Apr 16, '08 1:16 AM
Just printed out a copy of Kingdom Economics XXII this morning and realized that I was a bit windier than normal (!). I usually print out my Coffee Breaks the day they are written and posted, but our printer was down, and we were waiting for the Xerox guy to get here. Anyway, the extra length in XXII made up for the shortness of XX.
Like that excuse? Hohohohohohoho............ Riiiiiigggghhhhtt!
Sorry for my absence during the past couple of weeks. As I've already shared from time to time, Della and I just never get sick. We can probably count on one hand the number of times we've been sick or knocked out of commission in 25 or more years. That said, we both got hit with some kind of virus that took our lights out in a way we've never experienced. We are both well on the road to overcoming it, but it has been a continual exercise in declaring the Word of God in our healing.
We've been talking about Kingdom principle of seed-sowing for the past three weeks, and it is exceedingly important to get a grasp of this in order to live as a true representative of the King of Kings. Remember, king's kids pretty much look like, live like, talk like and think like they are healthy, wealthy and wise. As sons and daughters of the Most High God, the Lord Jesus Christ, the King of Kings, every aspect of our lives should reflect who and what we are.
People unfortunately associate humility with poverty. One of the worst doctrines of demons to infiltrate the body of Christ is the idea that in order to be holy, to be righteous, and to live like Jesus did, means that you have to live a sparse, meager, austere lifestyle. There was nothing whatever about Jesus that was sparse, meager or austere. We've already talked about the fact that Jesus began life as an enormously wealthy person in material goods and money.
When He came to "preach the Gospel to the poor," He came to set them free from poverty NOW -- NOT when they get to Heaven. Stop and think about it for a minute. We lay up for ourselves treasure in Heaven, but that treasure spends in this lifetime, NOT in the world to come!
When I'm walking streets of gold in Heaven, living in my "many mansions," (and I'm using the pictures and metaphors that Jesus used) the monetary treasure that I have in this lifetime won't be worth the dust under my feet -- if there were such a thing as dust in heaven! Furthermore, having spending money in Heaven is a fraud being perpetrated by those who associate laying up treasure in Heaven as meaning that you can't have it here.
I don't preach the gospel of prosperity. I don't need to. The Gospel of Jesus Christ -- ALL BY ITSELF -- manifests itself in prosperous living. Far too many Christians have spent their lives just scraping by and living so far beneath their rights and inheritance as heirs and joint heirs with Jesus Christ that their preaching of the Gospel is just hollow words to the world around. They don't manifest any abundance. They preach joyous and abundant living while they struggle to make ends meet -- and then buy Satan's bill of goods that "treasure in Heaven" is strictly for the "sweet bye and bye."
What a fraud! What a lie! If my abundance is only an abundance of the spirit that never manifests in the natural realm, then that abundance is a facade! There isn't anything real about it! The spirit realm always precedes the natural, but if what I have in God is real, it must manifest in the natural. We are first and foremost, spirit beings. Everything that happens in us, to us, with us and through us begins there. But we are not just spirit beings. We are made in the image of God as triune beings, co-existing as spirit, soul and body.
What happens in the realm of our spirit manifests in our soul. What happens in our soul manifests in our physical body. And what happens in spirit, soul and body manifests in every aspect of our lives. It must! It is a spiritual law from which there is no variation!
Ever stop and wonder why the world around despises much of modern-day Christianity? It's because so many Christians preach something they never manifest. How many preachers preach what they call the Gospel, but turn around and tell folks that the day of miracles passed with the twelve apostles? How many preachers are ignorant of the present-day gifts of healing, along with walking in perfect and complete health -- and not with the aid of medical doctors!?
Jesus NEVER sent His disciples forth without a command to "heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons: freely ye have received, freely give." (Matthew 10:9)
Luke records -- twice -- that Jesus sent His disciples "to preach the Kingdom of God, and to heal the sick;" (Luke 9:2) and "into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you. And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The Kingdom of God is come nigh unto you." (Luke 10:9)
When Jesus was ready to ascend into Heaven, He made it clear that "These signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover." (Mark 16:17-18)
Are we getting the picture?
Any preaching of the Gospel that limits it to "salvation" (in terms of getting one's fire insurance take care of) and excludes the healing of the sick, the raising of the dead, deliverance from demonic spirits and oppression, and abundant living in every respect -- physically, financially, and spiritually -- is a mockery of what Jesus paid for.
If I say that Jesus came to save me from Hell, but that it is His will for me to be sick, I'm nothing less than a blasphemer. It is a mockery of the price Jesus paid. It is the dumbest thing I could say from a spiritual standpoint.
If I say that He came to fill me with His Spirit, and translate me into the Kingdom of His Spirit, and then refuse to allow His Spirit to use my tongue to speak with the languages of men and of angels, I'm nothing less than a stubborn, rebellious liar who doesn't really believe the Word.
If I tell folks that if they've been "saved," it's impossible for them to be afflicted by evil spirits and that deliverance is automatic, I've just sold them Satan's bill of goods designed to keep them in perpetual bondage. People, there'd better be some demonstration of what I preach, some real manifestation of what I'm saying or I'm nothing less than a cheap fraud!
If I preach that Jesus has redeemed us from the curse, and then tell folks that living a hand-to-mouth existence is a manifestation of holiness, I've just told the world that God's Word is a lie.
Despite the fact that Proverbs 13:22 says that "the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just," and/or that Proverbs 10:22 says, "The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and He addeth no sorrow (painful sweat and toil) with it," there are still a large number of Christians today who believe that it is somehow a mark of humility and holiness to live their lives in constant debt, driving an old, beat-up automobile, living in what some of my preacher friends laughingly refer to as "shotgun houses."
Balderdash! It's a canard being perpetrated on the people of God by Satan so as to keep the world from being drawn to the prosperity of God's people!
You see what I've been saying, don't you? We are talking about real-life, down-to-earth, present-day manifestations of God's Word that are applicable TODAY! If we leave everything in the past, despite the fact that the Word tells us that "Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever," (Hebrews 13:8) we make the Word of God to be of no value in our lives and render our relationship with the Lord impotent!
Either the Word of God is the same today as it was when it first came forth, or we are liars and the truth isn't in us! There is no promise in the Word that Jesus spoke or that God made to His people throughout history that we cannot have or see manifested our lives NOW! Any suggestion to the contrary is pure, unadulterated fraud perpetrated by the fearful and unbelieving.
Whatever it takes for us as believers in Jesus Christ and His anointing to get to the place where the life, the love, the power, the authority and the grace He manifested; whatever cost we have to pay in terms of putting down our flesh: that price is cheap when compared to the manifestation of His Glory in us!
Wow! How'd I get started with all of this today? Oh, yeah, we were going to continue our discussion on what I believe is one of the single greatest principles of Kingdom Economics: seed sowing.
That said, pour yourself a good cup of coffee (if'n ya haven't already) and let's pick up where we left off in our last Coffee Break.
Let's get to the nitty-gritty of seed-sowing.
Jesus made it crystal clear that the seed we sow -- and, for that matter, the seed He sowed -- is the Word. In Matthew 13:19, He describes it as Kingdom Word or "the Word of the Kingdom." It that sounds a bit odd, let me explain.
Every word that comes out of our mouth is a seed. But that word/seed brings corresponding action. Let's go back to the illustration we used a couple of Coffee Breaks back where we talked about Kenneth Copeland's sowing of a button and receiving a new suit. The button was the manifestation, or better yet, the visible illustration of the Word/Seed. Kenneth didn't simply cut a button off his suit and stick it in the offering basket. The giving of the button was the point of contact -- if I can use that phraseology -- which exhibited the Word of Faith that came out of his mouth.
The Word was the actual seed being sown. The giving/sowing of the button was the corresponding action which put action to the faith behind the Word he confessed.
Take this in the natural realm -- the agricultural realm. Every seed already has life in it. But that seed is never going to produce fruit, it is never going to produce a harvest of any kind until it is planted. I can have a barn full of corn seed, but that's all it is ever going to remain until it is actually planted. When Della and I had our orange and grapefruit groves in Texas, we wanted to expand the number of fruit-producing trees. It mattered not how many grapefruit or oranges or lemons we had. Until the seeds were extracted and planted in the ground, we were never going to have any more trees to grow and produce fruit.
We've been given a bagful of seed. This is seed that will never corrupt, never go bad, and always have the life needed within to produce exactly the harvest needed. Jesus provided us with this bag. We call it the Word of God. The Word is absolutely incorruptible. It can't go bad no matter how many years ago the seed was created.
Consider salvation seed, for example. In Peter's first general epistle to the body of Christ, he writes, "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever." (I Peter 1:23)
Do you see it?
God's Word lives and abides for ever, eternally, without changing, modifying, or altering to fit contemporary times and circumstances. It is fixed in stone, so to speak! It will never change. It's there, and it's there for us to apply for ourselves, whether the need is salvation, deliverance, healing, wholeness, health (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual or financial).
But that Word/Seed will always remain just that: Word/Seed, until we actually plant it and exercise the faith God has given us to produce the harvest we need. Faith is the ingredient that makes that seed actually produce. The seed has faith within itself. But that faith won't produce until it is mixed with the faith in our hearts. Add to that the fact that the faith in our hearts must be spoken out loud in order to activate and have creative force.
You see it, don't you? Salvation doesn't come by simply believing in Jesus Christ. As James noted, "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble." (James 2:19)
It isn't enough to simply believe. You can have all the faith in your heart, but unless and until that faith becomes words of agreement with God's Word spoken audibly out of your mouth, the faith is dormant like the dormant faith in a seed that has yet to be planted.
It may seem like I'm running around a forty-acre field with this discussion, but I want to drill this principle into you and ensure your active memory of it. Let's go through this one more time, and we'll quit for today.
1. God's Word is seed which never loses its ability to produce.
2. That seed has faith inherent in its DNA, but until it is planted, the faith is dormant.
3. Speaking the Word, combined with believing God's Word IN YOUR HEART, activates the faith and plants the seed.
4. Just as it is necessary for a farmer to plant seeds in order to produce the desired harvest, then water and ensure that weeds do not spring up and choke out the plant, so must we have a corresponding action which waters the Word/Seed which we have planted.
5. This is where the corresponding action of sowing becomes money (or in Kenneth Copeland's 1967 instance -- a button), or the giving of something which means something and/or has value. We sometimes -- and inaccurately, I believe -- refer to the giving of money or other valuables as sowing a seed, but it is the Word we speak which is the actual seed being sown.
Dr. Leroy Thompson wrote a book a few years ago titled, YOU'RE NOT BROKE, YOU HAVE A SEED, in which he talks about declaring the Word of God as the sowing of seed. I highly recommend this book to you. It is available through his ministry website, and it is also available through Kenneth Copeland Ministries.
We'll talk more in the next Coffee Break about the significance of giving -- and specifically, money or other valuables -- as a means of dealing with debt and financial needs, and let there be no doubt: giving is an important ingredient in our seed sowing. What I want to get at today, however, is the fact that the Word is the seed we must sow if we are to see results.
If we ever expect to see a harvest -- whether that harvest be financial provision, healing from some sickness or disease or infirmity, deliverance from the power of Satan in some area of life, or the power of God being manifest in our lives in a tangible and demonstrable way, we absolutely MUST sow the Word, and the sowing of the Word must be in accordance with what the Word says, is saying, and will say!
So many Christians today precondition their speaking of the Word with some religious doctrine they've heard, grown up and believed. Let me give you some examples.
Some professing Christians believe in Salvation, but think that if they simply believe in their hearts that Jesus Christ is Lord, that's enough. There's no necessity to run around telling folks you are "saved." Being a "closet Christian" works just fine, thank you very much.
Some folks believe in Salvation, but don't believe that baptism in water needs to be by immersion. For them, just being sprinkled is OK. These are those, of course, who are unaware of the fact that the Greek word for baptism -- bapto -- and its corresponding term -- baptizo -- literally means: to whelm, to cover fully in water.
Then there's the controversy over how you are supposed to baptize, what formula you use, and whether you say "In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost," or "In the name of Jesus," or "In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the Lord Jesus Christ," etc., etc., etc. All these formulas replace faith with a ritual and ignore the fact that one is being baptized into the onoma of the Lord Jesus Christ: -- not a name formula.
Then there's those who think speaking in tongues died out with the apostles and misquote I Corinthians 13:8-10 to justify themselves -- never mind the fact that the Scripture plainly does not say that it has been done away with, and in fact produces examples following the day of Pentecost by many years.
Then you've got folks who don't mind the idea of speaking in tongues, but don't want anything to do with the ministry of deliverance because Well, we really have to be careful when we start messing around with demons. Satan is really powerful, you know, and if you're not careful you could wind up being possessed yourself. Despite the fact that Jesus clearly declares the ministry of deliverance as one of the very first signs and evidences of a person being a "believer," people allow themselves to be drawn away by doctrines of demons which allow the demons to maintain their dwelling places in the lives of people.
Take it another step, and you have people who are convinced that the day of miracles and supernatural healing went by the bye 1900 years ago.
You see where I'm going with this.
Folks, we need to let go of our preconceived notions, our religious doctrines, and our funny teachings and get down to basics. I'm a whole lot less concerned with the formula someone uses, and a whole lot more focused on whether that which takes place does so as an act of faith and obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ and His Word. If we get stuck on our doctrines or teachings and pre-condition our speaking of the Word because we think that maybe -- just maybe -- it might not be the will of God for us to be healed, or delivered, or saved, or set free, or walk in abundant prosperity, or whatever, we'll NEVER get what we desire in a harvest because faith has been contaminated by doubt, fear or unbelief.
OK. That's enough of this merry-go-round for today. I'm sorry if I seem to be repetitive or beating a dead horse, but my objective is to bring God's people to the place where they simply believe God's Word for what it says and act on it in faith.
The whole of God's Kingdom operates this way. This is where Kingdom Economics operates; and if we're going to be living, walking examples of the Kingdom, the Word has to be operational in every aspect of our daily lives. It has to be our final authority -- NOT some religious teaching or doctrine we grew up with.
See you again, soon.
Poverty is a form of Hell caused by man's blindness to God's unlimited good (and blessing) for him. God's plan for man is the prosperity that comes by living in divine favor. Living in divine favor is the product of direct and committed -- covenanted -- obedience to Him and His Word!
The Blessing of the Lord: it makes rich and He adds no painful toil and sorrow! (Proverbs 10:22) Be blessed!
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