Introduction to Personal and Corporate Purity in Marketplace Transformation
You can’t pump clean water from a tainted well, and it won’t stay clean flowing through a dirty pipe. That’s what Personal and Corporate Purity is all about – ensuring that the gifts we bring to our world are not contaminated and that our delivery of them guarantees that they stay that way. What’s deep inside is what will come out. Jesus teaches, “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thorn bushes, or grapes from briers. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” (Luke 6:43-45)
Personal & Corporate Purity is a process of examining every part of the organization’s delivery system – from its founders and history, through its current management and ways of doing business. As it reveals points of contamination, the individuals (on the Personal, confidential side) and the management team (on the Corporate side) are led through a process of repentance and redirection. The goal is to be the perfect vehicle for the delivery of God’s grace through the products and services of the organization.
This section will cover four areas: Personal and Corporate Cleansing, Past and Present Cleansing; Outside and Inside Cleansing, and Keeping it Clean.
Are You Ready?
After you have read and prayed through Count the Cost, join us in readying yourself and your organization to bear fruit that will last. “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” (John 15:1-2)
Why is it important?
In addition to what we've just said, above, Jesus calls us to “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48) “Oh, great,” you say, “I might as well give up now, because I’m never going to make it to perfect!” God doesn't command us to do the impossible. The word translated “perfect” in that passage is teleios, a Greek word meaning “having reached its end, i.e. complete; mature.” It’s a variation of the same word Jesus used as He died on the cross and cried out, “It is finished.” (John 19:30) We believe Jesus is calling us to a process of continuous improvement (to use a common business term) in which we draw closer and closer to the fullness of whom we are created to be – someone in the perfect likeness of God.
To reach anything close to that, we have to allow the Creator to give us continual feedback, sanding off the rough edges, removing the dross from the silver, and aligning our motives and actions with His perfect plan. If we are to be God’s tool for transformation of our industry, our employees, our cities and our churches, we must allow Him to shape us for a perfect fit in His hand.
Another reason personal and corporate purity is so important has to do with hypocrisy. Nobody likes or respects a hypocrite. If we are drawing those in our spheres of influence to a higher calling, then we must be sure we, ourselves are walking that journey. “How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:4-5)
Personal and Corporate Cleansing
Why Personal AND Corporate? People ask this question from both sides. Some may say, “What does my personal life have to do with anything? The corporation is its own legal entity and stands on its own merits.” Others may say, “Why do we have to look into corporate history? I own (manage) the organization now, and I know my motives are pure.”
First let’s answer the question about why it’s important to look at personal purity. There are two specific reasons The first has to do with a scripture passage from Ephesians 4. Most of us are very familiar with verses 26-27, which say, “’In your anger do not sin:’ Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” These two verses help answer our question because they warn us that remaining in anger creates a platform for Satan to interfere in our lives. The surrounding verses, however, greatly expand the meaning and the importance of the effects of personal purity on our lives and on our effectiveness.
“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:22-32)
Indeed, the last three chapters of Ephesians is a treatise on right living and why it is important to the divine purpose of unity: “to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.” (Ephesians 1:10b) The effectiveness of our mission, our calling is absolutely dependent on our living pure and holy lives. It is clear that destructive behaviors give opportunity for Satan to obstruct this divine work. The following sections will elaborate on this point, but the book of Ephesians teaches us that right living is essential for achieving God’s purposes.
There is a second important reason for personal purity that has to do with the heavy responsibility and accountability leadership carries. “To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.” (1Peter 5:1-3) God was especially hard on the leaders of the Old Testament who put their own needs first, and we all know what type of judgments Jesus pronounced on the New Testament leaders whose thoughts and actions were evil.
There is also a “world-wise” benefit to attending to personal purity. It has to do with the concept of “the corporate veil.” The individual board member or officer is generally protected from attacks on the corporation as long as the individual behaved in a way that any prudent person in a similar position and circumstance would behave. It is vital that our motives and actions with regard to the corporation are free from any desire for personal gain, hence the importance of personal purity.
Now we address the question about why it’s important to look at corporate purity. It is easy to read and interpret Scripture from an individualist point of view, but God clearly has a much broader purpose. He chose to favor a people-group, the Israelites. Later, He chose to include the rest of the world – the Gentiles. He sent us into the world to ”make disciples of all nations.” (Matthew 28:19, emphasis is ours). The entire book of Revelation describes the New Jerusalem and the process of bringing in all the tribes and nations and cultures. The corporate body is important to God and He judges and holds it accountable as He does with individuals.
The second reason to look at corporate purity is one which we present from a slightly different understanding of the scriptures that say the sins of the fathers are visited upon the sons. “I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.” (Genesis 20:5-6) This Old Testament, Old Covenant passage teaches some important truths about Past and Present Cleansing in a Transformation Organization.
Past and Present Cleansing
There is a great deal of teaching out there about generational sins or inherited sin and how it affects us in the present. We believe that Christ's death on the cross paid the price for all people, for all time, for all sin.
Hebrews 10:11-14 "Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but He" [Christ], "having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time onward until His enemies be made a footstool for His feet. For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified." (NASB) Everyone born since the resurrection of Christ is free from the sins of the preceding generations.
Further, we are free from the curses accompanying those sins.
Galatians 3:13 "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us - in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith." (NASB) We are not a generation living under curses of previous generations' sins, but we are living under all the blessings of the New Covenant.
The work of Christ is complete; it is perfect. We have nothing left to do to erase sin or curse. Hebrews 10 goes on to say:
Hebrews 10:14-18 "For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us; for after saying, 'This is the covenant that I will make with them. After those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws upon their heart, and on their mind I will write them,' He then says, 'And their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.' Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin." (NASB)
However, we also believe that the actions of the past have ongoing consequences that must be cleaned up. Jesus redeemed the world, but the world still needs to be reclaimed from the deplorable shape it had gotten into since the Fall. This is where Personal and Corporate cleansing come in.
People have had so much trouble understanding and accepting this concept of reclaiming the world that we began sharing this way of illustrating this truth. The date is 1975. For the last two years, the people of North and South Vietnam have been watching the war gradually die out. The other countries pulled out in 1973 and hostilities have slowly dwindled until now, a peace is finally declared. The destruction is unbelievable. 1.25 million Vietnamese soldiers killed on both sides and an estimated 4 million civilians. Viet Nam’s economy and lands are devastated and the nation is still recovering. Entire families and the fundamental fabric of its culture and identity were severely damaged.
The atrocities committed against each other have taken a terrible toll. Political rhetoric, declarations of war, trampling of human rights, all opened the door for evil to run rampant through the entire culture as untold thousands fled the communist North, leaving their families and their lands for what they thought would be the safety of the South. But trauma and war followed them, ruining their lives, their families, their land and their freedom.
The decisions of the politicians in both Viet Nam and the U.S. gave entry to evils that plague all of us to this very day. Viet Nam’s politicians opened the doors to the intervention of the U.S. who brought with it the most extensive bombing war in history. War invited in genocide, wholesale corruption, rape, destruction of natural resources and much more.
Flash forward to 2011, almost two whole generations later. The war is ended. Peace has returned to the land. But the ravages of war still remain. The annual per capita income in Viet Nam is $320. There are an estimated 800,000 tons of unexploded ordinance scattered throughout the country. It is projected that it will take 300 years and over $10 billion dollars to clean it up. How long is 300 years? About twelve generations. In the meantime, it takes 2000 lives per year – mostly young men, trying to support their families; but it also kills women and children every day. None of those victims were even living between 1957 and 1975. They were not in any way responsible or involved in the scattering of that ordinance throughout their land. Yet they are dying, losing their loved ones, unable to reclaim their farmland and make a living.
In the United States families are still devastated by the loss of over 54,000 young men and women. Mental and physical health problems abound stemming from PTSD, exposure to Agent Orange, tens of thousands of life-changing wounds. Some say our country has never recovered from the economic impact of those war years. All because of ancestral involvement in the war.
Are our sins and those of our ancestors forgiven? Absolutely. They died with Christ on the cross.
Are we cursed because of past sins? No. Christ cancelled the curses.
Is there a mess that still needs to be cleaned up in the physical, social, and cultural arenas? Yes, unfortunately.
That is the job of restoring what was destroyed. This is the job of Personal and Corporate Cleansing. We now see that Jesus’ words to commission believers to heal and deliver as well as preach takes on new meaning. He knew that even those who would come to eternal life through commitment of their lives to Jesus Christ would still need to be set free from the condition the world has been in since the Fall. He knew that the enemy would try to continue holding us in bondage by convincing us we remain in sin. To heal in our case is to release ourselves and others from the lie that Satan has a continuing hold on us. Through our spheres of influence in the marketplace, we have an opportunity and a responsibility to follow Jesus' commission to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, preach the Kingdom of God and heal the sick. (Luke 9:1-2). You will find in Module 4 on Transformation Marketing that this is the very role a marketplace minister takes on.
Outside and Inside Cleansing
Outside Cleansing touches on the visible conditions of our lives and our organizations. For example, a pattern of "fudging data" in the past, will result in a climate of mistrust, deception, and thievery. Overindulgence in alcohol or prescription drugs may result in a diminished capacity for reasoning and decision making. The cause of such conditions must be exposed and remedies put in place to reverse the damage done.
Inside Cleansing refers to God healing from the inside out— memories, life experiences, personality and even temperaments. Sometimes when we or our organizations seem to be blocked from receiving God’s blessings, it’s because God wants to get at some deeper healing needs we have. If this is the case, God will use the symptoms to help us draw near to Him so He can lead us through to victory. Once we take care of the inner healing needs, the physical healing often manifests quickly.
Isaiah 61 says God sent Jesus to heal the broken hearted. Inner wounds can wound, cripple, and blind. Secrets can keep us in bondage. God can touch these inner wounds, bring them to mind and deliver from them on the spot, but often this is not His way. If he doesn’t choose to heal immediately, it may be that He is prompting you to let the Holy Spirit perform a deeper work in you.
We were created for union, but Satan tries to isolate us. Inner healing is a process that brings us back into union with God and with other people. Since Jesus is not restricted by time and place, He can reach into any stage of a person’s life to bring healing. In the instances that this is needed, there is often a love deficiency which only God can fill.
Other areas that call for inner healing are the instances of word curses (things spoken against you or your organization), unhealthy soul ties (emotional attachments through ungodly relationships) and inner vows (promises you or others may have made that limit you from experiencing all God has for you).
Work through the questions in the Inner Healing section of the Corporate Spiritual Freedom Documents. If you answer “yes” to more than three questions, and suspect there may be a need for working on a deeper level, there are several steps you can take. First, download our teachings on Inner Healing from http://www.greaterworksministries.us/teachings/. If you sense a need to go deeper still, then there are prayer appointments, Christian counseling and deliverance ministries available in the Twin Cities to help you walk through to victory in these areas. Contact your pastor or e-mail us for referral ideas.
Keeping it Clean
Turn now to the Spiritual Freedom Document in Resources Box on the right and work through the areas of Personal and Corporate Cleansing. Once you have gone through all these areas of cleansing, it is important to “keep it clean.” Set up regular times of prayerful examination and be alert to any wandering into behaviors that could limit your effectiveness. Listen carefully to what people in your organization are saying – and not saying. Keep short accounts by exposing and remedying any harmful behaviors that you notice. Cut off any negative results and be assured that you and your organization continue to walk in righteousness. (1 John 1:9)