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BREAKING THE SPIRIT OF POVERTY
BREAKING THE SPIRIT OF POVERTY
By Ed Montgomery
Destiny Image Publishers P. This book may not be copied or reprinted for commercial gain or profit. we’re not hard to get along with. Box 351 Shippensburg. Short quotations and occasional page copying for personal or group study is permitted and encouraged. S. A. Just ask us for permission. PA 17257 “We Publish the Prophets” ISBN 0-914903-57-8 For Worldwide Distribution Printed in the U. O. This book is protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America. . all scripture references are taken from the King James Bible.© Copyright 1988—Ed Montgomery All rights reserved. Unless otherwise indicated.
” Thank you. . Because of him I never learned the meaning of the word “impossible.I wish to dedicate this book to my grandfather. who instilled the Word of God in me from my childhood. daddy. Freeman. James L.
................97 Do You Know Who You Are!.................41 Chapter I The Effects of Poverty................................7 Chapter I Magic or Management?..........................117 ..........65 Chapter III The Foundation of Our Providence.......71 Chapter IV The Unseen Force.........................................................89 Chapter VI Stepping Out of Poverty............19 Chapter IV The Understanding of Wealth.............................................................31 Chapter V The Road Signs of Poverty..........15 Chapter III Prosperity..............................................................................................................................................................................9 Chapter II The Monster Must Not Reign..........................TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction...........57 Chapter II God is Not the Problem..................................83 Chapter V The Power to Perform.........................
a television studio. But I pray that you will look past the feeble attempt to accurately express my views through limited human vocabulary and grasp the spirit of the message. I personally have read many and benefited from some. the bookstores are loaded with books on prosperity. We struggled for a long time. Then we began to apply the principles written in this book. She will remain strong and stable as the world systems 7 . a kindergarten. But I noticed that very few (if any) were written from a black man’s perspective. and we conduct seminars that aid our people in growing spiritually. financially. however. morally. we purchased 2. In 1977. In 1985. There is a sense of urgency within me concerning the future of the church. Since that time we’ve opened a day care center.Introduction Why Write This Book? As you know. emotionally. Many of these books are superbly written and carry a wealth of truth. Not that a black man’s view will relate any greater truth! I believe. Because of this I hesitated to write this book and add it to the list. success and positive thinking. my wife and I entered the pastoral ministry. There will probably be areas in this book that do not fit into certain theological frameworks. with 144 members and no money in the bank. and her future is a glorious one indeed. and a bookstore. I am not a theologian. you will be able to see the struggles and the victories from a different angle.3 million dollars’ worth of building and land. and socially.
May you prosper as you continue in His Word. it has done its job.8 Breaking the Spirit of Poverty around her crumble. If this book does nothing more than inspire you and give you hope. Ed Montgomery . How the individual believer deals with his or her finances will determine the abundance or lack of resources within the church.
Chapter I MAGIC OR MANAGEMENT? I 9 .
not magic. however. Luke 6:38. we are awkwardly trying to raise the prosperity baby to which recent teaching has given birth. Peter did find his tax money in the mouth of a fish. I strongly believe that the Scriptures teach the principles of financial prosperity as well as other forms of prosperity. A baby has been born and we must get that baby through childhood and adolescence and into adulthood. Before I go on. Whether it be the fault of the teacher or the fault of the hearer is unimportant. I also believe that many principles that have been birthed under the heading of “financial prosperity” still need much more developing. This is made clear by the account of Elijah at Mount Carmel (I Kings 18:20-32). II Corinthians 9 and Psalms 1. and Jesus did multiply the fish and the loaves. They didn’t happen simply because someone spoke a few words. I believe in Malachi 3:10. we must continue to make the distinction between what I call “magic and management.” We must never undermine the supernatural atmosphere of God’s Word by implying that financial miracles do not occur. These passages are good news to the economically oppressed. waved a hand. Elijah was provided for by ravens. These were miracles. allow me to state my position. or jumped up and down. I believe in the law of return as well as the principle of the seed. 11 . The widow of Zarephath did have her meal and oil barrels overflow.I n the Christian community. Until then.
order and management behind the spoken Word. and the miraculous happened! We are not. however. thou hast been faithful over a few things.. After everything was spoken into existence God brought forth man to manage and develop .” It is assumed that the person who receives seed is able to manage the activity of sowing. We must teach the poor as well as the rich that biblical principles concerning financial prosperity are not just magical words. Scripture is not a list of incantations that. which causeth through us thanksgiving to God [II Corinthians 9:10. Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness. Yes. and increase the fruits of your righteousness. 11]. houses.. What is received from the hand of God and how it is received depends upon relationship. cultivation and management. In between experiences of the miraculous there must be development. Jesus in a parable relates: . direction. Notice “. Still there was no answer from their god. and multiply your seed sown. God did speak and the earth brought forth. and diamonds from outer space.12 Breaking the Spirit of Poverty The prophets of Baal used every emotional and acrobatic stunt possible. seed to the sower.. I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord [Matthew 25:21 ].. will bring cars. We are commanded to walk by faith. commanded to walk by miracles. Paul writes: Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food. when spoken. but there was purpose. Elijah merely called upon Jehovah. The Word of God strikes a strong balance between receiving from God and managing what we receive.
Men must be taught that what God gives must be maintained and managed. Whether we agree with their theology or not. or merely alter their present life-styles. One of the first steps out of this “magic” mentality is to get people to look at what they already have. “What is that in thine hand?” (Exodus 4:2) We must challenge people to ask themselves. It is living . I also am aware that there are other choices people make for the Kingdom’s sake. God may suggest what I call “the 10. We must teach that God’s Word is not a machine which produces twenty-dollar bills. When God called Moses. save 10 percent (personal savings) and live on eighty percent. it is their choice. They have their reasons and convictions and we cannot impose upon that. Secondly. one of the first questions He asked him was. life. For instance. There are missionaries who choose to live certain life-styles in order to reach a certain segment of society. Although I believe God doesn’t want His people to have to live under the constant pressure of debt. there are some people who are at their best in low-income surroundings. There are many who choose to live at low economic levels and are quite comfortable. go into areas of self-employment. and Spirit of God. This will cause many to be more creative and inventive. asking vital questions will cause people to be in position to receive answers from God. get more education. I believe we must tell people that not everybody is going to be a millionaire. find jobs. 10 and 80 plan”— give away ten percent (tithe). My main concern is that we teach Scripture for what it is—God’s Word breathed into the lives of spiritually impoverished men! It is not magic! It is the power.Magic or Management? 13 His creation. “What do I own? What has God given me? Am I using what I have to the best of my ability?” Even if they have very little to manage.
We must either stunt the growth of a “magical Kingdom” concept or else doom the coming generations to ride the roller coaster of plastic prosperity theology. As God’s people learn to walk in miracles and management. they will experience a prosperity that will withstand every storm. Men must carefully develop all the things God has given. The wisdom of God must be used to manage what has been loaned to His creation. .14 Breaking the Spirit of Poverty principles which motivate us to act. We must teach that with God’s Word comes the call for responsible action.
Chapter II THE MONSTER MUST NOT REIGN II 15 .
It was part of his upbringing. He was rich. But we do know that those plans were altered. We are not told the plans Jesus had for this young man.” He was goal-oriented. This must be a clear message to all who would follow him. Yet. when Jesus told him to sell all his possessions and follow Him. wanted to inquire of Jesus about life. His god cost him true life. The young man had no problems with that. however. The young man had another god. Jesus does not require every man to sell all his possessions. In an age when greed has run rampant. They must be reminded that prosperity is only a part of our inheritance in Christ—not an entity to itself. Jesus. he would probably be considered “upwardly mobile. Wealth was his life. questioned him concerning the law and the principles of God’s Word. fulfilled. It is a monster that people can do without. Today. believers must be in control of their emotions and desires. the young man was not willing to exchange his life for the “Life” of God. He does demand total dependence upon Him as our source. This man. Why? Because of greed. Its thirst is never satisfied. He was highly motivated. After the present meal is devoured. or quenched. We may never know. in turn. it hesitates only until another comes along. Jesus once met a young man. They must be taught to guard against it.G reed is a monster with an insatiable appetite. We must preach it and teach it with 17 .
18 Breaking the Spirit of Poverty absolute. Poverty is not clearly seen as an offspring of greed. secretly lurking in the shadows. but it’s there. uncompromised clarity. .
Chapter III III PROSPERITY 19 .
I came to the realization that in God’s economy there were no cultural. and higher education we could bring people who live below the poverty line to a position of being able to provide for themselves. one out of twelve Americans lived below the poverty line. or racial barriers. thirty-one million people 21 . That’s twenty-six to twenty-seven million Americans. God responds to faith. One out of nine Americans lived below the poverty line.” What is the Gospel? It’s good news.P rosperity! The word sends visions of dollar signs dancing in the heads of many. social reform. ethnic. the gap widened. He would respond to my faith. You would think that with advances in technology. Therefore. This good news set me free! The Facts In 1950. Jesus said that part of his mission was to “Preach the Gospel to the poor. Jesus preached good news to the poor! What is good news to poor people? That they don’t have to remain under the pressure and oppression of poverty! I can tell you that this was good news to me! I learned that God doesn’t choose some people to live in the fullness of life while others remain in bondage. Not so! As I write this book (1987). That’s twenty-two to twenty-three million Americans. In 1979. Don’t be alarmed at the use of the word. anyone’s faith.
Yes! Fifty-one percent! Based on these statistics. especially for minorities. I call this the “Leave it to Beaver” image. We are only aware of these people because their numbers are based on welfare. (“Leave it to Beaver” was a T. worker’s compensation and food stamps) controlled sixty-three percent of the federal budget. unemployment. prosperity is owning a house and two cars. Fifty-one percent of all black children under six live in poverty. Prosperity—What Is It? To many Americans. aid for families with dependent children. yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken. nor his seed begging bread [Psalms 37:25]. Christians will begin to . the number would increase even more. The Word of God says: I have been young. There is another image of prosperity: God’s image. Something is very wrong. sitcom which portrayed a typical upper-middle-income family that never had any serious problems). There must be another way toward prosperity. unemployment insurance.V. When the Word of God is studied from a view of providence. and now am old. If we were to add the people who don’t file taxes or who have been dropped from unemployment records because their benefits have run out. There is a direct relationship between being in the family of God and prosperity. having a comfortable income and a good retirement plan for the future. social welfare spending (social security. the future looks very dim.22 Breaking the Spirit of Poverty still live below the poverty line. supplemental security income. and tax return records. More than one fourth of all American children live in poverty. In 1984.
physical. and financial. so we as believers must draw our nourishment from the person of God—all our nourishment. but we were determined to make it work. I was a young preacher who believed that God would take care of us. according to one translation. social. and moved to Dallas. This name. One of the redemptive names of God revealed to Abraham was El Shaddai. Texas. emotional. According to the Word of God. The Beginning In 1976. moral. prosperity is the state in which one is having all of his needs met by Jehovah (God). Ohio. This prosperity extends even to the children and grandchildren of those who trust Him. For years we have dwelt on God meeting the emotional. The move alone cost us every penny we had.Prosperity 23 understand that God takes care of His own. Angela. God’s people must understand what God’s image of prosperity is. As a child draws its nourishment from the mother. Human beings have a variety of needs. So it . Why did I not include “spiritual”? All of the needs I mentioned emanate from the spiritual.” God likened Himself to a woman’s breast after she gives birth to a child. In Dallas I found a job which barely paid the rent. with our daughter. Sandra and I left Cleveland. This belief opened my eyes to some interesting principles. but I had never really tested that belief in any specific area. But in order to receive these blessings. a biblical view of prosperity is having all of your needs supplied in all areas. But what about the financial? Is God willing to get involved? He most certainly is! I believe that God’s Word reveals some explicit instructions concerning economics. Therefore. means “The Breast. mental and social needs. These needs are mental.
At . Prayer was not unusual for me. It came straight from the hand of God. I explained that I was going out. was this an accident. but there were about a thousand “Thank you. Of course I always prayed. The next few moments were unforgettable. I really don’t remember why. but I would be back with something for dinner. After all. His wife invited me in. I was told he wasn’t home. I went to visit my pastor’s house. and if she hadn’t would I please take the chicken off her hands? She also threw in a few canned goods to make a complete dinner! I composed myself outwardly. I had just been called to pastor a church in a small town. That day I really began to pray. Jesus’s” bubbling up in my spirit! Now tell me. The town was sixty miles away. I began by rehearsing all the scripture I knew about God providing and reminded God that according to His Word. called my wife. I was trusting God completely.” I got up from my knees. My faith did work! God did provide! On another occasion. She asked if my wife had cooked yet. but there was no money and no relative to run to for help. Instead of complaining to God about our situation. As I walked through the door of my pastor’s house. It was soon to be dinner time. a coincidence. and told her to get ready for dinner. She had thawed out a chicken and no one would be there to eat it.24 Breaking the Spirit of Poverty wasn’t long before our expenses caught up with and passed our income. or was it God? I know it to be the latter! That chicken was the tastiest chicken I’ve ever eaten. I’ll never forget the day my wife told me that we had eaten our last meal. Little did I know at the time that this was called “praying in faith. It seemed that everyone had other plans and no one in the family would be home for dinner. I was a preacher! But this was different. She explained to me that she had a problem. He was obligated to care for His own. but I do know that I didn’t plan to tell him my financial situation.
He told me that his brother-in-law was one of the deacons there. it started up! As I closed the door. I spotted a tan 1974 Buick sitting in a gas station with a “for sale” sign in the window. So I hurriedly put it in gear and drove off. I went downstairs. twisted a few wires and lo and behold. shut it off . After driving about twenty minutes and exhausting most of my fuel. I told him the name of it and that I needed a car to get there. The next morning when I got up. Wouldn’t you know it. and tried the same type of prayer again. I knew that if I turned the car off it wouldn’t start again. I walked to the nearest dealership. This little setback tried to destroy my faith. They were telling me that something was wrong with that car (as if I didn’t know). walked into the head man’s office. To this day I’m not sure where I had decided to go. I told him I had.Prosperity 25 the time I owned a 1969 Oldsmobile. He eventually asked if I had ever preached at a certain church. and guess what? He turned me down! I was young. The man I was talking to just happened to be the owner. that car decided to stop functioning just when I needed it most? What was I going to do? Well. He asked me what church I was to start pastoring. opened the hood of the car. I asked about that Buick I had seen. you guessed it. This time I got up and went to look for a car. I left the motor running for fear of not being able to start the car again. As I drove into the station. I just drove. but I wouldn’t let it. I sensed a small voice inside telling me to try to start my old junk-heap. with no job and no credit history. He had me pull my old junk-heap to the back. I figured if God could provide a chicken. told him my situation. I noticed that he stared at me strangely. I noticed that there were three red lights flashing on the dash board. He could also provide a car! I remembered how I prayed for food.
and ye shall have them [Mark 11:24]. Thirty minutes later.. he told me to turn right into a driveway. I later learned the scriptural principle behind the prayer I prayed: . It was a bank. Texas. Did I say exciting? Within two weeks we had exhausted all of our resources. He does meet all needs—even financial ones! The Move After I pastored that church in the country for three and a half years. and a lot of faith. What things soever ye desire. and I owned that car. We acted upon what we believed to be a word from God revealed in our spirit. When I came back. I sensed God telling me it was time to move on. I found that although prosperity is available to all believers. or was it God? Yes. That man. and I .00. With our belongings. He did. In the years that followed I pondered these events. we moved to Houston. it was God! God had once again financially provided. This was an exciting step of faith.26 Breaking the Spirit of Poverty and come back. when ye pray. we walked out of that bank. who had never met me in his life. and. I felt like a king with a new kingdom! After about ten minutes. a coincidence. God is El Shaddai. We were trusting God to provide again. I did. These events were to serve as a reminder concerning God’s faithfulness to His Word for the rest of my life. He told me to get out and go in with him. Was it an accident. he told me to get in that 1974 Buick and go for a ride with him. not all believers act upon this principle. co-signed for me at the bank. My wife found a job at a day care center. and we knew no one in Houston. We had never been to Houston. $500. believe that ye receive them. praise God..
00 a month. but God saw us through.Prosperity 27 started working as an office supply telephone salesperson.) We were the only predominately black church (and I use the term “black church” for identification purposes . The money was going out as fast as it came in. however. It was in the building of the ministry that we saw many financial miracles. we had never started a church before. neither should he eat [II Thessalonians 3:10]. this we commanded you. I’ll deal with that. I might add)! Take. we never sat back unemployed (by choice) just waiting on God to supply. for instance. We signed the lease for two years at $1000. IT WAS TOUGH! Just like many people. I’m inclined to agree! But you must remember. Being called of God does not exempt us from work. At this point you probably think I was crazy! Looking back. Every week we felt pressure. We had been in Houston for several months when the Lord finally released us to start the church. The apostle Paul said: For even when we were with you. telephone bills and groceries. Let me interject something at this point. Although we felt led to Houston to build a church. our first building: We started our church in August of 1981 with no members. It was two years before I found out that we could have started in another section of town at a much lower cost. we had to trust God for car payments. (I didn’t find out until later that we had leased space in one of the most expensive areas of Houston. light bills. that if any would not work. I had to put my hand to something for God to prosper it. in a later chapter. I don’t have to tell you it was tough. one right after another (and many testings of our faith. but I think I will. We leased eighteen hundred square feet of space in a one-story office strip center.
It only made things possible.300. For two years our congregational numbers resembled a roller coaster. I don’t know why. no more money ourselves. (I’ll expand on this in a later chapter.) God provided the finances each month. but moved in with only fifty. and the rent was due again in thirty days. but our faith in the ability of God to provide exploded! Deuteronomy 8:18 became alive to us: But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth. We grew tremendously during that period. this time on the second floor. that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers. They went up and down. Praise God! Within thirty days we had fifteen members and God provided the $ 1. God knew what He was doing. but this time it took almost a year and a half before we started seeing money over and above the rent. We were on the edge of Houston’s proposed expansion. up and down! But over all we grew to about eighty—or so I thought! In July of 1983.000. The growth was not numerical. our rent was $1. It just happens.00! We moved in with fifty people. This move gave us ninety-six hundred square feet and a monthly lease of $4. We had no members.000. as it is this day.28 Breaking the Spirit of Poverty only) in a radius of six miles. Remember. (I was later to learn that with every move of a congregation you have a tendency to lose some. we were given the opportunity to move into larger facilities in another office building. I might add! I was to learn over the next few years that faith made nothing easy.00! —Just in the nick of time. We started with eighty. From this passage God gave us a unique spiritual principle: Ideas + Ability + Work = Money.00 a month.) .
Many times it looked as if we were not going to make it. I believe there is a principle to grasp here. We had no money in the bank. We were now planning to do some other things. We worked it individually and as a corporate body.” Poverty comes when we allow ourselves to slip into thinking. After about a year and a half we were easily able to pay our rent. drink. We just dug a little deeper into our faith in God. members would leave. and be merry. and no down payment to offer. With one hundred and forty-four members we possessed our land and began to maintain it. To this day we have not stopped using our faith. I’ve learned that we cannot rest on past financial victories. We still trust God to provide our financial needs. we moved into that two and a half million dollar property. “I have gotten myself this wealth. To this day it is not very clear why they left. And He does! We keep our eyes and ears open because He provides in so many various ways! God is truly unique! Since July of 1985 our congregation has grown into . and God saw us through. And His life produces whatever is necessary to meet our needs.” No! We must always remember that God is the Giver and Source of life. We cannot come to a point (Jesus described it in a parable) where we can say. In January of 1985. “Soul take thy rest. In July of 1985. We had only one hundred and forty-four members.Prosperity 29 We worked that principle. we were about to undertake one of the greatest moves of faith in our history. God had opened the door for us to purchase two and a half million dollars’ worth of buildings and property. But somehow we knew it was God’s leading! We had learned over the years that every time we became financially comfortable God called us to a greater step of faith. At some of the most crucial financial times. eat.
let me say that all of the accomplishments I’ve shared with you are only the highlights of certain time periods. At some point in the future God will release me to tell the “complete” story. I must add that God didn’t provide the money up front. an early learning center for children. In this book my main goal is to assure you that prosperity (financial) is possible and available.” I need to remain as close to my subject as possible. and also that God is no respecter of persons. . Prosperity must be seen in the determination of a people to succeed despite obstacles. Nor did I plan to imply that buildings and land are the primary signs of prosperity. This is not meant to be an autobiography. tense moments and near failures. Please do not see these things as some magical formula. God provided for us as we took each step of faith. See them for what they are—principles from God’s Word. doubts. these things I’ve relayed to you are the overcoming of many struggles. This will cause you to prosper. fears. television and much more. It can happen for anyone who trusts Him. Set your faith like concrete in the Word of God. He worked with us! In the coming chapters I want to share some biblical principles concerning poverty and prosperity with you. Nor did we jump off into a lot of debt and beg God to help us catch up.30 Breaking the Spirit of Poverty hundreds. We have moved into publishing. Don’t put great stock in my application of the principles. It is not my intention to give the impression that every moment was smooth sailing. Before I close this chapter. I have by no means sought to give you an exhaustive version of how we moved from point “A” to point “Z. On the contrary. a day care center.
Chapter IV THE UNDERSTANDING OF WEALTH IV 31 .
Many times we forget that God’s ultimate will for us is that we be made whole or complete. peace of mind. They view wealth only in terms of money. This means a person can be physically. disciplined children. The need may be physical healing.” Wealth is needed in other areas besides finances. God’s dealing with man was for his wholeness. direction or purpose. or motivationally in poverty. Unfortunately. mentally. Wealth must be viewed in light of a present need. that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers. Although money is certainly a part of wealth. I see the definition of wealth as: Being provided for through an unlimited supply. In the Old Testament. money is not wealth in itself.The Bible says: But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth. and a good name were all considered to be signs that Jehovah had His hand on an individual. The need is to be “provided for through an unlimited supply. the common definition of wealth has catapulted many into an unending quest for security. however. as it is this day [Deuteronomy 8:18]. Money may not be the present need. Physical health. financial resources. This is a great deception. 33 . Financial wealth is not an end in itself. Financial wealth was not an end in itself.
for example. and the increased energy level it takes to go into business. Take. But salvation is more than new birth alone. increased sales. It is also discipleship. God’s unlimited supply flows into all areas. When Jesus healed He said.34 Breaking the Spirit of Poverty I believe that this is where the teaching of prosperity caused ripples through the Body of Christ. that thou mayest know that I. They may see immediate results through new job interviews. The majority of the people found little more than . Money is just a fraction of the Biblical teaching on prosperity. Many wellmeaning people taught and heard it as an ultimate end. God may prosper men in other areas. we will ultimately come face to face with God. When we exhaust our search for an unlimited supply (wealth). To teach new birth alone and make it an end of itself robs the believer of maturity. Isaiah 45:3 says: And I will give thee the treasures of darkness. Men would pack up their families and head for the hills of California to strike it rich. the Lord. which call thee by thy name. We are expected to grow up. I was watching a movie about the great Gold Rush of the 19th century. some areas of financial poverty can be erased merely by an adjustment in attitude. salvation. and hidden riches of secret places. with money. am the God of Israel Several years ago. “Be made whole” (complete). Since we’re primarily dealing here with money. Many get caught up in only bringing people to the place of being born again. Teach men to look at wealth for the whole man. As a matter of fact. This is wonderful. Prosperity is merely a part of the entire provision of God. Prosperity cannot begin. we can also apply the concept of “unlimited supply” to this specific area. nor should it end.
but we must also look at God’s dealing with Israel from a historic view. Through that nation God planned to manifest Himself. Covenant Many times we only view scriptures as God talking to us individually.” I believe this is what God calls the “riches of secret places.The Understanding of Wealth 35 dreams. God’s people had great responsibilities. but only to ultimately instill a relationship through love. that we may do all the words of this law [Deuteronomy 29:29]. Some stayed... God’s plan for financial prosperity included a commitment to future generations.” God knows where the “glory holes” are! I’m not advocating that you begin to dig around in your backyard! You may hit a water pipe! That will cost you! I am saying that there are vehicles of wealth that God will show you if you will learn how to plug into Him! The Word says: The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever. Therefore. One of those responsibilities was to provide for the continuance of the nation. That required finances. God’s Word flows through His people. and every now and then would find a seemingly unlimited vein of gold. and since dreams didn’t keep food on the table they gave up and went back home. God was building a nation. The things God reveals belong to us! If God reveals a hidden source of wealth. it belongs to His people! Notice the other part of that verse “. We must receive the Bible as personal. God dealt with them through law. that we may do all the words of this law” (spiritual laws). A love relationship is . They called these veins “glory holes.
knowing that they will continue to further His will toward other men on the earth. And although it has no force of its own. drug trafficking. They were to use their resources to support the extension of God’s kingdom in the earth. There is a reason and purpose connected with wealth. I see money flowing into pornography. God promised to provide for His people. away from the poor and into the . but that which is good to the use of edifying. Paul wrote: Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour. that he may have to give to him that needeth. Jehovah deals with His people based on covenant. We receive from God so that we may have our own needs met. contrary to what people think. Money Although we have given a definition of wealth. and establish Godly principles on the earth. it just keeps getting away from me”? Well. God provides for those who are in covenant with Him. It is amoral. asking only that they would use their providence to extend the covenant beyond themselves. It has no force of its own. x-rated movies. the image of money still pops up. Money is an inanimate object. We must seek to know what it is. working with his hands the thing which is good. it still moves. money does not have legs. move the Gospel. relieve the poor. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth. neither good nor bad.36 Breaking the Spirit of Poverty based on covenant. How many of you have heard people say. that it may minister grace unto the hearers [Ephesians 4:28-29]. abortion. So let’s not suppress it—let’s deal with it. “I don’t know what happens to my money.
Racism and prejudice exist in our society. This tells me that there is some force involved. Money has no ears. can it not be caused to flow into the remedies? What is the force that causes money to flow? People! That’s right—people! Whatever motivates people also motivates the direction in which money flows. where there is gold. If evil is the motivating force. When I speak of “money” I am talking in terms of what other people will accept in exchange for something else. Education has some value. And the gold of that land is good: there is . Going to church is good. it cannot run from us. The Bible says: The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah. Hard work is commendable. But if money can flow into the cancers of our society. money will not flow in your direction—regardless of race. but many people work hard all of their lives and still remain poor. But if good is the motivating force. but there are those of every race who experience financial freedom and financial bondage. legs or arms. The value of paper money goes up and down. then money will flow into the machinery that will generate cures to the sicknesses so prevalent in this earth. This fluctuation is caused by human beings. Money does not see race. and it certainly cannot see us. culture or the color of one’s skin. then money will flow into the vehicles of evil. It does not hear us. If you violate certain principles. but is no guarantee that you will prosper. religion or educational status. Things of value cannot be viewed in terms of paper money only.The Understanding of Wealth 37 hands of the rich. but we know there are rich people who have never finished high school or college. We must teach our people not to place complete trust in paper money.
There were no alloys or mixtures. with the proper motivation. Anything that has intrinsic value cannot be affected by external circumstances such as fire. In the hands of God’s people. Jesus said. “Let your light so shine before men. These stones were valued for their beauty. and glorify your Father which is in heaven. tricks or schemes. heal the sick. however. liberate the drug addict. God is the only one who has intrinsic value. God is able to do great things with money through us. Gold is valuable because man puts value on it. It was God who first placed value upon these minerals. provide opportunities for work. When our motivation is plugged into Him (God) who has intrinsic value. we make visible the glory of God! Jesus said: . Today. And what gives God glory? Good works that have the life force of God as their motivation. that they may see your good works. 17 says: Though he heap up silver as the dust. but the just shall put it on.” (Matthew 5:16). and give purpose. The original value placed upon these minerals. meaning and direction to life. and the innocent shall divide the silver. He is not moved by the whims and changes of society. They reflected the beauty and glory of God.38 Breaking the Spirit of Poverty bdellium and the onyx stone [Genesis 2:11-12]. When we take care of the poor and elderly. gold and precious stones are valued for what they can buy.” This means that they were pure. Precious stones and minerals do not have intrinsic value. flood. educate our children mentally and spiritually. The minerals there were called “good. he may prepare it. was aesthetic. and prepare raiment as the clay. Job 27:16. paper money can be turned back into that which reflects the beauty and glory of God.
because He has anointed Me [the Anointed One. the Messiah] to preach the good news (the Gospel) to the poor. He has sent Me to announce release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind. . bruised. to send forth as delivered those who are oppressed [who are downtrodden.The Understanding of Wealth 39 The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon Me. The Amplified Bible]. crushed and broken down by calamity] [Luke 4:18.
Chapter V V THE ROAD SIGNS OF POVERTY 41 .
The devastation caused by poverty affects more than the pockets. This spiritual problem brought physical poverty. Poverty is a destructive spirit. Ahab had allowed the entrance of idol worship into the land. “being broke” is a temporary condition. These things are merely the fruit of poverty. community or nation. Being poor does not come as a result of high unemployment or the lack of qualifying skills. Poverty comes right from the pit of hell! Remember. Poverty as a Spirit Have you ever heard the phrase “poverty-stricken”? Of course! This alludes to the concept that poverty is something that comes upon a person. why haven’t these programs eradicated 43 . work programs and job training programs. poverty was a result of God’s judgment upon the rule of Ahab. In the case of the widow at Zarephath (I Kings 17:8-16). but poverty is a spirit.P overty is not living in a ghetto or growing up in the most run-down part of town. an intangible force. not the root of poverty. Historically it was the unrighteousness of an individual or the unrighteousness of the nation as a whole that brought oppression upon the people of Israel. Tell me. Poverty is nearly always connected with unrighteousness. it affects the whole man. group of people. goals. aid. our political leaders have advocated social programs: welfare. motivations and desires. For years. an alien entity that robs human beings of their dreams.
Since poverty is intertwined with the attitude of an individual. but he who heeds reproof shall be honored [Proverbs 13:18. There is nothing “holy” about being poor.. 1.00 and still be in poverty because he spends $99.00! Poverty has more characteristics than just the lack of money. One Christmas I had the pleasure of putting my daughter’s bicycle together.44 Breaking the Spirit of Poverty poverty in a nation as affluent as America? Why is it that some remain in poverty while others rise above it? I submit that the problem goes beyond environment. God has given certain instructions to get people out of poverty. you can easily understand what I mean when I say that a person can earn $100.000. Let me explain. Nowhere does the Bible tell us that it is God’s will for a man to be in poverty. Let’s look at them in order. It sweeps through cultures and communities.. “The fact that I don’t have enough money is sign enough!” But remember that I said being poor is a spirit and not just a lack of money. the streets of Greece would be lined with people whose sole occupation was to beg from others. If we can expose poverty as a spirit then we can introduce the liberating power of the Gospel as the answer. The Amplified Bible]. to be a beggar.” During the time of the Apostle Paul. The signs of poverty can be easily recognized when you know what to look for. Refusing Instruction Poverty and shame come to him who refuses instruction and correction. There are seven major signs of poverty. Did I say pleasure? Now I really believed that I had the ingenuity to put that bicycle .999. Some say. The word “poverty” or “poor” as it is recorded in the Greek text means “. There is a spirit involved.
I knew I wasn’t the engineering genius that I had thought I was! I should have followed the instructions! Just as I had trouble putting that bicycle together.The Road Signs of Poverty 45 together without the instructions! After it was all over. They shall be upon you for a sign [of warning to other nations] and for a wonder. So it is with God. That is. The curses come because people refuse to hearken or listen to the Word (instructions) of the Lord. God cannot justly hold back (rebuke) the thieves of abundance. unless they read the instruction manual—the Bible. Think about it! The law of traffic control says that we can experience safe driving if we stop at red lights and proceed on green lights. and upon your descendants forever. His will for His people is stated in the following passage: And it shall come to pass. to keep His commandments and His statutes which He commanded you. All these curses shall come upon you and shall pursue you and overtake you till you are destroyed. Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joyfulness of [mind and] heart [in gratitude] for the abundance of all [with which He had blessed you]. because you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God. and He will put a yoke of iron upon your neck until he has destroyed you [Deuteronomy 28:45-48. Therefore you shall serve your enemies whom the Lord shall send against you. It is not the fault of the city if a person proceeds on a red light and has an accident. if thou shalt hearken . Unless the believer acts in faith on the Word of God. I had several bicycle parts left with no place to put them. By then. people will experience trouble putting their lives together. The Amplified Bible]. in hunger and thirst. The will of the city is for its citizens to experience safe and trouble-free driving. The curses do not come upon you in order to teach you a lesson. in nakedness and in want of all things.
We must teach people not to close their minds—but to allow God to renew their minds. debt. The Word says.46 Breaking the Spirit of Poverty [listen] diligently unto the voice [instructions] of the Lord thy God. to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day. precautions. It will transform individuals! (read Romans 12:13). The believer who listens shall be honored and promoted in life! That’s a promise! 2. Proverbs says that “poverty and shame shall be to him who refuses instruction. and many other practical financial dealings. Lack of knowledge or lack of instruction causes failure.” (Hosea 4:6). management. poverty will come to those who don’t listen to good instructions. To some this may sound spiritually lofty. God’s Word gives instructions in areas of savings. “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. These instructions cannot be rejected. He has given pastors and instructors the desire to see their people prosper. God’s Word is also practical. co-signing..” In other words. They place their faith in the system of the world and their doubt in God’s system. and overtake thee. Poverty-stricken communities are in bondage. A renewed mind will bring about change. Following Vain Persons He who cultivates his land will have plenty of bread. if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God [Deuteronomy 28:1-2]. The mind must be renewed concerning what God says about financial matters. But remember. but he who follows worthless people and . that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: And all these blessings shall come on thee.. God has set different types of ministries in the Body of Christ.
. The Amplified Bible]. The emphasis is on agreement. That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask. 2. That phrase “vain persons” means “empty people with empty goals. We are hearing a lot about people who have a desire to succeed.. “If you’re going to carry someone’s briefcase. Notice the phrase “. Believe that the world system owes them something. make sure it’s someone who is going somewhere.. 3. Are always complaining about how others always get the good breaks in life. 4. it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven [Matthew 18:19].The Road Signs of Poverty 47 pursuits will have poverty enough [Proverbs 28:19. as touching any thing. God’s people cannot afford to attach themselves and their thinking to empty people. Are constantly looking for flaws in the lives of people who are achieving something. but are their plans and pursuits really concrete? I remember during my college days hearing someone say. God has called us to greater things. Usually these people: 1. . You can easily spot people who are talking themselves right into poverty.” I’ve learned that being around people who talk words of faith will encourage you to develop your faith.. Are very critical of people who are prosperous.” Anything! You can agree to having doubt as well as having faith. Surrounding yourself with people who only talk doubt and unbelief will help you to develop your doubts and unbeliefs.” Too often believers attach themselves to people who are going nowhere! Matthew says: .
“. When the excuses are dismissed. These excuses are born out of the fear of never having enough. It is a “see and then believe” type of system. When the spirit-man learns that the character of his God is good and that He wants His children to have a life of quality. “When I get some extra money. Giving is a part of that system.48 Breaking the Spirit of Poverty 3. Withholding More Than You Need .” Faith breaks the cycle of fear. but it tendeth to poverty [Proverbs 11:24]. it tendeth [or leans] to poverty..” This is admirable. because of the power of that faith. Just as turning a key is a part of the ignition system of an automobile.. then faith arises in the promise that God takes care of His own. When there is that assurance by faith. but a condition of the spirit. God does not reward doubt. Proverbs says. poverty is not a condition of finances. A person who is under the oppression of poverty usually is looking for an excuse to hold onto (grip) their possessions. but a very big mistake.. Any person who has made a great deal of money will tell you that it is necessary to invest. Investing money requires that you give up a sum of money in order to make a greater sum. then believers are able to have faith in the system God has provided to prosper His own. inevitably sees the results.. From the moment giving takes . to give! Remember. One common statement is. and the broken cycle of fear eliminates the excuses for withholding. God’s people must learn to invest. Giving frees the individual to receive. There is that withholdeth more than is meet. then I’ll give. He rewards faith! Faith believes and then. then that individual is free to give. This is not faith in the system of God. so giving is a part of the system that leads a person out of poverty.
As a matter of fact. let’s look at it. Follow God and “surely goodness and mercy shall follow you" (Psalms 23:6). the Word of God is full of examples of those who became rich just because they sought after God. The Amplified Bible). In the beginning this type of motivation is hard to detect. You might ask. What things? —“Goodness and mercy shall follow you. “All these things” are added to you." This has always been God’s message to us. the Word also tells us that a get-rich-quick motivation leads to poverty. When you follow the Word of God. This leads to prosperity. The same principle operates in breaking the poverty cycle. it must first come to a stop before it can change gears. 4.The Road Signs of Poverty 49 place. However. neither shall your vine drop its fruit before the time in the field. says the Lord of hosts [Malachi 3:11. If a car is going forward when it needs to go backward. the cycle of poverty is broken! They will then begin to operate in another cycle—PROSPERITY! In order to change a cycle. but it will ultimately show up. that cycle must first be slowed down to a complete stop before it can be turned in the opposite direction. His faith is working! God promises to respond! And I will rebuke the devourer [insects and plagues] for your sakes and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground. People who have this attitude usually don’t maintain their wealth very long. A person may not see his ultimate financial goals realized in twenty-four hours—but things will have begun to change. . “What about the teaching of planting seeds or the motivation of giving in order to receive? Is this motive wrong?” Well. Get-Rich-Quick Motivation God is not opposed to your being rich.
from the house of bondage. The Amplified Bible). Underneath is the intent to default on his side of the contract and run away with God’s goodies. After all. and thou forget the Lord thy God. God says. and hast built goodly houses. The man or woman who has a get-rich-quick motivation views his tithes and offerings as some type of installment payment on Biblical promises. Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness. this is God’s system of supplying our needs. Then thine heart be lifted up. in not keeping his commandments. This attitude always leans toward poverty. Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna. The believer is not just someone who pays tithes. to do thee good at thy latter end. My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth. “Prove me (try me).. who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint. and drought. where there was no water.. But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: . According to Deuteronomy 8:11-18: Beware that thou forget not the Lord thy God. which thy fathers knew not. And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply.” (Malachi 3:10. it won’t last because God is not the focus of those motives. and his statutes. Although these people may experience some temporary financial success. which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt. I repeat: there is nothing wrong with giving in order to receive. that he might humble thee. and that he might prove thee.50 Breaking the Spirit of Poverty There is nothing wrong with giving in order to receive. and scorpions. and dwelt therein. which I command thee this day: Lest when thou hast eaten and art full. The problem arises when giving becomes a type of con game in order to get God to move on our behalf. rather than a wholesome life-style. and his judgments. And thou say in thine heart. but a tither. wherein were fiery serpents. Giving is a part of his life-style. and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied and all that thou hast is multiplied.
and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes. and I will be glorified. ye eat. saith the Lord Ye looked for much. God’s desire is to establish His covenant or promises. They are now on their way to prosperity. God wants His people to be able to use every financial resource to spread the “good news” around the world. man has already broken a strong link in the chain of poverty. and build the house. Thus saith the Lord of hosts. the time that the Lord’s house should be built. as it is this day. and when ye brought it home. Neglecting the material needs of the work of God leads to poverty. Consider your ways. Because of mine house that is waste. and this house lie waste? Now therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts. Then came the word of the Lord by Haggai the prophet. I did blow upon it. saying. O ye.The Road Signs of Poverty 51 For it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth. to dwell in your ceiled houses. saying. but there is none warm. and. The time is not come. 5. but ye are not filled with drink. ye clothe you. This people say. and I will take pleasure in it. it came to little. but ye have not enough. Go up to the mountain. that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers. When God’s concerns become man’s concerns. Why? saith the Lord of hosts. Neglecting the Material Needs of the Work of God Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts. Consider your ways. Ye have sown much. and ye run every man unto his own house [Haggai 1:2-9]. Is it time for you. ye drink. and bring in little. and bring wood. We know that Malachi 3:10 (The Amplified Bible) says: Bring all the tithes (the whole tenth of your . lo.
money. By sowing in these areas we are building the House of God by building the Church. How is this done? It is done by giving to the Gospel. Proverbs 3:9-10 says: Honour the Lord with thy substance. even if it’s just to have enough money (resources) to print this book. says the Lord of Hosts. church buildings are not the House of God. Because of this. hope and love within the Body of Christ. According to verse 8 of this passage. that there may be food in My house. During the time of the Old Testament. they were told to go to the mountain top. If the medium of exchange was eggs. and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be . if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour you out a blessing.52 Breaking the Spirit of Poverty income) into the storehouse. We have a mission to build faith. This is where responsibility comes in.” We are living in a society that uses money as a medium of exchange. we’re going to be able to help a lot of people who will read this book and use the knowledge contained in it. but the home of the Church. that there shall not be room enough to receive it. prayer. Wherever people gather together it becomes their home. come down and rebuild. and prove Me now by it. We must give time. Believers have received an abundance of the revelation of the Word of God. They have been to the mountain top. Another word for “food” in the above scripture is “resources. get the necessary materials. then God would have eggs as a part of His “resources. the temple or tabernacle was referred to as the House of God. The Church is people. and work. they have a responsibility to take this mountain-top revelation to others.” We know that the administrative part of our ministry is necessary. Today. a mission to reflect the image of Jesus on the earth.
he hath neither child nor brother: yet is there no end of all his labour. neither saith he. It must be done through unity. There is strength in unity. Most of the major multi-billion-dollar conglomerates in America were not built by one man. and there is not a second. then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him. it is a sore travail. and neither is concerned about who gets the credit. for he hath not another to help him up. and a threefold cord is not quickly broken [Ecclesiastes 4:8-12]. we have learned that we .The Road Signs of Poverty 53 filled with plenty. This has long been a problem within American communities. We suppress the expansion of His Kingdom on this earth. For if they fall. we open the door to poverty. By neglecting the spreading of the Gospel. especially black with white. For whom do I labour. One man may have had the idea. neither is his eye satisfied with riches. because they have a good reward for their labor. There is one alone. Again. yea. but it took several men to make that idea work. When people with ideas unite with people who have the skills to make the ideas work. Two are better than one. if two lie together. and thy presses shall burst out with new wine. yea. Men have not learned the potential power that could be released from the unity of races. cultures and nations. 6. This cannot be done by one man. the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth. the machinery is in place that will pull people from the depths of poverty. two shall withstand him. and bereave my soul of good? This is also vanity. At Abundant Life Cathedral. Disunity Being a loner leads to poverty.
but . we can do a lot more. When he asked God about it. I’m reminded of a farmer who prayed and fasted every day for God to give him a good crop. We can purchase more at a better price. and finances. (I Timothy 5:8).” A man can pray. we have won half the battle. Hassles. Disunity leads to poverty. “Stop praying and plant the seeds I gave you. arguments. After about a month of this. he noticed that nothing was growing in his field. fast. The Scripture says. When we learn how to deal with people. The Apostle Paul tells us that a man who won’t work to take care of his family is “worse than an infidel. tension and stress can be avoided if men first of all learn how to forgive one another and trust God. 7. But if we are joined to a thousand people who each have one dollar. Therefore. We have bargaining power. resources. He would wake up at 9:00 each morning. Laziness is one of the prime causes of poverty. God replied. Laziness He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich. If we have one dollar we can’t do very much with it. “A cord of three is better than one!” A person doesn’t even have to be born again to understand this principle. believe in God.” an unbeliever. He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame [Proverbs 10:4-5]. pray until noon and then go back to sleep. have faith. Unity paves the way to a realm of prosperity. An unbeliever does not place faith in the promises of God.54 Breaking the Spirit of Poverty can do greater things through uniting our time. a man who doesn’t add works to his faith is worse than a man who doesn’t even acknowledge God or His Word.
It is much easier for God to maneuver and direct a moving target. they are going to have to get up from that lazy seat. So encourage people to get up and move! . He must put action to his faith. but He does expect them to start! The steering wheel of a car becomes useful only when the car is moving.The Road Signs of Poverty 55 until he gets up and plants the seed (corresponding action) he’ll never get a crop. and start today! God doesn’t expect individuals to complete a major project in one day. Faith does not become living faith until it does something! If men are to accomplish anything that is profitable.
Chapter VI I THE EFFECTS OF POVERTY 57 .
Jesus said. This has been one of the primary causes of tension between races.. many have placed themselves in deep debt in order to help meet those basic needs. This is one of the primary reasons that the black community many times seems at odds with what they call “white society. racial tension builds. especially when this philosophy has already been inflicted upon one race of people by another. hostilities are rekindled. This is common in most low-income areas. while many whites in this generation no longer feel a moral obligation to ease this inequality. There is a sense of well-being when food. The repayment of those debts becomes a need. God recognizes these basic needs. Although we know that poverty is a plight of all races. When people are unable to fulfill their basic needs. clothing.W ithin man is the natural desire to have his basic needs met.. Many blacks blame whites for their economic situation.. When these basic needs go unfulfilled people have a tendency to become frustrated and fearful.” (Matthew 6:8).” Slavery is recalled. the percentage of povertystricken people is higher among Blacks and Hispanics in 59 . When the cry for help is ignored. No man wants to feel less than any other human being. “. This adds pressure. they begin to search for reasons why. and shelter are provided.. In addition to this. and the cry for help goes out. Your heavenly Father knoweth what things ye have need of.
Although there was a great deal of suffering and injustice. This spirit of poverty is carried over into the church. For some reason or other. we do so because we expect it to end at some point in the future. When we endure suffering. Why? Well. deliverance and prosperity for the future. much of the preaching and teaching began to center around the acceptance of suffering rather than the endurance of suffering. if we are to accept the will of God. still these messages gave an enslaved people hope for freedom. we must accept poverty and second-class citizenship in the human race. or live in substandard conditions. whenever . my brethren. This is not what the Bible teaches. As time went on. That discovery prompted me to do a little research. Faith was the primary element that enabled our ancestors to endure the humiliation of slavery and still keep some sense of dignity. let alone found a world outreach ministry. The Word of God does not teach us to accept suffering —but to endure suffering. I found that preaching during the slave era carried powerful overtones of faith and hope. I’m sure you’ve heard many sermons and teachings on how we as Christians must be content to be sick. These concepts may seem related. The majority of predominantly black congregations struggle to pay rent and utilities costs. men have linked holiness or a relationship with God to a lifetime of suffering. “why” is a question that I believe can be answered through history. poor. Therefore. I recently learned that my greatgreat-grandfather was a preacher during the slave era. The Apostle James wrote: Consider it wholly joyful. but they are quite different.60 Breaking the Spirit of Poverty America.
lacking in nothing [James 1:1-4. People won’t have what they don’t have the means to get. and lack of education. Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience.” If faith comes by hearing God’s words (victorious words) then fear and doubt come by hearing satan’s words (defeated words). and hearing by the Word of God. 3. job discrimination. “Faith comes by hearing. “Take heed what you hear. so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects]. doubt. debt. low incomes.” Romans 10:17 says. but things to endure and overcome! We must see the end of our faith. But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work. The Church is people who operate in a common idea of faith. The Church is not a building or organization.The Effects of Poverty 61 you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations. And when the . For too long people have been taught to accept the circumstances of home evictions. People will not give what they fear they will not be able to replace. the Church begins to take on these attitudes. So what are the results of poverty thinking in the church? 1. People can’t give what they don’t have. and unbelief are allowed into our personal lives. I believe this is why Jesus said. The Amplified Bible]. 2. Therefore. We must remind people that these are not things to accept. unemployment. When the forces of fear. the Church suffers financially. but people. When the Word of God says “lacking in nothing” it means just that! Lack NO-THING! No man is poor until he accepts poverty within himself.
62 Breaking the Spirit of Poverty Church suffers financially. and financially. God wants people to prosper morally. Jesus said we are to preach the Gospel (good news) to the poor. Again. People must hear that message. even as [I know]your soul keeps well and prospers” (III John 2. I pray that you may prosper in every way and [that your body] may keep well. God wants men to experience overall prosperity. When people are bound by social. when I speak of prosperity. is only a small part of total prosperity. moral and physical poverty. They can get out of it! That’s good news! That’s the good news (Gospel) that the Church must take to the masses of poor people. many people begin to see dollar signs! There is nothing wrong with that. God does desire to prosper His people financially. It is His will that His creation experience prosperity—total prosperity! The Apostle John wrote. contrary to what they may think. The good news to the poor is that they don’t have to be in bondage to poverty. “Beloved. God is very interested in all areas of your life. socially. it will . Financial prosperity. how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him? [Matthew 7:11]. all of these come from the spiritual realm. the spreading of the Gospel suffers. That is the good news that I believe will break the cycle of poverty. For centuries people have been wishing good health and prosperity upon one another. As people are set free from the grips of poverty. being evil know how to give good gifts unto your children. however. trust God and be set free from the cycle of debt. physically. The Amplified Bible). and. they are free to give financially to help spread a powerful message of prosperity to others. Jesus said: If ye then.
even as [I know] your soul keeps well and prospers [III John 2 The Amplified Bible]. Within the Church. If poverty was the way to God. and running over. so that he may be able to give to those in need [Ephesian 4:28.. and spiritual aspects of man. and persuaded to give.. The Apostle Paul said: Let the thief steal no more. community service organizations raise funds for the needy. That’s right! It’s God’s will that people have. exhorted. Giving is a display of love. shaken together.. That’s why the Apostle John wrote: Beloved. your soul prospers. I pray that you may prosper in every way and [that your body] may keep well.. but rather let him be industrious. pressed down. But tell me.. . The Amplified Bible]. good measure. Notice the Bible says. why would God expect people to give if they don’t have anything to give? He doesn’t. The concept of giving is dealt with throughout the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.. “. prosper in every way [or in all things].” There is a direct relationship between the material (financial). in order to give.. and [gifts] will be given to you. Today.. The Amplified Bible]. Throughout the New Testament we are encouraged. even as. But He didn’t.The Effects of Poverty 63 ultimately show up in the financial area. will they pour into [the pouch formed by] the bosom [of your robe and used as a bag]. physical. Jesus certainly would have said so. Jesus spoke about the position we are to take. it is a display of love unto our Lord. Whenever a man chooses to come into relationship with God. [Luke 6:38. He tells us to give! Give. making an honest living with his own hands.. prosperity comes along with the package! Poverty is not a part of God’s plan for our lives.
but a surplus or an overflow to be able to aid others. God did not create us to be beggars. but suppliers! . We should not have just enough to meet our basic needs.... that he may be able.64 Breaking the Spirit of Poverty Notice the phrase “.” God’s will is that we have..
Chapter VII II GOD IS NOT THE PROBLEM 65 .
. he heard the preacher. 10:10). we would realize that God is not the problem. saying. somebody is going to tell him that God loves him.. “God has seen fit to take this woman home to heaven. whom he loved.. he is a liar. If we would take more time investigating the Bible.. standing behind the coffin that held the remains of his mother. Even I would have a hard time believing that a God who would take my mother when I needed her most really loved me. Job: The Real Story 67 . The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. His name is satan! Jesus described him very accurately. but for to steal. He said.” “The thief cometh not. and to kill and to destroy: I am come that they might have life. There is another person at work.T he story is told about a six-year-old boy at his mother’s funeral. had left him alone.. GOD IS NOT THE PROBLEM. and the father of it. “. As the boy sat through the funeral service.. At some time in his later years. and somehow God was responsible. your father the devil. He was not pondering the theological implications or looking for the love of God between lines. confused and with tears of grief in his tiny eyes. and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 8:44. All he knew was that his mother.” I can imagine what was going through that young child’s mind.
that there is none like him on the earth. I had heard of You [only] by the hearing of the ear. Satan tried to get God to afflict Job. It originated with satan. and his possessions have increased in the land Put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has. Therefore I . The Amplified Bible]. one who [reverently] fears God and abstains from and shuns evil [because it is wrong]? Then Satan answered the Lord. The Amplified Bible]. God wouldn’t harm Job. “But put forth Thine hand now. This fire didn’t come from God. and I alone have escaped to tell you [Job 1:16. on every side? You have conferred prosperity and happiness upon him in the work of his hands. The servant attributed it to God since it came from the sky. Let’s look at the book of Job. This was Job’s belief. And the Lord said to Satan. and he shall curse Thee to Thy face. and touch all that he hath.” God wouldn’t do it! Let’s go on a little further: While he was yet speaking. and he will curse You to Your face [Job 1:8-11. Have you considered My servant Job.68 Breaking the Spirit of Poverty I believe we need to clear up that misunderstanding about “the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away” once and for all. there came also another and said. not what really happened. Job voiced his belief that God sent this destruction. a blameless and upright man. Does Job [reverently] fear God for nothing? Have You not put a hedge about him and his house and all that he has. The fire of God (lightning) has fallen from the heavens and has burned up the sheep and the servants and consumed them. but now my [spiritual] eye sees You.
whom Satan has kept bound.. you are released from your infirmity! Then He laid [His] hands on her and instantly she was made straight. Job eventually changed his mind about how God operated. Unfortunately. Woman.” If God had put that woman . This is a lie. Many believe God takes money from the poor people to teach them how to be holy and righteous. Money has nothing to do with the absence or presence of holiness and righteousness. a daughter of Abraham. this belief about an angry God has been over-emphasized and perpetuated throughout the Church for years. said to the crowd. and she recognized and thanked and praised God. so come on those days and be cured. whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen years. saying.. He called [her to Him] and said to her. He said. The Amplified Bible].God is Not the Problem 69 loathe [my words] and abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes [Job 42:5-6.. it was Job’s belief about God. She was bent completely forward and utterly unable to straighten herself up or to look upward And when Jesus saw her. There are six days on which work ought to be done. You play actors (hypocrites)! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or his donkey from the stall and lead it out to water it? And ought not this woman. The Amplified Bible]. Jesus diagnosed her problem. But the Lord replied to him. To believe that is to believe a lie of satan. This woman was crippled to the point that she could not stand erect. indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath. ".. But the leader of the synagogue. It was not God. and not on the Sabbath day. be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day? [Luke 13:11-16. Luke wrote: And there was a woman there who for eighteen years had had an infirmity caused by a spirit (a demon of sickness).
. When Jesus’ disciples asked Him to teach them to pray.” The reason that many of us never receive is because we doubt that we will receive. Jesus. When people are brought to the realization that poverty is not some holy will of God. they are free to resist it and trust God for prosperity.. God is not your problem. “When you pray.. Jesus said over and over.. The world system is based on money.. Sickness and poverty is of satan and not of God. but rather let him labor. Jesus never went against the will of His Father. would undo His Father’s work? Of course not. it takes money to spread the Gospel. Notice again the phrase “. which is His will. When we realize that God is not against. Faith will liberate you! . working with his hands what is good. Believe that you receive! This is asking in faith! As Jesus said on many occasions. believe that you receive.70 Breaking the Spirit of Poverty in that position. We are able to go to God in the confidence that He is willing and eager to meet even our financial needs. that he may have something to give him who has need [Ephesians 4:28. “Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. one of the statements Jesus made was.” The Gospel (good news) of Jesus Christ must be spread throughout the world. “Your faith has made you well!” Faith will make you whole. that he may have something to give. He would have been going against the will of His Father. Therefore.” Is there any sickness or poverty in heaven? No! God wants his heavenly will to be performed in earth. If He had. but for prosperity.. The Apostle Paul says: Let him who stole steal no longer. then we begin to pray differently. NKJV]. do you think that His Son.
Chapter VIII THE FOUNDATION OF OUR PROVIDENCE III 71 .
but it is at least an observation. yet for your sakes He became [so very] poor. They don’t become that doctor or lawyer. etc. yet for your sakes he became poor. the fantasy stimulating—but then comes reality. wondering what it will be like after college or trade school.L ike most people. Everybody at times dreams about becoming a doctor. Now let’s read this same verse from the Amplified Bible: For you are becoming progressively acquainted with and recognizing more strongly and clearly the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ (His kindness. that ye through His poverty might be rich [II Corinthians 8:9]. I have made a very interesting observation. birthline. Prosperity begins with knowing how God has dealt with poverty. [in] that though He was [so very] rich. though he was rich. His gracious generosity. Prosperity does not begin with college. This knowledge will set people free. I’ve pondered the benefits of jobs and careers that promise to produce the greatest monetary gain. It may not be a very profound observation. a lawyer. The dreams are great. or a recording artist. The Apostle Paul wrote: For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. that. Young people daydream. in 73 . a professional athlete. His undeserved favor and spiritual blessing). They find they can’t even sing! They become frustrated and then complacent.
so the writer paralleled this with an earthly word: wealth.” God exchanged the life of His own Son in order to provide a way for man to enjoy fellowship with Him. For by him were all things created. visible and invisible. the King of Glory. or dominions. and that are in earth. or principalities. The gold and silver of heaven has no trade value because there is no buying or selling in heaven. Jesus. the wealth of heaven is merely a reflection of His own grandeur.. Even though Jesus left the surroundings of heaven.74 Breaking the Spirit of Poverty order that by His poverty you might become enriched (abundantly supplied). who was rich. Before He came to this earth. He considers His creation valuable—especially man! John 3:16 tells us that "God so loved the world that He gave. God. So the phrase “He became poor” cannot mean that Jesus became financially poor. Scripture is written in such a way that man may understand it in relation to his own world. that are in heaven. became poor. is not involved in the materialistic values of man. He still was not poor. or powers: all things were created by him. Scripture reveals that Jesus . Jesus. and by Him all things consist [Colossians 1:16-17]. But the wealth of heaven is not based on a monetary system. Man places value based on what others consider valuable. whether they be thrones. He was the Creator of heaven and earth.. and for him: And he is before all things. I did not say that God does not consider anything valuable. we can assume that man is of value to God. Because of this ultimate gift. God is the Source of all providence. It is hard for man to understand this in human terms. was surrounded by the wealth of heaven. however. Jesus left a life of “no limits” to identify with limited man. Since He is the Source. On the contrary.
Paraphrasing James 2:5. When money for taxes was needed. The Scriptures plainly tell us that Jesus frequently visited houses of friends and converts. He came teaching men to live dependent on God as Source. I personally believe the miracle of the “Great Fish Catch” in Luke 5 was used to provide their families with financial support while they were away. another life-style. This couldn’t mean that Jesus had nowhere to sleep. but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head [Matthew 8:20]. and Jesus certainly would not leave the families of His disciples without a means of financial support while the disciples followed Him for three years. Jesus came showing and teaching men how to live independent of the world’s financial system. Jesus was merely pointing out to his would-be followers the importance of priority and motivation. This is entered into by faith. another supply. . and the birds of the air have nests. Jesus did not look to earth’s financial system as the source of supply. Also there was an incident where Jesus told a man: The foxes have holes. There were also supporters who financially contributed to His earthly ministry (read Luke 8:2-3). So what is being said? Jesus became poor to this world’s system. we find that: God has chosen the poor (bankrupt to this world system) of this world to be rich (wealthy through God’s system). In other words. Faith unlocks God’s supply.The Foundation of Our Providence 75 and his disciples had a treasury. Many of the disciples had families. This entire verse deals with living according to another source. the scriptures tell us that Jesus told Peter to get the money out of the mouth of a fish.
we have received the same providence.76 Breaking the Spirit of Poverty Mankind was redeemed from the curse of poverty to the blessings of God! But this redemption means nothing if people don’t use their dominion. brought death to many through his sin.. and from thence it was parted.. through Jesus Christ. caused death to be king over all. but all who will take God’s gift of forgiveness and acquittal are kings of life because of this one man. But this one man. while Christ freely takes away many sins and gives glorious life instead. Adam. Adam was not to lack anything! Isn’t that just like a father! Now. [Romans 5:15-17. And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight. For this one man. They must take their rightful possession. The Apostle Paul says: . Jesus Christ. Adam. “to rule in every area upon which your feet walk. Man was created to be prosperous in all areas. the tree of life also in the midst of the garden. And a river went out of Eden to water the garden. The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah. TLB]. And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden. Can you see it? God’s Word states that man has the channel in which to prosper in all ways! He is redeemed . Notice in the Word how God had made some fantastic provisions for Adam. where there is gold. [Genesis 2:8-11 ].” Man was created to be in control while under God’s control. the second Adam. and there he put the man whom he had formed. The sin of this one man. Adam’s one sin brought the penalty of death to many. and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. and good for food. and became into four heads. In other words. brought forgiveness to many through God's mercy. To “take dominion” means to tread down. Jesus Christ.
It is designed to protect everybody. It becomes man’s instrument of poverty when you violate its principles. Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store. You wouldn’t blame the city for the accident. And the Lord shall make thee plenteous in goods. and the fruit of thy cattle. and in all that thou settest thine hand unto. to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day. and thou shalt not borrow. would you? Of course not. and blessed shalt thou be in the field.. The Lord shall open unto thee his good treasure. and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations. Let me expand this thought using an illustration I gave in an earlier chapter: It is law that all cars stop when a traffic light turns red. The Lord shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses. And it shall come to pass. and the fruit of thy ground. The traffic law is good within itself. that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: And all these blessings shall come on thee. Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body. getting a traffic ticket. Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out. in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers to give thee.. and the flocks of thy sheep. and He shall bless thee in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. and in the fruit of thy ground. in the fruit of thy body.. and in the fruit of thy cattle. I didn’t say it! The Bible says that believers are redeemed from the curse of the law. if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God. the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season. the increase of thy kine.. . crashing your car.The Foundation of Our Providence 77 from the curse. Blessed shalt thou be in the city. So it is with spiritual law. or even losing your life. you run the risk of having an accident. and overtake thee. If you violate that law and proceed through that traffic light. It only becomes an instrument of adversity when you violate its operation. if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God.
Breaking the Spirit of Poverty
And the Lord shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the Lord thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them [Deuteronomy 28:1-6, 8, 11-13].
Notice verse 12: “Thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow.” The other side of the coin is found in Deuteronomy 28:15-68:
But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statues which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee: Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field. Cursed shall be thy basket and thy store. Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. Cursed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and cursed shalt thou be when thou goest out.... Thou shalt carry much seed out into the field, and shalt gather but little in; for the locust shall consume it. Thou shalt plant vineyards, and dress them, but shalt neither drink of the wine, nor gather the grapes; for the worms shall eat them. Thou shalt have olive trees throughout all thy coasts, but thou shalt not anoint thyself with the oil; for thine olive shall cast his fruit. Thou shalt beget sons and daughters, but thou shalt not enjoy them; for they shall go into captivity. All thy trees and fruit of thy land shall the locust consume. The stranger that is within thee shall get up above thee very high; and thou shalt come down very low. He shall lend to thee, and thou shalt not lend to him: he shall be the head, and thou shalt be the tail [Deuteronomy 28:15-19, 38-44].
Without Jesus Christ living His life through us,
The Foundation of Our Providence
believers cannot possibly keep this law. Without Him the ability isn’t there. To turn away from God leaves finances in an accursed state.
Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return? Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation [Malachi 3:7-9].
Cured of the Curse
The Apostle Paul gave great insight relating to the reversal of the curse through Jesus Christ. The Word says, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree” (Galatians 3:13). What was the tree? It was the cross of Calvary. When Jesus was nailed to the cross at Calvary, He became the essence of the curse itself! He literally took the curse of the Law (penalty of violating the law) in His own body. We know that the curse included sin, sickness, disease, eternal punishment and a multitude of other things. But guess what? It also included poverty! Hallelujah! Jesus also took poverty. The principles that promote it died on Calvary with Him! Why did He do it? What would be the benefits?
That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith [Galatians 3:14].
What is the “blessing [prosperous state] of Abraham”?
And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will
Breaking the Spirit of Poverty
bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed [Genesis 12:2-3]. And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee [Genesis 17:6-7].
What is a Gentile? It is a non-Jew or one considered to be alienated from the covenant. Therefore, entrance into prosperity was not based upon race, but upon the act of Jesus. This is important. Prosperity is not connected to the color of one’s skin, but to the power and love of God! Praise God! When Jesus Christ is received as Lord and Savior, a man becomes a child of God—an offspring of God! And the Word says:
For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ [Galatians 3:26-27].
To put Christ on is to receive Him and all He has to give. It is to identify with Him, His death, burial and resurrection and all that comes with it and proceeds from it! Notice that verse 28 says:
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
What Christ has given is not based on gender, lineage or material possessions, but on Who we belong to and with
among many other things. let them say continually. Through Jesus Christ something wonderful has taken place. Through Christ man possesses all that God promised to Abraham! He is Abraham’s spiritual seed! He is Abraham’s heir! (In position for an inheritance!) And that inheritance. Look at them! Hear them! Feed on them! They are life! Only be thou strong and very courageous. Promises God has provided us with so many promises. Promises. then are ye Abraham's seed. includes financial prosperity. Let the Lord be magnified. Here I’ve listed a few of many thousands emphasizing the references to prosperity. and be glad. that bringeth forth his fruit in his season. Promises. that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law. And if ye be Christ's. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth. but thou shalt meditate therein day and night. that thou mayest PROSPER withersoever thou goest. which hath pleasure in the PROSPERITY of his servant [Psalm 35:27]. which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left. Let them shout for joy. and heirs according to the promise [verse 29]. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water. and then thou shalt have good success [Joshua 1:7-8].The Foundation of Our Providence 81 whom we identify. that favour my righteous cause: yea. his . that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way PROSPEROUS.
nor memorial. and according to the commandment of Cyrus. [Ezra 6:14]. so shall ye PROSPER [II Chronicles 20:20]. And they builded. and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem. and Artaxerxes. And they rose early in the morning. according to the commandment of the God of Israel. O Judah. and they must be taught! . God has given these promises of prosperity through Jesus Christ. king of Persia. And the elders of the Jews builded. so shall ye be established believe His prophets. in Jerusalem [Nehemiah 2:20]. The God of heaven. Then answered I them.82 Breaking the Spirit of Poverty leaf also shall not wither. but we must receive them. Jehoshaphat stood and said. Believe in the Lord your God. and finished it. But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus [Philippians 4:19]. and said unto them. nor right. and they PROSPERED through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth. Hear me. he will PROSPER us. and Darius. He has given them. therefore we his servants will arise and build: but ye have no portion. and whatsoever he doeth shall PROSPER [Psalm 1:3].
Chapter IX IV THE UNSEEN FORCE 83 .
I searched for a clue in Scripture. Faith is the unseen force.P overty is the offspring of fear. Throughout the Bible. At one time. the fear of being inadequate. and rent a building. all his creative energies are stifled. [Hebrews 11:1]. the fear of being unqualified. I believed that if I had some extra money. The only problem was that I didn’t think I had anything to start with! I was even afraid of losing the little that I had. God is not a God who responds to fear. Fear counters productivity.” As long as there is fear. When a man is bound by fear. and the fear of not having security in the future. I wondered where and how I could start with nothing. He responds to faith. I came to the conclusion that the money wasn’t coming (at least not that way). Jesus spent a lot of time telling His followers to “fear not. I would really have it made as far as building a congregation. I had it all planned. print up some flyers. There is the fear of not having enough. I knew then that I would have to start with what I had. I would buy some radio and television time. This fear can be seen in the lives of many today. I finally realized from 85 . As time passed. I daydreamed about this often. the fear of rejection. the evidence of things not seen. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for. God cannot move on your behalf. So I waited a little longer. God was constantly dealing with the fears of men.
No hopes." This was the beginning of her faith..” and faith was that substance. words.” She heard about His works.. and hearing by the word of God [Romans 10:17]. My only starting substance was faith. She now had hope. “If only I may touch His clothes. “When she heard of Jesus. I shall be made well. “When she heard about Jesus. I shall be made well. faith cometh by hearing. acted on her faith by going to Jesus. she said. She had spent all that she had and was no better. I had to start believing that something could be done.” I could begin with “the substance of things hoped for. “She had spent all that she had and was no better. faith! I noticed the words “substance.” Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up.. she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. for she said. and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction [Mark 5:25-29 NKJV]. and had suffered many things from many physicians.86 Breaking the Spirit of Poverty Hebrews 11:1 that faith was the beginning. but rather grew worse. she was getting worse! She had no substance. no dreams. What happened to her? Verse 27 says. and now no money! On top of that." This woman was at the bottom of the barrel. According to verse 28. Remember the account of the woman who had a disease that caused her to hemorrhage? The scripture says: Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years.. then.. “If only I may touch His clothes. Notice verse 26. Jesus said to her (verse 34): .” Faith was now coming alive inside of her! She. and miracles.. When she heard about Jesus. but rather grew worse. but it was not enough. Faith? Yes. .
Beginning to Use the Faith Force . Faith enables men to see past poverty and lay hold of prosperity —through God’s promises. This understanding only comes through faith. It is how God operates. There are many potential sources of prosperity around us. You can sit in an automobile all day. but unless the key is put in the ignition and turned... What made her well? Her faith. Her faith! Her faith! Although she had spent all she had. NKJV]. so the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible [Hebrews 11:3. The other world is seen through the eyes of faith. but how do they work? How will they benefit people? There is a lack of understanding concerning how things work.The Unseen Force 87 Daughter. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God. The greatest excuse that can be given is that there isn’t anything to start with. The same is true when we deal with the things of God. But suppose you had never seen a car. but there is! There is faith! Faith will always get the attention of God. you will never operate the car. faith became her substance. get understanding. you would never put the key in the ignition because you would not understand how an automobile works. Putting the key in the ignition is a simple task. and be healed of your affliction. Suppose you had never heard of a car. In that case. Understanding the Faith Force Proverbs 4:7 says: . your faith has made you well Go in peace. and with all thy getting.
. If He says something. not cursed them. Man shall not live by bread alone. But promises mean nothing unless someone acts on these promises through faith. The Apostle Paul said: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. . God’s Word is life. but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God We live by the Word of God. If you knew me as a man of my word. there would be no reason for your not being there— especially if I promised to give you a car! (You would probably be there two hours early!) Your receiving a car would depend on your faith in my word to meet you at 12 noon. God has been trying to tell men that He has blessed them. He means it! In Matthew 4. what was Jesus’ reply to satan when he tempted Him to turn stones into bread? . God is a Person of His word. For centuries.. God has given over seven thousand promises. Who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. God is committed to his children’s prosperity—in all areas.88 Breaking the Spirit of Poverty Suppose I made an appointment to meet with you Saturday at 12 noon. promises that He intends to keep. It’s the same with God’s promises.
Chapter X V THE POWER TO PERFORM 89 .
It was not until God said. but never proceeded any further with it? Probably many times. This creation came forth out of the midst of chaos and confusion. and darkness was upon the face of the very great deep. fashioned. but still not actually create. “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3) that the potential creative power began to perform the act of creation. From this point. It is possible to have the power to be creative. Verse two of that same chapter says: The earth was without form and an empty waste. You forgot about it—only to be reminded of it when someone else publicly unveiled it and made millions of dollars! Then you said. and) created the heavens and the earth [The Amplified Bible]. The Spirit of God was moving (hovering. This. brooding) over the face of the waters. God began to create the principle elements of this earth by His spoken Word. is what is holding many in the chains of poverty. They have the creative ideas. but 91 . So the creative power was there all the time.H ow many times have you had an idea. formed. Along with the chaos and confusion. I believe. Genesis 1:1 says: In the beginning God (prepared. “Why didn’t I do it when I had the chance?” That’s the question! Why? God is the Author of all creative acts. there was “the Spirit of God moving upon the face of the deep” (Genesis 1:2).
man does not have the ultimate creative power that is resident in God. in essence... which a man took. The Apostle Paul wrote: And [so that you can know and understand] what is the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His power in and for us who believe. the deposit. than he that is in the world [I John 4:4]. Timothy. that if a man takes the Word (the deposit) and plants it within himself. we have the creative power of God within us. and sowed in his field [Matthew 13:31]. writing to his young protege. Jesus mentioned in His parable about the Kingdom that: The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed. The Apostle John wrote: Ye are of God. We know that the seed is the Word and that the soil (ground) is the heart (innermost being) of man. We only have that power in limited measure. The Amplified Bible]. little children. and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you. as demonstrated in the working of His mighty strength.92 Breaking the Spirit of Poverty they do not know how to bring them into physical reality. told him to “. although the measure is limited. The creative power of God is within you..” (I Timothy 6:20)... That’s right! If we are believers. Which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His [own] right hand in the heavenly [places] [Ephesians 1:19-20. Guard. God put it there! Of course. it’s going to develop and expand! .. Jesus said. it is still there! The Apostle Paul. But.
It expands to permeate the things beyond its place of origin. I produced the layout and was compensated within seven days. the remark was made that we didn’t have a brochure.The Power to Perform 93 Hebrews 12:9 tells us that God is the Father of Spirits. I couldn’t receive the commissions fast enough to pay the outstanding bills. This is where God works—through the spirit of man. the spirit will ultimately give birth. Even if I sold more. while I was on the phone with a customer. He said it would cost him hundreds of dollars just to call in an advertising layout man. When the spirit of man is pregnant with the creative force of God (the Word). and we needed some extra money. The leaven caused an expansion of the elements. The money I received was enough to pay our bills! I must admit this was hard work and caused some . Jesus also said: The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven which a woman took. and hid in three measures of meal. I realized then that I was losing money because of lack of information. but at 1/3 the cost! That meant long hours of overtime. I was doing the best I could in sales. I volunteered to do the same work. Let me give you an example: During the first year of the founding of our church. One day. I worked as a computer supply salesman. The creativity of God in the believer is like this. My family was going through a financial challenge. till the whole was leavened [Matthew 13:33]. For years I had done the artwork and layout for our ministry brochures and ads. He accepted my offer. she would have bought them from us. I went to my employer and relayed the need. My customer said that if she had known we sold certain items. but I was willing to pay the price.
the creative idea and the accomplishing of that idea. But when the blade was sprung up. The word “perform” comes from a Greek word meaning “to accomplish. and shaken together. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again Why don’t we capitalize on our ideas and bring them into physical reality? The Apostle Paul wrote: For I know that nothing good dwells within me. shall men give into your bosom. The Word produces an attitude of giving. Isn’t it ironic that just when fruit is about to be produced. good measure. then appeared the tares also [Matthew 13:24-26].] [Romans 7:18. circumstances come to try to prevent the .” In other words. but no power to carry it out. and it shall be given unto you. his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat. Jesus knew this and relayed it to the people. and brought forth fruit. that poverty first plants its seeds. But it all started from a creative idea! I believe this idea came as a result of the Word of God inside of me.94 Breaking the Spirit of Poverty sleepless nights. and went his way. but I cannot perform it [I have the intention and urge to do what is right. and running over. The Amplified Bible]. in my flesh). I can will what is right. The weeds appeared during the time that the seed was producing fruit. (that is. we are talking about accomplishing what we will or desire to do! It is in between these two areas. pressed down. Luke 6:38 says: Give. He said: The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept.
If satan can stop believers at this point. We must encourage our people more at this point. No matter how many ideas we have or how much education (know-how) we possess. they will never be able to know what God could have done with the idea.The Power to Perform 95 harvest? Jesus said this was going to happen. The Apostle Paul wrote to the Philippian church saying: I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus [Philippians 3:14]. procrastination. social stigma. they will see the results of the harvest. Many within black and impoverished communities have allowed poverty to begin to breed at this point. but this is where leadership comes in. claim them. we can live our entire lives without ever accomplishing anything. laziness. We must tell men that merely to quote scriptures. If we can get believers beyond this point. pray one hour and then sit back is not enough! We must tell them that there will be difficult times.” This power counteracts satanic power. Even though God fills His believers with the creative power of His Word. if faith is not present. If I know this. The “Force of Faith” or the “Power to Perform” is a must in order to transform creative ideas into physical realities. I believe. .” This indicates a pushing. Notice the word “press. This. and confusion. satan also plants seeds of doubt. a straining of all that is within us. inferiority. is where God intends us to exercise the “Force of Faith” or what I call “The Power to Perform. I will be the first to admit that this is easier said than done. I can make a determination to “push forward” in spite of these things. This is crucial. but arm them with the promises of God that assure them that they will get through these difficult impasses.
I was an office supply salesman and Sandra worked in a daycare center. and give offerings. But we saw with the eyes of faith! Faith became our “Power to Perform. and truth will endure throughout the passage of time! Hang your faith on God’s Word. only to find out that they didn’t provide enough to cover our present bills—let alone get out of debt! We continued to pray. Your faith will liberate you.96 Breaking the Spirit of Poverty I’ll never forget when Sandra and I decided to get out of debt. and God gave us the wisdom to manage our money. Satan is a liar. and get into the flow of what God wanted to do! Faith will get you through the pressures of the enemy. It looked as if we would never catch up. To our natural eye it looked as if there was no hope. God’s Word is truth. tithe. hear the voice of God. Abundant Life Cathedral was a young church and could not financially support us. We would anticipate our upcoming paychecks. .” It gave us the energy to search for creative ways to get out of debt. but God’s Word is true! A lie has short legs and will ultimately run out.
Chapter XI VI STEPPING OUT OF POVERTY 97 .
He is specific about His Word. We have been preached a message of “maybe and maybe not.. “in His name” means “in His authority. Therefore. I don’t like to give formulas because all formulas don’t work for all people. they shall lay hands on the sick.” But God is a God of specifics. In my name shall they cast out devils. Step Number 1—Put Poverty in Its Rightful Position Jesus gave us something.. But there are some basic scriptural steps that everyone can use to walk out of poverty.” This does not mean using the name of Jesus as some magical word. the conditions for receiving promises can vary with each individual. On the contrary. Jesus has given us authority. and about His care for them. about the believers’ life. “In my name. Religion has taught us this. I remember a boy named Arthur from elementary 99 .T he poverty cycle must be broken. Each person always has a different set of values...” We have that authority. It seems to many as if God has left us in this world to fall victim to the vicious forces of this world’s system. He said: . but we must apply it—use it! Too often we are persuaded to feel that we have no choices in life. and they shall recover [Mark 16:17].
nor feel ashamed of their present occupations. When people recognize that the devil has been defeated. we had . I finally decided to put a stop to it. a daughter. Arthur was so threatening that I would hide behind trees or cross over to the other side of the street just to avoid him. milk. Everyone was afraid of Arthur —myself included." They are then encouraged to stop running and hiding. Over a period of time this became very inconvenient. and many other things that we needed. I was determined to face Arthur the next time our paths crossed. diapers. It is here that the believer must trust the power of God to manifest itself in the sphere of conquering. There will always be initial conflict when a person chooses to change habits that have been forged over the years. On top of that. our paths did cross. and a son on the way. Before long.100 Breaking the Spirit of Poverty school. however. Well. We had no medical insurance or any other source of income. To this day I’m not sure who won that fight. clothes. I had a wife. they no longer hide from him or the areas he has affected. This is what authority does. Arthur was a bully. but from that moment on I never let the presence of Arthur dictate the course of my life. I never crossed a street I didn’t want to cross or delay myself by hiding behind a tree. ninety dollars a week! Even with such a low income. We had a fight. somehow I was approved for credit cards! We used those cards to finance a baby bed. I remember the first church that I pastored. People will no longer hide from creditors. the Word says they’re “more than a conqueror. There will be conflict here. my starting salary was ninety dollars a week! Yes. Conquering what? Learning to conquer the habitual as well as the physical and spiritual results of poverty. They realize that regardless of what their bank account says.
the Word of God demands that believers break free. It was on that day that Sandra and I sat down. the problem was us! Jesus said: For whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it [Matthew 16:25]. we cut them up! Now. For years that credit report followed us like a hound dog chasing a raccoon! We eventually cleared everything up (I think!) and started again. But I’ll never forget the day we experienced the conquering power of Jesus Christ. took authority over our spending habits. fought the urge to use credit and cut up our charge cards! Yes. The problem wasn’t the credit cards. I have one now.Stepping Out of Poverty 101 formed a habit of depending upon plastic. As a matter of fact. And we never charge more than we are able to pay off each month. And he promises to provide for those needs. Drastic circumstances demanded drastic measures. But His promises are contingent . I must be honest with you. What are some of the things that control people and keep them in poverty? Is it credit cards? An overextended life-style? A drive to live out financial fantasies? Habitual borrowing? Slothfulness in paying bills? Well. whatever is in control. and those habits had to be broken. admit our mistake and turn from the direction in which we were going. My point is that at the time our financial life-style exceeded our ability to pay for it. We had formed some bad habits. this habit almost financially ruined us! Did I say almost? Well. Over the years. God knows the needs of His people. it did ruin us! It took us several years to get out of credit card debt and to clear our names on various credit reports. We had to face up to our problem. I am not a cut-up-allthe-credit-cards-and-never-use-one-for-the-rest-of-your-life fanatic.
and declare. Poverty has a rightful position. saith the Lord of hosts. habits. fight. Jesus has given me victory over you!” This is where they must start. I take my stand against you and refuse to let you take a stand against me. and I will return unto you. Jesus said: But seek ye first [or aim at] the kingdom of God.102 Breaking the Spirit of Poverty upon certain conditions. He has rejected God’s declared life-style. Malachi 3:7 says: Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances. I vividly remember the atmosphere of the worship service during the offering. poverty." How was Israel suppose to return? Verse 8 says: . God was saying.. “Finances. we will begin to see great financial progress. But ye said. We must teach God’s people to stand tall. This was the reason for Israel’s poverty. and have not kept them. and all these things shall be added unto you [Matthew 6:33].. It was as if God had taken a fifteen-minute recess and walked out of the service! We must be reminded that giving is one of God’s steps out of poverty. and his righteousness. debt. I grew up in the Church. Right out of the lives of God’s people! Step Number 2—Acknowledge the Source Through Giving Like some of you. “Return to me. As we encourage families and individuals to look at their life-styles and not be afraid to make necessary changes. Wherein shall we return? Man has walked away from God. Return unto me.
Israel was guilty of robbing God. Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. “What if I can’t afford to tithe?” We must remind believers that God taught Israel about giving in the midst of their poverty. and the reinstitution of the system of tithes and offerings was the only way back.” So where does the ability to make money come from? It comes from God! Therefore. that there shall not be room enough to receive it [Malachi 3:9-10]. The tithe and offering is to come out of the income first! From the TOP! This giving from the top acknowledges God as Lord of your finances. as far as national and individual prosperity was concerned. The question will be asked. What? Tithes and offerings get us back to God? Yes. saith the Lord of hosts. and pour you out a blessing. even this whole nation. Notice the word “power.. When this is done. But ye say. to deny God first access to finances is to place other things in front of Him. Proverbs 3:9 says: Honor the Lord with thy substance.Stepping Out of Poverty 103 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. you walk under the system of blessing—not cursing. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me. if I will not open you the windows of heaven. and prove me now herewith. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse. Tell them they .” It comes from the Hebrew word meaning “ability. that there may be meat in mine house.. Deuteronomy 8:18a says: But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth. and with the firstfruits of all thine increase.
. Questions are being raised as never before. The Apostle Paul says: The love of money is the root of all evil.104 Breaking the Spirit of Poverty can’t afford not to! We must have strength. and ideas that I believe will cause people to climb out of poverty if they will apply them. We must return the principle of the tithe and offering enthusiastically back into the life-style of God’s people. ability and energy to make money. “Yes. “Yes.” This is what we must do. do you believe that tithes and offerings are the way through which God provides for His people?” I responded by saying. ideas. I do. There has been a great concern over the financial resources of religious organizations. We must teach God’s method of financial release with assurance.. He asked me. concepts. Throughout this book. These come from God. I have related some principles. “Do you really believe that?” I replied. “Pastor.. [I Timothy 6:10]. I remember being challenged by one of the men of our congregation. but for us. I really do!” He then made a statement to me that I have never forgotten. But along with financial prosperity comes the temptation to fall in love with financial success.” He said. The possibility of loving money is always there. “Then never be ashamed to teach it with assurance. He said. We can’t bite the hand that feeds us. God is not against us. Many of these teachings can even be used by the business community to make a lot of money. This has resulted in many church leaders and pastors equivocating on the subject of tithes and offerings.
energy? Then give your tithe to the church where you are planted. Some have asked. but the love of money is. Your tithes and offerings. faith. Are you in a local church? Is that church growing in faith and love? Are you receiving revelation from the Word of God through your church? Is your spirit being fed? Are you growing in ability. Where is the gathering of God’s resources? The Church. This is the Body of Christ on earth. and energy! Out of you comes the potential to get wealth. Many have been confused about this.” The storehouse is where the resources of God are kept. and pour you out a blessing.. It’s in you! Praise God! Step Number 3—Put Feet to Your Faith .. What has helped you to grow must continue to grow. “But what if I don’t have enough to give?” God promised those who gave tithes and offerings that He would: ". ability. open you the windows of heaven. will help the ministry expand and bless others. He infuses you with power. then no matter how much money is made. This is where I believe the tithe comes in.Stepping Out of Poverty 105 Money is not the root of evil. Some divide the tithe and spread it out among different ministries. the attitude will always be one of dependence on God. that there shall not be room enough to receive it. But the Word is very specific: “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse. But wherever Jesus is you’ll find the windows of heaven! God doesn’t drop money out of the sky! He pours it out of the “Windows of Heaven. ideas.” In other words. along with those of others in your local body. family members or various charities. As long as God’s people acknowledge God through the tithe.” For years I thought the windows of heaven were somewhere in the sky.
Breaking the Spirit of Poverty
Let me explain something very interesting about money. Money is acquired through ideas, ability and the exchange of work and energy. For example: if you work for a company at the rate of $5.00 an hour, eight hours a day, your income for one day will be $40.00. Now that $40.00 equals the amount of ideas, ability and work you exchange for one day. Ideas X Ability X Work = Money Allow me to be very candid here. Throughout this book I have been stressing the concepts of ideas and ability. These are the things that God puts inside of the believer. Even the unbeliever has this dynamic duo. But what causes these two powerful forces to activate is work. Yes, work! People must put feet to their faith. They must be encouraged to convert ideas and ability into action! One of the greatest deceptions, one that has caused many people to become frustrated and to give up hope, is the belief that their future depends on a job. Let me stress the importance of not merely looking for a job—but learning to look for work! There is a difference. Most people limit seeking a job to their particular field, their line of experience, a certain salary or their sphere of education. If they don’t find a job in any of these four categories they will give up and wind up in the unemployment line. On the other hand, work is anything that will yield a harvest—regardless of whether it meets a person’s certain qualifications or not. Work is not limited to a certain field of endeavor. Work is just what it says—work! Many times, people will have to take a lower-paying position in order to temporarily make ends meet. God honors this. Take, for example, Ruth: “And Ruth the Moabitess said unto Naomi, Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn after him in whose sight I shall find grace.
Stepping Out of Poverty
And she said unto her, Go, my daughter. And she went, and came, and gleaned in the field after the reapers: and her hap was to light on a part of the field belonging unto Boaz, who was of the kindred of Elimelech” (Ruth 2:2-3). Ruth was unskilled, and inexperienced, and unemployed. If she was going to survive, she knew she had to work. The first job she took was gleaning. As a matter of fact, gleaning was the system that God provided to care for the poor and unemployed.
And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest. And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the Lord your God [Leviticus 19:9-10].
This is the way the system worked: As landowners reaped their harvest, they were forbidden to go back and pick up the grain that their harvesters left behind. It was to be left for the poor. God did not command the landowners to harvest all their crops and give to the poor. He provided a system where the poor could work, therefore retaining the dignity and honor that comes from good, honest labor. Gleaning was backbreaking work. But, if a person stuck to it, it would yield a minimum living. That was God’s welfare system. The people had to work for it. We must encourage people to wake up, get up, stand up, dress up and move out into the work force. They must be exhorted to break out of a workless attitude. They must be encouraged to get up early in the morning, wash their faces, comb their hair, put on clean clothes and go out trusting God to find work, work of any sort until God’s best comes along. Many of our churches should consider providing certain
Breaking the Spirit of Poverty
chores and paying individuals for their work rather than supplying people from a benevolence fund. Of course there will be some situations that are exceptions, but our job is more than to feed the belly; we must feed the spirit and the attitude of displaced people. Men do not work to make money. Money is a result of their work. Work is a stimulus to the dignity of the human being. God knew this. This is why God put Adam in the garden and told him to “keep it,” or cultivate it. There is a satisfaction in working with your hands and seeing the fruit of your labor. Genesis does not say that work is a part of the curse. But working independently of a relationship to the Creator will produce little fruit and rewards. This is the curse. Work without ideas and ability produces little. When a man works with the creativity and ability of God flowing through him, he puts the relationship in its proper perspective. This I believe is the will of God: To work in relationship with our Creator. Are you beginning to see the connection? When we give we are not just giving money, but a portion of our time, ability, ideas, and energy. And since people exchange money for food, clothing, shelter, and the necessities of life, when they give, they are giving a portion of their lives. This is an important point. Money is a part of life.
Step Number 4—Look Beyond the Present Circumstances
There was a point in our lives when Sandra and I couldn’t see past poverty. We were surrounded by reminders of how poor we were. We grew up looking at run-down neighborhoods, riding in cars five or more years old, suffering unemployment because of the economy or
If people need a car. they must see themselves employable and available to work. the closer that car will come to reality! I hear some say. but I don’t believe we need to have our heads in the sky. that he may run that readeth it” (Habakkuk 2:2). I realize that prosperity does not begin on the outside—but within you. I encourage them to see themselves driving one! Start going to car dealerships! Start asking about cars! The greater the image. I believe I’ve seen every species of roach in North America! I refused to live like that again. “Write the vision. I guarantee you.Stepping Out of Poverty 109 racism. I am aware that you can live in a ghetto and be prosperous or live in the most affluent part of town and be poor.00! That’s all we had! Some will say that we were foolish. We don’t think in words. I decided to change our surroundings. (I would not suggest that anyone do this unless you are prepared to stand by your actions. and then hearing the religious teaching that God will make you and keep you poor in order to relate to you. People must have a picture or image of what they want to achieve and where they want to go. If that’s the kind of picture a person is constantly receiving. and make it plain upon tables. God’s Word tells us. But there does come a time when a person must change how they view things. we think in terms of pictures.” Why not? Ephesians . that’s all they’ll achieve. “All that’s fine. Sandra and I had been building our faith for a number of years before this. Even if they’re unemployed. It was time to get a new image! Please don’t misunderstand me.) For four years we had lived in very undesirable conditions. and mismanaging our finances. When Sandra and I first came to Houston we only had about $500. Can you imagine what kind of image (picture) we carried around within us? Not very encouraging. We found a four-bedroom townhouse in a quiet section of town and paid for the first month’s rent—$500.00 in our pockets. presumptuous.
Jesus said unto him. It is written. Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God and him only shalt thou serve [Matthew 4:4. His mission. but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. cast thyself down: for it is written. helping to spread the Gospel (good news) of Jesus Christ. and preaching that . He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up. lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. “And hath raised us up together. and 10]. Jesus identified with tax collectors. And when the tempter came to him.110 Breaking the Spirit of Poverty says. Man shall not live by bread alone.. and made us us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. and 9].” (Ephesians 2:6). and His ability. God sees us as prosperous. This is what God’s people must do. But he answered and said. but declared the image that He already had. He knew satan had no power over Him. Jesus never bowed to the images. This was the secret of His authority. And saith unto him. Satan tried to pervert the image that Jesus had about Himself. Get thee hence. giving to the needy. Jesus identified with what the Word of God said. command that these stones be made bread And saith unto Him. It is written again. If thou be the Son of God. having abundance. Then saith Jesus unto him. prostitutes. All these things will I give thee. 6.. If thou be the Son of God. Satan: for it is written. he said. if thou wilt fall down and worship me [Matthew 4:3. But Jesus never forgot Who He was and where He came from. They must see themselves as God sees them. fishermen and the poorest of the poor. Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. 7.
Many have asked me. “What about multi-level marketing?” Well. Encourage people to look for them! Teach them to allow God to do the directing. Ask these questions: 1. and I have a reason for this. Teach people to see themselves as the Word of God sees them. How well a person does in multi-level marketing depends on how well they sell a product and/or how well they recruit others to duplicate their efforts. Are there other positions available in the company for which you work for that can enable you to expand and grow? 4. multi-level marketing . In my opinion. Most people who begin in this area normally think about going into business. Step Number 5—Try Different Ideas Psalms 1:3 says: . But the best place to start is where you are! Our first business venture is to maximize the job or career we’re in already. multi-level marketing or other variations of these things.Stepping Out of Poverty 111 good news to the poor. and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. Are you performing your job equal to and beyond the employer’s expectations? 3. Do you get to work on time? 2. Most think about part-time jobs. His leaf also shall not wither.. multi-level marketing can range from soap products to weight-loss programs. Are there new and creative ideas that you can contribute to your company? God wants to prosper us right where we are. If we are ever going to prosper at all. Many times the actual vehicles we need are right under our noses.. we have to do something! I want to handle this subject very carefully.
Bible classes and fellowship group meetings. he must do it! In any business there are low times when the business seems to be failing.” you will soon become discouraged.” Many even claimed that their goal was to get rich in order to give to the ministry. but I began to notice that the majority of those involved in this product were missing church worship services. God condones nothing at the expense of worship and fellowship. There is yet another concern. I realize that any business takes time to build. I’ve been approached several times about a certain popular multi-level marketing product. Throughout the years it has always amazed me how short-sighted we can be! God is a God of creative innovation and unlimited ideas. God does want us to prosper. This is not the time to give up. Yet we limit God to two or three things. My main concern is that no believer sacrifice teaching. but not at the expense of worship. Before we are called to be anything. many people are looking for instant financial success: therefore they violate basic principles. I’m working my business. but they never start! The only people who prosper are the ones from whom they bought the kit! Whatever a person decides to do. . All things require diligence. Their excuse? “Well. but to press on! There is no “easy” way to make money. I also have another concern. Notice what the scriptures say: “Whatsoever he doeth shall prosper” (Psalms 1:3). fellowship and worship in order to make money. The marketing of this product asks for those involved to attend a multitude of meetings and pep rallies. Yes.112 Breaking the Spirit of Poverty is a great opportunity to launch one into financial independence—if he is diligent and willing to work hard! Unfortunately. If the motive is “quick money. I know of hundreds who have bought and invested in starter kits. we are called to be worshippers. This is an unbalanced spiritual life.
but He can do it. “The land was not able to bear them. new ideas. This does not mean that God can’t prosper us through them. This is where many make mistakes. I cannot say enough about people being settled in a good. Think about it! Step Number 6—Find a Christ-Centered Church Finally. Too often people remain in churches because they grew up there. God can use anything! It is time for the believer to use his God-given creativity. and all his substance. new products. and went into the country from the face of his brother Jacob. and his cattle. Don’t limit God— don’t limit what He can do through people! As we search for new things. It can take longer and carry greater difficulty.” I believe there are some products that have reached certain levels of saturation. and services that have never been offered. gadgets that have never been invented. For their riches were more than that they might dwell together. Remember. and his daughters. which he had got in the land of Canaan. solid. “And Esau took his wives. and his sons. and all his beasts. Some attend because it’s close to home or they’re afraid to break out of . Look at this particular scripture. and all the persons of his house.Stepping Out of Poverty 113 This means exactly what it says—whatsoever! God is not limited to prospering only through two or three specific product lines. new ways of making things work. They assume that this type of wealth can only be found in that particular product. God can receive great glory. They are moved by testimonies of others who have made fortunes in a particular business. and the land wherein they were strangers could not bear them because of their cattle” (Genesis 36:6-7). or their parents or grandparents attended there. Christ-centered church. There are products that have never reached certain states.
This may mean making some decisions about where a person goes to church. The Bible is considered to be the ultimate and final authority. . Why? Because it’s going to be people that will be giving into a person’s bosom. 4. 3. there will be problems! But problems can be overcome. They believe in a well-balanced view of prosperity. but these six will get people started. We can’t be afraid to question the belief structure of a particular church. 5.114 Breaking the Spirit of Poverty certain traditional settings. Also remember. but they must be taught to learn to deal with people. 2. 6. The Word of God is well able to make things clear as to whether a church is spiritually alive or not. then encourage them to stop looking. but they are not always God’s will. and we have been called to be overcomers! So encourage people to find a church and plant themselves there! Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God [Psalms 92:13]. They teach the Spirit-led and Spirit-filled life. The love of God is shown through the actions of the membership. All of these reasons are admirable. God’s people will find a multitude of challenges. if people are looking for a church with no problems. God’s will is for His children to grow up in His Word—strong and healthy. The church has a vision for the future. Some of the signs of a stable congregation are: 1. The animal doesn’t exist! Where there are people. They teach the Lordship of Jesus Christ. There are other things to look for.
Stepping Out of Poverty
Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom... [Luke 6:38].
We must learn to deal with people. After, all that’s who Jesus died for—people.
I have seen the irresponsible results of unbalanced prosperity teaching. I’ve seen the hurt, the disillusionment, the debt, and the lack of compassion that has sprung from the lives of those who have twisted the teaching. But I have also seen the poor, the ghettos, the financially frustrated, the unemployed, and the underemployed who would benefit from hearing about God’s concern for their physical needs. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what we think, what our opinion is or what camp or school of thought we came from. What matters is what God says! We cannot ignore an area of teaching because we disagree with or dislike the teacher. There will always be the followers of the Paul's, the Apollos’s, and the Cephas’s of our generation. And they will not always agree. So when it comes to the teaching of poverty and prosperity, it is the Word of God that must have the final authority. What we teach in our classes, preach from our pulpits, and instill in our families will be truths that will shape the present and coming generations. But with all of the teaching, preaching, and training, it is the individual that must make the choice. Let’s make sure that we give them as much unbiased information as possible.
Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way [Psalms 119:128].
Do You Know Who You Are!
If you haven’t made an inner commitment to Jesus Christ, then that opportunity is available to you right now. You don’t have to close your eyes or wait until you go to church. Just allow me to lead you into a brand new life through the words on this page. Wherever you are now just say the words below with me. You will be repeating the words, but you will be saying them to God. This is a prayer. Are you ready? Dear God, I want you in my life. I have tried to live my life apart from you. I was wrong and I have sinned. Please forgive me. Jesus Christ, I acknowledge you gave your life for me. I acknowledge you have risen from the dead. You are alive. Jesus Christ, I invite you to come live in me right now. Thank you. You are now my Lord, Saviour, and King. Amen. My friend if you prayed this prayer with sincerity, you are now born again! Now that you are on your way to an exciting life, would you please fill out the form and let me know so that I may rejoice with you? Thank you. Dear Ed, I have prayed with you. Please send me additional material at no cost or obligation. Please send me your cassette tape catalogue. Name __________________________________ Address __________________________________ City ___________________ State ______ Zip _____ Mail correspondence to: Ed Montgomery P. O. Box 772300 Houston, Texas 77215 117
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