Sunday, April 10, 2011

Obadiah: Rich and Poor in Church

"Like the way you (Edom) drank on my holy hill, so also all the nations will continue to drink--drinking and drinking like they've never been drinking. However, on Mount Zion it will be different--there will be deliverance. Aside from the mount being holy, Jacob's house will possess its inheritance there," [verses 16 and 17]. 


The Edomites desecrated God's holy hill--they drank there and got drunk in their wickedness. God promised that their deeds would return upon their own heads. And as other nations saw Edom being thus drunk in its foolishness, so would they keep drinking, following after Edom. Hence, "The Lord's day is near for all nations."


You see, how the world behaves before God is according to how it sees God's prospering people behaving towards their poor brethren. The world cannot get ideas about God except what they get from God's people, especially how they live and behave.


Remember that Edom was related to the house of Jacob--Esau and Jacob were brothers. They came from Isaac, their father, who was a man of God. That made both Esau and Jacob believers. Edom, which came from Esau, later became prosperous by allying itself with Israel's enemies. And in Israel's down moments and destitution, Edom attacked Israel.


Now, as the world saw Edom's attitude towards Israel, so it likewise did to Israel.

The Rich and Poor in Church 


As long as there are rich and poor people in the church, the world will never turn turtle as it did in Acts. In the Acts church, no one individual was richer than the other. God eliminated that financial classification by having the rich donate their wealth to the church through the apostles. 


The church was rich, but not individual disciples. The apostles distributed to all according to their needs. Wealth was centralized and distributed equally to all according to their needs. In the Passover, the Passover lamb was distributed to each family according to their needs. The Manna in the desert was likewise distributed thus. God wants equality. Hence, he commands that all disciples totally give up (or sell) everything and give to the poor, and come follow Him. This is a requirement (not optional) in a genuine Jesus discipleship, and in fact, in a true church.


When there is the rich and poor in church there will always be differences and discrimination. The rich often ignore the needs of the poor brethren and just promise them their prayers. The rich and educated are honored and given positions. The poor are "welcomed" as audience and followers. Giving them alms is good and praised by men, but it is NOT God's will. God's will is for all of us (rich and poor) to give up everything, surrender all to the church, and let apostles (genuine men of God without greed) distribute the wealth properly according to God's wisdom.


The rich and privileged in church get "drunk" in the importance given them in God's "holy hill," and as long as this is the standard in church, the world will remain comfortable with the same. The world will keep, "drinking and drinking like they've never been drinking."


But soon, God's going to change all that. God is now raising up people who hunger for God and His ways and presence like it was in bible times. They want nothing less than what God shows them in the bible. They're tired of good human programs and activities in church, but no real spiritual meat and power. They realize that the Kingdom of God is not just mere talk but real, awesome power.


This rare breed (without greed) God is now raising up will totally give up everything and want nothing but to give their submission and obedience. They will trust genuine men of God, men whose hearts God has purified, genuine apostles, to handle donated money and distribute it as God wants it distributed. 


Then God will make them possess all things. "However, in Mount Zion, it will be different." God's Mount Zion today, in the Spirit--His awesome manifest presence--will bring total deliverance from worldly standards and usher in God's ways, will, and Word alone. God will bring holiness and possession of His inheritance--which is genuine prosperity--when His people have learned to eliminate the rich and poor in church.


Then "Edomites" will be gone from the church, the sons of Esau from God's people today. "The house of Esau will be made stubble...no survivors from his house."

Then the church, the true church--the glorious church of Jesus Christ, without spot or wrinkle or any other blemish--will start turning the world upside down. "The Lord's day is near,"--the Lord's day for all nations.


Of course, Obadiah's prophecy happened to geographical Israel in its past history. Edom was deleted from the map. But there is a deeper meaning to this, in the Spirit. It concerns the church in general today, and this will give way to the glorious church of my Jesus, soon.