Is your mindset, The Spirit of Poverty?

Today I want to share my heart of sadness for the failure of so many Christians to fully embrace “Living in Christ” by Faith.

Nowhere in the Bible can  I find where God says “The Just shall live by Money in the bank or Good Works of their own creation.”

The Just shall live by Faith!  Trust in God’s daily provision. Submitting all needs to Him and trusting in His provision.

I wish to bring to the attention of my KTFA friends, words from the writings below by Regner Capener.  taken from his weekly “Coffee Break” emails.

“We are on the verge of the greatest outpouring of wealth in the history of the human race. Many of God’s people are about to see wealth and riches on a scale they would have considered unimaginable. And that’s where the issue lies.

If these same folks haven’t dealt with the Spirit of Poverty in every area of their lives, this great transfer of wealth will result in their destruction. It is absolutely critical that God’s people be responsible stewards of the riches of His Kingdom — and that’s a whole lot more than just money. In fact the money is really the smallest part of it.

Yes, the money will enable visions to be fulfilled and ministries to go forth that have been hampered year after year after year, but without a sense of what God is doing and saying, along with deliverance from the Spirit of Poverty in every area of their lives, much of the wealth will be squandered and lost.” Regner Capener

Few of us have found deliverance from circumstances, illness and dispair these past several years/months, because our focus is on our salvation and deliverance to come from Money in the Bank!  Have we made the RV results our GOD? Will they be used for Human Good (Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil) or as God leads us daily to use for HIS purposes.

The works of Man are still the works of Man. God gives us each day, one day at a time, and wants to walk with us daily. Seeking happiness in your tomorrows, awaiting finances is robbing God of the opportunity to Bless you today.

If you can’t truly live by Faith and God’s Promises in your adversity, how do you expect to live by Faith when you have wealth in the bank? When you won’t need GOD for daily needs. When the EGO of man’s spirit see’s his wealth as his own possession. Like the Rich man in scripture who looking at all his possessions declared, I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones. and God required his soul of him that night.

God does not need one single penny of your money to accomplish His purposes and His Plans. He needs faithful, obedient Servants to “Do His Good Works!”

I hear so many who think that they will be doing God’s work with their plans for the use of the money.  Most will be doing their “Good Works” FOR God, but they will be as “Filthy Rags” of man’s self righteousness before the Father.

We as Believers, Children of God through Salvation in Jesus Christ, are desired of God to be “Walking daily in His presence, as His presence on Earth”  No more, no less! Growing in knowledge through His Word.

Most of us are walking in the spirit of our own mind, thinking we will do things to please God. This is the spirit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, straight from the Garden of Eden.

Here is the body of a study by Regner Capener (Eagle1) known by many at KTFA.  It is from his weekly email “Coffee Break”

Dealing With The Spirit of Poverty, Part 1

I’ve been promising to address this subject for some time, and that time has come. we will address the mindset, the attitudes and the spirit that drives poverty mentality. We’ll even have some fun along the way.

 I’d be willing to bet you that I’ve grown up with far more teaching on the topic of being “humble” and living the “humble life” than I’ve ever heard on living the blessed life, prospering, and all that.

The body of Christ has been permeated for centuries with a poverty mentality. For some reason, folks think it is more blessed to run around without a home to call your own, drive a clunky old car, buy their clothes from the Salvation Army or Goodwill, etc., etc.

Somehow, this has been translated into “righteousness” and “being like Jesus.”

Brother, what a farce! This is a fraud that has been perpetrated on folks for generations. Now before you go to thinking I’m going to start preaching “think and grow rich,” forget it! That’s not what this is about. It is about a mindset, however – one that permeates a lot of what infects and contaminates Christians – and the world in general.

Poverty begins in one’s mind – in their thinking, their attitudes and their behavior. Poverty is not the lack of worldly goods – and I’ll speak to that momentarily. Poverty is not a lack of money. Poverty is a curse. It can be a generational curse, passed on down from generation to generation to generation. We’ll talk about where it begins in a couple of minutes.

As you all know, I grew up in Eskimo villages, the older of two sons of missionary parents. We never had a lot, but we never did without. Dad was frugal, but he wasn’t poor. He never had lots of money, but he was never broke. My brother and I learned how to do a lot of things growing up. Because Dad was a pioneer missionary and a church builder, we grew up helping him build churches.

Well, when you do that, you learn lots of skills. We learned carpentry, cabinet making, hanging sheetrock, taping and texturing, painting, electrical and plumbing skills. We learned how to lay tile and carpet. We learned how to repair engines. If it was mechanical, we could make it work. If it was electrical, we could take it apart and fix it. We learned how to do just about anything you could think of.

We didn’t have lots of money, but we could take other folks’ “junk” they threw away and make it work. Nobody had to give us a fish and feed us for a day. We had the skills to fish and take care of our needs. I’m using the popular metaphor, you understand.

Because Dad taught us many skills, and we learned many others on our own, there was never a task set before us or a need that cropped up that we couldn’t take care of. We were taught something far more important, however, than the physical job skills. We were given an attitude that shaped our lives: a “can do” attitude. Nothing was impossible in the natural because we had the skills to accomplish anything we wanted to do. By the same token, nothing was impossible in the spiritual realm because we had the Lord.

There were lots of times when we had only a few dollars, but we were never poor. We never saw our- selves that way. If we needed something, we made it – often from scratch.

Were we exceptional people – unusually gifted or something like that? Sure, but not the way you think. It wasn’t our natural gifts and abilities that made us exceptional. It was a mindset of prosperity. It was thinking and agreeing with the Lord. We never thought “poor.”

I remember getting these “missionary barrels” that would come in once a year on the ship. A “missionary barrel” is usually a cardboard barrel or 55-gallon drum with a removable lid. Churches and individuals would send us these things with used clothing – and a lot of junk folks just wanted to throw away, but thought they would get credit from the Lord for their “giving.” In later years, when I took over the mission station at Wainwright on a temporary basis, and then again at Saint Paul Island, we were still receiving “missionary barrels” with – get this! – used tea bags. It was a riot!

We felt sorry for folks whose mentality worked like that. They were the ones that were poor. It was a blessing, though. Mom taught us another skill: sewing.   Yeah, I know – boys sewing their own clothes? We can laugh about it, but I learned to tailor my own clothing – and I did for many, many years.

When Della and I first got married, and we were starting from scratch, we often looked for bargains – not at the used clothing stores, but at the expensive stores where they sold name brand clothing. You could buy, for example, a $300 or $400 dress or skirt for $50 – $75, and even less. At those prices, you often got stuck with whatever sizes they had in stock, and rarely got to purchase something that actually fit properly.

No problem. I looked for something one or two or three sizes too big and then resized it on the sewing machine. Della dressed like a queen in those early days for a fraction of what we’d have had to pay normally. I purchased cashmere sport jackets for pennies on the dollar and retailored them to fit. Hey, I looked like a million dollars!

No one ever knew we didn’t have money. And we never thought of ourselves as being poor. Beginning to get the picture aren’t you? It wasn’t the money, or lack of it. It was the attitude, the mindset, the thought process that pervaded our thinking.

We were blessed! We enjoyed the blessings of God.

Poverty – true poverty – begins in the way you approach life. It be- gins in whether you hang on to everything you have for dear life, or whether you freely give what you have. Poverty – or prosperity – be- gins in how and whether we apply a principle that Jesus taught.

Luke 6:38: “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give       into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”

So many folks are stuck with the mindset that in order to get and to have “things,” you’ve got to hang onto everything you get. The attitude has become a cliché for generations: “Get all you can and can all you get.”

Wrong! That’s a sure sign of someone who has been caught with and in the Spirit of Poverty.

Want to stay broke all of your life? Want to always be in need? Want to struggle all the time to pay your bills? Want to live in a run-down house that doesn’t meet the need of your family? Want to drive a car that always breaks down and winds up costing more in maintenance than car payments on a new or newer vehicle? Want to have lousy credit and be unable to be trusted by creditors because you never keep your word on making your payments?

We could go on and on with these questions. They all reflect the status of people who either live in real poverty or are stuck with a Spirit of Poverty. Hate to say it, but I know a lot of folks who live exactly like what I’ve just described.

Then there’s those folks who live in homes costing many hundreds of thousands of dollars, or even millions of dollars, drive a BMW or Mercedes, wear designer clothing – and are up to their eyeballs in debt, just staying ahead of their creditors. They put on a show of prosperity, but the fact is they are stuck with a Spirit of Poverty and are trying to hide it behind a false display of prosperity. Fact is, they are living in true poverty!

Their lifestyles are those of a life of fantasy! They aren’t real. They are living like this because they need to “feel good.” They need to “keep up with the Jones.” They can’t afford to look to their neighbors, relatives or friends like they have need – that would be awful !!   Here’s the worst part of it. They are professing Christians.

So where does this mindset begin? In keeping. In receiving. In hanging onto. In believing that you can’t accomplish something – anything!

But it has a root that goes way back!

We seem to go back to the Garden again and again, and this is no exception. Consider the way the conversation ensues when the Serpent first begins to talk to Eve.

Genesis 3:1-5: Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

Are you seeing it? Do you see the psychology that the Serpent uses on Eve?

“God is just pulling a fast one on you! You are not really “as gods!” You don’t have the image and likeness of God. You are substandard. “BUT! If you will partake of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, THEN you will be “as God” with the ability to know Good and Evil just like He does.”

What a farce! What a fraud!

What you are seeing is the same hogwash that Satan pulls on Christians every day of the week. As long as we believe in our heart of hearts that we can never measure up to the standard by which we were created, we’ve opened the door in our lives for the Spirit of Poverty.

Poverty isn’t the absence of money, property, possessions. etc. Poverty is the presence of fear, of unbelief, of doubt. The presence of fear, unbelief or doubt establishes your whole mode of thinking, your attitude towards life, your attitude towards money, your attitude to- wards possessions. It is the Spirit of Poverty.

Want to be broke all the time? Be in fear of what might happen tomorrow. Doubt your abilities. Doubt God’s promises to you. Think broke!

Want to live your life in continual need of this or that? Don’t believe that God has given you ability to do any- thing you need to do. Let yourself get run over by circumstances. Be defeated by other people’s attitudes and comments toward you. Think failure!

Want to live with physical ailments or diseases? Want to live believing that you are a candidate for cancer, for heart attacks, for every disease under the sun? Then listen to what the doctors say to you. Accept their prognosis. Don’t believe that Jesus paid the price for all sickness, all disease, all weakness.

Now I’m really going to mess with you and say some- thing that sounds almost contradictory to what I just said. But this is still true.

Want to fail at everything you do? Want to go broke and/or bankrupt every so often? Think more of yourself and your abilities than you do of God’s desire to provide for every need. Become one of those folks who think “God helps those who help themselves.” Brother! Is that ever a bunch of hooey!! That’s just an excuse for secular humanism replacing our trust and dependence in the Lord.

I’ve got some advice for folks who believe that nonsense. “God help them that get caught helping themselves!” [grin]

  1. Now, let’s get down to some real principles behind the poverty thinkset. There are spiritual principles which, when violated, result in poverty.

Let me say in advance that poverty is a curse. It is not a blessing. It is not the purpose, the will or desire of the Lord for God’s people to live in poverty. Before I get too far along with this, and some of you jump to the conclusion that I think all Christians should live in the lap of luxury, forget it! This is not what that is about. And yet, to sound contradictory, there is absolutely nothing wrong with Christians living in the lap of luxury – as long as it is not a debt lifestyle!

That said, take a look with me at two very important spiritual principles. This first principle deals with honoring the Lord, and keeping His commandments (And I’m not necessarily referring to the Ten Commandments.)

We’ll get into the blessing side of this in the next couple of weeks, but let me show you the poverty side first. We won’t look at the whole thing, here. You can read it for yourself in Deuteronomy 28. For the sake of our discussion, we will just take ten verses.

Deuteronomy 28:15-26: 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 statutes 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. The LORD shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do, until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly; because of the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken me.

The LORD shall make the pestilence cleave unto thee, until he have consumed thee from off the land, whither thou goest to possess it. The LORD shall smite thee with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning, and with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew; and they shall pursue thee until thou perish.

And thy heaven that is over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that is under thee shall be iron. The LORD shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust: from heaven shall it come down upon thee, until thou be destroyed. The LORD shall cause thee to be smitten before thine enemies: thou shalt go out one way against them, and flee seven ways before them: and shalt be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth.

You get the picture, I’m sure. All of this was predicated on disobeying the voice and the commandment of the Lord. And I know that many of you will respond immediately and say, “Well that was under the Law. We are under Grace, now.”

No, you’re not! Grace is the empowerment to walk and live the Word of the Lord. Grace is what we have IN Christ Jesus. Grace is not an excuse to live like you want and expect to walk in the blessings of the Lord. Grace is the ability to walk in the love of the Lord Jesus Christ — and that encompasses total obedience to Him. Walk outside of His Grace, and consequences result.

 You’ll hear me say this again and again – not only in this series, but in many Coffee Breaks throughout the years. It is important to see and understand some of the principal causes behind poverty. Poverty is not the will of God. Poverty is a curse that we either bring upon ourselves or suffer because past generations in our family have opened the spiritual doors for the curse.

 Before we finish the opposite side of the prophetic word that Moses delivered to Israel concerning either the blessings, or their failure to keep the Word of the Lord, and the curses that would follow, let me point out something that may or may not be obvious. We all know that Israel came out of Egypt with a slave mentality. For generations, the name and presence of the Lord had become a tradition – not a reality.

Moses delivered the Law to Israel. The apostle Paul refers to this as “The Law of Sin and Death.” In writing to the Ekklesia in Rome, Paul made the following statement.

Romans 8:2-9: For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

While the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus makes us free from the Law of Sin and Death, it does not negate the consequences if we choose the flesh over obedience in the Spirit. Do you understand what I’m getting at?

We’ve been delivered from the sword hanging over our heads for our failures when we live in and under the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus. We know that everything we have belongs to the Lord in the first place. He has the right to ask anything of us. He has the right to require that we give, that we tithe, that we sow seed, etc.

The difference is that when we live under the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus, it becomes a joy, an act of love, an adventure in watching God move in our lives because of our loving responsiveness to Him.

Last week we dealt with the expansiveness of the curse of poverty. Before we get too far along today, let’s take a look at the opposite picture — the picture of the Blessing of the Lord, the Law of Prosperity, if you will.

Deuteronomy 28: 1-14: And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:

 And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God. 3Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store.

Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out. The LORD shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways. The LORD shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

The LORD shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, and walk in his ways. And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the LORD; and they shall be afraid of thee.

 And the LORD shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers to give thee.

The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow.

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:

 And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.

I know that as soon as I start teaching on this topic, folks who are tormented by the Spirit of Poverty start telling me that I’m becoming a “prosperity preacher.” Wrong! The message of prosperity has been out of balance in the body of Christ simply because it leaves out the other side of the picture.

When folks begin to understand the depth of the control and manipulation of the Spirit of Poverty in their lives, they will realize that prosperity IS THE WILL OF GOD for them. They just need to understand the full significance of the Spirit of Prosperity vs. the Spirit of Poverty.

Let’s back up for a minute and cover some territory we covered last week.

We are first and foremost, spirit beings. We were created in the image and likeness of God. The fact that Adam and Eve brought the human race under subjection to the serpent, Satan, because of their disobedience changed nothing as far as our creation is concerned. We are spirit beings created for union and fellowship with God. That union and that fellowship means that we are no longer our own. Our will and our behavior is – and must be – subject to His Will and desires.

When we violate that union and violate the specific principles that God has set forth in order for our lives to prosper in His presence and in fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ, we open doors in the realm of the spirit to evil spirits whose entire purpose is to subvert our relationship. Their objective is to alter our lives so that we no longer reflect the glory and the magnificence of our status as Lords and Kings under the Lordship and Kingship of the Lord Jesus Christ!

The primary evil spirit that plagues believers who open the door because of their failure to walk in total union and obedience to the Lord is the Spirit of Poverty.

This spirit has so many characteristics and aspects as to boggle the mind. It has nothing to do with money, and yet the presence of a lot of money, or the absence of money can be symptomatic.

We’ll talk more in greater detail about it, but I like to refer to the mentality of this spirit as the “Almost-Enough Mentality.” We can also call it the “Not-Quite-Enough Mentality.”

I’m going to quote this again next week, but let me take you to something that Jesus said.

Mark 1124: “For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.”

How is it that the lack of provision for something, or the lack of health, or the presence of some ailment or affliction becomes the standard by which folks live instead of God’s Word? Why does it become the rule in a person’s life?

I’ll tell you why.

Doubt. Unbelief. Unbelief becomes the yardstick by which things are measured. People read Jesus’ statement, and then say, “Yeah, But…..” And as soon as they add the “But” into their conversation and confession, they’ve lost any chance of having “whatsoever he saith.”

No, I take that back. They DO have “whatsoever he saith.” The “whatsoever he saith” is “But.” It falls short of what they need. It doesn’t quite meet the need. People almost get well. They have almost enough to pay their bills, but not quite enough. So they continue in need.

There’s one more principle I will share with you today.

As the age of the prophets closed out and the so-called 400 silent years commenced, Malachi addressed a problem occurring amongst a poverty-stricken people in captivity. He addressed the reasons for their poverty.

Malachi 3:8-11: “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. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.”

I know all the arguments against tithing. I’ve preached in opposition to the concept for many years. And I’ve been wrong in so doing. The most common argument raised among Christians today is that tithing is not a New Testament command. Sorry. It is. Like so many people, I missed it. There isn’t time today to go there, but let me address it like this:

Leviticus 27:30 makes the following statement, “All the tithe……is holy unto the Lord.”

Since there were three different tithes amounting to as much as 30% of one’s “increase,” it took in everything we have usually counted as “offerings.”

My objective today is not to share on tithing, but to deal with the principle.

Everything we have belongs to the Lord! Under the Law of Moses, not less than 10% of it had to be returned to the Lord, “that there may be meat in mine house.” The remaining tithes – offerings – went to take care of the widows, the fatherless, “the stranger in the land,” etc.

When a person takes that which is holy unto the Lord and uses it for himself, he brings a curse upon himself and his household. That curse is poverty. The curse is perpetual need. The curse is that your work, your personal efforts, your job will never be enough to catch up with the needs that exist. Everything you have will wear out, break down, deteriorate before its time, or get stolen from you. You’ll lose your job, or get passed over for a promotion, be one of those who get caught in massive corporate “restructurings” – you get the picture.

I don’t want to belabor the issue, but it is important to see and understand some of the principal causes behind poverty. Poverty is not the will of God. Poverty is a curse that we either bring upon ourselves or suffer because past generations in our family have opened the spiritual doors for the curse.

I know that this is all pretty heavy stuff, but it is essential that we all understand just how the serpent has tried to afflict us. When we see his modus operandi, we can make a willful decision to ignore him and the fears he wants to bring our way. We can deal with the unbelief that opens the doors for his invasion in our lives.

Uhhh Huhh. The almost-enough mentality. Make that the not-quite-enough mentality. The kind of thinkin’ that keeps you always on the edge, never having quite enough to pay your bills, never being able to get ahead, always living with a car in need of repair, always living with a house where the plumbing leaks, one or more of the light switches don’t work, broken light fixtures, a sofa so ratty it ought to have been hauled out to the dump and burned….you know what I’m talking about.

Ever notice how fear, doubt and unbelief are so much easier to accept than faith? Ever notice how easy it is to believe the worst instead of the best?

Right. Some folks think this is “normal.” Jesse Duplantis got it right: “the Spirit of Stoopid!” Not taking God at His Word. Always settling for whatever. Thinking “second best” or “third best” is just fine.

It isn’t even second-rate living. It isn’t living at all. You call yourself a Christian, and then take “whatever.” Last time I checked, that was about as unscriptural and un-Christian as anything can possibly be.

I’ve talked in the past about the screwy doctrines concerning “Paul’s Thorn” and I want to touch on that today. There’s a dimension of that kind of sick thinking we didn’t even touch on last week, and I’d like to finish it off – or at least make some headway with it today. Paul’s thorn was not the will of God, and God didn’t bring it on him to teach him some kind of lesson. What God’s response to Paul was, “My grace is sufficient for thee.”

Hello?

Grace is the empowerment by Holy Spirit to deal with and overcome any issue. When Paul asked the Lord to deal with the problem of this evil spirit that was buffeting him, the Lord simply said, “You deal with it! I’ve given you both the authority and the power.”

The other day, I said that I’ve heard Christians give one excuse after another as to why they live with certain sicknesses, diseases or afflictions. After a while it gets nauseating. Sometimes I wonder if Christians spout more doubt and unbelief than the so-called unbelievers. If it isn’t one thing, it’s another.

This is a topic that stirs a lot of folks. The Spirit of Poverty has so infected the body of Christ that all the symptoms of this spirit become accepted as the “norm” and the mindset of poverty literally rules a majority of Christians. Because of what God is preparing to do in the body, and the covenant of blessing that is about to be poured out for the sake of the Kingdom, it is super-critical that believers get a hold of this and get their deliverance from this spirit and its strongholds in their lives.

The other day, I said that I’ve heard Christians give one excuse after another as to why they live with certain sicknesses, diseases or afflictions. After a while it gets nauseating. Sometimes I wonder if Christians spout more doubt and unbelief than the so-called unbelievers. If it isn’t one thing, it’s another.

Same thing applies to just about everything else in their lives. I marvel when I hear Christians – CHRISTIANS !!! The folks who are supposed to be living the abundant life – moan and groan about making their insurance payments, their house payments, their car payments, having enough money to buy groceries, etc., etc., etc.

What ever happened to speaking faith, pray tell?

What ever happened to what Jesus said?

Mark 11:24: “For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.”

How is it that the lack of provision for something, or the lack of health, or the presence of some ailment or affliction becomes the standard by which folks live instead of God’s Word? Why does it become the rule in a person’s life?

I’ll tell you why.

It’s called the Almost-Enough Mentality. We can also call it the Not-Quite-Enough Mentality.

You know where that comes from, don’t you? Right. Doubt. Unbelief. Unbelief becomes the yardstick by which things are measured. People read Jesus’ statement, and then say, “Yeah, But…..” And as soon as they add the “But” into their conversation and confession, they’ve lost any chance of having “whatsoever he saith.”

No, I take that back. They DO have “whatsoever he saith.” The “whatsoever he saith” is “But.” It falls short of what they need. It doesn’t quite meet the need. People almost get well. They have almost enough to pay their bills, but not quite enough. So they continue in need.

Is the need the yardstick by which we measure God’s Word? Well, what does the Word of God say?

Jesus said something that has been the hallmark of our walk and our life in Him:

John 10:10: “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

The apostle Paul put it like this,

Ephesians 3:20-21: “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”

In his letter to Titus, Paul writes the following:

Titus 3:4-7: “But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

Then in his epistle to the Hebrews, we read,

Hebrews 6:14-18: “Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife. Wherein God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us.”

Then Peter writes in his second letter,

II Peter 1:10-11: “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”

If you’ve been paying attention to these statements, you’ve seen a key word that repeats over and over again: abundantly. It doesn’t matter what it is that the Lord does for us, whether it is salvation, whether it is healing, whether it is provision to meet needs or whether it is our inheritance in Christ Jesus, EVERYTHING He does is in and with abundance – not “almost enough,” not falling short of meeting some need, not “not quite enough” (‘Scuse the double negative, there) – ABUNDANCE!

There’s a beautiful word that occurs in the Greek text in each of these cases that you need to see. It’s the word, perissoteros or perissos (its root).   It translates literally to: superabundant, excessive, superior, beyond measure, wealthy, abounding with, rich.

There! Like them apples? Does that sound like “almost enough,” or “not quite enough”? Makes you wonder how in the world folks get stuck with that kind of thinking.

Go back for a second and take a look at these references. Let’s put these statements in a context of superabundance.

Jesus said: “I have come that you might have life, breath and vitality – (the God-kind), and that you might have it excessively, beyond measure, superior, abounding in all, being wealthy and rich.” (John 10:10b, RAC Translation & Amplification)

Hey, don’t look at me like that! I’m not the one who said it. Jesus said it. If that doesn’t describe you, then why not? And don’t give me that load of unbelieving horse puckey about “that’s referring to spiritual, not physical or material.” It just won’t fly!

The apostle Paul wrote, “Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly – beyond all measure, excessively, abounding in everything and every part of our life – above all that we ask or think, according to the miraculous force and power that has been energized, is active and efficiently working in us, Unto him be glory in the Ekklesia by Christ Jesus throughout all our generations, in perpetuity throughout the eternity of the eternities. Amen! So be it.” (Ephesians 3:20-21, RAC Translation and Amplification)

REALLY? Above all we ask or think? According to the power that worketh in us?

Yup.

See the last comment in that statement by Paul? “Unto Him be glory in the Ekklesia by Christ Jesus throughout all generations, in perpetuity throughout the eternity of the eternities.”

Somebody want to tell me, please, how it is that Christ Jesus gets glory by you living in poor health? Want to tell me how the Lord gets glory by your being sick all the time? Want to tell me how Jesus gets the glory by you never being able to pay your bills on time, never having enough to supply the needs of others, always living in need?

Do you know what abundance is, anyway? It’s the manifestation of love. Stop and think about it.

Remember what Solomon wrote in the Proverbs?

Proverbs 13:22: “A bountiful, gracious, joyful, kind and loving man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children; and the wealth and substance, the force, power and strength of the unrepentant and condemned sinner is laid up for the just and righteous.” (RAC Translation & Amplification)

Proverbs 19:14: “House and riches are the inheritance of fathers…”

Let me pause for just a second. I know some folks will wonder why in the world I’m on this topic of discussion. The answer is simple.

We are on the verge of the greatest outpouring of wealth in the history of the human race. Many of God’s people are about to see wealth and riches on a scale they would have considered unimaginable. And that’s where the issue lies.

If these same folks haven’t dealt with the Spirit of Poverty in every area of their lives, this great transfer of wealth will result in their destruction. It is absolutely critical that God’s people be responsible stewards of the riches of His Kingdom — and that’s a whole lot more than just money. In fact the money is really the smallest part of it.

Yes, the money will enable visions to be fulfilled and ministries to go forth that have been hampered year after year after year, but without a sense of what God is doing and saying, along with deliverance from the Spirit of Poverty in every area of their lives, much of the wealth will be squandered and lost.

My Dad said to me on several occasions in the last couple years of his life, “Son, I’m sorry I don’t have a great inheritance to leave to you.” My response to him was that the rich heritage he left me in the Lord more than compensated for the lack of a material inheritance. That’s not to say that Dad was poor, or that he didn’t leave me a material inheritance, but it was nothing like he thought he was responsible to leave.

So why would he feel that way? It’s because of love. I have that same sense of responsibility towards my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and the Lord helping me, they will all be left with a rich spiritual heritage – AND houses, lands, goods and money. It’s the desire of my heart. I love my kids, my grandkids, and my great-grandkids. I want them to have the best in life. I want them to be able to make a difference in this world for righteousness.

The second half of Proverbs 19:14 reads, “…and a prudent wife is from the Lord.”

Brother, can I ever shout AMEN, to that statement! That word, “prudent,” comes from the Hebrew, sakal, which amplifies to read, circumspect, intelligent, wise and teaching. No word could better describe the gift that God has given me in my Bride of nearly 35 years, Della!

Poor and poverty-ridden folks don’t make a difference. Neither do folks who are always sickly, suffering disease and walking and living in poor health.

Why?

Because if you are always in need, you don’t have the wherewithal to meet the needs of others. You don’t have a storehouse from which to supply others. Wealth and riches and abundance are not for your personal consumption, even though you do benefit. They are the supply from which you meet the needs of those around you. It’s how the Kingdom of God grows, prospers, and multiplies. It’s how ministries are able to reach out and meet the needs of a dying and desperate world.

 If you’re like me, growing up in traditional church circles, you’ve probably heard just about every “prosperity” teaching making the rounds. Some of it is absolutely right on! Some of it is absolute nonsense. Where do you separate the fact from the fiction?

Just as in those principles which, when violated, bring poverty, so also are there principles which, when practiced, absolutely bring prosperity.

Earlier, I said that poverty begins in one’s mind – in their thinking, their attitudes, and their behavior. Prosperity does too. In the same way that poverty is not a lack of money, prosperity is not the presence of lots of money or a big bank account. Prosperity is – in no uncertain terms – the blessing of the Lord.

Prosperity begins with giving. OK? Hey! Don’t look at me in that tone of voice! I kid you not! In order to prosper, you have to have a whole mindset of giving – and I don’t just mean giving money.

Remember the rich man that came to Jesus? His question was, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”   Jesus told him to honor the Lord God and keep His commandments. This guy was persistent. So he says to Jesus, “All these have I kept from my youth up.

Jesus looks at the rich guy and says to him, “Sell all you’ve got, and come and follow me.”

OOOOPPPS!! And we’re told that this guy goes away, “sorrowful, for he was very rich.”

Here’s the problem. This guy didn’t have lots of material goods, the material goods had him. He never figured out that had he obeyed and done what Jesus asked of him, he’d have been so rich, he and his heirs would never have been able to spend the wealth. Let me explain.

I have appended a series of Regner’s Coffee Break in this post, taken from his weekly “Coffee Break” emails.  You will find reference to subscribe to his weekly email at the end of this post and opportunity to receive them yourselves.  So here we go with week 4 of his “Coffee Break” on the Spirit of Poverty.

Last week’s discussion on poverty provoked a lot of thoughtful comments. Today’s sit-down ought to do more of the same. Let me begin today’s sharing with some personal experiences.

Back when Della and I were living in Anchorage, we were making good money – really good money! Della was the manager of the largest Zale jewelry store in the state and acting assistant regional manager, taking oversight for 13 other stores. I was Chief Engineer for the FOX television station. I also had a newspaper distribution business on the side taking care of several paper routes for the Anchorage Daily News. My newspaper business earned me more money than my engineering position – and that was no small potatoes.

One day the Lord says to us – both of us – “Simplify.” Next day He says, “Consolidate.” Next day He says, “Get out of debt.” Next day He says, “Become mobile. Be ready to go where I send you at a moment’s notice.”

Whewww!! Get the picture? “Sell all thou hast, and come and follow me.” That was the essence of what He was saying to us. He just took a different way to say the same thing.

So I did what lots of other folks try to do. Interpret.

Yup! I’m not sure what it is about human nature that figures it has to “interpret” what God says when He says it so clearly, but that’s what often happens.

Here was my interpretation. Start downsizing. Get out of the six-bedroom home. We didn’t need that big a place anymore, anyway. Except for Rebekah and Joshua, all of our kids were grown and gone from home. So we found a four-bedroom house out in the country, about fifty miles north of Anchorage. We figured (I figured!) we could move our household goods – what we needed to keep – out to that house, put things in storage, and get ready to roll.

Hmmmmmm……. Not quite what the Lord said, was it? The Lord has a funny sense of humor, though, when you are making an effort – even if it is a screwed-up effort – to be obedient. OK, we can solve this problem easy!

Bang! Smash! Thud! Know what all that noise is? That’s us in a head-on collision with our almost brand new Chevy Lumina. A drunk pulls directly into our path a couple car lengths in front of us when we’re going 50 miles an hour. Know what? That’s not a fun way to come to a stop! Our van was that new kind of construction, though, that allows the front-end to collapse and protect the passengers. We walked away without a scratch. Our van was totaled.

Know what else? The drunk’s pickup was literally airborne and thrown into a telephone pole. He got out and ran away from the scene. Even though we identified the driver as being the owner, because he wasn’t present at the scene and an hour later claimed his pickup had been stolen, he got off scot-free. His insurance wouldn’t pay for it. Stupid me, I hadn’t made my primary insurance payment, and my policy had lapsed the day before the accident. I did have another policy that paid off the van, but wouldn’t replace it.

Presto. No more van. No more payments. No more insurance payments. And no way for us to move our stuff out into the country. We had to pass on buying the country home. We couldn’t afford to buy it and a new vehicle at the same time. Yup. You heard that right. We were so taxed financially making all that money we couldn’t afford to do anything.

See. The Lord was trying to teach us more than, “Sell all thou hast.” He was getting ready to teach us some fundamentals of prosperity and deliver us from a poverty mindset. Hate to say it, but I sure was slow to get deliverance!

So I rented one of those storage lockers. Paid a hundred bucks a month to store everything I didn’t give to our kids or sell in a garage sale. What a waste! I shoulda listened to exactly what the Lord was saying! We (I) hung on to stuff that was really necessary for our future plans. Know what I mean? And if you believe that, I’ve got a bridge for sale.

Over the next four years, I wound up paying out nearly $5 grand in storage fees for stuff that rusted, molded or became obsolete and had to be given or thrown away. What a waste!

 

We got rid of the six-bedroom house. I resigned my engineering position. Della resigned from Zales, and I sweated little green apples letting go of my newspaper business. ‘S’funny isn’t it. How we attach so much importance to things, to positions, to jobs, to businesses that ultimately mean nothing in God’s scheme of things!

I’ve already shared with you in a previous discussion, our meeting Earle and Marcia, and how they offered us their ranch in Idaho as a place to go and establish a base of operations for ministry. That’s where we headed. Overnight we went from $10 grand plus per month in income down to a guaranteed 200 bucks. You know what the guaranteed 200 bucks were? The tithe from a faithful lady in Canada who had retired from teaching.

We lived better on those $200 than we had ever lived on the $10,000+. Don’t try to do the math. You’ll go crazy. But that’s the way it works when you obey the Lord. When we arrived at the ranch, we still had some $14,000 in unpaid bills left from Alaska. I can’t tell you to this day how it all happened, but during the course of the next year we got out of debt. Completely.

I don’t have the time in this article to tell you of all the adventures we had, but we started giving away everything. Mostly, we gave ourselves. We didn’t have lots of money – of course – but we did have our skills, our abilities, our talents. And we gave those away.

Somehow, there was always money to travel. And we did. We traveled throughout the northwest and Canada and across the northern tier states, helping folks who needed help. We chinked logs for a massive log home that belonged to some friends in Cochrane, Alberta. We painted the outside and inside of a large home for some other friends in Red Deer. We laid linoleum in Atlin, BC. We plumbed a house in Spokane. We tore out the old bathroom at the ranch house in Idaho and built a new, modern bathroom with a heated floor. We repaired and rebuilt another bathroom in Liberty Lake. And on and on.

And we began to learn a whole different side of prosperity. It wasn’t that we didn’t have hearts to give. We did. We’d always been givers. But we gave from our wealth – not from our need. Remember the widow’s mite – that dinky little coin worth less than a cent – that was worth more than all the wealth the rich men were dropping into the offering boxes?

It’s all a matter of perspective. Where are you giving from: your wealth, or your need?

Prosperity (and I said this last week) begins in how and whether we apply the principle that Jesus taught, “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”

Della and I learned that the more you give, the more you receive. We gave and gave and gave. And we received, and received, and received. Understand that we weren’t receiving lots of money at the time, but we sure were receiving a greater measure of the personal, living presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. Oh, we did receive money. Plenty of it. Not enough to get rich – financially, that is – but plenty to meet our needs. We lived better, and ate better, and drove better than we ever had before.

It’s a funny thing, though. We still didn’t have a home to call our own. We moved about from place to place – even though the ranch was still “home.” We just didn’t own it. Pretty soon, Earle and Marcia returned to the ranch from Alaska, and all of us were living there.

And it really didn’t matter. Our frame of reference was changing. We still didn’t have much in terms of this world’s goods, but we were richer than we’d ever been. And we were out of debt. We didn’t owe a red cent to anyone.

Prosperity begins in the mind. Think I said that before. It begins in one’s spirit. It begins in giving. There’s a whole lot more to it, though, and I can see that I’m not even going to scratch the surface today. Looks like this is going to have to be a two-parter.

“Sell all thou hast” has a lot more implications than initially meet the eye. It’s not just getting rid of stuff. It’s getting rid of the “stuff mindset.” It’s getting rid of the way you think, the way you reason, the way you plot and scheme to acquire things so you won’t have needs, the way you think life ought to be lived, the way you think God wants you to live.

OOOOPPPS!! Did I say that? It sounds like I’m saying that “sell all thou hast” means getting rid of rational thinking. You’re right! That’s what I said. And that’s what I mean. Exactly! God doesn’t need your logic to prosper you. God doesn’t need your rationalizing of anything to bless you. He needs your simple, unqualified, uncompromised obedience. No matter how illogical it may seem.

True prosperity comes with obedience to all that God commands of you – logic or no logic. True prosperity comes with following some fundamental principles the Lord has laid down for us to follow.

Some of the richest people I’ve ever known have more money than you’d spend in your lifetime. And……some of the richest people I’ve known have very little money in the bank, or financial assets of any kind.

By the same token, some of the poorest people I’ve known have so much money you’d never be able to spend it. And…..some of the poorest people I’ve known seem to have it all together. They have friends, they have position, they have power (or think they do), they have status in life and academic recognition. And they have nothing!

As I’ve said many times, prosperity is not having lots of money, owning properties and expensive cars, and having Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Prosperity isn’t having power, position or being the CEO of a Fortune 500 company.

Prosperity isn’t even happiness. Happiness will come with true prosperity, but happiness is a state of mind – not a state of being. So, let’s talk about what prosperity really is.

Like I said. Happiness is a state of mind. Joy is a state of one’s spirit. We are triune beings, created in the image of God. We function first and foremost in our spirits, then our minds or our souls, and finally with some action in our bodies.

Lots of folks try to prosper by just “thinking” it, then following their “think” with some action. That works better than “thinking” poor, but unless prosperity begins in one’s spirit, one doesn’t have their entire being “in agreement.”

Let’s talk a principle for a minute. In John’s third epistle to the body of Christ, he writes, “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper (euodoo) and be in health, even as thy soul prospers.” Lots of folks think that phrase “mayest prosper and be in health” applies strictly to one’s spiritual state of affairs.

Huh Uh! Nope. That Greek word, euodoo, translates literally to “help on the road,” but is used metaphorically of “succeeding in business and economic affairs.” Prospering. Doing well. Making it financially.

So much for the phony baloney that it is God’s will for folks to be poor and live in poverty. That really is a demonic doctrine that has populated the church world.

When you grow up in church like I did, you hear just about every teaching conceivable – much of it coming from folks who either don’t really know the Lord, or just don’t know His heart’s desire. As a result, they draw silly conclusions by looking at the way Jesus lived and think that’s the way we’re supposed to live. Humility equates to “poor.”

One of the most misunderstood statements Jesus made is, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.” People read that and think, Jesus must not have had a home to live in. He was a street person.

What He really meant was that His home was not of this world – that while engaged in this ministry that changed the face of the globe, He neither had the time nor the inclination to waste what few years He had on living in the lap of luxury, going home and sleeping in a nice bed, satisfying his creature comforts. He could have, you know.

Jesus wasn’t poor. He had enormous wealth at His disposal. He chose, instead, to take every available moment investing Himself in the eternal investment that would ultimately pay the dividends that would bring Him a yield of folks with whom he could fellowship as His co-equals.

Jesus was sacrificing the ease of His flesh for a spiritual return that would last for eternity. Thus, as He began his three and a half years of ministry, He said,

Matthew 6:19-21: “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal, But lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

OOPS! Now I’ve opened up a can of worms. I’ve heard the arguments from this Scripture ad nauseam. Next week, we will deal with the flaw and error that has crept into the body of Christ as a result of a serious misunderstanding of what Jesus is saying.

We wrapped up last week with the statement that Jesus wasn’t poor.

In fact, Jesus had to be among the wealthiest individuals of that era. Consider how he began his life. At age two, when the magi came to visit him and pay honor and tribute to the “King of Kings,” they brought gold, frankincense and myrrh. Contrary to popular belief, the gold wasn’t just a few coins.

 These were Magi! They came representing the kings of the east. When you stop and think about the Queen of Sheba coming to visit Solomon with a camel train laden with gold, and you realize that the equivalent value of the gold she brought amounted to $119 Million, do you think for a moment that the Magi’s camel train carried any less for the King of Kings?

 Getting back to what started all this last week, let me retrace some of what I said then.

What made what Jesus shared different than how many folks have interpreted his statements was the fact that He neither had the time nor the inclination to waste what few years He had on living in the lap of luxury, going home and sleeping in a nice bed, satisfying his creature comforts. He could have, you know.

Jesus wasn’t poor. He had enormous wealth at His disposal. He chose, instead, to take every available moment investing Himself in the eternal investment that would ultimately pay the dividends that would bring Him a yield of folks with whom he could fellowship as His co-equals.

Jesus was sacrificing the ease of His flesh for a spiritual return that would last for eternity. Thus, as He began his three and a half years of ministry, He said, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal, But lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

 Now I can hear the arguments coming! See! Jesus said you’re not supposed to try to get rich! That’s a poverty mindset!

Then folks argue, “…that a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”

 Jesus preaching against prosperity? No He didn’t! He’s talking about “where your treasure is.” He’s not preaching against prosperity, against wealth: He’s preaching against laying up wealth for yourself that disintegrates with time. It sounds like double talk, so let me explain.

Jesus spelled out a principle that literally affects every single thing we do in life, “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down and shaken together, and running over shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure ye mete withal, it shall be measured to you again.”

 See where the focus is? On giving! Not on getting! That doesn’t equate to not having. What some folks forget is that if you don’t have, you don’t give. It gets wilder than that, too. If you give what you don’t have – not because you make some arbitrary decision to, but because the Lord asks it of you – the Lord multiplies it back to you so many times over you can’t even begin to count it. The poverty mindset says you need to get — and keep for yourself. Giving flies in the face of the poverty mindset.

A businessman Dad used to know was a fellow by the name of R.G. Letourneau. This was a guy responsible for the development and invention of much of the earth-moving equipment we see in the construction industry. I never got to know Letourneau — I was too young when Dad visited with him to remember anything — but he practiced a principle that lots of folks have come to understand.

Letourneau was a struggling designer, machinist, businessman – whatever label you want to apply to him – who began practicing the principle of tithing – then giving. Now before you all go screaming at me, shouting me down and saying that tithing is Old Testament only and not New Testament, just hang on for a second.

Remember what the Lord said to Moses about tithing? (Most folks don’t seem to realize the importance of this.) “And all the tithe …….is holy unto the LORD.” See that word, all? That means every bit of it – no matter what you are tithing on. Money, land, the fruit of your labors, the growth of your herds – everything!

So tell me something, folks! If the tithe was holy unto the Lord before Jesus came, where, pray tell me, did we get this screwed-up idea that Jesus made it less holy…or unholy?”

Nossiree, Bob! What Jesus demonstrated – with the widow’s mite – was that everything we have belongs to the Lord. His praise of the widow was that she gave more with her mite than those rich Scribes and Pharisees gave out of their wealth. The amount wasn’t important. It was the principle. She was giving all that she had, knowing that she couldn’t out-give the Lord.

Jesus never changed the principle of the tithe. He just expanded it. The tithe was still intended to promote and support those whom God calls into the ministry so that they can continue to give themselves to sharing the life that we need to grow in our maturing relationship. Jesus did criticize some tithers, but not for the tithe: for limiting themselves to the tithe.

What happens when you become legalistic about tithing and only give ten percent of your increase? It’s your attitude about it. You are giving what is absolutely demanded by Law. You are living according to the Law instead of incorporating the Grace and Liberty that comes in giving liberally and abundantly. If your giving is legalistic, you reap the curse of the Law. If your giving is free and abundant and cheerful, you soon find out that you can’t out-give the Lord.

This was the lesson R.G. Letourneau learned. He was tithing, and doing OK, but not really getting anywhere financially. So he set down one day and said to the Lord, “Lord, I’ll make a deal with you. I’ll give you 20% of my increase if you’ll go into business with me.” That worked! Letourneau began to prosper.

So he increased his giving to 30%. Then 40%. Then 50%. Before it was over, he was giving the Lord 90% of his income and living better off the 10% than most folks would live off their 90 or 100%. He built his earth-moving equipment business into one of the world’s largest. He became one of the world’s richest men before his death.

See! Letourneau never forgot the 10% and where it belonged. But he added another 10%, and then another, and then another, etc. Letourneau spread his giving so that he supported missions and various ministries; and ultimately, he built what still operates today as a thriving and prosperous college in North Texas, LeTourneau Bible College. The folks that come out that school have those fundamentals taught to them. They are taught how to give.

Another of God’s businessmen was J.C. Penney. Operating a five and dime store and struggling to make ends meet, Penney decided he was going to begin tithing from the proceeds of his dime store. He began to prosper as few people have, growing his little store into a nationwide department store chain that nearly every single American buys from at some time or another.

The question isn’t tithing? The question isn’t even giving. The question is whether you have giving incorporated into your spirit. Giving becomes your mindset. Giving becomes the way you live.

For many years, Della and I have given. There have been times when the Lord asked us to give our last red cent – even with bills unpaid and house payment coming due. We have never failed to obey.

Della and I were talking about an experience we had several years back when I was teaching broadcast engineering as an adjunct to the University of Alaska. I was making pretty good money, but we also had some pretty steep living expenses at the time. One of my students came to me one day and told me about another student in the class that was about to be evicted from his apartment. That student had missed several days of classes, and I wondered out loud in class where he had been.

Checking into the student’s circumstances, we found out that his wife was pregnant, that she had complications, and their medical coverage was falling way short to cover their expenses. He couldn’t afford to keep up with the medical expenses and make his rent payment at the same time.

Della and I felt specifically prompted by the Holy Spirit to pay all of this student’s back rent so that he wouldn’t be evicted, and so that he could complete the engineering course and get a job I knew was waiting for him. In order to help that young man, however, it took every bit of money we had in our bank account. I got a cashier’s check made payable to the student’s landlord in the total amount of his past due and current rent, and it left us with something like seventeen cents in the bank.

More ironic was the fact that our house payment was due in five days. We both had peace about it and knew that the Lord would make good on our needs. He did. I received an unexpected legal settlement over an all-but-forgotten issue a couple days later that more than covered our needs.

It wasn’t the first time we gave everything we had, and it certainly wasn’t the last time. The student? Oh, yes. He finished the course and almost immediately went to work for a local network radio station making more money than he’d ever made in his life.

We were doing more than just taking care of a financial need, however. We were investing ourselves – sowing seed, if you will – into that young man and his wife. We saw the return on our investment in him in the years that followed as he became a recognized radio personality, using his position to influence his listeners for good – and more specifically, for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Della and I don’t just give money. We don’t just tithe. Giving is our occupation. I used to tell folks that I was a minister of the gospel and a broadcaster (among other things). Now, when folks ask me what I do for a living, I tell them that I’m a giver. You ought to see the looks on their faces.

“You do what for a living? Give? What kind of occupation is that?”

It may seem unorthodox, but the principles incorporated into tithing and giving and sowing all yield prosperity when we do it in obedience to God’s word. We don’t just give. We sow. It literally flies in the face of the Spirit of Poverty.

Remember the sharing I did some weeks back on sowing? This is what I was talking about. Everything we do has a “seed sowing and harvest” component to it. We give because it is the heart of the Lord. We give because we can sow into people’s lives and expect a harvest. We give because it is the way to receive. We give because it is the principal road to prosperity. God has prospered us in ways that transcend description.

As you have seen from my Sunday sharing, as well as the weekly Coffee Break articles, Della and I have enjoyed the presence of the Lord and adventures in and with Him in a way that no words can possible describe. We prosper continuously – not because we are trying to get rich, and not because we are trying to make as much money as we can. We prosper because we continue to sow seed. We plant, and we harvest. We plant some more, and we harvest some more.

This sharing is a kind of planting and sowing. In the nearly 14 years that I’ve been writing these coffee break articles, we have received emails and phone calls from people who have accepted Jesus Christ as their personal savior as a direct result of reading them. We have heard from others who have rededicated their lives to the Lord.

Still others have called us on the phone to report miraculous healings as a result of having faith sparked in their spirits and responding to the Spirit of the Lord.

Della and I also sow into other ministries, looking to participate in the harvest that comes forth in those ministries. We give to several missions abroad. We participate as partners with Neville Johnson, Paul Keith Davis, and other prophetic ministries. I’m not saying all this to toot our horns. If the Lord didn’t provide the seed for us to sow, we’d be just as dead in the water as anyone else.

We’ve come to understand – with complete revelation – just exactly what Paul meant when he wrote, “Now He that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness…”

Make sense to you? How about it, folks? Want to do a little experiment? Want to try and out-give God?

Now you know why I always start with or end my conversations with folks with the phrase, ‘Blessings on you!’ If I bless others, I get blessed. If I get blessed, I have more to bless with.

It’s the Law of Sowing and Reaping. More to the point, it’s the Law of Prosperity — the absolute antithesis of the Spirit of Poverty.

We’ve been talking about the Law of Sowing and Reaping, and how it is so integral to the Law of Prosperity. It is the absolute antithesis of the Spirit of Poverty. Let’s see how far we can get in understanding the poverty mindset and the spirit that drives it.

Matthew 6:24: “No man can serve or be in bondage to two different controllers and opposing systems of [mind] control: for he will rather detest and persecute the one and be consumed with desire for the other; or else he will adhere to and care for the one and detest and think in opposition to the other.  You cannot serve and yield to God [and His mode of thinking and operating], and at the same time be in bondage to [and have confidence in] the Spirit of Poverty and Avarice.” (RAC Translation and Amplification)

Poverty and avarice do go together.  The spirit of poverty is part of the curse that came upon mankind and the world as a result of Adam and Eve’s partaking of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil — God’s holy portion in the Garden, reserved to Himself.

The Spirit of Poverty & Avarice was born when Adam & Eve ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. They robbed God of His portion. They went from a divinely-supplied economy to a work-based economy where they had to engage in hard, painful toil and sweat just to eat.

See Genesis 4:5-8: Abel brings “the firstlings of his flock, and the fat thereof.”  This is the first, the best of what he has.  The term “and the fat thereof” in the Hebrew is a metaphor for the absolute finest.

Cain, on the other hand, “brought of the fruit of the ground an offering.”  The Hebrew word used here for “offering” is minchah: a bloodless, costless donation or tribute.  He didn’t bring the firstfruits of his harvest: he brought that which was left over, that which wouldn’t cost him anything or take away from his own supply.

Consider the following:

  • The Spirit of Poverty is totally self-centered.  It only thinks of its own needs or desires.
  • The Spirit of Poverty is Avarice.  It is the personification of greed.  It is never satisfied with “enough.”
  • Corollary to greed is hoarding.  People driven by this spirit have the need to store up “for emergencies” — but not just normal “storing up.”  They hoard, they gather to excess, they put away extra food, extra groceries, extra money, extra tools and supplies, extra anything, to the point that things spoil, they rot, and they decay in storage.
              • Luke 12:15-21: And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?

                 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.

                 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.

  • The Spirit of Poverty is totally driven by the Fear of Death.  The Fear of Man works hand in hand with the Spirit of the Fear of Death to keep one from appearing to be in need or dire straits to those around.
  • The Spirit of Poverty robs people financially.  It is a thief who comes to steal, kill and destroy.  It deprives them of trust in God and in His Word.
  • The Spirit of Poverty causes Christians to short-change God at every hand.  When they tithe, they tithe on the “net” rather than the “gross” paycheck, and then wonder why their money never increases or multiplies to more than supply every possible need.  They only see the actual amount of what they get to deposit in the bank or receive in cash instead of recognizing that the money deducted for payroll taxes, insurance and social security is still part of their income.  Thus, when they pay their tithe, they make God wait in line until the taxes are paid, their life insurance or health insurance is paid, and their social security retirement has been paid.

Because this isn’t money they get to spend — at least right now — they treat it as though it isn’t income.  It is a relatively small portion of their total income, but it is still part of it.  Hence, they cheat God of a portion of His money.  It isn’t any different than Adam taking one bite of one piece of fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  He didn’t take the whole tree: just one bite of one piece of fruit.  The curse came nonetheless.

  • The Spirit of Poverty brings and promotes doubt and unbelief.  It tricks you into doubting God’s Word; and specifically, Matthew 6:30-34.
  •  The Spirit of Poverty stands in direct opposition to the promises of God.  It opposes the Blessing of Abraham.  It opposes and exalts itself above the name, the authority, the power, the character, the personality and the very essence of the Lord Jesus Christ.

II Corinthians 10:4-5: For the weapons and instruments of our war and executed actions [against Satan] do not have their origins and [weak, impotent] operation in natural flesh and human abilities, but they are skillful, potent and powerful – like dynamite – through God to the demolition and extinction of all fortified and guarded places of opinions in opposition,Bringing down violently and demolishing (to total extinction) all mental reasonings and thought processes, and every mental barrier or arrogant and self-elevated attitude that justifies itself in opposition to the knowledge of God; bringing into captivity and making a prisoner every perception of the intellect and every mental purpose or determination to the compliance and submission of Christ and His anointing [in the same way that He complied with the will and desire of the Father]; (RAC Translation and Amplification

Let me pause momentarily to talk about something that is still very real in the body of Christ and how it cooperates with the spirit and mindset of poverty.

There is a doctrine that has permeated the body of Christ during the past roughly 150 years that is rooted in the Fear of Death. It is the “Tribulation/Rapture” theology. Because of the Fear of Death, many Christians fear a period commonly referred to as “the Great Tribulation,” despite the fact that there is no such phraseology anywhere in the Word. Based on a misunderstanding and misinterpretation of some things that both Daniel and John witnessed, this so-called “tribulation” period could last anywhere from 3 ½ to 7 years.

Because of the pictures that John draws in the book of Revelation folks draw the conclusion that there is no way they could survive a period like that. They fear death because they’ve been contaminated by that spirit and fail to take into account the first chapters of Revelation which draw a crystal clear picture of an overcoming Bride who is able to overcome, and as a result they look for a “Rapture” event that will snatch them out of the ongoing doom and gloom.

They neglect all the pictures that John uses in wrapping up the book of Revelation as he talks about a very victorious Bride of Christ. They ignore John’s statement, which reads as follows:

Revelation 19:6-9: And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

Are you seeing it? Let us be glad and rejoice and give honour to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come and His wife hath made herself ready!” What did she have to do to make herself “ready?” Overcome Satan. Overcome all the pressures (Greek: thlipsis – tribulation) that come upon the world. Overcome the three families of Fear. Overcome their flesh. Walk in love and purity. Be the true representation of Jesus Christ’s counterpart and other self.

Enough of my digression. Back to our list of characteristics.

  • The Spirit of Poverty rejects the fact that Jesus’ death on the Cross cancelled out its very existence.
  •  The Spirit of Poverty revels in want, in need, in doing without, in living an austere, sub-normal life on the bleeding edge of death.

Before we continue this list, let’s reprise Jesus’ statement in Matthew 6:24.

Matthew 6:24: “No man can serve or be in bondage to two different controllers and opposing systems of [mind] control: for he will rather detest and persecute the one and be consumed with desire for the other; or else he will adhere to and care for the one and detest and think in opposition to the other.  You cannot serve and yield to God [and His mode of thinking and operating], and at the same time be in bondage to [and have confidence in] the Spirit of Poverty and Avarice.” (RAC Translation and Amplification)

Before we try to finish the list of characteristics that describe the Spirit of Poverty, let’s touch on perhaps what we can describe as the root of this spirit, and that is a Spirit of Deception.

Jesse Duplantis has a phrase the Holy Spirit has given him which accurately describes the results that come from the Spirit of Deception – “Genetically Altered Bible” or “Genetically Altered Scripture.”

We have a term for this. We call it “philosophy.

One of the ways in which the Spirit of Deception works is to get folks to focus on the traditions of man. Perhaps the best description of the “Traditions of Man” is this:

The traditions of man are nothing more and nothing less than the accumulation of ideas formulated from one generation to another (and passed on down throughout the generations) derived from experiences which resulted from the contamination of doubt and unbelief, and resulting in personal failure to see and experience the promises of God established by His Word.

Let me put it another way.

Let’s say that someone a hundred years ago prayed for healing from some particular disease or affliction. Their prayer was contaminated with doubt or unbelief, and the confession of their mouth following their prayer for healing was an expression of hope that God would hear their prayer and perhaps feel kindly enough towards them to grant them their request.

They didn’t receive their healing. They told their friends or family members that “it must not have been God’s will.” The friends or family members took that statement as Truth and began to repeat it; and when they themselves needed healing and failed to receive it because of negative confessions or expressions of doubt, “it must not have been God’s will” became etched in stone.

Subsequent generations picked up on it and repeated it. It became a tradition and a doctrine which subsequently became embedded in the teaching and preaching of ministers.

And it was a flat-out lie which completely ignored all of the Scriptures containing God’s promises of healing, deliverance, restoration and wholeness.

That same kind of tradition got picked up in the lie that “God doesn’t want you to prosper and be in health.” In III John 2, the word translated “prosper” is the word eudoo, which means: to succeed in reaching, to succeed in business affairs. The lie is part and parcel of the mindset and Spirit of Poverty. That lie is what has led many to vow a vow of poverty because they believe that God wants them “humble,” as though poverty has something to do with true humility.

Take a look at some of the things Jesus said, as well as both Paul and Peter. Let’s begin with an event in which Jesus was confronted by the Pharisees:

Matthew 15:2-3: Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?

Matthew 15:8-9: This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

Mark 7:8-9: For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.

 Colossians 2:8: Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

 I Peter 1:18-19 (NASB): Forasmuch as you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, such as silver and gold, from your empty and profitless manner of living (vain conversation, KJV) which came by keeping the traditions of your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

Integral to the Spirit of Poverty is the Spirit of Deception. It all began in the Garden of Eden. We have been discussing the lie of tradition and how much tradition has contaminated religious thinking throughout the centuries. Empty and profitless traditions are not the only in way which the Spirit of Deception operates. Let’s see if we can wrap up today and take this back to the beginning in the Garden.

Genesis 3:1-6: Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

Error began with Eve when she began to listen to, and carry on a conversation with, a voice that did nothing but question the Word of God. The Serpent simply said, “Did God really say you weren’t to eat of every tree of the Garden?”

Do you see how things got twisted? “Every tree” wasn’t the question. It was one single tree – the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

The very first tactic of the Enemy, therefore, was to get Eve to entertain a question concerning God’s Word. Is that really what God said? What did He mean?

And Eve took the bait. “Why, of course we can eat of the trees of the Garden,” she answers. “But we are forbidden to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. What’s more, we can’t even touch it. If we even touch that tree, we will die.”

God hadn’t said that! In fact, it was their responsibility to tend that tree. They just couldn’t eat of its fruit. That was reserved for the Lord!

Thus Eve added to what God had said – and what she added was both fear-motivated and fear-motivating. Her response was not “extra-Biblical,” it was “non-Biblical.” It wasn’t something God had conveyed or even suggested in His command to Adam.

It is interesting to read both Genesis 2:17 and Genesis 3:3 in the Hebrew text. When God warned Adam not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge, He said, “Death will begin, and in dying, you will die.

What Eve said was something quite different. “In the day we eat of that Tree, God will kill us.” That is not at all what the Lord was conveying. He wasn’t saying that He was standing over them with some kind of curse, waiting for them to breach His Word.

He was warning them in love not to eat of the knowledge of good and evil by their own choice and decision.

When He had not revealed it by the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding or by the Spirit of Counsel and Might, it would cause a change in their existence such that they would cease to be immortal.

Human flesh simply was not designed to receive the knowledge of good, or the knowledge of evil separate and apart from it coming by way of the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding – or the Spirit of Counsel and Might. The impartation that comes by the Spirit of God brings life. It brings wisdom and revelation.

Knowledge which comes by any other means comes by the hand of man. And that supplants God, making man become his own god. That kind of knowledge can only result in death – whether by a process or immediate consequence.

Eve’s imagination had run amuck. She interpreted what God had said through fear. Her very words questioned the love of God, and they questioned God’s integrity.

This is where so many folks get messed up. They try to think for God or to imagine that He is saying something He isn’t! And, by Eve’s addition to what God said, she opened the door to fear. She was ready for both error and deception.

The Serpent actually answered Eve according to what God had originally said to Adam, “Death won’t begin and in dying you won’t die.”

He deliberately contradicted what God had said, and then took off on the same mode of questioning God’s integrity.

“God is trying to withhold you from receiving the knowledge of good and evil because it would make you to be just like Him.”

Just like Him? Wait a minute. Adam and Eve were already like Him. They were spirit-beings designed to live and function interdimensionally in both the natural world and the spirit realm.

The Serpent, Satan, was maligning God’s heart and intent; and what’s more, he was telling Eve that she and Adam were really just natural, earthly beings who didn’t have access to the Heavenlies.

Now he says, “God knows that in the day you eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil that your eyes will be opened. You will possess the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding. You will be just like God! You will possess supernatural knowledge of good and evil.

That was a flat-out lie! It was a case of first-class deception – and Eve had opened herself up to it because she allowed her own imagination to consider and question God’s motives.

The fact that she followed through and ate of the fruit of the tree was a given when she allowed the words of her own mouth to agree with a false conception of what God had said; and she followed that by listening to – and believing – a lie that demeaned her and Adam.

The Spirit of Deception always puts you down. It always questions God’s motives. It always adds to God’s Word in such a way as to alter your behavior and cause you to become disobedient to the Word.

The Spirit of Deception has a simple goal: to steal, to kill and to destroy every opportunity for the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding – the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation – to reveal the love of the Lord Jesus Christ to you.

The Spirit of Deception has an objective of preventing you from receiving the kind of advice, admonition, and correction coming from the Spirit of Counsel and Might that will steer you towards knowing and understanding the heart’s desire of the Lord Jesus Christ. It always seeks to shortcut the Word in such a way that allows for instant gratification.

David clearly understood the heart’s desire of the Lord and the integrity of God’s Word when he wrote the following concerning Joseph:

Psalm 105:17-19: He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant: Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron: Until the time that his word came: the word of the LORD tried him.

Writing to the Ekklesia in Laodicea, John prophesies the Word of the Lord like this – and it is a Word that reverses the curse that came with the deception in the Garden:

Revelation 3:18-19: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

 Are we good, thus far? Have I been clear enough in helping you understand the roots of the Spirit of Poverty and its mindset?

Good!

Then, let’s see if we can finish the list of characteristics we began last week.

  • The Spirit of Poverty is a jealous spirit.  This jealousy is less targeted towards the relationship between individuals, between husband and wife, or between friends and more targeted towards those who live their lives in abundance and prosperity.  Poverty hates abundance (with a purple passion).  Poverty hates prosperity and does everything in its power to avoid it.
  • The Spirit of Poverty is an accusing spirit.  In conjunction with #15, when this demonic spirit sees committed believers in Jesus Christ who are prospering, who are living the life of abundance, who are wealthy in fact, it causes the people in whom it dwells to accuse those who are prospering of evil motives, of crooked business affairs and even outright theft in order to be wealthy.  Worse, when those who are prospering and living lives of abundance happen to be ministers of the Gospel, “they obviously got that way by taking those $15 and $20 checks off little old widows who live on a pension.”  There are a host of accusations I don’t need to recount here, but you get the picture.  You’ve no doubt heard a fistful of these accusations.
  •  The Spirit of Poverty attracts lack.  You’ve all heard the cliché that “like attracts like.”  I’ve watched this happen repeatedly throughout the years.  Someone in bondage to this spirit tries to better themselves and move into better surroundings, get a better home, a better car — you name it.  Before long, their new surroundings, their new home and their new car look exactly like what they left behind: trash!  Their friends and close associates live like they do, think like they do, and talk like they do.  And the cycle of poverty repeats.
  • The Spirit of Poverty promotes the wrong kind of mentality when it comes to possessions.  Let me illustrate.  There are two very different and opposite aspects to this mentality.  (See Ecclesiastes 5:10-12)

The mentality of the Spirit of Poverty is to get you to focus on material things, money, possessions.  You either (1) see them as something you must have more and more and more of; or (2) you see them as things you need to get rid of in order to “be a true Christian” (assuming, of course, that the person is a Christian to begin with).  Either way, the focus of this spirit and the thinking and mentality of this spirit is materially oriented.

  • The Spirit of Poverty is the driving force behind thievery of every sort: embezzlement, fraud, stealing in any form.  This spirit deprives people of a real work ethic and promotes a “you owe me” attitude.  It is the same spirit that drives a welfare mentality.

Along with #19 comes the lie of this spirit that says “Money will fix everything.  Just give me money, and everything will be taken care of.”  This lie drives the “good works” organizations that want to relieve poverty.  Folks, we don’t fix poverty by throwing money at it.  Poverty is not a state of having or being without.  Poverty is a spirit, and it has to be dealt with spiritually.  You don’t give money to an evil spirit: you kick it out in the name of Jesus!

  • No government institution has the power or the authority to reduce poverty or mitigate in any way the sorry state of the poor.  All it does with its social service programs is to enlarge the realm of poverty and to create more poverty thinking, along with poverty-minded dependents who are incapable or unwilling to get out of their dependencies.  Fixing poverty isn’t the responsibility of civil governing authorities, nor is it in their power to resolve no matter how hard they try, and no matter how noble and committed they may be to helping.
  • The Spirit of Poverty promotes false humility.  It creates and paints a fake picture of being humble before the Lord by doing without things.  It creates timidity towards God that makes namby-pamby, Caesar Milquetoast, cheap, “I’m just an old sinner saved by grace” flavor of Christians.”  It’s sick!  Maybe you’ve never thought of it like this, but to make a statement like that is a religious cliché and an insult to the Lord Jesus Christ.  It defames Him and ridicules the ultimate cost He paid to redeem us.

A Christian is either a person who is saved by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, or he/she is a sinner in need of salvation.  You can’t be both an old sinner and saved by grace at the same time.  Once you’ve been redeemed by the Lord Jesus Christ, saved and baptized in water, the act of baptism buries the old sinner.  The old sinner is literally dead!

The apostle Paul wrote the following:

Hebrews 10:12-13: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.

What the Spirit of Poverty does to a person is to make them believe that they have no responsibility for anything; that the entire burden for their provision, their healing, their deliverance is on Jesus.  What they’ve been blinded to is the fact that Jesus has done everything He’s going to do.  He’s done everything He needs to do.  The apostle Paul tells us that He sat down on the right hand of God.

 

  • The other side of this same coin (false humility, timidity) is cowardice.  The Spirit of Poverty turns Christians into utter cowards who won’t stand up for themselves; folks who would rather switch than fight (sorry about the pun); people who refuse to find out what God has provided in the Word for every single situation we can possibly face.  These cowards would rather accept their poverty — their “broke, busted, and disgusted” state — because it is easier to accept poverty than to stand up against the lies of Satan.

It becomes easier to believe that God wants you broke and living on the bleeding edge of nothingness than it does to believe that God wants you to prosper and to be in health physically, emotionally, mentally and financially.  When you believe that utter demonic balderdash, you become a spiritual coward, unwilling to stand up against your situation and decree that “I’ll never be broke another day in my life!”

 

  • The Spirit of Poverty is a slanderer.  And guess who he slanders the most?  YOU!  You’re worthless.  You don’t deserve to be blessed.  Who do you think you are, anyway? Your parents and grandparents were trailer trash, and you’ll never be anything more than they were.  Besides, you’re not righteous.  Remember how many times you’ve sinned and failed God?  What makes you think you are forgiven?  There are really only a very few righteous people in the world, and you aren’t one of them.  God can’t bless you.

 Are you plagued in some area of your life by this wicked spirit? Then let me give you some confessions and decrees to speak out loud, whether you do it by yourself or in the presence of others.

(1) THE BLOOD OF JESUS, AND THE NAME OF JESUS, GIVE ME THE RIGHT TO EXERCISE AUTHORITY OVER THE SPIRIT OF POVERTY.

(2) SPIRIT OF POVERTY AND AVARICE AND DEBT, LEAVE ME, MY FAMILY, AND MY HOUSEHOLD.

(3) I DON’T WORK TO LIVE: I LIVE TO GIVE! THE BLESSING OF ABRAHAM IS MINE!

I trust that this series has been an eye-opener for you and an avenue of deliverance for those who’ve been tormented by the Spirit of Poverty. Next week, we will begin a new series dealing with Resurrection Life.

 For those of you who’ve participated during the past three years in our Monday night Healing Prayer Conference Call, this is just a reminder that the calls have resumed on a once-a-month basis, the first Monday of each month. If you have a need for healing, or you have friends in need of healing, here is the number to call: (712) 775-7035. The Access Code is: 323859#.

 

At the same time, in case you are missing out on real fellowship in an environment of Ekklesia, our Sunday worship gatherings are available by conference call – usually at about 10:45AM Pacific. That conference number is (712) 770-4160, and the access code is 308640#. We are now making these gatherings available by Skype. If you wish to participate by video on Skype, my Skype ID is regner.capener. If you miss the live voice call, you can dial (712) 770-4169, enter the same access code and listen in later. The video call, of course, is not recorded – not yet, anyway.

Blessings on you!

Regner A. Capener
CAPENER MINISTRIES

RIVER WORSHIP CENTER
Temple, Texas 76504

Email Contact: CapenerMinistries@protonmail.com

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WELL I HOPE THIS POST HAS BEEN A BLESSING TO EACH OF YOU.

I remain Keith Flint,  GodsWaterBoy, Giving out the Water of Life and Healing.

Personal contact: 720-281-3965 mobile/text  Let me hear from you.

Blessings On You!