THE EFFICACY OF THE BLOOD: The Fifth Exchange – Dealing with the Curse of Poverty:
¬¬ns: 8th October 2013:
2Cor.8:9 states: “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor that ye through His poverty might be rich.” This truth so clearly stated in the word of God has led to a perversion of the gospel in what is plaguing the Church today as prosperity preaching.
To understand the fifth exchange that happened on the cross, we must answer five pertinent questions viz:
1. Is prosperity the will of God?
2. What is God’s definition of prosperity?
3. What is God’s process of prosperity?
4. What is the danger of pursuing prosperity on terms contrary to the word and way of God.
5. How do I come back to God’s Master plan for my prosperity?
If we are able to answer these questions, we would have done justice to this subject:
IS PROSPERITY THE WILL OF GOD: Two passages of scripture make it very clear that prosperity is indeed the will of God for His creation especially His servants:
“Let them shout for joy and be glad that favour my righteous cause. Yea, let them say continually let the Lord be magnified which hath pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.” (Ps.35:27)
“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health even as thy soul prospereth.” (3rd Jn.2).
I once asked my students in a Sunday school class I was leading what Jesus was wearing when he was killed by Roman soldiers with active encouragement of His Jewish brothers. Almost everybody in the class answered that he was tying a loin cloth probably because of the drawings that have circulated over the years concerning this scene.
But the truth of the matter is that Jesus was killed, completely naked. He was stripped to the last piece of clothe in His body. He was completely humiliated and impoverished to pay every debt that man owed as a result of his bowing his knees to Satan. That is how far he had to go to ensure that were not encumbered by anything. Poverty is a curse from Satan and never the will of God for man.
WHAT IS GOD’S DEFINITION OF PROSPERITY?
To answer this question, we must state from the beginning that biblical prosperity is NOT the accumulation of material things. Jesus said clearly that a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of what he has. One of the strongest warnings in the bible is against the inordinate pursuit of earthly wealth:
“But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” (1Tim.6:9-10)
Money is Satan’s leg on earth. Money is controlled by one of the deadliest spirits in the kingdom of hell called Mammon (Lk.16:13). He recruits servants for the dark kingdom by offering them worldly riches in exchange for their soul. The bible admonishes us in this manner: ‘What will it profit a man to gain the whole world and then lose his soul?’
Sometime last year, the Lord asked us to go and pray at the waterfront. We entered the Atlantic Ocean from the Jakande gate in Lekki. I was shocked to the bones that as early as 8pm, the whole water front has been taken over by all manner of satanic white garment churches, native doctors and desperate people who have come to offer sacrifices to mammon in their quest for quick money. We saw people burning all colours of candle and making invocations and enchantments even before it got dark.
It is dangerous to teach a believer about money without teaching him first about Mammon.
Godly prosperity recognises that the total personality of man consists of spirit, soul and body. (1Ths.5:23). The Lord will bless us with wealth in proportion as we prosper in our souls. Money is the easiest way that Satan captures the soul of man and God wants us to die to it before he can put it at our disposal.
The Bible commands us to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and other things (including money) will be added to us. (See Matt,6:33).
GOD’S PROCESS OF PROSPERITY: On 15th January 2012, the Lord gave me a revelation that He was going to raise financial giants within the kingdom that will bear the Gospel burden that has come on Africa as the continent that will reveal the last glory of God on earth. I published this word under the Title, ‘A word for the Zebulun’s and Issachars.’ Some brethren that received this word confirmed that the Lord has been speaking to them in the same manner. Many of the people that believed that this word applied to them are still going through one struggle or the other in their business even after months of prayers. My understanding is that if God is going to build you up in this manner, he will refine you in the furnace of affliction. God never builds on another man’s foundation. Many times before God can raise anything to life, that thing has to die first before it can receive the life of God. Peter defines God’s process in this manner: “But the God of all grace who has called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.” (1Pet.5:10). God does not believe in instant wealth. He prepares you through trials, tests and suffering before he commits wealth into your hands. He does this for your protection to be sure that his blessings do not become your undoing, because any person that will have wealth must have Mammon to contend with.
DANGER OF PROSPERITY WITHOUT GOD: In blessing the twelve tribes of Israel, Moses pronounced this wonderful blessing on the tribes of Zebulun and Issachar: “And of Zebulun he said, rejoice Zebulun in thy going out and Issachr in thy tents. They shall call the people unto the mountain; there they shall offer sacrifices of righteousness: for they shall suck of the abundance of the seas, and of treasures hid in the sand.” In blessing the two tribes and empowering them financially, God’s purpose was for them to use their wealth to establish people in the kingdom. But after some time, they were carried away and forgot God, such that by the time of Christ’s ministry, they had become a different thing as a people. “The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up..” (Matt.4:15-16). You can see that from the time when Moses prophesied concerning Zebulun and Issachar, to the time of Jesus’ first advent, the Zebulonians had become a ‘people who sat in darkness’ (Matt.4:15). The main reason given by scripture is that they dwelt by way of the sea. They were influenced into darkness because as they forgot the original purpose for their blessing they were taken captive by the three major satanic principalities/demons that dwell in the sea that Satan uses to siphon resources away from God and His purposes. The principalities are: Mammon (Lk.16:13); Leviathan (Is.27:1, Ps.74:13-14) and The Queen of the Coast or Jezebellian spirit (Rev.2:20).
To have money without God is a death sentence. If it happened to the Zabulonians, it will happen to you especially if you are living in Nigeria a country where the existing structures are such that it is very difficult to do business without compromise.
GOD’S CORNERSTONE PRINCIPLES FOR PROSPERITY:
Godly prosperity are anchored on four pillars:
1. Remember God who is the giver of all things: All the resources we use to create wealth are given to us by God. He gives us life, strength, talents and abilities. Dt.8:18 states it this way: “But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God for it is he that giveth thee the power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.” God does not give us wealth to consume on our lusts, but in order to establish His covenant. Today this is done through the preaching of Gospel, and so we must see ourselves as kingdom partners with God and channel whatever he gives us towards the establishment of His kingdom.
2. Seek God above all things: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matt.6:33). Ministering to some people who have seen some measure of financial blessing, one area I have always noticed the devil cheating them is in the area of making time for God. Some people think that they are okay once they are giving but this is a lie. Anybody seeking God must create time for Him. I recommend that out of 7 days in a week, you must bring out a day in which you forget about your business and wait on the Lord. Whatever you give time most is what you are seeking. If you give more time to your business than you are giving to God, then your business and not God is your number one priority, and anything you put as number one in your life becomes your God. This is the plain truth.
3. Give, Give and Give: The Economic ideology of the kingdom of Satan which controls the present world order is built on the philosophy of selfish accumulation, greed and exploitation of the weak by the strong. God’s economic ideology is built on giving, sowing and empowering the weak instead of exploiting them. Lk.6:38 puts it this way: “Give and it shall be given unto you, good measure, pressed down, and shaken together and running over shall men give into your bossom. For with the same measure you that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” In the Old Covenant, the Israelites were commanded to give at least 10% of all their income. In the New Testament, we must give according to the direction of the Holy Spirit. (See Gal.6:8). We must understand that the standard of the New Covenant is higher than the Old Covenant. Therefore, God expects each believer to prayerfully seek Him in prayers to know the percentage of his income he should be giving to Him. This is one way he delivers us from the power of Mammon, when we begin to make Him Lord over our finances.
4. DIE TO SELF: The mystery of growing in anything that the Lord has given is to be a person that has died to self. “Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies it remains alone, but if it dies it produces much fruit.” (Jn.12:24). In Is.45:3, it is written: “And I will give thee treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places.” This scripture is talking about hidden riches that God has reserved for his end-time purposes.
Prosperity is the will of God for all His children. However, God wants us to prosper on His own terms. For us to experience the best provision of God, we must strive to grow in the knowledge of God because there are things we will never have unless we pay the price for sonship. Jesus paid the price for us to have all our needs met and also live in abundance and be a blessing to those around us: This is the fifth exchange that took place on the cross. We can make this our proclamation: ‘Jesus endured my poverty that I might have His abundance.’
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