Dealing With The Spirit of Poverty, Part 7
June 8, 2018
Integral to the Spirit of Poverty is the Spirit of Deception. It all began in the Garden of Eden. We were discussing the lie of tradition last week 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 that 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?
Then, let’s see if we can finish the list of characteristics we began last week.
15. 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.
16. 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.
17. 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.
18. 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.
19. 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.
20. 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.
21. 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.
22. 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!"
23. 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
RIVER WORSHIP CENTER
Temple, Texas 76504
Email Contact: CapenerMinistries@protonmail.com
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