The Prince & The Pauper
From Childhood, many of us are familiar with the Mark Twain story The Prince & The Pauper in which the young Prince Edward 6th exchanges place with a street urchin boy look-a-like who takes his place in the Palace. The Bible has also a lesson about The Prince and the Pauper? … and it is to that teaching that I want to focus my attention today.
I have often heard people excuse their mistakes or sins with the words “after all I’m only human!” … and for many in the Church nowadays this is the image they have of themselves? Human, mere mortal, prone to failure, liable to disappoint, subject to change, one of many… and so the list goes on. The Bible tells us that man “as he thinketh in His heart so is he”
( Proverbs 23:7) and you and I can never be any more or any better than what we can think! Indeed the image you have of yourself, usually determines the value or worth you place on yourself. Low self esteem will keep us living like paupers, struggling, striving with life, trying to get things to work out, trying to get life to work for us. Always aiming at something better, but falling short. Yet the Apostle Paul writes in
2 Corinthians, 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” and assuming this “new creature” or new creation is something different he pointed out in the previous verse ( 2 Cor 5:16) that as such we are no longer regarded as “human”- or only human?
If you are truly a “new creation” in Christ Jesus then you are more than other men or women. You are not an ordinary man or woman. Its not that you are more special, or that you are more important, it is just that you have moved from one place …
to another, you are no longer a citizen of earth, your commonwealth is in heaven! ( Phil 3:20) You have become a member of a new family, a new Royal family, and the apostle Peter could add
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light”.
1 Peter 2:9.
God has put Royalty in his children, we are the sons and daughters of a King, and that King is not like any other of the European Monarchs, HE is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. This privileged Sonship does not permit me to walk the streets with my head in the air, proud and haughty … but it does permit me to walk as the Son of a King, a Prince with Heaven, and a man with Power and Purpose. It permits me to represent the Royal Household here on earth. In short, …
I can walk like the Prince, and not like the Pauper.
Rev 1:6 & Rev 5:10 tell us that God “has made us to be Kings and Priests and we shall reign on the earth”
This is not as some consider it, some futuristic prophesy that speaks of things to come, it is a declaration of fact. Peter says that the purpose is to “declare His wonderful and marvellous deeds”? Heaven needs no such declaration, but God has already made us “Royal” so that we might stand out here on earth. Every day I walk with God, I do so, as a Prince, and you must learn to do the same. My only regret is that I did not discover or uncover this revelation until comparatively recently. I was not taught these things in my Spiritual infancy, and only wish to God that I had, … how different my life and ministry might have been?
Now we find the origin of this revelation in the Gospels themselves and in the words of Jesus concerning the “Kingdom of God”. We read in Luke 17 …
“And when he (Jesus) was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you“. Luke 17:20-21
God has, in the person and power of the Holy Spirit put the Kingdom within every believer. The problem is that most believers don’t fully appreciate it, nor do they live with a “Kingdom Mentality”. Most of us in the Church have been brought up with the idea that Gods Kingdom will come when Jesus returns with the Church after the Tribulation period to rule and reign on the earth for 1000 years? This will happen, and that will be his Millennium Rule, and Jesus Himself will sit enthroned in Jerusalem, and the then rulers and nations of the world at that time will all come under his authority. It will be a Royal Government unlike any other. There will be no lawlessness, no sin, and no evil of any kind. The whole of Creation will be released to thrive and survive without the presence and power of evil – but while this is true, it is not the whole truth. Notice, Jesus did not say, the Kingdom will be in you, rather He said the Kingdom of God “IS” in you! It is a present possession for the here and now, not just for the hereafter. Of course, some of the more intellectual may ask … “did he not teach us to pray Thy Kingdom Come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven?” Yes He did. But look at when he taught this, it was right at the beginning of his earthly ministry, He had not yet been to the Cross, and the Holy Spirit had not yet been poured out.
At this point there was still no “new birth” experience. It is not wrong for us to continue to pray “thy Kingdom come” for in so doing, we are asking that His Kingly rule might come to all hearts and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. I will continue to pray for this, day and daily and in every Sanctuary Service Sunday by Sunday. I long for the Kingdom, I live for the kingdom, and I love the King of the Kingdom. “Thy Kingdom Come Lord” I say. Yet personally, and for every true believer, the Kingdom has already come, and lives within …. and to appreciate it, you need to build a Kingdom mentality, you need to consider yourself a Royal, the son of the King.
Satan however, will make every attempt to hinder you.
In the USA, during Abraham Lincoln’s presidency, he signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed all American slaves. But there are documented cases where slave owners hid the Proclamation, and slaves continued serving in bondage because they were ignorant of the changes that had taken place. This has been exactly Satan’s strategy against the church. As Hosea 4:6 says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” and as 2 Peter 1:3 says, “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.”
If Satan can keep a Christian ignorant or in unbelief about who they have become, and their rights as a child of the King, he can keep them in bondage even though the law of liberty in Christ Jesus has been put into effect!
The most effective way the devil has done this is through religious unbelief, specifically the doctrinal teachings about us being unworthy, condemned old sinners, saved by grace.
Praise God. I was an old sinner, but I got saved by grace, and now I’m the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5:21).
I am not unworthy any longer in my spiritual man. Ephesians 4:24 says, “And that ye put on the new man (that is speaking of your born-again spirit), which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” Now, my spirit is righteous and truly holy! Praise God!
Yet, somebody will say, “All our righteousness are as filthy rags” (Is. 64:6), and “There is none righteous, no not one” (Rom. 3:10). These scriptures refer to our self-righteousness, which can never bring us into fellowship with God because “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). But Jesus took our sins and became sin for us so that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (2 Cor. 5:21). That means our new spirits. That’s the part of us that is in Him. If we accept the first part of this verse, that Jesus became sin for us, then we have to accept the next part, that we received His righteousness. This is not a righteousness which is imparted in heaven. It will be perfected in heaven, spirit, soul, and glorified body. But as Ephesians 4:24 says, our spirits are now righteous and truly holy. Hebrews 12:23 says, speaking of the church, “the spirits of just men made perfect.”
The spirit that we had which was dead unto God, is gone, and the new spirit which we received at salvation, is righteous, truly holy, and perfect. It is actually the same spirit that we will have throughout all eternity. It will not be changed or improved upon. The flesh part will be changed, but our spirit salvation is complete. Colossians 1:12 says that we have (past tense) been made meet (fit or able) to partake of the inheritance of the saints.
In our spirits, we are now over-comers, and the rest of the Christian life, stated very simply, is renewing the soul and body to that truth. Romans 12:2 says it this way, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Paul didn’t pray that they would receive some new thing from God, but rather that they would renew their minds and prove (or make manifest to the physical senses) what was already there. God did not change us only in principle at the new birth, but we are now, in our spirits, a totally new creation. Until we realize this and then act on it in faith, the devil will continue to oppress us.
The first step in faith is knowledge. Romans 10:14 says, “How shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?” and verse 17 says, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” Ignorance of who we are in our spirits
has made it impossible for us to act in faith accordingly.
If you don’t know that you are a Prince, you will most likely, continue to live like a Pauper.
In Paul’s short letter to Philemon, verse 6 says, “That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.” This verse makes it clear that your faith starts working by knowing the good things in your spirit. You could turn that verse around and not change the meaning by saying that if you don’t know what’s taken place in your spiritual man, your faith won’t work.
The religious teaching that most people have received today has either taught or left the impression that there isn’t any good
thing in us.
We’ve been taught that the way to activate the power of God in our lives is to keep our own unworthiness and weaknesses continually before us. This is characterized by what I call the “false humility” attitude among many Christians.
You will hear statements such as “Without Jesus, I can do nothing,” which is totally true, but it is not balanced by the truth that “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” You can never perform those Royal duties, unless and until you understand that there is a Kingly nature living and working within you.
We need to realize that we are totally dependent on Jesus, but we have to go beyond that and realize that as we depend on Jesus, we are totally superior to any weapon the devil and the world can use against us…. We are world over-comers, world beaters!
Hebrews 12:2 says we have to look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, – but most of us have been looking at ourselves. No wonder we’ve been weary and have fainted in the battle. As we change or focus our attention away from our own frailty to Christ’s sufficiency and take our place in Him, our faith will be activated, and we will begin to live like the Royal children that we are. Praise God.
Now let us look at some of the things that make Royalty different from the rest of us. Kings themselves rarely go into battle. Kings have armies that do their fighting for them. As His Royal Children, we don’t have to fight our own battles ourselves – for we have one who fights for us. Did you know that no weapon fashioned against you will prosper
( Isaiah 54:17) and that God will contend with those who contend with you!( Isaiah 49:25) If there are some of you out there, and there are people angry with you, jealous of you, belittling you, slandering you, …
if you have enemies, that is only to be expected. Jesus said, “If the world hate you, you know that it hated me before it hated you” (John 15:18 ) We don’t need to worry about those things, God will take care of it, as the Kings Children, we are protected by the Royal name. I used to tell my students, that “Those who take on the Kings children, take on the King! “DHG
Then consider if you will, that most Royal Children step into, or are born into their privileges and blessings of the Royal household. As Gods Children, we have multiple blessings, I know it, I already have many of them, and I can see that some people have had to work really hard for the things that I just stepped in to. When God wants to give to his Royal Children anything, there is no power on earth or hell that can prevent it. That is why I am excited about the future. God is about to give to us, to give to His Church a supernatural blessing. In my Spirit, God has revealed from his word, many things about the times to come. There is great blessing in store for many of us who have been held down and held back for this hour, this moment in our history. What God is about to do, He has not done before, and it will be wonderful in the true sense of that word, “full of wonder”. Many will not acknowledge it as God, or accept it as God, and many will fall away because of it, but there will be a Divinely Regal stamp upon it, that will prove it is not off this world. You see the Devil doesn’t mind us having Church, really, he doesn’t mind! Neither does he mind us calling ourselves Royal or Sons of the King, …. Satan is perfectly OK with all of that …. providing we
don’t do anything!
An Inactive Church, “sleeping partners” with Christ, are no problem to the Devil and His plans, but those days are over. The days of the Church sitting down week by week, Sunday by Sunday, having little or no impact or influence on the wider world … those days are gone! When God can get his children to see that they are Royal, that they have a power, an authority to effect change in the world, then things will start to happen. The Monarch, even in a Democracy, still holds the power. No law can be added to the statute book without their signature. The King or Queen may block, or break the will of the Government to effect change. So it is with God and His Children. God gives us as Believers, the Power to change our world, and the Power to heal and help our fallen world. That power is in the Royal Name. The Devils strongholds can be broken, the Devils road-blocks can be dismantled, the Devils territory can be repossessed, the Devils victory can be denied him, when Gods Royal Children, step up to the fight, in the powerful name of Jesus.
NOW THIS FINAL WORD
The Kings Children, live in the Palace atmosphere. Have you ever been in a Palace, Buckingham Palace, Madrid Palace, the Palais de Luxemburg or the Champs Elysee Palais or any other of the fine European Palaces? What grandeur, what glory, what finery. I remember singing a little chorus in Sunday School about the Palace of the King, about Gods House…
I used to sing, “There’ll be no sorrow there, in my Fathers House, … there’ll be joy, joy all the time”!
Some Christians are lifelong members of dead Churches because their Grand-Parents, or Great Grand-Parents built the Church, or their Daddy was a Trustee, or their maiden Aunt was the vicars housekeeper. What nonsense and what a waste to stay in a lifeless and powerless Church.
I just cannot understand why Christians, any Christian would stay in a Church without Joy? I don’t even like to sit beside someone who does not possess the joy of the Lord. Put me beside someone who is in agreement with me when it comes to praising the Lord. Where God sees such agreement such togetherness, such unity, … the Bible says, He commands a blessing, and then we will all experience ” joy, joy all the time”.
What about you, … Not living like a Prince, still living like a Pauper, why not do what Mark Twain suggested, and swap places; leave the walk of gloom, for the walk of glory,
the streets of grief, for the streets of gold.
May Almighty God Bless this precious word to all our hearts for His great Glory and our greater good!