The real Unity of the Church
First posted: July 24, 2004
This article deals with how the Lord will unite the Church in the latter days. Man has tried to bring this unity the wrong way, and God will unleash His judgments on all those who stubbornly continue to attempt this unity in a humanistic way. The latter-day revival will manifest a Church that is truly united in the Spirit. We will not be a tower of Babel, but rather a fortress of Zion that will manifest the Glory of God in these last days.
After describing the "prophet vs. pastors" confrontation in chapter 31 (described in our previous article), the prophet Isaiah, under the anointing of the Spirit, declares the following:
"Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment." (Isaiah 32:1)
Notice that the passage refer to a future single "king" and to a multitude of "princes". This means that, in God's eyes, multiple kings have ruled the Church until now. Today's Church is like a collage of little kingdoms where every pastor rules with kingly sovereignty over "his" or "her" congregation. In many parts of the world, pastors are constantly fighting over sheep, and get upset when another pastor "steals their sheep". All these pastors forget that the sheep are not "theirs" but God's, and that there is not a single passage of Scripture where God refers to His people as being the sheep of another human being. It upsets me to hear believers say, "Pastor Smith's sheep" or "Pastor Ronald's sheep". Compare it to how the Lord refers to sheep:
"2Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; 3Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. 4And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away." (1 Peter 5:2-4)
[Notice that Peter doesn't say, "Feed your flock"]
"15So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. 16He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. 17He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep." (John 21:15-17)
[Notice that Jesus doesn't say, "Feed your sheep" or "Feed your lambs"]
"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me" (John 10:27)
"Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood." (Acts 20:28)
[Notice that Paul doesn't say, "to all your flock" or "feed your church"]
You will never find a passage where Paul says to Timothy, for example, "Take care of your sheep, Timothy my son". When they are not led by the Spirit, pastors have a maternal tendency to possess the sheep they have been given to care over. Canaanite spirits are by nature spirits of adulterous possession, and pastors who are not completely submissive to God are very susceptible to these types of spirits. This is why the king of Sodom, who was a Canaanite king, said the following to Abram after Abram fought 4 kings and recovered the people and goods that they had taken from the king of Sodom:
"21And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself. 22And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the LORD, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth, 23That I will not take from a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich: 24Save only that which the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men which went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion." (Genesis 14:21-24)
Notice that the king of Sodom was more interested in possessing the people than the goods, and notice how Abram refers to God as the "possessor of heaven and earth". Canaanite pastors forget Who the real possessor of all things is and appropriate the sheep for themselves. Canaanite pastors love to possess people, and the more they possess, the better they feel. This drives the view of their ministry towards number-oriented growth. Just like David in 2 Samuel chapter 24, they are constantly censing the congregation, and are more interested in quantity than in quality. As long as the numbers are going up, they forget about the spiritual growth of the people under their care. To them, having 1000 mediocre believers is better than having 10 believers who can shake the world in the anointing and the power of God. This is why the Lord said the following:
"4What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?5And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. 7I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance." (Luke 15:4-7)
Unfortunately, most pastors today would prefer to stick with the 99 sheep than go after the 1 that is lost, because, after all, going after "1 little sheep" is not worth risking the loss of the other 99. This is caused by three reasons:
Tears are coming to my eyes as I write this and as I consider that, after 2000 years, the Church still doesn't get it. Imagine the grief and righteous indignation that God feels in His heart when He sees a lukewarm Church under the matriarchy of pastors who care more about themselves and the growth of their ministries than about God's sheep. God is angry, and He will change all of this soon, because the time has come; the iniquity of the Amorite kings is already full (Genesis 15:16):
"The princes of Judah were like them that remove the bound: therefore I will pour out my wrath upon them like water." (Hosea 5:10)
When the passage above speaks of "removing the bound", it refers to the following:
"Thou shalt not remove thy neighbour’s landmark, which they of old time have set in thine inheritance, which thou shalt inherit in the land that the LORD thy God giveth thee to possess it." (Deuteronomy 19:14)
In other words, "removing the bound" in Hosea 5:10 refers to someone moving the boundaries of his neighbor's land property in order to steal his inheritance. Today's pastors have moved the bounds and have established kingships over God's people that have deprived them of reaching their full spiritual potential, thereby depriving them of their spiritual inheritance. Sheep are indoctrinated into full and unconditional submission to the pastoral authorities and have been taught that the only one who can hear from God is the pastor, thereby denying the original purpose that God had for pastors: helping God's sheep to have a direct relationship with their One and Only Pastor, Jesus:
"And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd" (John 10:17)
[Remember that the words "shepherd" and "pastor" are synonyms in the original Greek]
"The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want" (Psalms 23:1)
[Notice that it doesn't say, "Pastor Simmons is my shepherd; I shall not want"; I'm "sorry" if there is a pastor out there named "Simmons" who is reading this, but that's the name the Spirit deposited in my mind as I was writing this]
The "day of the Lord" is close at hand (Revelation 1:10, Malachi 4:1-6). In the day of the Lord, One shall be the king; the kings of today will fall, and in their stead, a mighty people of "princes" shall be raised up, a mighty people that will finally manifest the God-potential that has been inside of them all along (Isaiah 32:1).
"31But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. 32Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom." (Luke 12:31-32)
As the Spirit of God preaches the message of "a Church under One king", most pastors seem to interpret it as a "call for unity". They interpret the message to be the following,
Can't we all get along? Can't we all put our differences aside and love one another? Can't we simply respect our denominational differences and remember that, even though we all have different names, we serve the same God? Let's unite to save more souls for Jesus.
My dear friend, you might be stunned by what I'm about to say, but the fact is that that is not the message God is trying to say to us. In order to see this, let us go to the Scriptures and see what God has to say about "getting along" with others:
"17I sat not in the assembly of the mockers, nor rejoiced; I sat alone because of thy hand: for thou hast filled me with indignation. 18Why is my pain perpetual, and my wound incurable, which refuseth to be healed? wilt thou be altogether unto me as a liar, and as waters that fail? 19Therefore thus saith the LORD, If thou return, then will I bring thee again, and thou shalt stand before me: and if thou take forth the precious from the vile, thou shalt be as my mouth: let them return unto thee; but return not thou unto them. 20And I will make thee unto this people a fenced brasen wall: and they shall fight against thee, but they shall not prevail against thee: for I am with thee to save thee and to deliver thee, saith the LORD." (Jeremiah 15:17-20)
Why didn't the Lord simply say to Jeremiah: "Jeremy, my baby, you should learn to get along with people a little better. Remember that the people of Israel are my people and that I love them. Why don't you just put aside your differences and try to love them a little more? Come on, Jeremy, be a good boy and go tell them that you are sorry."
Notice now what the Lord Jesus said to the disciples in the following passage:
"10But into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say, 11Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you. 12But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city. 13Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment, than for you." (Luke 10:10-14)
Doesn't the passage above sound a little too "harsh"? Notice that Jesus did not say the following:
"Oh my children, if they run you out of town, just turn around, flash them the peace sign, and tell them that Jesus loves them so much that he will multiply their crops and flocks, just to show them how much he loves them. Don't send judgments their way, little children, because that would be un-Christian."
Why didn't Jesus preach to them a message of humanistic "love" and "reconciliation"? Because God cannot be One with iniquity. He is a loving God who was willing to give His Son in loving sacrifice for us, but He will always, always, wait for you and me to adapt to Him, not the other way around. He will do everything possible to pave the way so that you may have access to His righteousness, but He never, never, never adapts His righteousness to your or my iniquity. In the same way, we are called to make great sacrifices in His love so that others may enter into His righteousness, but He never calls us to adapt the message He has given us to the concupiscence and hard-heartedness of the people who may hear it. This is why the author of Hebrews declares the following:
What the Lord is telling us here is: "Try to reconcile all to My righteousness, but never at the price of your holiness"; this is the reason why "holiness" is mentioned in this passage. The word "holiness" has an inherent sense of "separation". A person who is "holy" is, by definition, a person who has separated him or herself from the trends and tendencies of this world and is seeking to abide in God's righteousness. We are not called to jump off the "land" of holiness and swim in the sea of sin to be united with someone who does not want to reach the "land" of holiness. We are called to go after sinners in love, but we are to do so on a "boat" that keeps us from getting our clothes dirty in the waters of sin; when we reach the sinner who is floating on the dirty waters, we are called to help him onto the boat and bring him back to the shore of holiness. While we help him up from the waters, our clothes will not get dirty because holiness acts as a "spiritual disinfectant" that kills all the germs of sin that come in contact with it. This is why Jesus would not get "contaminated" when He touched lepers and healed them. He abhorred the spiritual and literal leprosy that He was removing, and, as He touched the leper, all the leprosy germs would die under His sin-abhorring hands of holiness.
We are not called to jump off the boat, swim and chat with the sinner, and "float around" with him, even if he is not interested in coming back to the land of holiness with us. If the sinner loves the dirty waters so much that he does not want to get on the boat, you and I are called to row back to the shore and declare that he is under God's judgments. God might send another boat at a future time, or He might not. By declaring God's judgments on the sinner, you will be "softening him up" spiritually for the next boat, if there is one. God's judgments also help to prevent that sinner's iniquity from spreading to the lives of the people around him. God's judgments act as a spiritual quarantine, the same way that God's laws in the Old Testament commanded lepers to live separated from the rest of the community. If a spiritual leper you know does not want to separate him or herself from sin, at least separate him or her from others through words of judgment so that, in his or her isolation, the person may have an opportunity to repent. God may instruct you to pronounce these words of judgment at the person audibly, or He might call you to wage spiritual warfare against the person's iniquity in prayer, placing that person under God's judgments until the person repents or dies.
When we go out on our "boat" to rescue sinners, we will many times encounter storms that will be raised up against us (Matthew 8:23-24). We will be called to suffer and pay a great price in love, but we will never be called to condone or to have communion with the sinner's unrighteousness and iniquity.
"18And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan. 19These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread. 20And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard: 21And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent. 22And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without. 23And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness. 24And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him. 25And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. 26And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. 27God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant." (Genesis 9:18-27)
Why did Ham try to humiliate his father Noah? The answer can be found if you consider a second question: What is the name of Noah's wife? Everyone knows that we are descendants of Adam and Eve, but it is sometimes forgotten that we are all descendants of Noah and his wife as well, since Noah and his family were the only 8 human beings on the entire planet to survive the flood. In a sense, therefore, Noah is like a "second Adam" and his wife is like a "second Eve". The Lord, however, never mentions the name of Noah's wife anywhere in Scripture. Why? Because Noah's wife represents a soul that is so submissive to the Spirit that it does not seek glory or recognition outside of the Spirit. As we have mentioned in previous articles, "woman" in Scripture many times represents the soul while "man" represents the spirit. Noah and his wife represent a generation of latter-day believers whose only interest is to see God glorified, and not the name of any person, congregation, country, or race.
What I am about to say may seem like a "mere conjecture" to some of you, but I have a strong conviction in my heart that it is from the Lord. The reason why Ham tried to humiliate his father was because he had a bias in favor of his mother. By embarrassing Noah in front of his brothers, Ham was making an effort to lower their respect for Noah so that their mother would take a more prominent role in their eyes. Ham resented Noah's fatherly correction. From what the Scriptures say about Noah, we can infer that he was a no-nonsense, judgment-pronouncing, righteousness-focused type of individual; if God dislikes such people so much, as most pastors would have us think, why did Noah find grace in His eyes (Genesis 6:8)?
"4For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; 5And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly" (2 Peter 2:4-5)
"By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith." (Hebrews 11:7)
"25And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. 26And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.27God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant." (Genesis 9:25-27)
[Notice that these are the first and only words that the Scriptures quote as coming directly from the mouth of Noah. The only thing that the Scriptures record Noah saying is a curse!!! God has honored this curse until this day. This curse is evident in all the countries populated by literal descendants of Canaan, but is reversed in those descendants of Canaan who abandon the Canaanite culture and accept the spiritual covering (i.e.- the "tents") of Shem and Japheth. God willing, we will study this in a future article.]
Ham hated Noah for being so "judgment-oriented" and wanted his mother to gain prominence in the family, since he preferred "maternal tenderness" over fatherly correction. By cursing Canaan, Noah was declaring in the spirit that this terrible trait of Ham was most evident in Ham's son Canaan, and, to this day, most of the literal descendants of Canaan still carry this trait. I can safely say this because I have lived in places populated by them, and, believe you me, they hate fatherly correction much, much, much more than the descendants of Shem and Japheth!!!
As we studied in our article on the Canaanites, pastors are the most susceptible (of all 5 ministries in Ephesians 4:11) to the influence of Canaanite spirits. This is why most pastors hate the word "judgment", because God's judgments are manifestations of Fatherly correction (Hebrews 12:1-11, Proverbs 23:14). This is why it is easy for them to believe that what has kept the Church from being united is an attitude of judgment. By removing judgment, they argue, the Church will be united at last! How foolish of pastors to believe such nonsense!!! If God loved unity for unity's sake, why does the following passage appear in Scripture?
"5And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. 6And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. 7Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. 8So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. 9Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth." (Genesis 11:5-9)
From the passage above, it becomes evident that "unity" is worthless to God, if it is not the result of unity with Him. God is unchanging in His righteous and holy nature (Hebrews 13:8, Numbers 23:19, 1 Samuel 15:29). He is waiting for us to turn to Him, never adapting His righteousness in order to be one with us. Pastors have tried to turn the Church into a modern day Babel. Their vision is a Church that resembles the United Nations as a multi-cultural, multi-denominational collage of little kingdoms that respect each other's differences and that never dare to judge their fellow kingdom's "idiosyncrasies". This Christian U.N.'s motto would be "We are willing to accept and coexist with your differences, as long as you don't try to impose those differences on us. Live and let live".
Second only to the Church, the United Nations is the largest human organization on Earth that promotes the Canaanite spirit. This is why the U.N. opposed the war against Iraq so fiercely. As we have shared in previous articles, the war in Iraq is a physical manifestation of the prophetic remnant's war against the Babylonian pastoral matriarchy in the Church. When Tony Blair talked George W. Bush into delaying the war for 6 months, he did so by involving the United Nations. These 6 months made the war much more difficult than it would have been, gave Saddam Hussein time to prepare, and had spiritual and literal consequences that affected many lives negatively (I have the Spirit's testimony on this). Tony Blair will have to face God's fierce judgments when he stands in His presence one day for having used the pre-war scenario as a platform to promote himself internationally and for trying to delay what God had declared to be inevitable. Please don't misunderstand me, fellow believer. These words are not motivated by petty political inclinations, but rather by a zeal to see God's purposes fulfilled on Earth, and an indignation against all those who consciously or subconsciously stand in the way of those purposes. God has led me to pray for judgments against the U.N., and I praise God for the recent financial scandals that have surfaced in the U.N. No human organization can defy God with impunity as long as His sons and daughters are waging spiritual warfare. Over the next 10 years, may harsher judgments befall the U.N. until they recognize that there is only One spiritual king and until they let go of their Canaanite self-righteousness.
God is not calling us to find unity amongst ourselves in a tower-of-Babel sort of way. He is calling us to be united to Him in the Anointing that breaks all social, cultural, and economic differentiations:
"27For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise." (Galatians 3:27-29)
[The word "Christ" means "The Anointed One", meaning that we are made One in the Anointing]
"Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ." (Galatians 3:16)
Notice that, in Galatians 3:16 above, it does not speak of multiple seeds coming together in unity. There is only one seed, who is "Christ", which means "The Anointed One", and Galatians 3:29 above declares that we are Abraham's seed. This means that, in the Anointing, all natural differences are broken because there is only one basic "chemical composition" to the anointing. There is only one "formula" for the anointing, and any variation of that formula is not "the real thing". Even though the anointing breaks natural differences, it does not break spiritual differences. If a congregation, for example, holds a "Biblical doctrine" that is contrary to the true spirit of the Scriptures, while a second congregation rejects this false doctrine , the anointing will not erase this spiritual difference. In fact, the true anointing will accentuate the difference, since there can never be peace between the flesh and the Spirit:
"For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would." (Galatians 5:17)
"For he said, Because the LORD hath sworn that the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation." (Exodus 17:16)
The Anointing reaches out to others to unite them unto God, but it does so by molding others so that they may be compatible to God's nature, not to man's concupiscence. Some people out there might say, "But who is to judge what God's nature is?". My friend, if Christianity is a guessing game, if we are like blind mice left by a sadistic God to run through an intricate maze, left by this cold and sadistic God to find the exit on our own, I would be the first to quit Christianity. Is God real? Does the Spirit of God really exist? If He does, isn't He concerned enough about us to guide us to all truth if we diligently seek Him?
"13Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. 14He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. 15All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you." (John 16:13-15)
The reason why the Church is not united is because we have been bent on doing things our carnal way, instead of doing them in God's righteous way; the lack of unity is not because we judge too much. If we judged in the Spirit, the differences would melt away quickly, because it is precisely through God's judgments that we are all molded into His nature and character. The real disunity in the Church lies in the separation between "ministers" and "laymen" that most pastors seem to uphold, consciously and unconsciously, through their preaching and behavior. Notice what Psalm 133 declares:
"1Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! 2It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; 3As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore" (Psalms 133:1-3)
Notice that the "ointment" (i.e.- the Anointing) runs down from the head (Christ) and reaches the entire Body, all the way down to the skirts of His garment. The Anointing is in all of us (1 John 2:20, 27). There is no "pastor-anointing" and "regular-church-folk-anointing". Aaron in Psalm 133 represents the priesthood. The priestly calling that we all have received (1 Peter 2:9, Isaiah 61:6, Revelation 1:6) has not been given to us so that we may feel superior in some way to our fellow brethren. Instead, our priesthood is a burden of responsibility to have the anointing spread and manifested throughout the entire Body as much as possible. Our burden as priests is to see our fellow brother and sister moving in the Anointing and God's calling for his or her life.
With the passing of time, I have learned that many people, including Christians, get very sensitive when someone makes judgments related to their "religious leader", their congregation, their culture, their country, or their race. As we said above, this is even more so in countries populated by literal descendants of Canaan. Why is this? Because most people seem to derive a strong sense of identity or self-worth from the name tags they wear. This is understandable in lost people who do not know Christ, but is utterly foolish in those who do know the Lord:
"1If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory" (Colossians 3:1-4)
This passage clearly shows that our sense of value, our life, is hidden with Christ in God. Your nationality, race, or cultural background are merely circumstantial. They do not define who you really are on the inside in God's eyes. This may sound crazy to some people, but I am convinced that God originally had planned for me to be of a different country and race than the country and race into which I was born, but certain circumstances led to my soul "landing" in a different location. Your nationality and race are defined by the "roles" that God calls you to play in life and are not indications of the "spiritual material" your soul is made of. The soul of a black man is made of the same spiritual material as the soul of a white man:
"26And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; 27That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: 28For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. 29Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device." (Acts 17:26-29)
I am convinced that different nations and races are endowed with different gifts by God, but even the gifts are circumstantial. They are given to you to fulfill a purpose on Earth, but if you do not understand the universal thread that runs throughout mankind, those gifts have no eternal value for you:
"Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away." (1 Corinthians 13:8)
The word "charity" in the passage above should really say "love", which refers to God's desire to make us One with Him; He would not be able to be One with a black man and One with a white man if they were inherently different on the inside. Mankind's inner components are not heterogeneous.
I am convinced that certain nations act as if they really believed that heaven will be divided into cultural sectors. Do you really think that all Chinese believers will be bundled up in a part of heaven called "Chinatown" or that all Italian believers will live in the "Little Italy" section of the New Jerusalem? If nationalities and races are nothing more than temporary name tags, why in the world are believers so bent on defending them and deriving a sense of pride or self-worth from them? This carnal pride is what prevents God from transforming certain nations and cultures because the people in these nations and cultures feel "offended" whenever God confronts them concerning their attitudes or traditions. If I see my nationality, race, or denomination as mere name tags, I can objectively distance myself from them and accept judgments in the Spirit against any of them without feeling that I am any less of a human being if my nationality, for example, is not as "glorious" as I thought it was. Notice, for example, how the Bible is so strongly critical of the attitudes taken by the Jewish people throughout the centuries, and all the writers of the Bible (except for Luke) were Jewish!!! Did Jeremiah feel any less of a man when he pronounced judgments against the Jewish people? Did the Lord Jesus, who was a Jew in the flesh, feel that He was a "lesser" son of God when the Spirit led Him to say the following:
"23And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country. 24And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country. 25But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; 26But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. 27And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian. 28And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, 29And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. 30But he passing through the midst of them went his way" (Luke 4:23-30)
Jesus did not feel "offended" when the Spirit brought these words of confrontation against the Israelite people to His heart, but his audience sure did, because they derived their sense of self-worth from being Jews, not from being part of the spiritual seed of Abraham (which knows no nationality, as Galatians 3:28-29 declares).
Some time ago, I heard a prophetess on TV say something very interesting. She said, "Behind every culture, there is a cult, and behind every cult, there is a god". There are many spiritual bondages hidden behind many of our "treasured" cultural traditions, and we, as believers, must learn to discern these bondages. If a believer wears a toga-like garment simply because that's what they wear in his country, that is fine, but if that garment was implemented as spiritual symbolism of submission to a local "god", I can assure you that there will be social, economic, and political consequences on that country as a result of that garment. If God comes and reveals this truth to the believer, and the believer continues to wear that garment because it gives him a sense of belonging or self-worth, you can rest assured that the garment will create a separation between God and that believer that will prevent him from growing in the Spirit.
I know of cultures that justify their moral, economic, and social decay on the previous oppression of other nations or races. When confronted by the sin in their cultures, they always blame their historical oppressors, as if to say "the devil made me do it", and they even find it offensive that you would insinuate that there is something wrong in their culture or race. Notice, however, that this attitude is contrary to Scripture:
"19Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny. 20And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? 21They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s." (Matthew 22:19-21)
When Jesus asked them "Whose image is on the coin?", He was implicitly asking them, "Did God allow the Roman army to conquer Jerusalem and have you under such control that you now must use Roman coins? Aren't you now forced to pay tributes to Caesar because of the hardness of your hearts? Wouldn't God have freed you from the hands of the Romans if you had been faithful to Him? Since you were not, you have no choice but to put up with this Roman taxation until God removes their oppression from over you." Notice that Jesus did not at any moment attempt to "cover up" His own Jewish people's blame for being under the oppression of the Roman boot.
I know of congregations where any negative comment against "their beloved pastor" triggers a barrage of outrage and indignation, because believers in that congregation have tied their sense of self-esteem to the ministerial success of the pastor. This attitude is totally contrary to God's attitude in Scripture. Imagine what would have happened if the writers of the Bible derived their sense of self-esteem from the greatness of king David; we would have never found out about "Bathsheba-gate", because the writers of the Bible would have never written a thing about it in order not to tarnish the image of their "great leader". The Bible is the most honest and open book ever written. God bless the Jewish people for allowing themselves to have their weaknesses and sins exposed before all mankind. This is why the Lord said:
"Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews." (John 4:22)
If you are not willing to expose yourself as weak and vulnerable to God's judgments, you will not be a source of salvation for others. This applies to individuals, to congregations, to nations, to cultures, and to entire races.
When we find our value and our sense of self-worth in Him rather than in the name of our families, our congregations, our countries, or our races, we will be willing to break free from all the human traditions that we hold as precious but which in fact are garbage to God.
"13No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. 14And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him. 15And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God." (Luke 16:13-15)
The word "mammon" used above is usually associated with "money", but the original Greek gives it a much wider meaning. The original Greek word mammonas is of Aramaic origin and literally means "confidence", referring therefore to anything earthly that produces a sense of pride or self-worth; that can range from the balance in your bank account to the cultural traditions of the country into which you were born. I know of nations in Latin America, for example, where Christian believers take pride in cultural traditions that symbolize idolatry and paganism because they believe their self-worth as a people to be attached to these traditions. When you love your traditions, you will resent God's fatherly correction calling you to leave them. If you realize, however, that your value as a person is in God and not in your nationality, you will be willing to humbly repent when God declares you to be a "sinful nation" or a "sinful culture", the way that Nineveh did when Jonah preached to them (Jonah 3:1-10).
God has not called the Church to be a group of "united nations" that preserve their kings and internal human structures despite being united. This is most pastors' view, because, as the current kings, they do not want to relinquish their spiritual thrones. If the Church were truly "One nation", there would be a single government and there would have to be a single king, as Isaiah 32:1 declares.
Fellow believer, we are not speaking of uniting the Church under a single human organization with a single "world-pastor", the way the catholic church has tried to do with its "pope". God has prophesied that He will establish a single spiritual nation, unified under King Jesus, where pastors will have to yield their kingly robes and allow Jesus to rule. It is not through apostolic councils that the Church will be united. It is not through pastoral councils that the Church will be united. It is through the anointing that removes all the "spiritual pedigrees" that man has established in order to justify a system where a man can make himself lord (or "baal") over other men.
Give up your crowns, oh kings of the Earth. You have made yourselves lords over My people. You have made My people call you "Baal", and now that I am repeating to you that you are no different in My eyes than the believers you care over, you are trying to "unite" as a confederacy of kings without giving up your crowns. My people will be One as I teach them that the Anointing I have given them makes them One with Me, and that above Me there is no other. Take off your kingly robes, and stop preaching to My people that you are spiritually superior to them, for My wrath is about to descend upon you if you do not repent, for I am the Lord God, and no baal shall stand before My presence.
"10The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,11Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created." (Revelation 4:10-11)
"6And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. 7And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. 8And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. 9And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; 10And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. 11And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; 12Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.13And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. 14And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever." (Revelation 5:6-14)