"..Yet in My Flesh I Will See GOD" [Job. 19.26]

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Why are Some in Church Rich and Some Poor?

There are those in church who are rich and there are those who are poor. There are rich churches and poor churches. There are rich pastors and poor pastors. Why is this?

God has a wonderful plan here. If we obey his Word, no one in the body of Christ would be too rich or too poor. We see this in these passages:
"However, there need be no poor people among you, for in the land the Lord your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you, if only you fully obey the Lord your God and are careful to follow all these commands I am giving you today."[Deuteronomy 15.4]
But what if there were poor people among them nonetheless? This was God's formula:
"If anyone is poor among your fellow Israelites in any of the towns of the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward them. Rather, be openhanded and freely lend them whatever they need."
It's clear. God's will is that there should be no poor among his chosen people, even in the church. Still, why are there poor people and why has this been unresolved for decades?

Because the church has not been fully obeying the WORD of God. God's plan is that there should be sharing. And by sharing, I don't just mean sharing a bit now and then. I mean equal distribution of wealth---all the believers willingly surrendering their wealth to be shared to all equally, especially those who have need.

Those who have excess should share with those who are wanting, to balance wealth distribution. We saw this principle during the Passover.
If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbor, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat. [Exodus 12]
The Acts church followed this model:
No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had...For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.
And the result?
...there were no needy persons among them. [Acts 4.34-35]
This practice wasn't put in the bible just to be marveled at. God put it there as his model, his will for the church. And he will restore this practice in these last days as part of his last present move to effect a big and genuine church revival before Jesus comes back. It is among things that will definitely make the glorious church unique.

The church needs to go back to this radical communal sharing if it wants to fully obey the Lord. If God has made you rich, it's not because you are great in his eyes or because you worked hard for it. It's a test to see if you will give up everything so the church can evenly distribute wealth. If you don't do this, you prove to be nothing but disobedient. Don't think you are so blessed by God. You are hording up his wealth for yourself. And that won't be a good report come Judgment Day.

The first sign of the rich being truly Christian is when they become willing to share a big part of their wealth with the poor. Look at what Zacchaeus said when he met Jesus personally in his life: "Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”

And look at Jesus' reply: "Today salvation has come to this house," [Luke 19].

But look at what Jesus said to the rich, young ruler who refused to share his possessions with the poor: "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God." [Mark 10]

God's plan for the church is to be his family where possessions are common and equally distributed. That's what fathers would want for their kids in their families, right? And the church is really God's family---although men have made their churches into private corporations and franchises run by pastors who look more like managers than spiritual church overseers.

The end goal of godly sharing is so there will be no poor among the church. Just imagine if this finally happens!

As it is, the rich in church flaunt their abundance and brag about how blessed they are, but never willing to share anything, while the poor look on in envy. The rich love having a captive audience when they display their blessedness. They may give their poor brethren a pittance now and then, and that would make them feel so generous.

But a pittance is not God's will. Jesus said: "Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys." [Luke 12.33]

If you are rich, you hold the answer to the prayers of the poor brethren who have been crying out to God for financial prosperity. God has answered them---giving the answer through you---but you choose to withhold it for yourself.

The Same with Rich and Poor Churches and Pastors

Why are there rich and poor churches and pastors? Because the church in general has been disobedient to this Word of God in the bible. Rich churches flaunt their wealth with their expensive buildings and facilities instead of sharing it with poor churches.

Pastors, meanwhile, grab more people than they can handle just to build their mega churches. And then they live luxuriously. Can a pastor really feed 5,000 or 10,000 members spiritually? Jesus had about 120 disciples before he left for heaven.

It boosts the ego to have a mega church but you will answer for members who are not fed well spiritually. Giving them sermons each Sunday, no matter how good the sermons are, is not enough to feed your flock. You have to personally disciple them.

You shouldn't fill up your church beyond your capacity to pastor it (or beyond the pastoring grace God assigned to you) so that people can be distributed equally to other churches. This results to equal distribution of wealth as well. It is something similar to how God distributed the manna in the desert:
This is what the Lord has commanded: "Everyone is to gather as much as they need. Take an omer for each person you have in your tent."
The Israelites did as they were told; some gathered much, some little. And when they measured it by the omer, the one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little. Everyone had gathered just as much as they needed. [Exodus 16]
Discipleship can break up a huge congregation into smaller groups to ensure quality spiritual feeding. The pastor can disciple leaders (his core) who would disciple others also, and so on. But if his congregation numbers 20,000 members, the number of small groups would be about 1,666 if each group had 12 members, following Jesus' discipleship.

Even if the pastor disciples his leaders well, he still would have to oversee or manage the 1,666 small groups to check how they're doing. That would be too much for one pastor. He can't just leave the small groups to his leaders and forget about them.

Jesus' discipleship is the model. By the time he ascended to heaven, he left behind about 120 disciples or believers. This could mean his 12 disciples (his first generation) each had 10 disciples (his second generation), more or less.

I believe the ideal number of believers per church is about 120 to 150 (or say about 200 at most), having up to second generation disciples, to be properly supervised by one pastor. If this were the case, each pastor would have just enough believers to look after. And each pastor would be sufficiently supported, too. There won't be rich or poor churches or pastors.

If your leaders get to a point where they are discipling 15 or 20 people already, then they have to start getting ready to break away from you  gradually preparing to start their own small church when they get to be 30 or 50. They need to start their own families. These leaders, however, remain connected to you and feed from you. You are their spiritual father.

With this system, church leaders or pastors come from within your discipleship, not from bible schools. You personally train them as sons working side by side with you, as Timothy did with Paul.

Mega churches should start giving up some of their members (this is a radical move, but then all moves of God are radical) and send them to nearby churches in the neighborhood, regardless of denomination (better yet, denominations should be dismantled. Denominations are not God's will. You find them nowhere in the bible). These members should understand God's plan and willingly support the churches where they will be sent to. If this happens, a genuine church revival will happen, one that is personally being effected by God himself. because it is according to his Word in the bible.

I have yet to see a big church give up some of its members to nearby churches to be regular members there. John the baptizer didn't mind having some of his disciples leave him to follow Jesus. Such sharing is God's will.

And I have yet to see rich churches share their resources and money big-time with poor churches, especially of a different denomination.

A genuinely completely united body of believers (as defined by Jesus in John 17) should have no problem doing all this.

So much more on this topic in my e-book, "The Last Move of God in These End-Times." Click here for a review of this e-book.

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