they were told what the tax bill would be.
That, my friends, is a principle of Kingdom Economics.
You understand, of course, (and we talked about this in our last Coffee Break) that Jesus could have simply withdrawn the necessary monies from the bag that Judas carried to pay their taxes. They weren't broke! Far from it! What Jesus was after, however, was to show Peter that relying on natural resources in order to meet needs was not the way the Kingdom of God operated.
The Kingdom of God has a totally different mode of operation, a totally different economy, a totally different dimension of life than that of this world. The world around us operates strictly on a sight-basis -- that which you can see with your eyes. If you can't see it, it doesn't exist.
The problem with that philosophy is that everything that is seen was made out of that which is not seen. The visible world is in a constant state of flux,changing moment by moment. There is nothing -- and I mean ABSOLUTELY NOTHING -- that is seen that did not first begin in the realm of the spirit. (This applies to both the realm of righteousness and the sphere or mode of unrighteousness.)
Let me explain.
Nothing existed before God spoke the world -- and the universe -- into existence. He saw it first in Himself. Once He envisioned what He wanted and desired to have and create, He simply spoke the Word. That Word was both spirit and life.
John put it this way as he opened up his gospel: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men." (John 1:1-4, KJV)
Jesus expressed it like this: "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." (John 6:63, KJV)
The apostle Paul was quite specific about this as he wrote to the Ekklesia in Corinth: "...we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal." (II Corinthians 4:18)
Today's societies can't cope with that concept. They are totally blind to the realm of the Spirit of God. The very thought that the visible realm came in its entirety from the eternal realm boggles the natural (make that, "carnal-thinking") mind.
Once people get a hold of this principle, however, it revolutionizes their entire thought process. EVERYTHING that has to do with the Kingdom of God operates this way!
Faith operates out of the unseen realm -- eternity -- making visible the substance of that which exists in eternity. I like to put it like this: Faith is nothing more than invading time and space, making visible by the spoken Word that which one can see from the Throne of God.
By this means, therefore, debts are canceled. Provision is made for every need. Sickness is banished. Disease is cast off. There is no place for infirmityof any kind. Relationships are made whole. Families are drawn together. Authority over the natural realm is exercised. The wind and the rain are subject to you. Storms have no power over you. Death is no threat. Fear is completely exorcized.
I was in my early teens when I had a discussion with my Dad one day. I was fighting a flu bug, and had been sick in bed for a couple of days. It dawned on me that I had never seen Dad sick -- NEVER! So I put it to him.
"Dad, how come you never get sick?" I asked. There was this twinkle in his eye, and his mouth curled ever so slightly into a smile as he said, "I just refuse to."
Well, that made no sense whatever to me. "What do you mean, you refuse to get sick? How can you refuse to get sick? How can you tell a virus that itcan't affect you?"
"Easy," he said. "The Word of God gives me complete authority over all disease and sickness. Since the Word tells me that Jesus already paid for all thehealing I'll ever need, I just accept that. If a sniffle comes along, or a headache, I just tell it to go in the name of Jesus and it has to leave. It can't stay. Ijust refuse to allow it."
It wasn't until I was attending Bethany Bible College in Santa Cruz, California some seven or eight years later and came down with pneumonia that theimpact of Dad's comments caught up with me. I was flat on my back for some three weeks. One morning as I was reading my Bible, it suddenly struck me.
I Peter 2:24 says, "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed."
I saw that Scripture, and it leaped to life in my understanding. Something clicked inside of me. There was a kind of anger that rose up against Satan for trying to rob me of the health I owned -- the very health that Jesus had paid for.
One of my classmates happened to be a nurse, and she had been tending to me while I was sick. I said to her, "Marie, I'm through with this pneumonia. I'm not going to accept it anymore. I'm going to lay claim to the healing that Jesus provided and get out of this bed. I refuse to have pneumonia."
Marie thought I'd lost it. "You can't get out bed, yet! You're still very sick. You can get up when the symptoms have gone."
"Not according to the Word of God," I responded. "The symptoms are not the truth; God's Word is the Truth, and that's what I'm acting on."
When she saw that I was absolutely determined, she just shook her head and walked out. I got out of bed pretty wobbly, but the symptoms began torapidly disappear. This was around 10:00 in the morning. By 2:00 in the afternoon, despite the fact that I wasn't 100% over the symptoms and still feltpretty wobbly, I determined to go back to work. I was working swing shift at Lockheed Missiles at the time. My shift began at 3:30 so I had plenty of time to get dressed and drive the 44 miles from the college campus to the plant in Sunnyvale.
I won't say that I felt like a million dollars that night, but by the time my shift had ended at 12:30 AM, I knew I had beaten it. The next day was muchbetter, and by the third day there was no trace of the pneumonia or its symptoms.
Medication didn't solve the problem. Staying in bed and getting lots of rest didn't do anything. Taking antibiotics wasn't showing much progress.
Marie's tests indicated that the pneumonia was in full bloom when I made the determination to declare the Word of God as my authority and kick thepneumonia out. It was my first real experience of seeing what it meant to invade specific time and specific space with God's Word, and seeing what Paul described in Romans 4:17 referring to Abraham's faith when he "calleth those things which be not as though they were.."
From a natural standpoint, I didn't have my health. From eternity, however, there was no such thing as pneumonia. Jesus didn't have pneumonia. He had defeated it at the Cross and made healing and perfect health available to all who believe. I therefore declared those things that were not (in the natural and earthly realm) -- my healing and deliverance from pneumonia -- as though they were. Notice the distinction.
We don't declare those things that are not as though they are: we declare them as though they WERE. Understand? My healing already existed before I spoke it. I was already walking in perfect health. It's just that my health existed in and through the Lord, and had existed for nearly 2,000 years before I took ownership of it for myself.
By my declaration and confession (the word in the Greek text is: homologeo: to say the same thing [that Jesus says]), I called those things into being that had not existed naturally as though they were -- and they were AND ARE!
Now, let's come back to Peter and the money in the mouth of the fish.
As already noted, Jesus could easily have taken money from available cash resources to pay the taxes, but it was far more important for Peter to understand that there was no need -- no matter how great or small -- that couldn't be met when functioning from and within the Kingdom of God. All Jesus had to do was to command and declare the need met.
Peter was going to have to do something perfectly normal. He'd been a fisherman all his life. He'd grown up doing it. It was like breathing in andbreathing out. The difference was that he was now going to experience Kingdom Economics working supernaturally through something he'd had to toil and sweat over in the past.
"Go out and catch fish, just like you always have," Jesus said. "When you pull in your fish, take the very first fish and open its mouth. In that fish's mouth, you'll find a coin of such value that it will pay your taxes and mine. Take that coin and let's just go ahead and pay our taxes without fretting over them."
Question. Suppose Peter had taken a different fish than the one whose mouth he opened. Would the money have been in that fish's mouth instead?
Yup. It didn't really matter which fish came up first. The economy of God's Kingdom simply doesn't care.. It was the faith Peter exercised when he did what was natural in order to experience the supernatural. It was the direct obedience to what the Lord said.
The apostle Paul put it like this: "NOW FAITH is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1, KJV)
The secret is in the NOW! Faith always works NOW. If it is down the road, it isn't faith: it's just hope, or high expectations based on wrong or speculative information. Faith always invades and supersedes time. Faith always produces substance. Faith always produces tangible results.
In his general epistle to the body of Christ, James writes, "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works." (James 2:17-18)
He makes it clear, therefore, that if the faith is real and alive, it will produce the tangible results: the tangible results which demonstrate that faith was thecreative force to begin with.
Let's get back to something I said in an earlier Coffee Break in this series. Faith is the currency of the Kingdom of God. It's what you spend in order to receive salvation. You can't be saved without faith. It is an active, working, tangible, substantive trust and belief that Jesus Christ is who He says He is, that He is the only begotten Son of God, that He did die on the Cross, that He did rise again, taking dominion over death and Hell, that He did everything necessary to cleanse you of every sin, every error, every mistake you've ever made, every act you've committed which separated you from an intimate relationship -- a real love relationship -- with God. More than that, faith is necessary in order for you to believe that Jesus did this for you, personally, because He loves you. Faith necessitates your not only believing this, but accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour and then following Him and obeying Him for the rest of your life.
Whewww!! Guess that was a mouthful, but this is where faith begins. Let me borrow a phrase from Jesse Duplantis. "Faith begins where the will of God is known."
Let me take it a step farther. The faith for salvation that I've just described is just the opening of the door into the treasury room in the Kingdom of God. Everything -- and I do mean EVERYTHING -- we will ever receive in our lives depends on our walking through that door and scooping up that treasure. Faith is the treasure that fills the treasury room in the Kingdom. It is the activator for every substantive thing we receive from God.
You can't be healed without faith. Let me expand on this for a second.
Faith necessitates your believing that Jesus Christ did exactly what He said He did at the Cross. You cannot believe for a second -- or even think for amoment -- that any disease, any sickness, or any infirmity you may suffer ever comes from the Lord. The lie of Satan is to imply that Jesus "gives youtuberculosis," or He "gives you arthritis," or He "gives you cancer to teach you something."
Excuse me, but BALDERDASH! Since when does Jesus have tuberculosis or arthritis or cancer that He has to give it to you in order to teach yousomething? Every disease, every sickness, every infirmity is of the devil. The last time I checked, I couldn't find any place in the Word where Jesus used
Satan to teach His people anything!
Fact is, the Scripture tells us: "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." (John 14:27, KJV with my emphasis) The Holy Spirit is our teacher -- and He sure doesn't use the devil to accomplish His works or His will.
Then Jesus turns right around and says, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
Again, last time I checked, no disease, no sickness, no infirmity every brought peace. It only brings turmoil. And THAT, my friends, is the clearestevidence of the source of that sickness or disease. When there is no peace, we can be sure who the author of the confusion or unrest may be: Satan.
I've kind of digressed from the point, but it is necessary to emphasize the fact that faith IS the substance, the currency we gather and spend from thetreasury rooms of the Kingdom of God. We will get into this picture of the treasury rooms more as we develop the picture of Kingdom Economics in the days to come, but let's finish today with the rest of our picture of faith.
We've already said that you can't be saved without faith. You can't be healed without faith. It also follows that you can't be delivered (from evil spirits,from addictions of the flesh, etc.) without faith. You cannot walk in perfect health and enjoy long life without faith. You cannot expect to see provision to meet every single need without faith. You cannot expect to prosper financially and have the wherewithal to pass on to your successive generations without faith. You cannot give and give and give and give of yourself, your resources, or your life without faith.
Every single aspect of the Kingdom of God depends on the currency of faith. Faith is the only medium of exchange in the Kingdom of God, and thatcurrency is an eternal currency -- unlike the currencies of today's world.
Faith never alters in value. Faith does not rise or fall depending on the value of the dollar, the pound, the franc, the mark, the euro, or whatever. Faithdoes not alter in its spending power, nor its ability to accomplish what it is given or sent forth to accomplish.
Faith operates out of eternity -- not out of time. Faith is not subject to time like the world's currencies. This is why the operation and use of faith -- the spending of it, if you will -- never fails.
OK. We're beginning to run long today, so let's take up here in our next discussion.
In the Kingdom of God, what the world calls "miracles" are only the natural manifestation of God's power, His love and His grace working in and
through His people.
The Blessing of the Lord be upon you.
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