Dealing With The Spirit of Poverty, Part 2
May 4, 2018
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.
Remember how we talked last week? 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.”
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.
Guess this is where we will pause for today. Still have lots of territory to cover, so we will pick it up again next week.
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
RIVER WORSHIP CENTER
Temple, Texas 76504
Email Contact: CapenerMinistries@protonmail.com
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