The LORD said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.” ~ Jeremiah 1:12
To many people “the gospel” only means the “good news” that we (mankind) can be born-again, and that Jesus Christ died for our sins and rose again from the dead, providing for us the way of salvation.
While this is true, it is not the whole truth. With this incomplete concept of the gospel we are left with insufficient truth to overcome the enemy, and inadequate power to provide the witness our Lord intended. This so-called “traditional gospel message” that offers eternal life in heaven and escape from hell was not the main message proclaimed by Jesus and the first apostles.
The gospel or the “good news” that Jesus preached was the Kingdom of God. This Kingdom of God message is about His rule, His authority, His government, and His benefits. He said, “Verily, I say unto you, whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, shall not enter therein.” (Mark 10:15) He is saying that we must receive the government of God in our lives with child-like trust, because He has provided the best for us and His rule over our lives is for our ultimate good.
The Kingdom: With Demonstration and Power
The gospel of the Bible is the gospel of the Kingdom, and is mainly about bringing heaven to earth. The Kingdom comes with its own power, its own provision and the supernatural ability to bring to pass whatever is promised or prophesied under the anointing of God. (see Isaiah 55:10-11 and Jeremiah 1:12)
In other words, it comes with demonstration, producing miracles, which is something far above or beyond what is explainable by natural laws or understood by human logic. Furthermore, most of what Jesus taught or preached about the Kingdom could not be comprehended by the natural man, such as “the parable of the sower.” He called them “mysteries,” which is knowledge beyond human comprehension or intellectual searching.
As children of God, we are supposed to know more than the most-educated people in the world — nothing against a good education. But the best education alone is not enough to advance the Kingdom or to please God. When the fall of man occurred, Adam substituted mental knowledge and “common sense” for the revelation of God. Time, space, and the limited knowledge of the carnal mind became his boundary and the foundation of his reality. He was left with human logic and reason, which the Apostle Paul calls, “the carnal mind.” He said, “…the carnal mind is enmity (hates, enemy)against God…” (Romans 8:7).
Jesus instructed His disciples “…to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick” (Luke 9:2). Another scripture says, speaking about Jesus, “And a great multitude followed him because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased” (John 6:2).
We Need the Supernatural to Advance the Kingdom
God’s purpose and plan from the very start was for man to have supernatural ability. He was created with the desire and demand for supernatural authority. Hear what it says about man from the beginning: “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth” (Genesis 1:28). We need power to fulfill this purpose. We need the supernatural to advance the Kingdom.
Miracles in the Marketplace
Years ago, I was challenged by the CEO of one of this nation’s Fortune 500 companies to come up with an idea to help develop high school age African-American youth in Chicago’s inner city. Through prayer I came up with a program that began operating out of our church called “Junior Partners.”
We recruited young men from the public high schools on the West Side to train them in business and to mentor them in leadership. We only met on Saturdays, and my team would pick the students up, feed them a continental breakfast, provide three hours of business teaching and mentoring, feed them a hot lunch, and return them to their homes.
Each Saturday began with thirty minutes of Bible study and devotion. Some Saturdays we took them on field trips to such places as O’Hare Airport, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT), and other local businesses. Most had never been out of their communities. After just one trip to the Board of Trade, the young men had memorized all the hand signals of the traders. How ironic to see these young men go from knowing the hand signals of street gangs to learning the hand signals of commodities traders handling billions of dollars.
As I recall, only one of the 20 students had a father in their home and almost all of them were in or had some affiliation with a street gang. A few months into the program one of the young men got up during devotion to give a testimony. He shared how he was miraculously released out of his neighborhood street gang. This came after he had heard teachings on the Kingdom, and how we are to be strong and of good courage.
The class went on to start their own businesses, and as they made a profit they opened up their own bank accounts. One day I received a call from one of the high school teachers who wanted to know what we were doing with these students that made their grades improve so drastically! Nothing … except I employed Kingdom principles and got Kingdom results. By the end of the nine-month program, all of the young men had given their lives to the Lord and their lives were changed forever! This was a miracle … Not just salvation but transformation into what God had planned for them from the foundation of the world.
You and I, as sons and daughters of God, are responsible for this entire planet. We are not to leave this earth as we found it. We are the Lord’s “Agents of Change,” not to be dominated by circumstances but to have unquestionable dominion over them, “Creating the Garden of Eden everywhere we go.” Jesus said, “… Pray thy kingdom come, thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven.”
*Taken from BWM Partner Letter, November 2013
The Rev. Dr. Bill Winston is pastor of the 19,000-member Living Word Christian Center in Forest Park, Ill., and founder and president of the Joseph Business School, which has a branch in Miami.