By John Moyibi Amoda
THE God who is rich in mercy because of his great love wherewith he loved us, saved us by grace when he:-quickened us together with Christ in the grave; -raised us up together with Christ from the dead; -made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus; -refashioned us in Christ to do the works he had before ordained that we should do.
All these were the demonstration of his exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness towards us through Christ Jesus. Indeed the Redemption Money of God, the Ransom Money of God is Christ Jesus. All of Godâ€™s Work of Redemption are done through Christ Jesus and in Christ Jesus. There is no money involved. The realm of Godâ€™s Business is different from the realm of Caesarâ€™s.
Godâ€™s realm for his redeemed in Christ is in heavenly places; Caesarâ€™s realm is this World. Caesarâ€™s Tribute Money is useless in heavenly places – it is only useful in the World already condemned.
â€œHo, every one that thirsteth, Come ye to the waters and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which satisfieth not? Hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.
Incline your ear, and come unto me; hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of Davidâ€ (Isaiah 55:1-3). The currency of the Kingdom is the death of Jesus Christ. His blood is the propitiation for our sins. His resurrection purchases for us justification (Romans 4:25). God himself assures us prosperity.
We do not earn Godâ€™s prosperity. â€œHe that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all thingsâ€ (Romans 8:32). The preaching of this Gospel of the Kingdom is without money.
It is with power made available by Christ Jesus and the Holy Spirit. The 12 sent to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom were not sent with money, but with the gift of power.
â€œAnd when he called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother: James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the publican: James the son of Aphaeus, and Lebbeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.
These twelve, Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils; freely ye have received, freely give. Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses. No scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meatâ€ (Mathew 10:1-10).
The lost sheep of the house of Israel to whom they were sent to announce the nearness of the Kingdom of heaven, would be recipient of the grace of God – for freely the disciples have been given power against the enemies of the Kingdom of heaven namely – Sickness, leprosy, death, demonic possession. And freely they are to use this power to announce the imminence of the Kingdom of heaven.
They were commanded not take gold, silver, nor brass in their purses; they were to go only with the coat they were wearing and the shoes on their feet. They were not to go burden with provision of food. They were to go depending on the generosity of their hosts.
The imminence of the Kingdom of Heaven was not to be announced with the tribute money of Caesar. Godâ€™s Business could not and can never be in competition with the Business of Caesar.
The business that depends upon Caesarâ€™s Money to be advanced is not Godâ€™s business. Godâ€™s business depends on the freely given power of God to be freely given to the oppressed by the Devil.
When the Lord will commission the Church for the salvation of the world, He would do so as the 12 and the 70 were sent to Israel. â€œâ€¦Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earthâ€ (Acts 1:8).
It is with power that First Generation Disciples in Jerusalem will be sent out into the world – not with money. And he that is sending them has thus announced his authority to commission the Church. â€œAnd Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world, Amenâ€ (Mathew 28:18-20).
They are sent to go and teach and baptize all nations not alone, but accompanied by the Lord Himself, from then unto the end of the world. And they that believe shall themselves become witness of the power given to the 12 and 70. â€œAnd he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth, and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
And these signs shall follow them that believe; in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recoverâ€ (Mark 16:15-18). The Work of God entrusted unto the hands of the Church is Godâ€™s Work done in his power without money. It is perfectly done at peace with Caesar, for God wants nothing that belongs to Caesar.
He wants only what he has purchased with the Blood of Jesus, the repentant sinner who freely receives the grace of God. That is all that God wants. Those who build earthly organization, great in wealth and in splendour in the Name of God are in the Service of Two Lords, Jesus and Money. They are bound to despise one and love the other.
In competition with Caesar, the Faith Merchants as Chidi Amuta calls them, have already cast their lot with Mammon.