And solutions to you this post-Thanksgiving day!
OK. Sure. Salutations, too. Ummm....Hi, there!
Case you hadn't noticed, the coffee is filling up the room with that wonderful aroma. Better pour yourself a cup before we start.
Brother! What a Thanksgiving holiday we had! Counting Della's Mom, her oldest brother, Denny, and her sister Debbie, and a passel of our kids and grandkids, nieces and nephews, we had 40 people for Thanksgiving dinner. Some of these kids had never met each other before, so it was something in the way of a family reunion. If all of our kids and grandkids had made it, we'd have had something close to 60 people at the table (Uhhh, make that table(s), and if you add all the nieces and nephews to the bunch......I don't think I can count that high. (Hehehehehe.....) As it was, we had to use the church basement to seat everyone and have enough room for the tables that held all the food. Even with forty people at the table, we had enough food left over to feed an army.
Reckon some of you all know what that's like.
We lost a few people the other day with my comment about folks committing adultery when they work for a living. Guess I must have hit a nerve. Let's see if I can clarify my statements a little more.
Let's go back and revisit the curse that came upon the earth following Adam's sin.
"And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." (Genesis -19)
Sound like a curse to you?
"In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground." Yup. That's a curse. Especially considering how Adam and Eve had lived without sweat in the foregoing years in the Garden of Eden. All they had to do prior to their eviction was to gather whatever they needed. Everything they could possibly need was provided.
God was their entire source. They didn't work for a
living. Eve didn't have to sew any clothing or go to the local Bon Marche
or Nordstrom's or Macy's in order to outfit she and Adam
in the latest and greatest! Fact is, they had the latest and greatest --
The "latest and greatest," of course, was nothing more and nothing less than the Glory of the Lord that clothed and surrounded them.
Adam wasn't out digging ditches for irrigation in 100-degree temperatures. He wasn't scraping or plowing or harrowing with his John Deere in order to see that the ground was properly fertilized. There was no such thing as spring and summer and fall and winter.
Eve didn't have to manage the local Safeway or Albertson's in order to see that their household was stocked with the proper food, and Adam wasn't bargaining with Tyson's for his prepped baking chicken or turkey. He didn't have to run to the local Chevron with his Escalade or Hummer before 10:00 PM to buy gas. Eve didn't have to contend with beeping interruptions on her Sprint cell phone from their kids wanting this or that.
Fact is, the Garden of Eden was nothing more and nothing less than a reproduction of Heaven on Earth. When it came to a need to communicate, Adam and Eve had "Holy Spirit communication" with God and with each other. Sci-fi aficionados like to call it "mental telepathy" but there was nothing mental about it. Their minds were pure and uncontaminated. Whatever they needed to know to accomplish their assignment from God was there -- instantly! -- and that knowledge didn't come from courses at Eden Tech: it came by revelation from the Spirit of God.
If they needed to be hundreds of miles away at some different place in the Garden, transportation was nothing more than envisioning what God had planted in them, and they were there in a millisecond -- uhh, make that "nanosecond."
Whatever needed to happen, happened because they had been created in the image and likeness of God Himself. Just as He spoke the world into existence, they had the capacity to speak creatively. After all, one of Adam's assignments from God was to speak into being the very character, makeup and onoma of every living thing on the planet. Adam didn't have to carefully weigh and consider how the giraffe, the elephant, the rhino, the lion, the tiger or the hippopotamus should behave, think and react towards each other. The divine revelation flowing in him which was characteristic of the Lord simply envisioned, spoke and declared, and saw the manifestation of the faith-word that came out of his mouth.
But all that changed in the twinkling of an eye when they ate the fruit of the forbidden tree. The Serpent's trick was to deceive Eve -- and through her, Adam -- into rationalizing things and second-guessing God. Once God's Word and command became something to question and reconsider, and then judge according to "reasonable" standards, Adam and Eve had been misled and duped into trading the divine realm of revelation, spirit-to-spirit communion and communication for knowledge that came by acquisition, by human endeavor, by experience-learning, by study and sweat.
Human knowledge had no place in the Garden. Human reasoning and rationale had no function in God's economy. Everything about the Garden was "sweatless."
Adam and Eve had effectively been transformed from Sons of God into little gods -- and, Brother, was that ever a fall! They had become gods unto themselves, supplanting the authority of the Lord God through the imagination and thoughts of their own minds.
Worse, they were now subjects of a former angelic-being -- Satan -- whose lies, whose deception, whose tactics of fear, doubt, and unbelief were the only methodologies by which he could keep them subservient to himself.
Strange, isn't it? Satan doesn't have this vast array of weapons in his arsenal. He only has three weapons, but he uses them against everyone -- and, Brother, does he EVER use them against anyone who has a relationship with the Lord, or anyone who may be leaning towards a relationship with the Lord.
Let me deviate here for a minute to give you a prime example of how Satan targets God's people with fear, doubt or unbelief.Â We'll come back to this picture of Adam and Eve, and the curse that befell the human race because of their disobedience.
Fear, doubt and unbelief are all the core of anger, jealousy and rage. Fear, doubt, and unbelief are all rooted in lies or partial and twisted facts. There's a statement that I've made for a number of years, and I'll repeat it here. It goes like this:
"Truth" is not a collection of facts. And yet it can be.
"Truth" is neither the reciting of history, nor a compilation of events which have occurred. And yet it can be.
"Truth" is not the quoting of scriptures. And yet it can be.
Facts. History. Scriptures. They can all be a portion of truth, but in and of themselves, they are not -- by any stretch of the imagination -- truth.
Facts can be twisted by The Spirit of Error and become a lie. History can be distorted -- and often is -- so that historical facts are taken out of context to present a false picture. Personal experience, left to stand on its own, can bring wrong conclusions. Scriptures can be quoted to support virtually any stance one desires to take.
Truth, therefore, is not just facts, history, personal experience, or scriptures.
Truth -- the genuine article -- can only come by the Spirit of Truth, which is one of the seven Spirits of God. The Spirit of Truth takes facts, takes history, takes events which have occurred -- either in our lives, or in the lives of others -- or, takes verses of scripture and applies them in a manner which brings life. The Spirit of Truth takes that life and transmits it into the core of our beings.
Truth -- the very essence of Jesus' onoma -- is that which He was clothed in. It was the life which went forth when He spoke the worlds into existence. It was the spirit which went forth when He breathed into man the breath of life.
Because everything He spoke was founded in Truth, there was an absoluteness to everything which occurred. The very foundations of the Universe rested upon that Truth. Truth, therefore, is a part of the invincible foundation of the Throne.
THAT, folks, is what Satan seeks to contaminate, to steal, to destroy. And he does it with fear, doubt and unbelief. One of his favorite tactics was well articulated by the infamous Hermann Goering, Hitler's minister of propaganda, in the statement (and I'm paraphrasing him), "A lie repeated often enough will become "truth" that people will believe."
Here's a choice example of a "lie repeated often enough": All those televangelists want is your money. They only do it to line their own pockets.
Then you get "news" reports on CBS and ABC such
as the recent "expose" of six ministries that are under investigation
by the FBI (sic) (should be the
This is a prime example of stupidity run amuck! The real truth behind Joyce Meyer's "bathroom" was that a very wealthy lady came to her and told her that she was getting rid of some antiques. She knew that Joyce liked antique furniture and asked her if she would allow her to give Joyce a marble "commode."
In today's parlance, a "commode" is a toilet. In the 1800's, however, a "commode" was a very fancy dresser. I suppose it could be used in a bathroom, if one wanted to put it there, but Joyce wasn't about to put this antique in her bathroom. Instead, she put it on display in the foyer of her home. She had it appraised and the appraiser told her it was worth an estimated $450,000. Pretty fancy "commode" if you ask me. I wouldn't pay that kind of money for it, and I don't know many folks who would. Joyce certainly wouldn't, but she graciously received the gift.
When the story leaked out about her $450,000 commode, the facts were twisted into her having spent nearly half a million dollars on a luxury bathroom. There wasn't any truth to the story whatever. Nevertheless, it lent credence to the canard about televangelists.
Early this year, Della and I participated in a ministers conference at
You'd have thought Creflo and all those who participated in this gift committed the "Crime of the Century" to hear the news reports, Internet blogs and stories that began to fly soon thereafter. Missing from the stories, of course, was that the Copelands had given and distributed well over a billion dollars (Yup, that's billion with a $B!) over the years into other ministries to build churches, finance missions, provide for missionaries, establish homes for the homeless, finance huge soul-winning crusades such as those of Reinhard Bonnke -- and much more -- all leading to the salvation of literally hundreds of millions of people throughout those forty years. And that doesn't count their own radio and television ministries and worldwide crusades and conferences!
Sure. There are a very few bad apples in the pot. There are those who have captured the message of prosperity and the truth of it in Scripture who have perhaps misused or misspent some portion of the monies they receive. If you listen to Satan's repeated obfuscation, however, the whole lot of them are like that.
Never mind the fact that Creflo Dollar began to build his fortune before he ever began pastoring (he built and operated -- maybe still does -- a highly successful commercial charter airline) and has used the principles of the Gospel to teach the truth of God's blessing to millions of others.
Never mind the fact that Scripturally, Joyce Meyer is entitled to a tithe of the monies she receives for her own personal use. The truth is that she has taken perhaps three percent for her and her family's needs and desires, and has used 97% of every dollar that comes in for direct ministry.
Never mind the fact that Kenneth and Gloria Copeland received lands and houses from their parents as an inheritance, and wisely used and invested what they have received according to Biblical principles.
You know what it is, don't you? Sheer jealousy. Satan absolutely does not want folks to know that the Word of God works! It produces the same results no matter the individual, no matter the economy, no matter the culture or society, so long as people apply the principles of the Kingdom of God to their lives in and BY FAITH! One does not have to live in America for these principles to work. They work in Kenya. They work in Uganda. They work in Argentina. They work in Mexico. They work in Russia. They work in Iraq and Uzbekistan. And they always work for faith-speaking, spirit-filled, Bible-believing, grace-exhibiting, love-manifesting believers in Jesus Christ. ALWAYS!
So the trick of Satan is to get Christians to look first at their own wallets, bank accounts or lifestyles, and then judge the wallets, bank accounts and lifestyles of successful preachers, ministers of the Gospel or Christian business leaders through jaundiced eyes. Suspicion is immediately attached to the motives and activities of those in ministry whose lives exhibit the fruit of the living by and according to God's Word. Woe be to the one-out-of-a-thousand minister who is accused of unethical behavior in some way or another! He's just another one of those televangelists who only want your money!
You see what I'm saying, don't you? We don't need to belabor the point. Satan doesn't want you to prosper. He doesn't want you to learn and live by Kingdom Economics. If and when you do, you are a threat to his kingdoms. The wealthier God's people are and live, the poorer Satan is, and the greater the degree of inroad on his territory.
Back to Adam and Eve.
They lived this life of wealth and prosperity in the Garden. They lived a life totally devoid of need of any kind. They lived a life of power and authority. They lived the dominion that God blessed them with.
THAT IS GOD'S STANDARD! And THAT is exactly where He is out to return His people! Anything less than God's Standard is Satan's lie. Settling for anything less than God's standard simply means that if we "settle," we are in agreement with Satan.
And THAT, folks, is adultery. Spiritual adultery.
Jesus describes Satan (see John ) like this: "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy." Isn't that exactly what he did with Adam and Eve?
Through deception, through doubt, fear and unbelief, through human analysis and reasoning, he literally stole Adam's dominion and place of authority; and in the process, he deprived him of the "need-less" lifestyle he'd known in the Garden with the Lord God.
Kingdom Economics are designed to return us to that "need-less" place -- that place of authority and dominion, that place of every conceivable need supplied, the place that Jesus promised when He said, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."
Yup! That's the essence of Kingdom Economics. More to come.
The Blessing of the Lord be upon you.
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