Dear Apostle Paul,
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Billy, a gentile of the Church of Jesus Christ and a student of your epistles. I’m also an admirer of your industry, focus, discipline and the single-minded devotion that you applied to the cause of heaven. I thought it might gladden your heart to know that the ‘new and living way’ that our Lord came to announce is being shaped daily, more by your epistles than the words of the Lord himself. You have indeed justified His faith in his followers that greater works than His, we would do. You and the other apostles did that and more.
Take the Apostle Peter for one. While you were busy writing a letter to the Romans, he was busy mapping out a future empire for the Roman church. In case you didn’t know, he was founding leader of what became the world’s largest church. That’s not to say he did better than you, for even that church learns more from your writings than his. And though you both disagreed for much of your working lives, unknown to either of you, you collaborated at a profoundly ecclesiastical level. Peter sowed, you watered and God brought the increase: get it?
I decided to write this letter because I’ve struggled to reconcile your experiences and what is now largely considered the promise and the power of the gospel of which you were a minister. You wrote about having some infirmity that God refused to shift. You even claimed God was well pleased to leave you carrying this problem as a token of His own strength.
It’s a shame how an apostle of vicarious theosophy could miss out on golden opportunities to draw on divine providence.
Each time I read this my heart bled for you. Poor, blessed, heart St Paul! You obviously didn’t get it. You were not supposed to remain ill. You were not meant to have any infirmities. You and I were called into a new and living way. It is the way of health and wealth. All paid for by the Lord Jesus. You did not even need to appeal to God for healing. Healing was yours to command. God had no choice but to work with you. It was all already paid for. It’s a shame how an apostle of vicarious theosophy could miss out on golden opportunities to draw on divine providence.
As we say, it’s never too late to learn. Find below an instance that demonstrated that we in this age have unlocked the power in scripture to limitless possibilities.
Apostle Peter’s words:
“Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” 1 Peter 2:24
“However, in my message that night, I said that we aren’t waiting on God to heal us. By His stripes we WERE healed (1 Pet. 2:24). It’s misdirected faith for us to just wait on God for healing…The Lord will meet us where our faith is, but His best is now. “Now faith is” (Heb. 11:1). Faith must believe that God is (Heb. 11:6), not that He was or is going to be. Faith is now! We have to aggressively take the authority God has given us and bring that healing into manifestation.” (Healing & Niki’s Miracle By Andrew Wommack)
You have no clue how apoplectic your grovelling for healing makes the average Evangelical. Apologies. Let me explain the term. The Evangelicals are a Christian movement that bought into the doctrine that Christ paid the price so we could live the life implied in the epistles, yours and those of the other apostles. You all wrote at various points that Christ has done all for us. We really do not need to do anything. Not in those words exactly, but variously, much to that meaning.
This grace covers every area of human experience, both spiritual and material; Righteousness, redemption, salvation, health, wealth, more wealth, stupendous wealth, peace, name it and it’s yours. By name it, I really mean name it. It’s called ‘name it and claim it’. Christ, God bless him, left his royal throne and sovereign accoutrements and took on the form of man, loathed, derided, beaten, spat at, scourged, killed so that we don’t have to try to be righteous or sweat for redemption or work towards salvation, but kick back and bling-up.
I know my language is from another age and I’m not nearly as good at letter-writing as you were. Let me try and demonstrate blinging up:
“Jesus’ presence brought gold, frankincense and myrrh — two of the most expensive spices — to His family. The wise men must have come with quite an entourage for the Bible records how all Jerusalem was fearful when the wise men came to the city. (Matthew 2:3) Can you imagine the amount of gold, frankincense and myrrh which accompanied that entourage, and which was given to Jesus’ parents? (Rich Through Jesus’ Poverty, Joseph Prince, June 22, 2012)
With all that gold for Joseph, I’m surprised he had time to teach Jesus carpentry. May be he had a problem with taking long vacations or he just loved the hard life. But there was enough gold by Mr Princes’ description for a lot of bling.
This Joseph thing actually makes me wonder. Did your generation have a problem with wealth. He hid all that gold and it appeared Jesus didn’t grow up with any of it. Apostle James traced the root of all evil to the love of money; you said a little with contentment is great gain. Even the Lord said the sum of our worth is not measured by our possession. Luke 12:15 Did my generation miss something?
Talking like that wouldn’t work-up footfall. We think you’ve got to tell the people what they want to hear. They love money, so tell them Jesus already became poor so we could have all the money we really don’t need. Granted you all didn’t build the church that way. But you all did miracles. You had power. You had a commission. The Holy Spirit ministered to you. You had a relationship with God. You knew and loved Him. You would not take His name in vain nor make merchandise of His Church. That is complicated stuff.
Thank heavens that contemporary missionaries are able to get on with their work without paying any serious attention to your generation’s aversion to great wealth. How else should they corner a lucrative, global, religious market? On donkeys?
And there will be no Messianic Jews throwing wrenches in your work as they did with the Galatians. These days no one is permitted to question men of God.
I really want to encourage you to give your calling a second shot. Elijah did it through the Baptist. If the Lord approves, you might find that you would not need to travel as perilously as you did in times past. You will preach the good news in style. A private jet, maybe four to six of them, could be at your disposal. Kings and royalties will compete to have homes half as big as yours. And there will be no Messianic Jews throwing wrenches in your work as they did with the Galatians. These days no one is permitted to question men of God.
In fact there’s too much to teach you for a single epistle to suffice. I guess you’ll be reading from me from time to time.
Yours in the Lord,