Articles by other Colleagues
Thoughts of A Spiritual Nature / February 1997/John H. Stephens
Thoughts of A Spiritual Nature / March 1997/John H. Stephens
The TRUE evil of homosexuality - FEAR/Leif M. Wright
Thoughts of A Spiritual Nature / April 1997/John H. Stephens
Thoughts of A Spiritual Nature / May 1997/John H. Stephens
Thoughts of A Spiritual Nature / June 1997/John H. Stephens
Thoughts of A Spiritual Nature / July 1997/John H. Stephens
The Poverty Lie!
By: Catherine Goy / Bible Teacher / Business Woman
ATP Colleagues in Ministry
"Money in and of itself isn't evil, any more than a gun for that matter. Money, like the gun is only an object. Like the gun, money can serve a good and useful purpose, or it can serve an evil purpose."
One of the biggest and most successful lies ever sold to the body of Christ today is that poverty equates to holiness. There are even doctrines today that teach this, and it is taught under the guise of "making the ultimate sacrifice to God". As a result of this lie, we have failing social systems such as welfare. If it isn't this particular system, it is another system like it with a different name. Not only does welfare or systems like it fail to meet real financial needs, it allows no possibility for real abundance. I believe that these systems can create an unhealthy dependency in some and robs all people of the rich opportunity to exercise the tremendous talents and creativity God has given to them. It also robs them of another rich opportunity.........the joy of being a giver!
Make no mistake. I am not criticizing those on welfare, or in reality the system itself. Welfare is simply society's way of taking care of the needy. Like many man made systems, it falls short of the goal. That goal is to help people get to the place in their lives where they are no longer dependent on a system to help them get by. If I am criticizing anyone, it is the Church of Jesus Christ. When I speak of the Church of Jesus Christ I am talking about Christians. If anyone should have a heart's desire for the needy, it should be the Church. I believe if the Christians were to really walk in godly giving, the poverty on this planet would be severely reduced. The Church as a body of believers, should be a self-sustaining and self-healing organism. The ways of God our higher than our ways, and we should look to Him and the ways He has taught us. If believers really understood the necessity and blessing associated with giving as the early church did, we wouldn't rely so much on bankers and credit cards. If one of us had a need, the rest of the body would, and could respond financially. Giving should be a complete cycle and meets everyone's need; the giver, the receiver and blesses the heart of Father God.
Now even if we recognize this "poverty means holiness" idea as not spiritually accurate, many of us may not feel comfortable with the fact that God wants to prosper us. We may even feel less comfortable with the fact that God wants us to give our money away. Somewhere along the line, many believers have accepted the idea that having abundance financially is "unspiritual" or even carnal. And even if we have broken through this lie, we still are fearful that if we give, we will not have enough.
It is my desire that you will really listen to the spirit of God as we go through His Word to determine the truth for yourself. God says that when we know the truth, that truth will set us free. It is my prayer over you, that God will set you free to give joyfully and live in the prosperity that God want you to enjoy in the lifetime and help meet the needs of those around you. But also just as important, we as Christians have a responsibility to fund churches, ministries and outreaches who play an active ongoing role in getting this great Gospel of Jesus Christ to the lost. We also need to help financially those who put themselves unselfishly on the front lines of ministry daily. We can pray, encourage and speak great words of faith over them, but if we don't give....................they can't go.
I want to expose some of satan's cleverest lies. Satan uses our own belief systems (maybe passed down from friends, family or doctrine) and what we have concocted based on our own ideas, philosophy, thoughts, etc., to distort the truth. But I want us to trust and rely on the Word of God because the bible teaches that God is not a man that he should lie.............so we can trust Him.
"Money is the root to all evil, so if money is evil, surely God doesn't want me to have much of it".
Money in and of itself isn't evil, any more than a gun for that matter. Money, like the gun is only an object. Like the gun, money can serve a good and useful purpose, or it can serve an evil purpose. In 1st Timothy 6:10 it clearly states "that the love of money is the root to all evil", and that those people who crave to be rich will pierce themselves with many sorrows. If the whole motive of getting rich is to have it for status, luxury or power than there is a different issue to deal with here. For those people who fall into this category, the attitude in their heart concerning money needs to change. If loving money takes the place of God in our life, then the real evil isn't the money itself. The real wrong and sin is serving mammon (money). The wisdom of God's word says that no man can serve two masters because he will love on and hate the other. If we put the desire to serve mammon ahead of our desire to serve God, we will "pierce ourselves with many sorrows" because we will resent trying to obtain wealth and serve God at the same time. Interestingly enough, if we put God first, He will see to it that all things are added to us, including the freedom from worrying about money! Hallelujah!
"If I am supposed to prosper, why are all the great men of God poor"?
They weren't poor! The Jews had a covenant with God that included material blessings! Please read the account in Genesis 17:1-9. In short, God told Abraham that he would multiply him exceedingly!
Abraham was known far and wide in his day for the tremendous wealth that he possessed. A good guess would be that Abraham was probably richer than anyone we know today. And this money wasn't in paper (investments, stocks, etc.). This was hard goods and cash! Abraham was blessed with land, livestock and gold!
In King Solomon's day, so much of the temple was built with gold, that silver was counted as nothing! In other words, silver was piled up as junk! King Solomon was extremely wealthy even by today's standards. 1st Kings 10:21
"God doesn't care about my money. After all, He is God and He has everything. What does he need my money for?"
In Malachi -----, God told the Jews that they were robbing and defrauding Him by withholding their tithes and offerings, and then he cursed the whole nation. He also made a way out for them by telling them to bring all the tithes (the first 10th of their increase) into the storehouse, that there my be food in His house. He also told them if they did so, He would pour out a blessing that they would not have room enough to contain it! He even told them that He (personally) would rebuke the devourer (the devil) for their sakes. He told them they would lose crops before their time to ripen. Remember, these people were farmers. If they lost crops, they lost money!
God didn't need their money any more than He needs ours. What he was really asking for is the same thing He still asks for; our obedience. Giving the first of our income is a recognition that God is our source (not the job, our savings account, etc.). Giving the first part of our income is surrendering to the fact that all we have comes from Him. Also, don't we want holy protection from the enemy who wants to destroy our ability to earn a living and prosper in our financial dealings?
I think most of us let God rule in just about all areas of our lives. I will tell you however that letting God have His way in our finances and letting Him lead us in giving is an area of surrender that is harder than most. However, when we truly let God lead us in our giving, the blessing begin to manifest. God doesn't just let the blessings "flow", he makes sure they overflow! When the blessings begin to overflow, we can give out of that abundance. When we are then obedient to give out of that flow of abundance, guess what? The blessing overflow even more!
This circle of blessing just gets bigger and bigger. This fact here is the chief reason why satan blinds people in the area of giving. He does not want this cycle to begin. He knows that when it begins, people will be blessed, the Gospel will go out and he will loose a major foothold in our life. That foothold is fear. When we become givers, we can live in peace and freedom from the worry that we will not have enough.
God honors the prayers of givers. We can pray and have answers when something threatens our livelihood. We can have complete assurance that when the devil rears his ugly head and tries to steal from us that God will rebuke him for our sakes and say "no devil, they are givers into my Kingdom, and you will not take"!
Well, tithing is in the old testament, and it was under the Law. I'm saved by grace now.
Read what Jesus says regarding this attitude:
"Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, pretenders—and hypocrites! For you give a tenth of your mint, dill and cumin and have neglected and omitted the weightier (more important) matters of the Law, right and justice and mercy and fidelity. These you ought (particularly) to have done, without neglecting the other."
How much plainer can this be? Just because grace came to the earth with Jesus, doesn't mean people were let off the hood from tithing, any more than they were let off the hook in how they were to treat people. Jesus was saying to these religious leaders that they were tithing down to the tiniest cumin seed, but they were blatantly and grossly ignoring the importance of concerning themselves with what is right, being faithful, and extending mercy to all they came in contact with. In essence he was telling them that love, mercy, justice and righteous conduct was their first priority. This did not mean however that they could ignore their responsibility to tithe.
"It's not fair to teach giving to those who are poor and can't afford to give. It may make them feel bad."
To this I say "HOGWASH"! Paul, the great apostle of God tell the Phillipians that when he began his ministry in the early days, when he left Macedonia, this church was the only one supplying his needs. He writes that not once, but twice they sent contributions to him. Paul further states that even though others have also supported his efforts to preach the Gospel and establish churches, their gifts are not something he was seeking. He makes a point however to tell them that he is eager the credit from God (materially and spiritually) they are going to receive as a result. He ends this passage by saying that these financial sacrifices are pleasing to God, and that God delights and welcomes these gifts given so unselfishly. The best part is when Paul tells this giving church at Phillipi, that because of this giving, God will liberally supply every need they have according to His riches in Glory by Jesus Christ.
Let me tell you that Paul was more excited for them, and the blessings that awaited them, than he was for the gift itself! He understood clearly, and without doubt that when the people gave, God gave back..............liberally! What Paul didn't do was to dump these financial gifts back into their laps and say:
"Oh you poor little church. Just save your money. God understands that you don't have any money."
No! Paul said this instead:
"Great! I can't wait to see what has been credited to your account in heaven!"
Giving should be a way of life for every believer. We are expected to become more mature in the things of God with each passing day. The goal God has for us is to be more "Christlike". Well...............God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost are all givers, right? If we live all of our lives, and never give out of what we have, we will someday have to give an account for it before God.
The Goys serve on the Board of Directors for According To Prophecy Ministries. We are honor to have them as a part of this Ministry.
Catherine & Craig Goy: The Goys founded a company with another partner in the Lord in 1994 and less than three years later they enjoy annual revenues of $20,000,000.00. This was a busines supernaturally directed by God and He is blessing it abundantly. Catherine is the Director of Sales and Marketing and Craig Goy is the General Manger.
They also are part of Women's Aglow Prison Ministry and Minister every other week at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, a federal prison located in downtown San Diego. They have been ministering there since 1993, and have seen God move in a powerful way.
Your comments and suggestions are welcomed.