THE BLESSING UNDEFILED
“Till the Spirit is poured out from on high and the desert becomes a fertile field and the fertile field seems like a forest, justice will dwell in the desert and righteousness live in the fertile field. The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever.” The Prophet Isaiah
Before the end of the first century Church, the incredible growth of new believers beyond the early days of being a Jewish sect, had brought with it defilement. John the Revelator addresses the issues of this defilement, not to individuals, but to the specific communities represented by the early church.
Then early in the fourth century, the emperor Constantine reversed what had been extended persecution against the Church. However, in the process, the Jewish roots to the faith were expunged. With the Jewish roots to the faith removed, across Christendom the fifth century began ten centuries of what has been labeled as the Dark Ages; a time marked by lawlessness and chaos.
The time of the inquisition brought still further separation of the faith from its Hebraic origins. Yet, despite these and other like developments in the church, there has always been a remnant of Jewish believers. Now, in just this last generation, that remnant has emerged into a movement. This movement has seen more Jews come to know their Messiah than in all the years since the first century church; and with it the restoration of the Jewish roots to the faith.
With this restoration of Jewish roots has been a distinct correlation between what God has been doing in restoring Israel, together with the restoration of the spiritual power, vibrancy and purpose so evident in the first century Church.
In 1948 Israel was restored as a nation. In that same year, in the United States alone, more than 250 healing ministries were birthed as the supernatural began being restored to an anemic, weary church. In 1967 Jerusalem was returned into Jewish hands. That same year marked the beginning of the Charismatic renewal as a shift took place restoring prayer and the power of the Spirit to everyday believers, reversing the long-held gap between clergy and laity with the first steps of reviving biblical community. This time also marked the rise of the parachurch movement, which took the task of “perfecting the saints” outside the boundaries of the four walls of the church. It was also a major turning point for Jewish believers who began embracing afresh their Jewish identity and the Jewish roots of the faith.
Today the momentum of this spiritual shift has intensified, as the Messianic Jewish movement has emerged into its rightful role within Israel; and as the marketplace movement is mobilizing believers to penetrate the power structures of society. The common thread throughout each of these recent developments has been and is the restoration of the Jewish roots to the faith. At its heart, is the release of the mantle of Abraham: to be blessed to be a blessing.
This “blessing undefiled” has been and remains a primary battleground. Within the majority of the city-church communities addressed in Revelation of John was the operation of seductive deceptions, each designed to defile the blessing.
The defilement of the blessing began in the garden as the evil one, through beguilement, sought to distort the nature, purpose and goodness of God in His relationship with man. Throughout history, the beguiler has sought to defile God’s people, and the purpose and the purity of the mantle of the blessing extended by God.
The book of Acts, capturing highlights of the early Church, describes challenges to the power of the blessing that came from both outside and within the community of believers. The sorcerer Elymas came from outside challenging Paul’s authority. From within, there is the account of Ananias and Sapphira and then the recently converted sorcerer Simon. In each case, the intention was defilement. Note the fear and spiritual blindness operating with those from without; and the spiritual immaturity operating from those from within.
Yet, the more deadly and most subtle of the deceptions are the doctrinal precepts that give such a degree of myopic focus to single-level dimensions of the faith that it creates a blindness to other, more significant dimensions. It has been the stratagem behind the removal of the Jewish roots to the faith; and the overshadowing of the gospel of the Kingdom.
The challenge has been and is in employing righteous power in a corrupt world, as a people. This requires a God-centered identity, in the process of making a difference. The imperative is bringing change that gives glory to God. The hurdle is restoring the defilements-within so to gain the authority to reverse the defilements in the world. The effort to be targeted is described in Romans as the “bondage of corruption.” Creation itself longs for those who will bring this infusion of true righteous power.
In short, the world is looking for a people who will demonstrate the reality of God. It is the mantle for employing the undefiled blessing. It is a mantle of leadership not based on the world’s idea of power. Joseph the Patriarch demonstrated it, beginning while he was yet a slave in Potipher’s house. Daniel exercised it when immersed in a culture of sorcery. At the core of this type of leadership is the undefiled mantle of Abraham: that through God’s chosen all the peoples of the earth will be blessed.
The exercise of the blessing by the Jewish people over the centuries has been punctuated by disproportionate achievement and contribution, despite them being a fraction of the world’s population.
As a people and against the defilements that began in the garden, the Jewish people have fulfilled the role of a middle class as merchants, bankers and people of business in societies with social stratum marked only by a ruling elite and the poor. In those contexts, Jews have influenced kings, rulers and leaders and left the mark of their influence with the moral, judicial, economic and governmental foundations now guiding the positive aspects of Western civilization. Against all odds, the Jewish people throughout history have wielded the blessing that began with Abraham:
- Abraham modeled God-centered entrepreneurial community.
- Isaac heard from God and obeyed and became a light to the nations after prospering from sowing in famine.
- Joseph wielded his God-centered identity and the Abrahamic mantle of being blessed to be a blessing and prophetically brought the undefiled blessing to Egypt , the world around him and restored it to his own people.
- Moses provided the leadership to activate the community response through the spiritual, economic and community principles of the Torah that pivoted on hearing God’s voice and obeying His word.
- David gave priority to God’s heart and in the process paved the path of community into God’s Kingdom rule.
- Hezekiah brought about restoration and liberty by employing spiritual authority against foes who were numerically far more powerful.
- Daniel reshaped and restored the spiritual climate of a culture of sorcery to God.
- Nehemiah gained favor for access to the resources of the world.
- Jesus raised the bar and released the power for restoration.
The defilement is subtle. It undermines the power of God. It is the tares among the wheat. It is the second-best, when the first involves so much more. Its roots are described in the bondage of corruption.
The impact of the Abrahamic mantle is captured in God’s prophetic word to him: “and through you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” The defilement of the purposes of God to bring the blessing through His people, defiles the blessing.
Replacement theology has been a deception that if achieved would undermine the final outcome. Concerning election, it is written that the Jewish people are beloved for the sake of the fathers, for the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable (Paul’s Letter to the Romans).
“I will lift up My hand to the nations and set up My standard to the peoples; and they will bring your sons in their bosoms, and your daughters will be carried on their shoulders. Kings will be your guardians, and their princesses your nurses and you will know that I am the Lord.” The Prophet Isaiah
The communities of Smyrna , Pergamos, Thyatira and Philadelphia in the Revelation to John were each either impacted or influenced by “those who say they are Jews and are not” or by the doctrines of demons promulgated by Balaam and the Nicolaitans to seduce and destroy God’s covenant people. From the first century church to the inquisition to the holocaust, stamping out God’s chosen has been an attempt to defile and destroy the ones, who as a people brandish the blessing.
Whether it is God’s power, His word, His people, His purpose or His goodness, historically until the time the final battle is waged, these have been the prime targets of the enemy’s defilements.
The Blessing Undefiled
Jesus made it clear that He came to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matt 15:24); and that He came not to destroy the law and the prophets, but to bring completion to them. This foundational focus punctuates the strategic nature of the blessing undefiled. Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil and to set the captives free. As it was written to the Hebrews, He completed His mission undefiled (Heb 7:26-27). The employment of the blessing is at the heart of Jesus’ message; so aptly reflecting Jewish strategies to meet the challenge of a fallen, defiled world by releasing the undefiled blessing:
- “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven.”
- “I came not to destroy the law and the prophets, but to fulfill.”
- “You will be in the world, but not of the world.”
- “Go, make disciples of the nations, teaching them to observe all I have shown you.”
It is this foundation for change, targeting the bondage of corruption, for which we are to disciple the nations. It is the mantle that wields the completed blessing undefiled.
The Standard of Measure
In his letter to the Romans, Paul explains that if rejection of the Jews, as a people, served as the catalyst to the reconciling of the world to God, how much more will be their acceptance, but life from the dead. He then compared them to holy first fruits of the root, which carries the need for the grafted-in branches to enter their roles undefiled.
“For if the first fruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. So if some of the branches were broken off and you being a wild olive tree were grafted in among them and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember you do not support the root, but the root supports you.”
Paul wrote the Ephesians that we no longer are to be tossed to and fro like children, but are to begin operating in oneness, as His people, with our hearts no longer enticed by the defilements of the love of the world, the lust of the flesh or pride of life. He explained that God gave gifts to men to prepare them for His service that we all might become mature, built to the full stature of the undefiled Messiah, with a full knowledge of Him.
“…for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”
This is an incredible statement: that the body should even consider reaching the stature of the fullness of Messiah, undefiled. Yet, that is exactly what it means. The clue to the pathway is in maturity, which Paul then stressed in telling the Ephesians to stop thinking like the gentiles! Years later, the correction for the Ephesians in Revelation did not include this issue of defilement to their mind-set as it did with the majority of other churches, but while they had a need for improvement, they were praised for resisting the replacement defilers.
Jesus said we would know them by their fruit. While God gives gifts to men, the scripture says many are called but few are chosen. The chosen will be determined not by the gift, but rather the fruit from the undefiled blessing. While this principle is aptly applied to individuals, the biblical measuring criterion is to the community.
As a people, from the grasp of this foundation of the undefiled blessing, God’s order will flow doctrinally, power-wise and for His strategic purposes. When God’s community of people dysfunctions, it has been individuals like Joseph, Moses and David who have led the way to restore them as wielders of the undefiled blessing.
In the opening words from Isaiah, the reference to righteousness is from the Hebrew word tz’dakah. This scripture captures the cosmic drama of a fallen world, pointing to the role of tz’dakah or charitable righteousness exercised through community as the means to employing righteous, undefiled power in a corrupt world.
“The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad and the desert shall rejoice and bloom. They shall see the glory of the Lord, the excellency of our God. So, strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are fearful-hearted, ‘Be strong, do not fear! ‘Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb sing. For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert. The parched ground shall become a pool and the thirsty land springs of water. A highway shall be there and a road, and it shall be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean shall not pass over it, for it shall be for the redeemed. Whoever walks this road shall not go astray.” The Prophet Isaiah
Morris Ruddick has been a forerunner and spokesman for the higher dimensions of business leadership since the mid-90s. As founder of Global Initiatives Foundation and designer of the God’s Economy Entrepreneurial Equippers Program, Mr. Ruddick imparts hope and equips economic community builders to be blessed to be a blessing where God’s light is dim in diverse regions around the globe.
He is author of “The Joseph-Daniel Calling;” “Gods Economy, Israel and the Nations;” “The Heart of a King;” “Something More;” “Righteous Power in a Corrupt World;” “Leadership by Anointing;” and “Mantle of Fire,” which address the mobilization of business and governmental leaders with destinies to impact their communities. They are available in print and e-versions from www.Amazon.com, www.apple.com/ibooks and www.BarnesandNoble.com.
Global Initiatives Foundation (www.strategic-initiatives.org) is a tax-exempt 501 (c) 3 non-profit whose efforts are enabled by the generosity of a remnant of faithful friends and contributors whose vision aligns with God’s heart to mobilize economic community builders imparting influence and the blessings of God. Checks on US banks should be made out to Global Initiatives and mailed to PO Box 370291, Denver CO 80237 or by credit card at http://strategicintercession.org/support/
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Reproduction is prohibited unless permission is given by a SIGN advisor. Since early 1996, the Strategic Intercession Global Network (SIGN) has mobilized prophetic intercessors and leaders committed to targeting strategic-level issues impacting the Body on a global basis. For previous posts or more information on SIGN, check: http://www.strategicintercession.org