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THE POWER SHIFT AND KINGDOM WEALTH

(c) Morris E. Ruddick

“But you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant.” Deuteronomy 8:18

Jesus was the catalyst for the release of the greatest power shift the world has ever seen. Again and again, Israel’s Messiah introduced His earthly ministry with the words, “the Kingdom of God is at hand. In a matter of three short years, our Lord entrusted those who could see it with a power that would change the world. Some have described it as a clash of kingdoms. But whether viewed from the practical or the strategic dimension, Jesus’ earthly mission released restoration and redemption that would shake the nations.

The restoration and redemption Jesus set in motion involved an incredible groundswell of change. It was change creating an extraordinary confrontation of power. In the fourth chapter of Acts, the response of the brethren after Peter and John’s release from jail gives insight into this confrontation of power. “They raised their voice to God with one accord and said, Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and all that is in them; who by the mouth of your servant David have said, ‘Why do the nations rage, and the peoples plot vain things? The kings of the earth took their stand, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord and His Anointed.’” (Acts 4:24-26)

Why indeed do the nations rage? It is because Jesus set in motion the conflict of all ages, which will result in the greatest power shift of all ages, as God’s sovereignty over His creation is restored, His covenant confirmed and His people become the head and not the tail. This conflict encompasses everyday life and extends from the spiritual to the community (social and governmental) to the economic. It involves the principle that is clearly outlined in Genesis and then is seen throughout the rest of the Bible: dominion. God made His people to rule over the works of His hands. And that rule involves principles governing what Jesus referred to as the Kingdom of God.

So, to grasp the significance of this issue of Kingdom wealth, it is essential to understand the dynamic of the power shift underway. It is a power shift that will restore Almighty God to the central role in the everyday life of people. It will involve a central role for His emissaries. It will dispel the non-Biblical myth of the separation between the sacred and secular --- because He is central to ALL. It is a power shift that is mobilizing a mature Body with God’s Kingdom perspective and purposes guiding their steps. It will reorient the perverse and the godless orientations of our age with the result that interlinks secular enterprises with overriding Kingdom objectives.

And it will be this interlinking of secular enterprises with Kingdom objectives that will be the gateway for the release of the flow of Kingdom wealth.

At the focal point of the purposes for “Kingdom wealth” will be God's end-time agendas for Israel, the Body, and the peoples and nations. The “power to get wealth to establish his covenant” and the wealth transfer is about God's Kingdom. It's about restoration, redemption, dominion and authority. As ambassadors and emissaries endowed with His power and authority, the Body of Christ is tasked with establishing beachheads and aligning things for the return of Jesus the Messiah. Before us lies a time of Kingdom restoration which will release hope and redemption to all peoples and nations.

KINGDOM WEALTH AND GOD’S ECONOMY
Kingdom wealth operates on a unique but foundational premise best referred to as God’s economy. And like all dimensions of God’s Kingdom as explained by Jesus, it starts like a grain of mustard seed: small, innocuous, but potent and unstoppable in its growth.

“God’s economy” defies the principles and assumed power structures commonly accepted by this world as the foundations of wealth. The odds-defying potential of “God’s economy” is illustrated by the results from God’s guidance to Isaac during a time of extreme economic distress:
“There was famine in the land and the LORD appeared to Isaac and said: ‘Dwell in this land, and I will be with you and bless you and perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father.’ So Isaac sowed in that land, and reaped in the same year a hundred-fold; and the LORD blessed him. So he began to prosper, and continued prospering until he became very prosperous.” (Genesis 26:1-3, 12, 13)

“The power to get wealth, that He might establish His covenant.” Against all odds and prevailing wisdom, Isaac sowed during a famine, because God told him to. And he prospered. Operating in covenant with Almighty God is foundational to the operation of God’s economy. In God’s economy, not only is God involved and at the center of the activity; but the expectation for the outcome exceeds what might ever be hoped for or accomplished in the natural.

THE MICRO AND THE MACRO-LEVELS OF GOD’S ECONOMY
In God's economy, micro-enterprises represent an important foundation to God’s economic system, because they are linked to building up not only God’s people who operate the small business ventures, but to the community of which they are a part. Micro-businesses are like the grain of mustard seed with their potential. Today, entrepreneurial Kingdom ventures are appearing in distressed areas not unlike that faced by Isaac and bypassing the economic down-cycles of those regions. Like the astounding result of Isaac reaping a hundred-fold during a time of famine, they are serving as a witness to the goodness and blessings that God has for his people. Kingdom micro-enterprise development is already impacting entire communities around the world for the Lord.

While there is a pronounced growth of entrepreneurial, small business-development Kingdom activity emerging in areas of poverty and distress around the globe, God’s economy is by no means limited to the micro-level. Mid-sized and larger successful Kingdom businesses bring even greater impact. Simultaneously, Kingdom business coalitions are sponsoring and working together to establish community-based initiatives for God's purposes. Likewise, believer-directed business start-up incubator programs are creating businesses that will flourish while competitors struggle and lose ground.

In God’s economy there will also be believers who establish special venture funds, as well as operations that acquire failing businesses and turn them around. Businesses are already being set up specifically with Kingdom agendas in mind. Businesses incorporating business-ministry alliances. And regardless of the size of the initiative, at the forefront of these activities will be Kingdom entrepreneurs.

KINGDOM ENTREPRENEURS
Kingdom entrepreneurs should be distinguished from believers who, otherwise might simply be described as successful business-persons. A Kingdom entrepreneur is Kingdom-directed and motivated. A Kingdom entrepreneur builds. They innovate. They create. And they do so in a way that builds the community around them. They innovate, create and build in a manner that advances the Kingdom of God. Kingdom entrepreneurs represent the essence of Jesus’ teaching on the parable of the talents.

Likewise, the ability to make money is not the same as the “power to get wealth that He might establish His covenant.” Our standards for success often are shaded by a worldly mind-set focused on the superficial dimensions. It’s the reason Jesus made the distinction with his referral to “filthy lucre.” There’s a significant difference between the ability to make money and the anointing to get wealth. It’s a question of motivation and purpose and control. It’s a difference tied to how the “power” of wealth is used: for personal gain or to advance God’s Kingdom. It’s why generosity has been such a pivotal factor in the operation of community as clearly outlined in both the old and new covenants.

In example after example, the Word of God illustrates what happens when we become controlled by the world’s system. It results in bondage. It results in slavery. And far too many of God’s people have tried to venture into the arena of God’s economy --- but without the principles or perspective required, they have believed the lie the Israelite spies believed upon their return from their initial scouting trip of the promised land: that they were like grasshoppers in a land of giants.

God’s economy operates on faith: a faith that believes God is a good God and He diligently rewards those who seek Him. But the unbelief reflected by the Hebrew spies who viewed themselves as grasshoppers in a land of giants, shuts the door to “Kingdom” opportunity. Unbelief and fear are deadly. Unbelief undermines operating in faith and avoids calculated risks of faith. Risk-taking is always foundational to the entrepreneurial premise of opportunity. But the “grasshopper” mind-set releases a venomous spirit of timidity and fear that avoids God’s Kingdom potential and sets the stage for failure. The “grasshopper” avoidance of risk results in God’s people who are not building, creating and innovating; but rather are stuck in the mediocre that boxes in the potential of what God might do through them.

Kingdom entrepreneurs are not defined by the size of their business enterprise, but rather their approach to the enterprise. Kingdom entrepreneurs innovate, create and build. They are faith-oriented risk-takers who keenly discern opportunity and know how to take the calculated risks needed to believe and act on the premise of turning that which is not into something tangible.

Kingdom entrepreneurs are the ones who embrace and exercise the truth of God’s word that says that He has given us the power the get wealth, that He might establish His covenant.

THE STRATEGIC DIMENSIONS OF KINGDOM WEALTH
Kingdom wealth will evolve from the three biblical dimensions of Kingdom riches: spiritual riches, community riches and economic riches. The word of God is rich with a balance between all three. We have entered a time in which these three dimensions will operate in concert with one another as Kingdom entrepreneurs who have specialties in each begin working together. And these Kingdom entrepreneurs will change the world, as we know it today.

The five-fold ministry of apostle, prophet, pastor, teacher and evangelist will always be with us. But the needs for the coming harvest are such that functionally they can be expected to manifest more strongly in the community and economic arenas, as the Body begins operating with a greater unity and singleness of purpose. What that will mean will be the ministries making the biggest impact in the days before us will be those that touch not just lives, but entire communities. Ministries that understand the dynamics of the interactions between the spiritual, the community and the economic dimensions of “God’s Kingdom riches” --- and know how to apply them toward the advancement of His Kingdom.

The ministries poised for the coming power shift will recognize the very significant role of the emerging group of nation-changers patterned after the Biblical Joseph and Daniel, and that of the enterprises they direct. Modern-day Josephs will serve key roles as anointed kingly leaders in the accomplishment of God's purposes. “Leaders” modeled after Old Testament “entrepreneurial kings,” like Abraham, Isaac, Joseph and King David who time and again served God’s purposes of redemption and restoration for His people.

Similarly, alliances between these modern-day nation-changers and anointed, chosen non-believers patterned after the Joseph-Pharaoh alliance will take the kingly paradigm a step further. It is an apt parallel to the unique opportunities associated with God's initiatives that will be brought forth for the critical times we are entering. The fact is the Joseph-Pharaoh model was outside the box of the traditional religious mind-set God’s people had in Joseph’s era. It was an unusual, unconventional alliance to the religious standards embraced by Joseph’s family. But it was the divine strategy God chose to circumnavigate the famine coming to the earth at that time.

Today’s Josephs will address the power shift and upheavals of our day by anticipating change and facilitating initiatives beyond the scope or vision of traditional ministries. At the forefront of their key functions will be the spearheading of the wealth transfer. And this role of releasing Kingdom riches will facilitate the restoration and redemption needed to build communities and impact nations. Restoration and redemption facilitated by coalitions and strategies targeting the restoration of Israel and the command in Isaiah 58:10 of reaching out to help the oppressed, the poor, the hungry, and afflicted.

As this wealth transfer begins unfolding, there will be a shift from the ministry model of recent decades. Most established parachurch organizations are the result of entrepreneurial exploits that have built medium-sized to worldwide organizations based on a high profile, personality-based, fund-raising model. There is no question that this God-given model has served an essential role for its time in connecting and building up the Body spiritually.

But the times are changing. And the parachurch model that arose in the fifties and sixties will give way to models more suited to the needs of era we have entered: models incorporating not only the spiritual, but the community and economic dimensions of God’s riches. These models will birth a mix of both micro and macro-level entrepreneurial Kingdom initiatives.

AND these models will operate on the basis of God’s economy, and be driven by cooperative, community and inter-organizational efforts. They will exemplify the principle of the power to get wealth that He might establish His covenant. As the establishment of God’s covenant paradigm reemerges, it will be coupled to the restoration of God’s economic model.

God’s economy will release redemption and restoration that will build communities and change nations. The old paradigm will shift to one with Kingdom entrepreneurs and modern-day Josephs and Daniels advancing cooperative initiatives encompassing the spiritual, community and economic dimensions of God’s riches.

Kingdom entrepreneurs who will operate with a gift for spotting opportunity and translating that opportunity into community-building and nation-changing agendas that advance the Kingdom of God.

KINGDOM OPPORTUNITY
The parable of the sower used a known economic principle of Jesus’ day: of sowing in fertile ground, to make a spiritual point. It parallels the parable of the talents: of making your assets work for you, again using an economic principle to make a spiritual point. They each deal with how we are to respond to opportunity. Yet, how many tend to overlook giving genuine focus to the economic dimensions of these two parables?

In embracing the economic truths of these two parables, we have to face the dimension of opportunity. And with opportunity, we have to look hard at the issue of risk. Just like faith is in constant tension with unbelief, so opportunity cannot be embraced without surmounting the hurdle of risk. Addressing risk enters the practical realm of where we live. Isaac took steps that went against all odds when he sowed in famine. But the result was he reaped a hundred-fold return.

The economic side of the issue posed by these parables raises the question of how faithfully we invest our time and economic talents into fertile ground that will yield the hundred-fold return in the advancement of God’s Kingdom.

Identifying that fertile ground, along with what it takes to do the sowing is the foundation of opportunity and the area that Kingdom entrepreneurs, big and small, will exploit. That ability to spot opportunity and maximize it is the basis on which entrepreneurs innovate, create and build. But as we enter a time with evil being multiplied on every hand, it will become a primary basis on which God’s Kingdom advances. It’s the new paradigm.

Kingdom entrepreneurs are not new to Christendom. From their ranks have come the pioneers and change-artists who recognize the need and opportunity of the times and then do something about it. During the fifties and sixties the Lord raised up a unique breed of Kingdom entrepreneurs. They were “spiritual” entrepreneurs and pioneers. And these pioneers began seizing the opportunity represented in the mass media, which in effect extended the reach and complemented the role served by the local church infrastructure. With the development of technology and the pervasive role radio and television began playing spiritually in lives across the globe, these “spiritual entrepreneurs” paved the way for changing the paradigm of how the Church operated.

But these changes that seized the opportunity and transformed the game rules advancing God’s Kingdom were anticipatory responses the Spirit of the Lord was unfolding to enable the Body to meet the challenges of the times. At the time, the emerging challenges were simply not seen by many, and some of the heaviest opposition came from Church leaders who resisted the change. So it is today. We have entered a time in which the days are evil and becoming increasing more so. And along with that is the fact that the paradigm is shifting.

The companion to risk and resistance has always been the propensity to interpret future development based on the constraints of past models. The parachurch movement brought in a new order and dimension to the way the Church operated.

RECOGNIZING AND RESPONDING TO THE CHANGE AND OPPORTUNITY
In similar fashion, the restoration of God’s economy and the wealth transfer will usher in changes that dramatically impact priorities, perspectives and methodologies. Many of these now-familiar ministry models have been refined and reached satisfying comfort-levels. But rather than having arrived, much work remains. Much of it incorporates new challenges. And recent days have realized many experiencing turbulence tied to the old models.

God’s Kingdom is advancing. And the scope of both the risk and the opportunity are demanding change. The shaking and resistance underway is to spur us on. And for those who begin embracing the new paradigm, the shaking and resistance will be met with sovereign responses of the Holy Spirit and a fresh release of signs and wonders and miracles. In this process the Spirit of the Lord is preparing us for a timely and more strategic-level impact, as the paradigm in both approach and perspective shifts.

Since the inception of the parachurch movement, the pace of change within the Body and the way the Church operates has been gradual and steady. But the accelerated pace of events and the ease and speed with which the world interacts today is demanding much more. The change required is not an end in itself, but a part of the process of establishing new beachheads that will mobilize the Body in ways relevant to the times and seasons. It is the change required to advance the Kingdom of God victoriously. Opportunity seized in the arena of the mass media since the fifties has more recently been combined with inroads made by Kingdom pioneers through the medium of the Internet. The result has been a quantum leap impacting the means by which this generation of the Body is informed, connected and matured.

CATALYSTS FOR THE WEALTH TRANSFER
As the Body has been awakened, matured, informed and connected, there has been a convergence tied to a fresh and major move of redemption and restoration. This convergence will actuate the Deuteronomy 8 principle of the “power to get wealth that He might establish His covenant” as a transfer of wealth tied to the power shift in process emerges. This dynamic will serve as a catalyst for unfolding a level of redemption and Kingdom restoration that will be unlike anything seen in recent times.

But there are two other key scriptures, which together with Deuteronomy 8:18 form the broader perspective encompassing the transfer of wealth. The first is the Proverbs 13 principle that the “wealth of the wicked is stored up for the just.” The second is from Isaiah 60 and marks the expectation of what will unfold with the restoration of Israel.

We have entered an era in which numerous end-time conditions are being aligned. This alignment includes four key emerging factors tied to the wealth transfer.

When they mature and converge, they will be significant catalysts to the release of enormous wealth and resources into the hands of those at the forefront of strategically advancing the Kingdom of God. These four dimensions include
* the restoration of God’s economy;
* a new outworking of Body-unity whereby community initiatives become Kingdom initiatives;
* strategic partnerships between spiritual, community and economic Kingdom entrepreneurs, and
* the restoration of Israel.

Restoration of God’s Economy.

Because of the nature of these times the restoration of God’s economy will be as a light shining in the deepening darkness coming upon the earth. These are times described in scripture as times of earthquakes and famines; of wars and rumors of wars. They are described as evil days.

But the principles in Deuteronomy that govern entrepreneurial communities work in the face of adversity. The awakening and calling of Kingdom entrepreneurs will globally penetrate bastions of poverty and destruction with hope. The restoration of God’s economy will become foundational to the groundswell of “repossessing the land” that is tied to the release of the wealth transfer described in Proverbs 13.

Body Unity Whereby Community Initiatives Become Kingdom Initiatives.

There are numerous models operating today, like in the days of Issac, by which God’s economy operates against all odds. Each of them in some significant way is tied to community. Each involves community-directed unity that supersedes the Western mind-set of the self-contained, rugged individualist-type that we tend to associate with pioneers and entrepreneurs. The Kingdom entrepreneurs of this day will not fit the superstar mold often seen in high profile corporate settings, but rather a servant-leader model. Joseph was a servant-leader whose strategies bypassed the destruction of the famine and strengthened his nation while accomplishing God’s redemptive purposes.

Kingdom entrepreneurs will be facilitators of setting others in motion as they serve as catalysts in community activities that in turn impact and bless the regions and nations of which they are a part, in the advancement of the Kingdom of God. As the world views those who have been given the “power to get wealth” and those who sow in famine and reap a hundred-fold; they will see the tangible result of how God Almighty establishes His covenant among His people.

Strategic Partnerships Between Spiritual, Community and Economic Kingdom Entrepreneurs.

But as we enter a time when the clash of kingdoms is intensifying and the struggle over dominion begins reaching vicious levels, we will also see a convergence of the roles of the various types of Kingdom entrepreneurs. Spiritual Kingdom entrepreneurs. Community Kingdom entrepreneurs. And economic Kingdom entrepreneurs. With this convergence will arise partnerships that will flow in the principle of “God giving us the power to get wealth that He might establish His covenant.”

These partnerships will build communities and change nations and advance and align the kingdom of God. And in the process, there will be a monumental “Proverbs 13” power shift, that will result in an incredible release of resources into very timely, strategic and effective kingdom initiatives: Kingdom initiatives that merge the functions served by spiritual, community and economic Kingdom entrepreneurs.

But as the paradigm shifts, the focus and importance God has always placed on Israel is moving center-stage.

The Restoration of Israel.

Restoration and redemption has always included the apple of God’s eye, Israel. The throne-room perspective to God giving us the power to get wealth that He might establish His covenant comes from Isaiah 60. It speaks of the restoration of Israel. It points to the truth that in the overall scheme of what the Lord is releasing for the days before us, that Israel and Jewish revival is the pivot point.
“For the wealth of the seas will be brought to you and the riches of the nations will come. Your gates will stand open continually, so that men may bring to you the wealth of the nations. You are the Lord. You will do this swiftly and they will be called ministers of our God and they will feed on the wealth of nations.” (Isaiah 60:5,11)

The restoration of Israel, both the land and the people Israel is already in process. More Jews have met their Messiah since 1967 than in all the years since our Lord walked the face of the earth. And the momentum and impact of the Messianic Jewish movement is on the increase. The nation of Israel has become the number-two center for venture capital projects in the world. Israel’s Technology Incubator program produces a high ratio of new business enterprises entering the world market in a matter of a handful of years.

Despite more than 50 years of war and the impact of an intifada designed to destroy Israel, the desert blooms in Israel and against all odds, it thrives. But the pressures against Israel have never been greater and they mark the steps toward the time Scripture points to as when “all Israel is saved.” As the spiritual “restoration of Israel” unfolds, the initiatives that merge the efforts of spiritual, community and economic Kingdom entrepreneurs will serve as catalysts for the macro-level releases of the wealth transfer. An Israel-directed wealth-transfer is described by these verses of Isaiah 60 as “the riches of the nations” and the “wealth of the nations.”

THE POWER SHIFT
Centuries and centuries ago, seats of power rested with those with the military might. Then there was a time when those who reigned and conquered were those controlling the organizational religious establishments. Most recent centuries have seen rule and authority controlled by national governments. But during the most recent decade or so, the real seats of power have been tied to economic power. That's why so much of the focus today, in terms of God's agendas and the building of His Kingdom, involves the mobilization of economic Kingdom entrepreneurs.

There is an awesome alignment in process. It is an alignment that will release the greatest move of redemption and restoration the world has ever seen. Restoration and redemption tied to a massive power shift: the power shift of all ages. God’s sovereignty over His creation is being restored, His covenant confirmed and His covenant people becoming the head and not the tail. This alignment and power shift coincide with the preparation of the gatekeepers and administrators who understand the times and the dynamics of this divine orchestration of restoration and redemption that is unfolding. It is a shift in dominion. A power shift that will incorporate new venues of resources and wealth that will be entrusted to the hands of prepared and chosen vessels like Joseph the Patriarch, who understand the times and will administrate them in the accomplishment of God’s purposes for this strategic hour.


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