Racial unity is key to walking in God’s blessing and is something that should be commonplace in the Church of Jesus Christ. Bishop TD Jakes is a brilliant Bible teacher and ‘elder statesman’ in the Church. He has helped bring healing between races including in South Africa which had a long history of apartheid. His message entitled ‘One New Man‘, delivered in Johannesburg some years ago is evergreen with truths that will not only help foster racial unity but empower people of all races walk in the fulness of God’s blessing for their lives.
The concept of “One New Man” comes from Ephesians 2:4-15 which says: “But God has made us alive together with Christ… and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus…. for He has made us one, and has broken down the middle wall of partition between us… to make one new man, so making peace… that He might reconcile us unto God in one body by the Cross…”
Racial unity brings equilibrium
“Jesus came to restore equilibrium, God’s divine order in the earth” Bishop TD Jakes says, “and whenever God’s Spirit shows up He will always bring about an equilibrium where things have not been equal. The Spirit of the Lord brings balance, anything that is out of balance is chaos. There is something that happens when we stand shoulder to shoulder that we will never be able to achieve on our own.
“When black and white, and male and female come together in racial unity and we stop discriminating across race and gender, when the ‘haves’ stand with the ‘have-nots’, the high places will come down and the low places will go up. Not that the high places will switch with the low places, because you still do not have equilibrium then, but that every crooked place will be made straight, so we stand shoulder to shoulder.”
Bishop Jakes says that the amazing thing about racial unity, is that God can take people who have nothing in common but the blood of Jesus and bring them together and make them one, achieving a new level of worship that only comes through equilibrium.
When the world comes into the Church, he says, they need to be told that the Spirit of the Lord has raised us up economically, academically, racially, morally, socially, and maritally and they need to see black people, white people, red people and brown people praising God together and rejoicing in the Holy Spirit, thanking God for his goodness. “When we do that we bring equilibrium and we show them it doesn’t matter who leads, but whose Word we preach.”
Babel divided, Pentecost unites
Bishop Jakes says that it is not easy to bring cultures together in racial unity as one tends to dominate the other, but God is going to give us a real Pentecostal experience. The tongues that divided people at Babel brought people together at Pentecost. That Pentecost in the Old Testament was the ingathering of all kinds of harvest. “You cannot have Pentecost with just your colour or your kind. If you are going to have harvest, it is when devout people from every nation stand shoulder to shoulder under one anointing and each one of us though we are diverse in our characteristics can understand each other.”
He says that only God can do this! Look at what happened on the day of Pentecost, when in one day, 3000 diverse people were added to the Church, that this was the key to massive church growth. He says there is only one Church, that Jesus only has one Bride. That there cannot be a black church and a white church and a coloured church… that there is only one Church. That it cannot be regional or geographical or confined to any colour or characteristic because the Church is ageless and eternal like the God who birthed it, comprised out of the saints that were, that are and who will be.
“We are in the blood-washed, sanctified, Holy Ghost-filled, hand-clapping, foot-stomping, devil-chasing, satan-rebuking, cancer-casting-out Church of the Living God. It is not a black church, a white church or a brown church. It is called the Church of the Living God.” – TD Jakes.
“Many of us are still thinking in terms of colours, cultures and denominations, when the Church isn’t that. The Church is a new thing. ‘If any man be in Christ He is a new creature’. When you are in Christ, you are a new thing!”
He says that people who don’t understand this need for a new attitude cannot really get behind the Church. Because they still have an old mindset in a new place. However, if we are to be part of what the Church is going to do in the 21st Century we have to get rid of our old mindset. “You have to bury your old attitudes, every prejudice, every bigoted attitude, every stubborn, selfish, arrogant attitude in you, that is just part of your old man that needs to die and you need to rise up, walking in newness of life.”
We have the same Father
Bishop Jakes shares that in order for us to be brothers we don’t have to have the same nose, same hair, eyes or skin colour, but that which makes us brothers is that we have the same father. That any time there is a dispute over paternity, all they do is take blood samples. We of course, all have the same blood – the blood of Jesus.
“Let me tell you how powerful blood is” he says, “If my brother and I have the same blood type, as white as he is and as black as I am, if we have the same blood type, they can hook us up to the machine, and the same stuff that works in this black body will flow over to his body. Which is why when God got ready to redeem us he did not do it with skin, because skin would make you think you are better than me. He redeemed us with the blood because the same blood that delivers a coloured man delivers a black man, delivers a woman, delivers a child. Thank God for the blood!”
Bishop Jakes warns that the devil had been fighting us because we keep looking at skin. And that as long as we look at skin we will never get together in racial unity. “But I came to tell the devil – ‘Satan the blood of Jesus is against you’. There is power in the blood, it will never lose its power.”
Referring back to the Early Church, he says it had called the Jews out of their comfort zone because they had to come out of their country and kindred to come into it, because although the Church derived out of it – it was not it. That the Gentiles had come from polytheism and had to come out of worshipping their idols. That most of the struggles of the New Testament existed over culture because God brought the Jew and the Gentile together and made them equal in the Church.
“He brought the male and the female together and made them equal. He brought the rich and the poor together and made them equal in the Church.”
We must rightfully discern the Lord’s Body
In perhaps the most profound insight into the ongoing need for racial unity in the Church in a world where “even our clubs are more integrated”, Bishop Jakes speaks candidly about the full truth of the communion service and discerning the Lord’s body. He quotes 1 Corinthians 11:28-30, which says “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s Body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.”
Bishop Jakes says that when we look at the white man, and the coloured man and the black man, and we do not discern them equally to be the body then we do not discern the Lord’s body correctly. If we fail to recognise the Lord’s Body, because we are looking at skin and not blood, and if we do not see each other in our hearts as equals, then we will be ‘weak and sick and many will die’ – because we have insulted our father – by rejecting his son, we reject Him.
He continues to say that the reason why we do not see the Church raised up in the magnitude that it should, is because we have been trying to do it in sections. That throughout the history of the Church we have always seen one race or gender being exalted above another. This is why we have not achieved what the Bible says we can. Jesus said that “Greater things shall you do” but we we will only see this when we have racial unity.
Racial unity brings equality
Also, discerning the Lord’s Body is not just looking out for our own interests, but those of our brothers. That in the book of Joshua, when the children of Israel were coming into the Promised Land three of the tribes who had already received their inheritance on the one side of the Jordan River said they were going to go over and help their brothers till they received their inheritance because they could not rest until their brother’s got their’s because they knew that God saw them as one people, although they were many tribes. The greater blessing is when we all get it.
“God is not raising up one section of the Church and leaving the other behind. God is raising us up together in racial unity. If you want to see revival in your house, let the husband and wife get together, if you want to see revival in your church, let the whole church get together. Let the blacks and the whites and the browns start getting together in racial unity. The reason why God has not raised us yet is because we have been segregated. But if we ever get real integration, God can now raise the whole body up together.
“When we get equilibrium back, what you are going to see is us all raised together. But the real challenge is that some of you like those tribes of Israel have already received your blessing on this side of the Jordan, ‘I got mine, I am not worried about anybody else’ but if you do that you are not discerning the Lord’s Body. But if you say, ‘I got mine, but I can’t rest until you get yours.’ Then teach me everything that you know. Because if you do this, you discern me as the Lord’s Body. Wherever you see someone low, pull them up – that is the heart of God. There is something about being blessed that makes you want to share it.”
For more information about TD Jakes visit the www.TDJakes.org