A few weeks ago, the nation was stunned by another workplace shooting, this time at a beer distributor in Connecticut. A disgruntled union employee killed eight people, wounded two and then turned the gun on himself.
As the story was told, the employee allegedly felt his workplace was racially biased and had lost hope of receiving fair treatment. He decided to get justice for himself; he wanted vengeance. As a result, people lost their lives.
I have been teaching for several months that this is the finest hour for the Church and that we are in a "set time" for the manifestation of the sons of God. We are standing in the midst of what God has been prophesying for generations. The Kingdom of God is here and I believe it is our responsibility to bring this age to a close. We have a responsibility to share the "good news" of the Kingdom because it is a message of hope, especially for those who have lost hope.
LABORING UNDER A CURSE
The Bible says that the “…whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now” (Romans 8:22). Because of Adam's sin, the earth is laboring under a curse, “waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God.”
“Manifest” has to do with exposing something that is already there. In this case it means to expose the real you, the mature child of God (if Jesus is the Lord of your life), the problem-solvers of today. As Joseph took over the government of Egypt and the wisdom of God established his prominence among his enemies, so is the Church being raised up in this hour to manifest the Government (Kingdom) of God throughout the world.
In Psalm 102 David makes a prophetic statement during his prayer: “Thou shall arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favor her, yea the set time, is come.” Zion here in this passage refers to the Church and “set time” refers to an actual divinely appointed moment in history when something will occur.
LOVE OF JUSTICE
An important part of this teaching about the manifestation of the sons of God is vengeance and recompense. But God's vengeance is not defined the way most people think of it.
Vengeance has nothing to do with hatred or emotional resentment or retaliation, but rather it is affliction (infliction) proceeding from the love of justice and a necessity for punishing offenders. It took vengeance for Moses to move the children of Israel out of Egypt. There was one plague after another that came upon Egypt, destroying Egypt’s economy and livelihood. Yet, Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, still would not release God’s chosen people into their destiny. God eventually had to deal with Pharaoh in the most extreme manner. Why? Because of a “set-time.”
God did not tell Moses to gather up an army to fight Pharaoh. The fight was God's fight. As it states in Hebrews 10:30, "Vengeance belongs unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord." Moses, in his obedience to God, was protected from Pharaoh as God used Moses to execute the release of His people.
This is very important to understand because it works the same way today. Our real enemy is not people. The devil uses people as instruments, to carry out his evil plans. We are to put our trust in God, resist the devil (James 4:7), enforce the principles of the Kingdom of God by faith, and walk in love toward people.
PLAN OF DELIVERANCE
Things happened just as the Lord had spoken it to Abraham. Israel went into captivity for 400 years, and the “set-time” for their release could not be altered. Not even by one year or day. God manifested his prophetic timetable through Moses, whom God raised up to execute His plan of deliverance. (Read Exodus 3:19-22).
Pharaoh probably didn’t know he was trying to resist a “prophetic season.” Have you ever tried to stop a season? Maybe like wearing short sleeves outside on a cool fall night hoping that you can delay winter?
Forget it! You can’t do it.
Now most people who have been in bondage (slavery) for 400 years would be satisfied just to be free, but that’s not the plan of God. He promised one more thing, “When you go, ye shall not go empty.” The Bible name for this is “recompense.” In Isaiah it says, “Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; he will come and save you” (Isaiah 34:8; 35:4).
HELD IN BONDAGE
The word “recompense” means to compensate; to payback, to make a return of an equivalent for anything given, done or suffered, to make amends, to pay damages. This recompense was to be a payback for all the years they worked and were not paid, all the times they were afflicted and held in bondage in Egypt as slaves.
Because the Church has not heard about vengeance, we have been victims. Just think how differently the situation could have turned out if this "disgruntled union employee" had heard about and understood vengeance.
I am convinced this tragedy never would have happened. Again, because the Church has not preached vengeance, many have been victims. The enemy has used his spiritual forces to resist and win over the saints. The promises of God are not automatic. It takes faith to bring them into manifestation. And faith only works for spiritual people. As mature offspring of God, we must work the principles of the Kingdom and enforce by faith the victory Christ gave us.
THINGS NEVER DONE
Because of the Church's lack of spirituality or carnality, the enemy has resisted many of the things God has placed in the hearts of His people. Things were never done, never built, never invented. There are businesses that should have been started eradicating poverty and producing billions for the Kingdom.
There are schools that should have been built ridding our urban communities of Illiteracy. There are ministries that should have been started, marriages that should have been consummated, and contracts that should have been awarded.
Well, God says, “This is the set time for the favor of the Lord upon Zion.” That means everything that has been resisting you and held back from you, I came to announce that it is breaking forth today. Your struggle ends now. Say it out loud: “Everything resisting me, my struggle, ends today!”
Whatever has been against your peace, your progress . . . against your career, your business and your children shall be stopped today. Your season of frustration and failure is over. Your season of success and victory has begun.
You will never have to get even with your enemies. Your job now is to put your faith and trust in God and obey whatever He says to do. As Moses said to the children of Israel at the crossing of the Red Sea, “The Lord shall fight for you and ye shall hold your peace” (Exodus 14:14).
So this is your season. It’s a season of the wondrous acts of God. It’s time for the Church’s release, to fulfill our destiny and establish His Kingdom in every nation in the way that God intended, “with liberty and justice for all.”
*The Rev. Dr. Bill Winston pastor of the 19,000-member Living Word Christian Center in Forest Park, Ill. and founder and president of the Joseph Business School which recently opened a branch in Miami. He may be reached at 800-711-9327 or Customerservice@bwm.org.