Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The Kingdom Belongs To the Poor

This weekend we got to witness the contrast in how the rich and the poor receive the Gospel of the Kingdom. Mind you, it’s the same Gospel, preached the same way; the only real difference was who we were preaching to and the results we witnessed.

Before this week, we had received a prophetic word from the Lord that this Saturday, March 4th was a prophetic declaration for the church to “march forth” into the Promised Land and destiny that God has promised to us. Our response to the Prophetic word was to make a concentrated effort to go on the offensive and take the Gospel to our community and city. One team would go downtown and preach the Gospel to the homeless, drug addicts and prostitutes and the other team would preach the Gospel to the middle class suburbanites of the city of Woodstock. One team would see an outbreak of the Kingdom and the other would not. Can you guess which team would see what?

Let me interrupt the telling of this story with a simple revelation that we received a couple of years ago:

The Kingdom BELONGS to the Children…

“Jesus, however, said, let the little children come to me, and stop keeping them away. For the kingdom of heaven belongs to people like these.” Matthew 19:14

The Poor POSSESS the Kingdom…
“And lifting up His eyes to His disciples, He said, blessed are the poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.” Luke 6:20

The Righteous INHERIT the Kingdom…
“Then the King shall say to those on His right hand, Come, blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” Matthew 25:34

The Rich Man can HARDLY ENTER into the Kingdom.
“Then Jesus said to His disciples, truly I say to you that a rich man will with great difficulty enter into the kingdom of Heaven.” Matthew 19:23

Bottom Line, ministry to children and to the poor is where the fruit and Kingdom demonstration will be found. The Lord said that He didn’t come to call the righteous:

“But go and learn what this is, I will have mercy and not sacrifice. For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Matthew 9:13

Since the Kingdom belongs to the children, ministry to them will bring a quick and powerful demonstration of the Kingdom. Since the poor possess the Kingdom and it belongs to them, likewise, there will be a powerful demonstration of Kingdom power and authority. Since the Lord has not come to call the righteous or blameless ones, we should go to the offenders. Prisoners, gangs, people who break the law, use drugs, etc.

Preaching the Gospel to the rich or those with many material possessions will result in little fruit. Why? Because it is with great difficulty that the rich enter the Kingdom. Basically, that means that there will be little fruit. When the Bible defines “rich”, the Greek word literally means “full”. What the Lord is saying here is that those who already have a “full” life will have no room in their lives for the Kingdom.

Therefore, in response to this revelation and if we want to see Kingdom Power break out on the streets, we spend the majority of our evangelistic efforts pursuing the poor and children/youth.

The team heading into Woodstock soaked, prayed and believed God for a demonstration of His power. When they arrived to the town square, there were plenty of people about. They reported that the Lord gave them several prophetic words and they prayed for a bunch of sick folks but really didn’t see any instant healings. Also, no one met the Lord and several times the team was turned down for prayer. In one case, they were argued with as a gentleman wanted to debate Biblical knowledge! All in all, the trip was frustrating with little spiritual fruit.

The team heading into downtown Atlanta also soaked, prayed and believed God for a demonstration of His power. Things were a little slow at first as ones or twos came by the trailer where there was barbeque chicken and Cajun rice and beans cooking. But as the ones and two’s came, they got a plate of food, but they also got prophetic words and the message of the Kingdom. One couple came by and was immediately accosted with the Gospel. They responded instantly and gave their lives to the Lord as the Lord spoke to their hearts and revealed His love to them. One of the ladies on the team simply spoke that there was a spirit of suicide trying to kill her. As she said that, the lady she was praying with starting manifesting a demon and weeping openly. They cast out the demon and she was set free on the spot!

Several groups came walking by the trailer, drawn in by the awesome smell of barbeque chicken and got more than they bargained for as their prophetic destinies were revealed to them. One group in particular was captained by a very big, very intimidating young man. As he walked by, the Lord simply spoke to me “Stop him!” I walked right up to him and stood in his way. He looked like he was ready to fight me, but I started talking to him saying that the Kingdom of God is on the earth and Jesus is King. His response was total bewilderment and he just stared. By this time the Lord had given me and another person on the team some prophetic stuff for him. We released some destiny words about leadership being on his life and being covered in prayer by his family, etc. His eyes got real wide, but the two guys with him looked agitated. So we turned on them and the Lord started giving us more prophetic words for the whole team. They were so shocked that we pounced on the opportunity for them to give their lives to Jesus. They explained to us how they believed in God but we told them that this was not good enough! The Bible says that even the demons believe in God and that to enter the Kingdom they must not only believe in Jesus, but they must make Him King and Lord. Right there on the street all three of the young men made Jesus their King and Lord and were born again! They even walked away without food!

A few minutes later, a gentleman on one of those motorized scooters went zipping by. We ran him down and asked him why he was in the scooter. Through some very pained words, he told us that he had just come from the hospital where they had done a spinal tap to check the fluid in his spine for meningitis. He was in severe pain and could hardly talk about it. We gave him the good news of the Kingdom of God and told him that he did not have to be in pain and that in Heaven there is no pain. He agreed for us to pray for him and we asked him to rate his pain on a scale from 1 to 10 with 1 being no pain and 10 being horrible pain. He said that he was about an 8 or 9. You could see it on his face; he looked pinched and was breathing erratically. So we rebuked the pain and commanded the life of God to come into his body. Instantly, I felt a jolt of electricity run down my arm into his back.

We asked him how he was and he said that as soon as we prayed, all of the pain left! He checked himself, verified that there was no pain and was so excited! You could see it on his face. His entire countenance changed dramatically and he brightened up considerably! He was flabbergasted and we took the opportunity to lead him to the Lord. He also believed in God, so we explained to Him that he must make Jesus King and Lord and that simply believing in Jesus wasn’t enough. Convinced by the miracle in his body, he gave his life to Jesus that instant and went away a new creation!

The rest of our time there was a blur of prophecies, healings, miracles and salvations. At least ten people met the Lord; there were more than a half dozen instant healings and dozens heard and witnessed the Gospel of the Kingdom in action.

Lesson learned.


Tim Urberg said...

Oh how hard it is for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God! The cares of this workd, the decitefulness of wealth, and the desires for other things choke out the Word and make it unfruitful. When will we learn?!? Take it all away Lord! Strip us down to nothing so that we only have room for You!

Angela T. said...

The Rich man comes to the Lord and asked what must I do. At the end...the Lord gave him a choice to sell everything and follow him. He walked away sad. Satan will gladly come steal what Jesus paid for you to have....God simply gives you the choice to use it for his glory...and follow him.

You can take a poor man out of poverty....but the Lord has to get the poverty out of the man. Same with the rich. A rich man can lose all his money....but the money is still on his mind and heart. That's why someone like Donald Trump can lose everything and get it back.

Angela T.

Jeff R. said...

If you look into the eyes of the rich, they seem empty... They are trying to fill their lives with "things" thinking that will fill their emptiness, but "things' don't! Only Jesus can fill them.. and bring unspeakable joy.
Let's pray for the rich, the "Yuppies".... those who may have everything they want to buy, but are spiritually starving.
God CAN reach them!